This is a blog series where I’ll be walking through how I built Work Hero, starting from December 2019 to the present.
I’ll start with a brief history of the beginnings of the business, then move into our “post-pivot” era that started in December 2019.
Work Hero Version 1
The groundwork was laid out in 2017. Although way back in 2014, I tried and failed to start 6 businesses in 12 months, I felt the time was right to try again, even though I had 3 other projects going on.
I subsequently quite 2 of my 3 other projects, and started the new business part time in addition to running Tri Swim Coach.
My original idea was an agency to help small and solo businesses do everything they’re not good it. This included tech tasks, design, and administrative marketing tasks.
What was my motivation to build this business?
I had built a few info products businesses, and somehow always found top talent for low cost (often in the Philippines) on Upwork.com to help me with my tasks. I thought it would be fun to build an entire company with outsourced workers, in each area, and give them training, making them a part of a team.
And, I wanted experience in a startup, with all the challenges that go with it, helping me to grow as a person.
Back to the idea. after being a bit overwhelmed at the scope of doing “everything” for businesses, I narrowed it down to just design and website technical tasks.
Then further down to WordPress & graphic design support.
Naming: I love the word “hero” and dislike having to “work”. It didn’t take me long to come up with and settle on the name “Work Hero”. Sadly, the guy who owns “work hero dot com” is a squatter and wasn’t willing to come to the table to sell, so we settled on useworkhero.com – which I have come to love the name!
Logo: I was hiking in Slovakia the summer before I started the company, with my friend Richard Patey of Website Investing Weekly and on the trail, I ran into a marmot:
I knew that was the mascot and part of the logo for my new company. A month later, we hired a designer who came up with this guy:
We later came up with the name, Marvin the Marmot 🙂
Partnership: I started realizing there was a lot of work to be done. Who knew? I didn’t initially think I wanted a partner. But I had hired a very smart and hard working administrative assistant from Brazil who I asked to help out with the new business.
Not only was he thrilled at the idea, he asked to partner with me.
Although he was young and didn’t have a ton of experience, my gut told me this was the right way to go, after we had a Zoom chat.
Without much contemplation I moved forward with my new partner!
Our initial expenses:
Website registration for useworkhero.com on Namecheap: $12
Hosting (shared with Digital Ocean): $10/month
Web Designer (including logo design): $200
(site partially built in house)
Intercom Software (help desk): $20/month
Email: Gsuite by Google $25/month
Question of the Week:
How often do you hold meetings with your business partner? How about your contractors or employees? Answer below in the comments, and I’ll have more on this in the next post 🙂
Next, I’ll get into our ups and downs for 2 years, culminating with a pivot.