[quote style=”boxed”]I am not sure it’s a habit, but as an entrepreneur you need to be driven to do something different, whether it’s thinking differently, trying different things or coming up with different ideas.[/quote]
Jennifer Aubin is the President and Co-Founder of OrganizeYourPeople, the cloud-hosted SaaS tool designed for the HR needs of SMBs.
Jennifer and her partners created OrganizeYourPeople when they noticed a need for simple tools in the HR industry. A cost effective and easy to use online HR system for small to medium size businesses, OrganizeYourPeople is an ideal HR tool and the perfect HR solution for growing businesses.
OrganizeYourPeople is a web-based human resources information system that enables SMBs to consolidate all employee information, track vacation requests, follow employee goals, manage time and learning, measure employee metrics, create reports, and bring all of the HR documentation into one secure, centralized location.
Jennifer was profiled by Startup Canada when they named OrganizeYourPeople to their 1000 Startups campaign. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience in the HR field, specializing in the technology sector. In addition to OrganizeYourPeople she is also the President of TechBent, an HR and recruiting firm that focuses on the tech sector. Outside of her industry, Jennifer is interested in the growing technology sector as well as health and exercise.
Jennifer is an avid food label reader and enjoys a running trail that will really kick her butt.
Where did the idea for OrganizeYourPeople come from?
Having worked with so many SMB’s over the years I quickly recognized the need for simple HR tools for small to medium sized businesses. These companies typically use word and excel in unsecure network drives or even storing these docs on their desktop. I always chuckled when I would overhear an employee ask for the third time how much vacation time they had left. The people that should have this information can’t get it fast enough. We created OrganizeYourPeople to fulfill this need for a simple HR tool; one that is tailor-made for small and medium sized businesses.
OrganizeYourPeople is a cloud based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) system that can be accessed online from anywhere, making it easy for employees to track their hours, check vacation times, prove certain certifications, and arrange meetings and events. It empowers managers to retain employee information securely and centrally, and ensures they are not spending their limited time on administrative busywork.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Most small companies are derived from smart people who had/have an idea. When the idea is so strong and you can’t sleep at night you decide to start your business. Starting a business is great but there are so many things that need to be taken care of when you do. You must think about everything: administration, operations, sales, product and marketing. You have to think about who you should hire to help you grow your business, what type of people do you need and where do you find them. And when your company grows, you must consider how do you grow with it and how do you keep your people organized.
Along the way, working with literally 100 early stage companies, I have noticed a lot of things. The things that I am drawn to are around people management. You need to “get the right people on the bus,” but how you get them on the bus and how you keep them is where I prefer to focus.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The People market/movement is huge right now and we’re very excited to be part of that movement where things are more visible.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am not sure it’s a habit, but as an entrepreneur you need to be driven to do something different, whether it’s thinking differently, trying different things or coming up with different ideas.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I can honestly say that every job I have had has been good, but it has been the supervisors of said jobs that have been the challenge. I truly believe you can learn something from every job, whether you love it or hate it, but it’s your supervisor that can make it or break it. I worked for a marketing consultant years ago who was brilliant! Unfortunately his people skills did not match that brilliance. The take away from a difficult boss is what NOT to do when the opportunity arises for you to manage people or a department. Truly some of the best EQ skills I have gained are from working with people who are out for themselves, don’t give recognition where it’s due, refuse to communicate and at the end of the day are not grateful.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
If I were starting over today, I would have jumped into it faster. My partner and I took our time getting started. I think we were both afraid of the commitment, but we quickly realized how committed we wanted to be and we haven’t looked back.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Trust yourself. The entrepreneurial world can be daunting and overwhelming. Always remember why you started what you started. Remember to remain flexible; ideas and concepts change and evolve and you need to be prepared to look at your project from many directions. Also, find a handful of mentors. These folks should range with what they can offer you – don’t be afraid to ask for support.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
We’re still trying to define our marketing strategy. What we thought would work isn’t working so we’ve regrouped and we now have more momentum. We’ve recently changed up a few things around our SEO strategy which has helped. We’ve also hired an amazing sales person with a lot of great experience. Now we are definitely seeing traction.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Failing is part of being an entrepreneur. The toughest part is realizing the failure and then correcting it. There have definitely been a few failures in my entrepreneurial career; one being too stuck in the product and not observing. It’s important to take time to check in with crucial stakeholders and ensure you’re not being too hyper-focused. I try to overcome this issue with having one or two people around me that are willing to give me a proverbial shake.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I am not willing to publish one of my ideas at this point, but always keen to meet for a coffee and discuss new ideas.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
Good question. This seems to have come up a lot lately: my education is in Physical Education! It surprises a lot of people. They usually think my educational background revolves around HR, Business or Technology.
What software and web services do you use?
We decided to run our SaaS (software as a service) in the cloud because of the versatility the cloud offers in respect to scalability, reliability, accessibility and cost.
What do you love about them?
I love the versatility that the cloud offers in respect to scalability, reliability, accessibility and cost. Since OrganizeYourPeople is targeted towards small and medium-sized businesses, these characteristics are vital to the service.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
My favorite books include The Art of the Start, Unmarketing and Risky is the New Safe.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
I have been inspired by ‘classics’ such as Guy Kawasaki, Don Tapscott, Steve & Steve.
My first foray into tech was made possible by two of the founders of Stormworks; two people who have continued to inspire and drive technology forward.
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