Top 8 Insights From the Creator of HR Partner

HR Partner founder.

Devan Sabaratnam, creator and co-founder of HR Partner, built the company out of a passion to service and support small businesses. With over 25 years of experience under his belt, he has amassed a wealth of entrepreneurial knowledge to share. We pulled together the most impactful insights from our interview with Devan to help motivate, inspire, and support you during your entrepreneurial journey.

1. Do Your Research Ahead of Time

“I wish I had done a little more market research on our ideal customer base and competitors before we launched ahead. We initially hit the market with a ‘scattergun’ approach and tried to sell to companies of all sizes and tried to do too much.”

2. Focus on Incremental Improvements

“[W]e have slowed down from simply adding features to our software every month but instead now focus on making incremental improvement[s] to existing features so that they work better, or are more configurable for our customers.”

3. Use Setbacks to Create Positive Change

“Losing a customer used to send me into despair for days on end, but nowadays, when I notice a customer churn, I take it as a challenge to do better and improve our product to make it less likely for the next customer to decide to cancel. It actually energizes me and inspires me to work harder.”

4. ‘Swallow the Frog’

“I really had to learn to do the things that I usually don’t like doing. “Swallow the frog” is something that my wife and I say to each other …The concept is, if you “swallow a frog” first thing in the morning, then nothing else you do for the rest of the day will be as bad.”

5. Don’t Procrastinate

“I used to avoid doing things like accounting and legal paperwork until the very last minute, but I have had to retrain myself to see the enjoyment in accomplishing those tasks on a regular basis and get them out of the way early on so I could truly enjoy the parts of the business that gave me joy, like coding and talking to customers.”

6. Collaborate With People You Trust

“My co-founder is a wonderful example – she has actually climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest! That sort of feat takes a massive amount of resilience, strength of character, and courage. I know that when the going gets tough, she will have my back and won’t turn tail and run. That makes a huge difference.”

7. Be Able to Recognize Good Opportunities

“It is important to keep an open mind, and to be able to recognise a good opportunity when it comes along, as well as avoiding any opportunity that takes us away from our core mission.”

8. Hire for the Team, Not Just a Role

“[W]hen we hire now, one of the biggest considerations is how well the new person will work with others on the team. It’s not about building a homogeneous team that all think and act the same — but rather, ensuring we have overlapping skills combined with healthy respect for each other.”

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