What is Configur? And where did your business idea come from?

Configur is a data driven, digital development consultancy. We both previously worked at a chatbot company, where we were able to see that a lot of businesses and organisations were not yet ready for disruptive technology. We wanted to use our consultancy and development backgrounds to help transition and guide businesses through their digital transformation journey. We are currently doing this using a combination of traditional development and disruptive tech such as Robot Process Automation to bridge the gap between legacy and new technology. 

What’s the most exciting thing about what you’re doing?

We have built some fantastic partnerships that means we are able to deliver large projects relatively quickly. The most exciting part of that is being able to see the immediate impact that the solutions we have implemented are having on businesses. The biggest benefit of this for us is that we are using these findings to feed back into the product suite we are currently building to simplify and standardise the digitisation of data.

What is your proudest moment so far?

Signing our first completely new client. A lot of clients we are working with have been via relationships we have built up in the past or our partnership network. However, signing that first client who signed up as a result of the marketing and effort you have put into your company is very rewarding. In fact we will be announcing that client soon when we launch their new platform so keep an eye out for that.

What was your biggest challenge when you started your business?

Who and when to employ staff. This is something that is a constant challenge and we recently have held off recruiting with everything COVID-19 related going on. We are currently using a number of trusted partners and contractors to deliver some aspects of our business, as well as completing development within the team. Our next steps are to build skills from within and continue to grow our team.

What would you do differently if you started now?

Already we have found that as a new business you are reluctant to turn work away even if it doesn’t fit your core model. This is a must when you are first starting out but it can pull your resources relatively thin. In regards to working differently, we would have implemented our project assessment approach earlier. This allows you to focus on the benefits of completing projects that fit your core principles or will benefit the company in many ways whilst maintaining clear KPIs.

Does your original business plan reflect where you are now?

We are still offering consultancy and development but are looking to focus this around a core product offering that will essentially help businesses to uplift and transform their digital offerings in a more structured way. We have also built a number of MVPs and new applications which were not part of the original plan, but now very much a part of what we do.

What’s your vision for the next 12 months at Configur?

We want to get our product to market and continue to grow the consultancy arm of the business to continue to help organisations re-think and evolve their digital processes.

Do you have any advice/tips for founders considering raising investment at some point?

Marco – Having helped our previous company through multiple raises, we would say the largest piece of advice is to not let the investment round take up to much of your ‘as usual’ business time. It can be a very time consuming process and larger investors do tend to require a lot of due diligence to be completed. The round is likely pivotal to your business, however, it is a balancing act to keep things ticking along. Plan ahead of time with regular pit stops to ensure you are able to split the workforce or your time effectively, ensuring that BAU is affected as little as possible.

Josh – To add to this, having a set of core objectives and a clear plan to achieve them once you’ve got the money is so important. It’s very easy to be tunnel focused on getting the money that you once you do get it, you waste time, and runway on putting together the next steps.

Who motivates you the most to do what you do?

Marco – I know it might sound a little cliche but my family and specifically my wife is my biggest motivator. We have been together since school (15 years) and she has been with me every step of the way. She’s always been there to pick me up on the bad days and cheer me on through the successes. I hope everyone can find someone like that in their life.

Josh – I totally agree, building a successful company is great, but it’s just part of building the life you want to live and no one wants to do that alone. Having someone to celebrate the successes and moan about the failures definitely keeps you going.

Can you recommend any useful tools/networks /services to someone looking to start a technology business??

Marco – In regards to networks we would advise any companies based in or doing work in Wales to take a look at the Tech task force for Wales. We are contributing to this task force through our partnership with Tramshed Tech and it is a good source of information especially during the COVID-19 Lockdown: Tech Task Force
In regards to tools we can’t recommend Monday.com enough. It is a work operating system that covers so many bases. This is without a doubt the most useful and versatile tool we use at the moment.

Josh – Also don’t be afraid to switch tools/services a lot when you’re first finding your feet. It might seem like it’s costing you time in the short term whilst you find the perfect product suite for you, but it will more than make up for it down the road.

What’s the one event you make sure you attend every single year?

Marco – I don’t currently have one. There are a number of events I like to take part in but haven’t found that one event that I feel I can’t miss yet. Maybe this will be something I feel about the HdE Arms, if it can go ahead and hopefully continues! 

Josh – It’s maybe not one to go to every year, but Web Summit in Lisbon is a great few days. Loads of speakers/workshops and Lisbon is a fantastic city to get lost in.

Can you give one top tip for effective networking at events?

Marco – Simply say hello. 9 times out of 10 people are at an event to network and are probably thinking of ways to break the ice. A simple hello lets them know you are free to talk and is normally followed by a smile back. This approach has always worked like a charm for me.

Josh – Don’t stress about maybe not being the most successful/outgoing/interesting person in the room. Everyone is there for the same reason so just get involved!

In your opinion, what’s the number one thing founders need to look out for when growing a business?

The biggest thing for us is  staying true to your business goals. You have started your own business for a reason, but it is very easy to be overly concerned with finances and this will result in your losing focus. Where possible have regular reviews to ensure you are working towards your objectives.

Where can we find out more about you guys?

Email us at marco@configur.tech/josh@configur.tech and we would be happy to speak to you about the business or anything that we can help with.