Tom Coffin, co-founder of Simply Reliable, helped develop the company's business model after recognizing the potential synergy between his former business and that of his partner's at the time.
"I was in the smart-home installation business designing all the processes and products for housing developments from the front gates to inside the homes when I met my partner Jonathan," he said. "I was one of his customers at the time using his software-based processes to streamline my business. I recognized that we could use his SmartOFFICE process for all trades-based businesses. Instead of me just being one of his customers, we decided to partner together. With more than 30 years of defining business process between us, we then launched SmartOFFICE as a SaaS model focused on the Smart Home/Smart Building market."
Simply Reliable creates solutions for smart home, smart building, and custom installation businesses worldwide.
"We've developed a product called SmartOFFICE that helps entrepreneurs put process into their company," Coffin explained. "SmartOFFICE helps them manage the process of their business from the first time they meet a prospect all the way through the business cycle where they're invoicing, including things like proposals, change orders, inventory management, scheduling, and service orders. We integrate with QuickBooks Online and let them handle the P&L side of the business."
Coffin is a serial entrepreneur, having owned a high-end audio visual retailer and launching another firm that designed similar equipment, including a home automation device. His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is don't get in it for the money and be prepared to grit it out.
"First, do what you're passionate about," he said. "Don't start because you want to get rich because when you wake up in the morning, it won't be fulfilling and everyone will see through it. Also, you better have great abs because the beating you take as an entrepreneur will take the wind out of you and knock you on your butt many times before things go well. You have to have the stamina to get through that. That's the test. And if you can do that, at the end of the day it’s the most rewarding thing in world to get up and do exactly what you want to do and chase your dream."
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