In part two of our series on Canadian startups, we meet Justin Hein whose startup is incubated at the DMZ at Ryerson University and where he obtained expert financial help with accounting and bookkeeping at Intuit’s #FinanceHub.
Most Grade 2 boys spend their spare time playing but not Justin Hein who was busy building a toy business. “My dad bought the materials and cut them for me, and I hired a buddy to help me put devil sticks together,” he recalls. The sticks, which he sold to his classmates, were a huge hit and within a year, Hein had made $6,000, which he invested in shares and also used to buy his first computer.
Hein is again meeting market demand with an IT business, Rose Rocket, a company that sells cloud-based order automation software to trucking companies and freight brokers.
“We provide a one-shop platform that all functions of the business can work on so it makes the entire organization more efficient.” While the 31-year-old admits running a small business is challenging, it has many rewards, and suits his “entrepreneurial spirit”. “A small company is like riding a rollercoaster. It’s exciting and fun but it’s also filled with anxiety,” he quips.
Part of that anxiety has recently been overcome, thanks to the Intuit #FinanceHub, where Hein learnt how to use financial management software for bookkeeping and to issue invoices easily and pay suppliers.
“I used to spend at least a couple of hours a week doing bookkeeping. Now it’s almost all automated through QuickBooks Online.”
Check out our snapshot of Justin…
Company: Rose Rocket.
Founders: Justin Hein, Justin Bailie and Alexander Luksidadi.
Description of your business: We provide order automation software to trucking companies and freight brokers.
How did you come up with your business idea? Co-founder Justin Bailie was in the freight industry for more than 10 years and saw the direct problems we are trying to solve.
What makes your business unique? Most of our competitors try to promote customization of their software which causes pain and grief as the business adapts and changes whereas we believe there are many commonalities between our customers, which creates efficiencies and value.
What has been your greatest business achievement to date: It’s yet to be realized!
Your biggest challenge? Generating leads and closing them in a timely fashion.
Name one finance issue you needed answered when you started? How to manage invoices quickly and easily create payments, and managing complex financial structures.
Top tip for aspiring entrepreneurs to keep overheads low? Watch your spending, and keep your business account separate from your personal finance.
What business leader or company has inspired you? Elon Musk.
Is there an inspirational mantra you try to follow in life? Never settle.
Two apps you rely on in business? Slack and Receipt Bank.
Two apps you couldn’t live without for personal use? Google Hangouts and Uber.
How do you relax in your spare time? Love watching YouTube information videos, such as every frame a painting.
Must-read business publications? Reddit.
One thing you wish you had known before you launched your business? It always takes longer than you expect.
One piece of advice you would give to an aspiring startup? Solve a real problem.
Where would you like your business to be in two years? Firstly, I hope we’re still around. Secondly, I want to be growing at 20% a month.