Profiles

Entrepreneur Takes a Risk to Develop CRM Solution for Business Owners

What do you do after you identify the market has a need? You create the product. That’s exactly what Anthony Smith the CEO and founder of Insightly.  Six months after identifying a market need for a CRM solution focused on small businesses, Smith developed the first version of Insightly from his home.

Hearpreneur spoke with Smith about Insightly, the reason he started his business and the importance of sales and marketing for business owners.

Why did you start your business?

Over the years, I’ve founded several small businesses and it was through those experiences I realized the need for a customer relationship management (CRM) and project management solution designed to integrate with email and specifically cater to small businesses. I decided to take a risk, and sold that business to begin development on what is now Insightly.

 

How has your background prepared you for this role?

A New Zealand native, my family relocated to Perth, Australia just before I entered high school. I always had an interest in computers, but at 16 years old, being a programmer seemed boring. After I graduated I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, so I enrolled in a computer science class. It was during that first class that the internet began to gain popularity, and that’s when I knew that it was what I wanted to do – it was the best combination between programming, design and art, and I’ve been working with the web ever since.

What is Insightly. 

Insightly is an intuitive cloud-based CRM and project management solution specifically designed for small and medium-sized business (SMB) users. The tool allows users to access data through a cloud platform optimized for web access and mobile devices, and it integrates seamlessly with Gmail and Outlook 2013. The solution has consistently been ranked as the No. 1 CRM application on the Google Apps Marketplace.

How important is sales and marketing to business owners?

Clearly sales and marketing are key to business owners, without either you won’t have a long term, viable business. Small business owners wear many hats and play multiple roles, including sales and marketing. However, it’s best for business owners to realize that they may not have the skills needed to be successful in these areas. Small business owners need to take a step back and evaluate the benefits of investing in sales and marketing applications that will grow the business. Also, with the availability of free and inexpensive cloud-based applications, it won’t cost an arm and a leg to bring in productivity tools to support sales and marketing resources.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to get started?

Don’t underestimate yourself. Whatever you think you’re capable of achieving in life is nowhere near your true potential. I started Insightly on my own with no capital. Doing it alone wasn’t easy, but it showed me how much I was able to achieve before needing to bring in outside help

Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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