The pace for cavnessHR is picking up. As I said last time, the more we do, the more we need to do.
We did not make it to the final 8 for the Business Impact NW pitch competition. We finished 14 out of 22 on the voting part. Then the judges decided that our scores on the rubric was not high enough to over come the 14th place finish. We were disappointed that we did not receive more votes. Especially, with all the connections we have on social media. We will relook how we went about asking for votes on social media and see what we can learn from this experience.
The goodness that came out of this is that 460 people did vote for us and their was around 4,000 views of the video. Being in the competition forced us to do an executive summary, our financials and our market research. We learned that the U.S. HR outsourcing industry was a $17.5 industry
last year. We also learned lots of useful information that we can use in the future. Then we made a video that was a great experience. Everyone said they really liked the video and everyone had good things to say about the video.
I had a great meeting with a person I met about a year ago at a Lean Startup Seattle event. https://www.meetup.com/Lean-Startup-Seattle/ I have kept in touch with her for the last year and our schedules finally matched so we could do an in person meeting. She is very talented and has quite a bit to offer any organization she joins. I believe she is the type of person that you hire, even if you don't have an opening. We talked about her joining cavnessHR in the future. We will have to see how this plays out.
We are using ZohoBooks for our accounting and we realized that we have it set up wrong. We were also not placing items in the right category. It took us a while to fix this. We had to redo everything in ZohoBooks for the past year. We also need to do better at updating ZohoBooks as soon as we have a transaction. Instead of waiting and then forgetting the details.
We usually relook everything we have done to see what we are missing. This time we realized that we have not done any research on digital signatures. In order to provide everything in the cloud and to be as paperless as possible. We need to provide documents that can be digitally signed. We spent part of this week researching various digital signature companies. We narrowed it down to two of them. We signed up for one month for each one and we will be testing them out for the next 30 days. This way we can see which one will be the best fit for cavnessHR and our future customers. We will provide an update once we decide which digital company we choose.
We also realized that although we plan on providing HR through cloud technology and our vision is to provide HR for every company in the U.S with less than 50 employees. We have not yet researched any data storage solutions.
We reached out to Amazon Web Services and we had a great call with one of their salesman. AWS offers quite a few options that seem to match what I believe cavnessHR will need if we reach the goals I have for cavnessHR. I had a great call with AWS and was really happy with them. They even researched cavnessHR before our call. They talked to me about some of our previous blog posts and talked to me about the video we did for the Business Impact NW pitch competition. What we especially liked, was that he understood what we are attempting to do with cavnessHR. He understood that we are attempting to transform the HR outsourcing industry. His pitch to us was based on this and it was refreshing to see that he understood our future requirements.
cavnessHR having to use something like AWS is a ways off. But we have signed up for one of the free accounts and we were provided some resources by AWS that we can use on our startup journey.
From our actions on digital signatures and AWS, we realized something else. Neither the costs for digital signatures or a data storage solution is included in our current pricing module. Needless to say, we are going to have to redo our entire pricing module to include these costs. This will also cause us to redo our financials, our business plan, our pitch and our sales projections.
We had to handle another one of the unsexy parts of being a startup. We had to pay our annual payment to Payscale. www.payscale.com We use Payscale to assist us with our salary and compensation benchmarking and recommendations for our future customers.
We took part in the weekly Society of Human Resources Twitter Chat which uses the hashtag #nextchat. This is a weekly twitter chat that covers various subjects. This last one covered the future of HR Tech. It was a great twitter chat. We use these sessions to professionally develop ourselves and to keep up to date on HR.
We made the decision to hire Clevertec http://clevrtec.com/ They are a software company that was recommended to us by Johannes at https://bunkerlabs.org/seattle/ We are going to have them link our website with our podcast hosting site. That way our podcasts will be available on the cavnessHR website.
Speaking of podcasts. We continue to do interviews and schedule people to be interviewed. We have started the process of editing our podcast interviews and getting them ready to be posted on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and www.cavnessHR.com. We have significantly underestimated the time it takes to edit the podcasts. You don't realize all the space fillers, long spaces of silence and other items that need to be edited out. Until you listen to it on Adobe Audition. Our intent was to start posting these on September 18. But we are going to push this back to September 25 since the editing is taking longer than we anticipated. We are very excited about the people we have talked to on the cavnessHR podcast and they are going to bring you lots of value.
We talked a bit about Seattle Startup Week and all the value that is provided. To be honest, cavnessHR was not going to take part. We just have so much happening, that we did not think we could afford to take an entire week to take part. But after talking to Lee, we realized how foolish it would be not to take part in the activities of Seattle Startup Week. For those of you in the Seattle area, we hope to see you there as well.
We reached out to Pacific Luther University (PLU) https://www.plu.edu/ about the possibility of hiring some of their Human Resources students as interns in the future. PLU is a college in the Tacoma, Wa area and they provide a degree in Business with a focus on HR. We think that this would be a great solution for cavnessHR as we grow. It would be great if we could have a pipeline of HR talent going from PLU to cavnessHR.
We then reached out to University of Washington-Tacoma (UW-T) http://www.tacoma.uw.edu/ about hiring some of their Computer Science students as interns. We have a meeting with one of the UW-T representatives next Thursday to discuss this.
It seems that for every idea and/or task I put down around 5 more spring from this. How do you handle this when it happens to you?
Below is a video I found that has an interesting take on focus. What do you think about John Davis'take on focus?