Speaker, Author and Co-Founder of Link Academy and HypoPak. Will began implementing cloud apps for people in 2010 and has met with over 1,000 businesses owners to help automate their service delivery process. Will has a positive approach to every challenge in business and loves helping people problem solve their way to success.
I started my professional career as an accountant, but always planned to get into business. At 21 years old I had attempted to start three businesses before I finally committed to one full time. My business helped people set up and integrate cloud apps such as Xero, Unleashed, WorkflowMax and Vend.
Things didn’t go well. In 2010, the apps had little functionality, lots of bugs and I had no experience running a business. This was a recipe for disaster, and within 12 months I was working just to make repayments on the mountain of debt I had accumulated. It turns out you need more than positive thinking and a ton enthusiasm to make a business work.
I didn’t give up. I worked hard, and four years later I had turned the company around and opened 9 franchises throughout New Zealand. I was nominated for the 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year and had a number of articles in the media about being a young, successful entrepreneur. This is when I learned some more hard lessons in business.
Implementing cloud apps is not easy. You need to understand each industry in depth, you need to have an accounting background and you also need to know how to find prospects and sell. Despite an ‘in depth’ three-day training workshop in Takapuna, the franchises didn’t quite have the four years experience I had. Cracks started appearing. I was working 80 hour weeks for next to no pay. Within six months I had to close all the franchises because I ran out of cash.
One of the franchises was owned by the legend, Reuben Sweeney. He stayed on to help me tidy up a bunch of projects and get the company back on track. Because the projects were all over the country we had to meet all the clients via Skype. This changed the game for us. We no longer had to spend half our days sitting in traffic, so we had more time to focus on developing our strategy and internal processes. We learned to productize our service. Within a short time, every project went well and our profit margins went through the roof. The bank account piled up and we finally felt like we were running a real business.
Reubs and I grew the company to 6 staff, but we were still exposed to the risk of a quiet patch, which came early 2016 after my holiday in the States. Before cash totally dried up, we let go of all our staff and focused on building Link Academy. Link Academy was created to replace us as consultants. We discovered that if we filmed our coaching and implementation programs, we just had to focus on selling them. Using Facebook as our primary channel, we’d found something infinitely scalable.
Over the years I have learnt that business is all about testing, adapting and looking for opportunity during adversity. My journey has been a rollercoaster, but I am so pleased to be where I am now. If you would like to learn from me and Reubs, please check out our courses and like my Facebook page.
I wish you all the success on your journey.