Clock’d helps employers instantly post job and shift openings and fill them in less than 90 minutes. In the process, workers are paid instantly for the completed shift.
Location: Madison, WI
Product / Service Offering: Online marketplace
Co-founder Interviewed: Marc LaPierre (CEO)
Other Key Management Team Members: Ian Buchanan (COO)
This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope that these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.
Clock’d allows food and retail service employers to effectively manage their workforce and instantly fill open shifts. Employers use Clock’d to instantly post job and shift openings to the Clock’d marketplace. These open shifts are filled in less than 90 minutes, and instantly workers are paid for the completed shift. We want Clock’d to expand beyond the bars and restaurants into every industry with hourly workers. Businesses and workers need the ability to fill work on their schedules.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
My cofounder (Ian) and I worked our way through college in the service industry. It was tough picking up enough shifts or finding jobs that fit around our busy schedules while we were students. We applied to job after job, without even knowing if we were going to be hired. It was evident that some places clearly needed staff.
There had to be a better way, so we thought “Why can’t I bartend here?” “Why can’t I fill this open shift?”
It wasn’t until years later, while I was working at Gartner, and the gig economy began to mature, that the market presented an opportunity for Clock’d to be a viable business.
What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
Clock’d prevents revenue loss from being understaffed by providing qualified staff at a moment’s notice. It also allows workers to have job security knowing they can fill open shifts on their schedule and that somebody can always cover a shift they cannot fill.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
Clock’d competitively differentiates two-fold. The first is that all of the workers on our platform currently work in the local service industry, so all shift fills are done by qualified candidates. The second is that we can fill almost all shifts within a 90 minute window.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
We have spent a month of our time tackling our biggest hurdle: validating the market. Clock’d is a new concept to people – trusting a complete stranger to work in their business.
So far we have been able to address this by working closely with the business owners, understanding their needs, and making sure we designed our process to be as aligned as possible.
What resources have you utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?
We just finished the gBETA program in Madison. It is an intensive, six-week, free accelerator program focused on validating market fit. It was instrumental in the formation and initial traction of Clock’d.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
Clock’d is still in the beginning stages, so we have just began talking with investors. We are seeking pre-seed funding.
What questions have you had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?
We have never ran a company before; therefore, it is figure it out as you go. Clock’d is fortunate to have a great set of advisers consisting of VC’s, other startup founders, former CEOs, and lawyers. Understanding where we should best spend our time is pretty confusing.
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
A friend told me to be the primary user of my app. If we don’t use our app, who would? Clock’d makes sure all of our employees fill in shifts whenever they can. My co-founder and I have been filling in shifts on Clock’d to pay our rent.
We know our market better than our competition because we are our market.
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