Welcome to Startup of the Week. A column highlighting BC’s most innovative and exciting tech startups. Today, we’re featuring Victoria’s MakeShift.
MakeShift is a web and mobile solution that streamlines team scheduling for managers. With MakeShift, you can drastically reduce the time and effort required to schedule and communicate with your staff while also empowering your team to manage their time and schedule.
MakeShift CEO Adam Greenberg recalls the impetus for MakeShift, gives advice to the startup community, and talks about the importance of businesses putting people first.
Q: If you were giving a presentation to a Grade 5 class, how would you describe what your company does?
A: Scheduling the right employees, at the right place, at the right time can be a nightmare if done manually or with out-dated software. MakeShift makes the process PainFree™ with our intuitive solution that puts PeopleFirst™. Managers can create work schedules quickly with drag and drop functionality and employees have the flexibility to view their schedules, manage their availability, and swap shifts right from their smartphone. At the end of the day, we create happier teams that drive growth.
Q: Why did you start your company?
A: We started MakeShift to fix scheduling in the healthcare industry. Our story starts with an essential worker, a nurse, and her frustrating experience with scheduling. She was constantly scheduled when she wasn’t available and could never access her schedule on her mobile while on the go. She couldn’t easily swap shifts with other nurses or see available shifts that she preferred. Scheduling was manual, error-prone and inefficient. It was painful. So, her partner set out to do something about it. And as they say, the rest is, well, history. MakeShift has since expanded across retail, hospitality, recreation, and sports and leisure industries offering a PainFree™ scheduling solution to businesses like The Warehouse Group, LaSenza, Alberta Health Services, Holiday Inn and more.
Q: What don’t people know about MakeShift that they should?
A: Our entire design and one-on-one support strategy is based on putting people first. What this means is that we start with the end user and their experience in mind when we build, modify, or add. Our goal is to make scheduling and every interaction along that process absolutely pain free for our users whether that’s a manager or an employee. This strategy has led to us being recognized as ADP Marketplace’s Partner of the Year and one of their Best Seller apps for the scheduling and time collection.
It has also allowed us to build integrations with all the leading HR and Payroll platforms including Intuit, BambooHR, and recently AllianceHCM – a partnership that was driven by a customer who insisted on using MakeShift as their scheduling software.
We’re so proud that one of our customers used our scheduling software to schedule and deliver testing and vaccine services during this pandemic.
Q: What do you wish you had known a year ago?
A: Over the last year we truly came to understand how important our people are, and what it means to be a people first business. That said, I wish I knew how ready and capable we were of moving to remote or hybrid work. This has created massive opportunities for us to attract talent outside of where our headquarters are located, which will continue to be a beneficial model moving forward.
Q: What future trend do you think will most impact your company?
A: Prior to the pandemic, the scheduling market in North America was forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% to $529 million USD. This number is going to be much higher as employers will now be forced to offer maximum flexibility to their employees in terms of where they can work and when. As well, we’ll see more and more talented individuals moving to gig work vs full time work.
Q: What advice would you give to others in the startup community?
A: I’d share three things.
One, control your expenses: As a startup, you need to know exactly what you’re spending and track your expenses carefully. It can be very easy to overspend or misspend as you start growing.
Two, focus: I can’t stress this enough. It’s easy to stretch yourself thin, jump on fads, or try to be everything to everyone. Focus means saying no. Focus comes from knowing your why and knowing who you are. It comes from knowing your ideal client profile and the problem you solve for them and then delivering on that promise.
Three, identify multiple recurring revenue streams: This is key to growth. Of course, you need a strategy for recurring revenue streams, but better yet if you can identify multiple streams.
Q: What’s your source of motivation?
A: I surround myself with great people who make important and innovative products that improve lives while having fun.
MakeShift is in full growth mode. We’re looking for new partners, new employees, and welcome investments from organizations that are looking to jump into a white hot employee scheduling market that is currently quite fragmented and open to be claimed by a market leader.
If you would like to #MakeTheShift to a PainFree™ scheduling experience, we offer a free 14 day trial at makeshift.ca.
If you’d like to speak to me about investment opportunities in MakeShift, you can find me on LinkedIn.
You can also tune into my podcast Make the Shift with Adam Greenberg which focuses on helping businesses make the shift to being people first organizations.
Want to be featured as a Startup of the Week? If you are, or would like to suggest, a BC-based tech startup that we should know about, reach out.