A look back at five years of building a business
The 9th of March is a special day for me. Not only is it the day I welcomed my daughter into the world, but it was the day I founded my business. This year the company I founded will be five years old. And what an eventful five years it has been.
Digital Sky Pty Ltd was launched on the 9th March 2016.
When I first started out, the goal was to create something different. I wanted to get away from the corporate life I knew and start something fresh that would deliver an impact. Yet, I knew nothing about running a business. Like many who started this journey, I thought “I’m good at what I do, how hard can running a business be…”
For those in business, yes, I know. You can stop laughing now. Those were words spoken with extreme naivety. I know better now, but it has not been easy. Andy the world hasn’t helped either.
I invested time and money is learning how to build a business. Business Coaches. Accountants. Advisors. Networking. Friends. Family. Other business owners. Everyone had great advice and suggestions. But many just wanted my money. It has cost a small fortune.
In the beginning, my company was a shell for contracting work. Great money, but it does not scale as you are trading your time for money. The other problem is you have limited freedom to build a business. The expectation is that you are available for the client like an employee so attending networking events, business courses, or conferences is a tough ask.
In late 2019, we rebranded and became The Executive Technologists. We were going to help small businesses leverage technology to change their world. It was going to be easy because everyone needs technology to run their business.
I joined a local business network to learn more about small businesses, get comfortable talking to other business owners, and grow my business. I was in a room full of potential clients and their networks, this should be easy…HA! What a naïve fool I was.
Shortly after launching, Australia started burning. It was all we could do not to be choked by ash and smoke with a grab bag ready to flee the approaching inferno. We survived. But then the world changed forever as COVID19 spread around the globe.
Suddenly everyone was reliant on technology just to remain functional: business, learning, socialising. Everything went online fast as we became locked down and forced out of our offices.
I prepared to close the business. Government grants kept it on life-support. I went back to basics to ask what people really wanted from technology. The answer “we just want it to work without costing a fortune”.
The other thing I realised was that I have decades of experience built around a specific technology platform—Microsoft 365. The technologies this platform is built upon are things I have worked on for three-decades. This is what I knew and where my credibility has been established.
The Executive Technologists pivoted to become a premium Microsoft Partner. We also simplified our product offerings and deliver a range of services via a cashflow friendly subscription. Our clients are loving it. It’s simple predictable and overs support when they need it without the worry of a large invoice the next month.
In our first year of offering these new services we expect to double our revenue. And we have barely started. And next year is looking even better. We still have a lot to learn and there will be growing pains. However, the mix of services we offer and how we bring them to market is changing an industry paradigm.
I founded The Executive Technologists to change an industry and make a positive impact for small businesses struggling with adopting technology. After five years in business, we are on the cusp of delivering on this vision.