Why we started Veromo
- August 19th, 2016
- 4 mins READING TIME
A great idea can come in a moment. Turning that great idea into a business takes a lot more time, effort and navigation of road blocks. Veromo was born within the fires of that process. Amidst all the bureaucracy and red tape lay the knowledge that there had to be a better way.
Looking back, my co-founder Andy and I can pinpoint the moment of Veromo’s inception to 2012, when we started an agency called The Virtual Collective. We had both established businesses before, so we had some idea of what lay ahead. Even with prior experience, it was remarkable to see how little had changed after all those years.
Starting a business is never as straight-forward as the downloadable checklists make it seem. It’s not quite that linear, it’s a spaghetti-junction of onerous operational processes such as all of the regulatory checks, brand identity, your online identity, accounting, invoicing and taxation. By the time you’re through, you’ve entered the same information a hundred times into various forms. It’s enough to drive you mad.
To play it safe we hired an accountant to handle the company setup and took the rest of it on ourselves. Andy was a commercial lawyer and I had extensive experience in branding, communication and digital development, and yet it still it took a long time before things started to feel real, sorted or anywhere near complete.
Surely there had to be smarter way to start a business. One with less paperwork and more automation. We were living in a more connected world of API’s and advanced technology, so why hasn’t someone automated this process to lighten the load?
And we pondered some more…
How did people without our experience cope with all of this? How many businesses never eventuated because of all the red tape and bureaucracy? What was their experience like? How did they handle starting a business? How long did it take them before it felt real, and more importantly was anyone out there solving this problem?
We took those questions to business owners and identified the things that mattered most to them, from managing costs to doing things the right way the first time, getting up and running quickly without becoming tangled in red tape, being presentable and most of all, having their new business succeed.
We also identified common challenges and pain points of starting a business, from frustration with duplicate efforts to lack of time, time, money, efficiency and knowhow. In particular:
- Assembling and sorting masses of paperwork
- Getting to point D and discovering that an application for point A should have been submitted before point B
- Starting from scratch and rebuilding systems and processes for templates, documents, contracts and spreadsheets
- Not having someone to walk you through the steps to save all the guess work
We found companies offering products and services covering different parts of the process, including setting up an ABN, registering the company and organising hosting. But what we wanted was a fully-integrated, holistic approach. We looked further and realised there was an unmet need both domestically and overseas. All these filaments of our experience ignited. This was our lightbulb moment.
The journey from taking an idea to market to growing a business is a long one, and everybody on the path can use more of the right help. We began documenting the entire process of getting a business off the ground from end to end, establishing a framework that covered all the key tasks, forms and decision points. As we’d whittled down our savings building a prototype and doing technical feasibility studies, we began the search for investors to keep the project rolling.
Whilst seeking advice on how to do a valuation and find investors, we were introduced to Jamie Henderson of the Transocean Group. Seeing the potential in the platform, Transocean Group jumped on board and continued to bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to the table.
Once again within the high-burn environment familiar to anyone who has worked in a startup, we kept uncovering inspired ideas for new features and tools. From our NameFinder to streamlining a one form process for our OnceForm, our roadmap was growing brighter and more extensive by the day.
We still think about how many great ideas never grow into viable businesses, stifled by arduous processes. That’s why we started Veromo: to give everyday people the support they need to do what they love. We’ve built a product that we’d love to use ourselves, and we can’t wait to share it with you.