How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business owners for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Bevan Nel from Helpling.
Current gig: Managing Director at Helpling Australia Location: Sydney, Australia Current mobile device: iPhone 5 Current computer: Dell Inspiron 13 One word that best describes how you work: Collaboratively
What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
For work, the Google apps are always useful when I'm out of the office. I use the Groupon app to look for local food deals, Pandora for music and there's also an interesting new app, Bountye, which I check out for interesting second hand items in social groups I'm interested in. And of course the Helpling app for when I want my house all spick and span.
What social network do you find the most useful?
LinkedIn. It's a great way to keep up to date with my network, find out what companies are hot, which ones are not and and also a powerful tool in sourcing staff.
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
Good people are absolutely key. Having a strong team leverages your personal efforts allowing the business to expand without your direct involvement in every aspect. If you hire someone who is trust worthy, you know the business will grow stronger without having to look at every detail. This is super important in any early stage business that you're trying to grow quickly.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
The speed of growth at Helpling has been truly amazing. As a global company having celebrated its one year anniversary in May of this year, we are currently present in over 200 cities spanning 12 countries and have provided over 100,000 cleans to customers across our cleaner base of 10,000 cleaners. We honestly didn't expect the demand for this service to be so high.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I like to think I'm good at making people laugh and see the lighter side of life, but I'm sure that depends on who you're asking!
What's your sleep routine like?
Strangely enough that really depends on daylight savings! We have business contacts in Europe whom we talk to regularly throughout the week. In the summer months this means most of our calls only tend to start from 8pm locally, so there are some very late nights, which don't allow for as much sleep as I'd like. Perils of working at an international company I guess!
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
Work hard, be proactive, be decisive and take action. I heard a great saying once that has always resonated with me — making the wrong decision is almost always better than making no decision. A wrong decision gives you the opportunity to learn what not to do and to grow forward. No decision at all leaves you in the exact same place you started.