Springfield Business Journal: What has been key to your recent growth?
Mark Steiner: Our proved automation, along with a really well-oiled machine. Our technology keeps improving, but the team that’s working with that technology is also improving. We’re learning how our customers think. We’ve just learned through paying attention, surveys, usages and people contacting us about problems and then we figure out how to fix them. We can almost anticipate what (customers) may need before they know it.
SBJ: What are your top issues when it comes to managing growth?
Steiner: Most people think as a company grows, of course, staff must grow. In life, often more is better. But then you have to look at a business for what it is and what it is to run a business. We have made changes over the past year, and we’ve decreased in team, and as the numbers show in state, we’re not just surviving but striving. Our growth is greater than ever, and we’re doing it with a lot fewer people. We’ve learned that we are efficient and productive as ever with the size team that we have. It’s evaluating what’s coming in and evaluating what’s going out, and not getting too far ahead of yourself.
SBJ: What has the company’s growth enabled you to do?
Steiner: It shows we’re not one-shot wonders but that we keep consistently growing. There comes a point where, all of a sudden, you’re not operating from a place of defense. Now, we’ve sort of figured things out, and we can be a little bit more aggressive or a little bit more proactive in our approach, as opposed to keeping potential competitors at bay. It’s in some ways taking some risks in that you just trust your instincts a little bit more. With our app, that was an expensive venture. We believed it was necessary; we believed it was a given. We’re a technology company. There’s risk in that, but when you have a little more at your disposal, you’re willing to take those risks.
SBJ: Is your growth sustainable?
Steiner: Yes. We are growing still, and I have no reason to believe we won’t keep growing. We’ve been doing this since 2006, and we’ve always grown. We’ve never had a quarter where we’ve not grown as a company – even a month.
SBJ: Where is the tipping point?
Steiner: I don’t think there is one. If there is one, it shouldn’t be for a long time. We’re too innovative and in a really unique, niche marketplace where there’s certainly lots of options, but in terms of online event marketplace, we’re one of two that do what we do. Period.
SBJ: Have your goals changed as business has taken off?
Steiner: No. For me, I’ve been driven by revenue. I don’t have a lot of goals, but (our) single goal is to grow and be as big as we possibly can. I think the sky’s the limit – I don’t know when that stops. If there’s anything that’s changed, it’s to run as sleek and streamlined of a company as possible.
SBJ: What’s the worst business advice you’ve received?
Steiner: People said, “Don’t go into business with a friend.” We started conceptualizing GigSalad 15 years ago, and that guy is still my best friend. And this company is thriving, succeeding in ways and measures we couldn’t possibly have imagined.
Art Zone LLC, Launch Virtual Learning Center and The Permit Shop relocated.