The last 12 months as we have struggled to cope with the Covid pandemic have been a challenge for businesses great and small. With the vaccine rollout it seems like we are slowly heading back to some kind of normal. As Elastic Mint celebrates our 3 year anniversary, what have we learnt from the various challenges we have faced along the way?
When we announced the formation of Elastic Mint in April 2018, our plan was to spend the next few months finding our first customer. As it turned out, our post on LinkedIn was spotted by Preqin who were looking for some experienced people to help them finish delivering their flagship product. Within two weeks we were sat in their offices getting to know their system.
In business we all need a little luck sometimes. If we had made our announcement a week later we might have missed out. Having said that, we had spent several months talking through our business plan, and working out what our offer was. At the time we felt there was a need for small teams of experienced developers who can come in and quickly make a difference. This is exactly what we did for Preqin.
Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan. Four months after starting with Preqin, the work came to an end. We started looking for our next opportunity – all the things we planned to do when we founded Elastic Mint – but no new business came in . However, we had kept in contact with Preqin and followed the progress of their project. At the end of September we sent an email saying we would love to work with them again. A few days later we had a phone call, and we had our second contract!
If luck brought us our first contract with Preqin, the second came about because we kept in touch and didn’t give up, and ultimately because of the quality of the job we had done for them. We were able to help each other out of a tough place.
As a start-up we have always known that we needed more than one customer. Several times we have explored new opportunities, only for them not to work out. This is why when a global technology company approached us about developing a small project for them we grabbed the opportunity with both hands. What was initially a six-week project has turned into a two year relationship that is still going strong.
An important milestone was when we appointed Julian Ferguson as our sales manager in April 2020, just as we were heading into lockdown. Many businesses have responded to the Covid pandemic by putting all projects on hold. Our response has been to continue to make plans and look for opportunities.
The first version of our website was very home-grown and simple. Julian has helped us refine our message and communicate what we are about. Our values, like transparency, communication and simplicity, were baked in from the beginning and are relevant more now than ever. As we come out of lockdown and deal with the post-Covid (and post-Brexit!) world, businesses are looking for long-term trusted partners to help them build for their future. With our expertise, the quality of the software we build and our focus on building strong relationships with clients we are confident we will become a trusted partner for more and more businesses.