Elevator Pitch: Deputy

Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Steve Shelley, co-founder and chairman of cloud based employee management solution Deputy.

In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.

Deputy is a revolutionary and highly intuitive cloud-based Workforce Management Solution that makes it fast, easy and enjoyable to schedule employees, manage time and attendance, track performance, improve workplace communication, improve culture, plus a lot more, including saving a lot of money!

Deputy's beautiful apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android keep everyone in the business mobile, and connected. Deputy integrates seamlessly with leading business, Point-of-Sale and most payroll solutions.

Using Deputy, business owners and managers get time to do the things they want to do to grow and support their business, or spend less time at work, rather than waste time and money repetitivly managing staff related issues.

Our goal is to make Deputy the business owner's trusted and dependable 2iC.

What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?

We are proud to say Deputy is self funded, after my seed capital, Deputy has grown organically since 2008, we intend keeping it that way. We constantly refine our sales, marketing and PR strategies and reinvest what we can in these areas. We thrive in an a collaborative eco-system of business and corporate partners where we integrate and mutually prosper.

We pride ourselves on the reputation we have for providing excellent around the clock online and phone support.

We are constantly improving and investing in our digital presence.

We have many passionate customers who refer and promote Deputy to colleagues and friends.

We have an international network of resellers and referrers and an ever expanding team of business development managers directly employed in Australia, the USA and the UK.

What's the biggest challenge facing your business?

We have invented a simple solution to a complex problem that business owners and managers don’t realise there’s a solution for, therefore the'll rarely look for Deputy. We need to introduce ourselves to them.

How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?

The biggest differentiator is our incredibly talented and loyal team doing brilliant things others just can’t do. Our exceptional engineering team is headed by my Co-Founder, friend and CTO Ashik Ahmed.

We’ve created an infinitely scaleable solution that simplifies most of the time consuming and repetitive functions required to manage staff. Deputy is exceptionally cost effective, requires little or no training or infrastructure and there is no ongoing obligation.

What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?

Unfortunately, it's Mail.

What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?

Dad often told me, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”. General Norman Schwarzkopf told me: “If left in charge, take control, and do whats right". I use both pieces of advice regularly.

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