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DCWW Speaker Series: Size Matters: How Fast to Grow your Business

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There are many ways to grow your company, but you need to figure out the best one that works for you. Over the course of my career I have worked in several startups coming in at employee 6 and helped them grow to their respective exits. One followed the dotcom growth model of investing heavily in strategic partnerships and finding investment money early. Another followed a more cautionary path self-funding, but strategically hiring to ensure delivery of white-glove, high touch service. Yet another self-funded yet invested heavily in outsourced technical resources ultimately causing a downsizing and pivot. Today, I’m nine months into running my own venture trying to figure out the best way for us to grow. I’ll speak to these different experiences, highlighting some lessons learned and current challenges.

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DCWW Speaker Series: Size Matters: How Fast to Grow your Business

  1. 1. DC WEB WOMEN SPEAKER SERIES DAGNY EVANS SIZE MATTERS: HOW FAST TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS
  2. 2. DC WEB WOMEN SPEAKER SERIES DAGNY EVANS SIZE MATTERS: HOW FAST TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS
  3. 3. Contact Info Dagny Evans Managing Director, Digital Ambit dagny@digitalambit.com @dagnyevans @digitalambit www.dagnyevans.com www.digitalambit.com
  4. 4. Enews.com In the beginning • Sold magazine subscriptions online • Employee #6 The adventure • Hired young, smart people • Worked hard, partied hard • VC funding • Exuberant spending The fairy tale ends • Grew to 150 ppl & 2 locations • Dotcom bubble burst • Layoffs ensued • Dissolved into BN.com
  5. 5. Soundpath Conferencing In the beginning • Audio & Web Conferencing primarily for law firms • High-touch, white glove service • Wholesale partner The adventure • Self-funded • Hired sales, backoffice & customer service • Outsourced IT development • Strategic application dev The fairy tale ends • Sold to wholesale partner • 2.5x multiple for services business • Still exists as separate line of business
  6. 6. Office Desktop In the beginning • Unified communication • Product development • Outsource everything • Small backoffice team to manage partners The adventure • Self-funded • Awarded a couple of patents • Long development cycle to “perfect it” The fairy tale ends • Pivoted to online suite of desktop apps • Downsized backoffice & outsourced resources • Still exists as small, boutique offering
  7. 7. Digital Ambit In the beginning • Began as side business • Gradually increased focus over last 3 years • Went all in March 2015 The adventure is underway • Self-funded • 1 primary resource • 1 ½ resource plus handling all back-office functions • Still trying to figure out growth

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