Making a machine to make money with smarts and perseverance

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Sometimes starting a business to make money is as simple as bidding your time in one or more large companies, accumulating knowledge and experience, taking a deep breath and jumping down the corporate ladder.

Simple, yes. Easy, no. When you take such a leap, you’re probably taking the first real risk of your career, parting ways with a steady income, health insurance and retirement funding in exchange for an uncertain future where you must prove yourself to current clients as you search are to new. , hoping to get paid on time to make payroll, and wondering if you can afford to take on that big new project.

This is the freedom and challenge that entrepreneurs live and breathe. And it’s not something Wil Gomez ever really considered for himself as he rose through the human capital management (HCM) technology industry. HCM systems are highly complex and expensive enterprise software packages built to meet the global compliance and international payroll needs of large enterprises with a wide range of functions across the entire employee lifecycle. Since graduating from Ryerson University in 2002 with a focus on business information systems, Wil has spent most of his 14-year career learning the intricacies of these systems and leveraging that knowledge for his employers’ clients.

The higher he rose – eventually landing a position as director of implementation for HCM software giant Ceridian – the broader his perspective. He was brimming with new ideas to address the challenges faced by many of Ceridian’s clients. He took them to the company’s management, who usually nodded in agreement, but always found a reason why they didn’t work.

It was something of a shock. Here he was, a veteran expert at the height of his career, and his ideas for innovation were ignored. Rubbing against these constraints, Wil’s entrepreneurial spirit was looking for an outlet. Instead of living with that frustration, he took the plunge.

In 2016, Gomez and a partner, Khaled Qasmieh, hired two employees and launched Seequelle, a consulting firm focused on implementing and optimizing these large systems for medium-sized businesses with 2,000 to 5,000 employees. This model is known as systems integration. Enterprise software companies often certify companies like Seequelle as partners that customers can hire to install their systems and make sure they work with the rest of their technology stack. A system integrator can even act as a reseller of the software.

Regular readers of this column may recognize the pattern developing here: it’s none other than the “smartest business model ever” that I introduced to you two years ago. Or, it’s the first half of that business model – building a money maker – to be exact. With the launch of Seequelle, Wil took step 1 of the model: starting a small company that solves a problem for larger companies, in this case installing and optimizing complex HCM systems. Seequelle is the perfect illustration of why a B2B business is much more likely to succeed than marketing to consumers. It only needs to acquire and serve a few large customers to generate revenue, rather than trying to reach thousands of customers and convince them to buy. In addition, as a service-based company, Seequelle required less money to start and grow than product-based companies.

The company also met another important criterion as a moneymaker, as it solved the three underlying problems facing large companies:

  1. Large companies prefer not to hire people. Adding a headcount creates additional headaches for large companies, with expenses for benefits, real estate and fixed costs on top of salaries. And especially in the technology sector, hiring and training skilled workers can be a drag. An agile consultant like Seequelle can rush in with his well-compensated, highly skilled team to solve a problem and move on.
  2. They are afraid of technology. Like people, technology is expensive, especially the large-scale, mission-critical systems that power large companies. Mispurchasing software can lead to multimillion-dollar sunk costs, so when Seequelle’s customers invest in HCM systems, they really need it to succeed.
  3. They use smaller companies as their ‘bank’. This is simple math. While Seequelle has to pay its employees and vendors regularly, it bills its customers less frequently, freeing up the larger company’s cash flow.

Seequelle did all of these things extremely well. By the time the company had a total of 11 employees, it had grossed $3 million, or about $373,000 per employee, well exceeding typical industry benchmarks.

That’s just Part 1 of the Smartest Business Model. Part 2 transforms that money maker into a moonshot, and Wil is about to do just that: transform proprietary technology into a product he can sell to a total addressable market (TAM) in the billions.

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