Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Scott Elliott, Founder of Datagems Limited, located in Auckland, New Zealand.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business consists of two main areas. The first provides analytics consulting in sales and marketing. The second is our software subscription service providing data connectors for Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio). We also offer courses and content to support the successful implementation of our connectors.
Our consulting business used to be a specialist tourism analytics consultancy. Still, with Covid impacting tourism globally, we were forced to pivot. However, the pivot was into something much more rewarding and with more significant potential to reach more people. Our primary customers are digital marketing agencies. I want to gain more small businesses and help them become more data-driven in their decision-making.
Tell us about yourself
I always wanted to build my own business, but I was surprised to find out what that business would sell or do. I initially got into IT and analytics during the dot-com boom of the early 2000s. This well-paid option would help me discover what I was good at and what I wanted to do. I tried all kinds of things and have worked at over 100 different companies of different sizes across multiple industries for various lengths of time.
I was always frustrated by the hierarchy, politics, and competency of my supposed superiors. I now believe all my shitty experiences and failures in work and life have led me to where I am today. The last few of these experiences have forced me out of my comfort zone and into really challenging positions. Coupled with advances in cloud technology, the last few years have opened my eyes to what I can achieve if I put my mind to it.
I enjoy helping people/businesses learn and prosper. I am always surprised by the need for more technical competency that many companies and people have. I enjoy using technology to solve problems and figuring out how I can help businesses solve those problems, too but in a way that is low friction and low cost. You have to make the barriers to entry low, but not so low that you put yourself out of business. So figuring out what that looks like in my business is exciting and provides a future of opportunities and choices.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
After COVID completely tanked my tourism consulting business, I put all my time and money into building our software platform rather than chasing cold leads.
It was a massive risk, but I had no options other than going all in. Two years in, our revenue is still growing. There are many areas of growth and opportunity, and I'm excited about where I can take my business.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Deciding where to invest your time and money in your business is always challenging. I have fully self-funded the development of our platform and software products, and it's technically complex.
When allocating resources, the one question I always ask is, "Will this improve the customer experience?" If a product is easy to use, our prospects will be easier to convert, and our customers will stay with us.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Believe in yourself.
- Tune out the noise—you are the only person walking your path.
- Trust your gut and be okay with saying no to prospects, customers, and suppliers alike. A bad fit is a bad fit.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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