You’ve heard about unicorns, and centaurs more recently. What about mammoth?
How not to become a mammoth when your company, a startup, reaches a certain size? How to continue expanding to new horizons and prepare for the future while being laser-focused?
There’s no magic formula but, spoiler alert, becoming a mammoth is not inevitable!
Well before the mammoth stage, probably at the baby elephant stage, Hublo created a New Business team to explore and validate new business opportunities while not defocusing the core company business.
Wait, what’s Hublo? What do we do?
At Hublo, we aim at contributing to create a world where healthcare institutions are great places to work, where caregivers are fulfilled at work and can better focus on delivering care.
The road is long but we believe that we can give healthcare institutions the right digital solutions to recruit, manage & engage caregivers.
Our first well-known solution already helps 3,000 healthcare institutions manage 300,000 replacement shifts monthly to fight against absenteism.
The New Business team’s missions
First, don’t confuse “new business” with “business development” , which is an overused term in startups to describe a “sales” role.
Our New Business team wears many hats and acts as entrepreneurs in the company, we are swiss-knife profiles able to explore a business opportunity from identifying a market or customer pain to launching prototypes and finally a real product.
This role is quite recent and not many people have this title or the same mission. We talked with similar teams at Alma, Luko, Le Collectionist or Partoo – where the scope is managed by the strategy team.
We explore, validate and launch new products and services to increase Hublo’s value to customers and caregivers. We also help shaping the strategy of the company and make sure we’re on track.
Ok, but more concretely, how do we explore new opportunities and launch new products?
Some subtitles for every phase:
- Talking with customers and customer-facing teams, and going on the field is essential. In the team, we spend at least 7 full days in hospitals and clinics with caregivers & HR every semester.
- Prioritizing the different ideas and estimating the potential for all of them is key to avoid creating “small stuff”. Our ambition as a team is to expand the business, not create nice features that no one would use neither pay for.
- Our focus at this stage is speed: we need to go fast, learn fast and iterate quickly. That’s why we usually use no-code solutions (Bubble, Typeform, Airtable).
- We learn by putting our prototypes into our customers’ hands or test them via campaigns and landing pages.
- It’s no easy decision and we usually start selling the product to actually prove we have traction. It’s not the same having customers telling they’re ready to pay vs they’re actually paying for your solution.
- The product launcher is fully focused on sales.
- We haven’t really achieved this stage yet but we can already tell that it comes with lots of challenges! For example how to transition from a side product to a core product, when to include teams, what’s the right timing?
Why create this team at Hublo? Why was it the right time?
The team was born in June 2021 when Maxime Renault who had recently sold his own company Monbanquet, met the founders of Hublo (full story available here).
While there was no open position, all of them shared the same growth ambition for the company and a will to deliver more value to healthcare institutions. It was perfect timing:
- Hublo had achieved product market fit with more than 2,000 healthcare institutions customers in France and hundreds of thousands of caregivers using the Hublo app.
- The growth potential for Hublo on the initial solution was small, which meant the company had to expand abroad or develop new services and products for the customers in order to price more.
- And more importantly, healthcare institutions and caregivers have been underserved in the last decades, and there are plenty of needs in the HR field that are unaddressed and could be solved with digital solutions.
That’s what we call a match: perfect profile met at the right time to explore and build Hublo’s next solutions while not defocusing the core business.
And 1 year later?
As of September 2022:
- The team is 6 people and is led by Maylis Amram as Maxime took ownership of the strategy & expansion (new business & new countries)
- We have onboarded 12,000 caregivers on a free perks & benefits platform aiming at increasing caregivers engagement & launched thanks to a partnership
- One of our exploration was finally considered a product feature and added to the roadmap
- We have created 85 Typeform versions
- We have run 560,000 Airtable automations and complained a lot about the limitations!
- We’re about to launch a new solution to help healthcare institutions recruit temporary workers. We have already proven customers’ interest and expect a significant increase in our ARR (Annual Recurring Value).
We continue to face challenges and iterate on our ways of working but it's paving the way!
Let’s be honest, there’s no magic formula, we’re always iterating in our ways of working, we constantly need to balance between doing and taking a step back. Even if we have a plan, we never know what’s really going to happen, it’s like building a company!
For example, we face challenges like how to work with other teams – involving other teams early but not too early, balancing between sticking to the plan and being opportunistic, for example when we prioritize new explorations.
We’re currently seeing a project reaching the scale phase: a whole new business is about to be created! We’re helping healthcare institutions proactively source available and close caregivers. Stay tuned as we’ll tell you the background story very soon! 🤫
As our new solution reaches new milestones, we’re paving the way to launching a new B2B product at Hublo, a whole new business.
Facing the same challenges as we do? Looking to discuss new business for your existing team or future one? Let’s chat!