How the Sustaining Enterprise Fund helped Bizimply launch new solutions

“Enterprise Ireland did two things for us: Firstly, they gave us the confidence that comes with having a plan. Secondly, they gave us oxygen on the balance sheet.”

 

Conor Shaw, CEO, Bizimply

Key Takeouts

  • Bizimply’s workforce management platform lost 50% of their revenue due to the global pandemic. Despite cutting costs and adapting their offering, the company was in need of additional financial support.
  • CEO Conor Shaw applied for Enterprise Ireland’s Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which gave the team confidence as they continued to innovate and support customers.
  • Bizimply was able to retain a customer base, 70% of which are operational again. The SEF, along with a willingness to improvise, allowed the company to thrive in a difficult time.

Case Study: Bizimply

Bizimply is a workforce management platform primarily serving hospitality and retail companies. In 2019, the company grew over 60%, but in March 2020, everything changed. With the spread of Covid-19, businesses were closing their doors and workers were suddenly staying home. The majority of Bizimply’s customer base was shut down.

Conor Shaw, Bizimply’s CEO, says the team moved quickly to cut internal costs. They also contacted their customers to assure them they were available for support. In the beginning, the company took advantage of government wage support. They halted marketing efforts and rallied their newly remote workforce around a few immediate projects. Shaw’s goal was to keep the team focussed, busy, and feeling positive.

“We gathered around a shared cause,” says Shaw. “There was less departmental demarcation—we rolled up our sleeves, working together, regardless of roles.”

 

Solving the funding problem

Behind the scenes, Shaw was working on the company’s finances. What he saw was worrying.Revenue had declined by about 50% in two months. Wage support was not going to be enough to get them through this crisis. So, when Shaw heard about Enterprise Ireland’s Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which included a non-repayable grant of up to €200,000, he began the application process.

“When we were awarded the SEF, you could see a visible relaxation within the company,” recalls Shaw. “You can believe in yourself, but it’s nice to know that Enterprise Ireland believes in us, too.”

 

Confidence and oxygen

Receiving the SEF did two things for Bizimply, according to Shaw. Firstly, it gave the team the confidence that comes with having a plan. Secondly, the grant added much needed liquidity to their balance sheet. The funding allowed them to evaluate what was required in a post-Covid business environment and respond with ways Bizimply was able to meet those needs. Suddenly, Shaw says, the team had capacity to tackle the projects they had been promising to complete.

Bizimply used the SEF to “get stuff done.” They pushed into new markets, launching solutions specifically for pharma and care home environments. The team also created an innovative mobile application, which allows workers to answer questions about their health and Covid exposure as they clock in for their shift. This customisable screening tool offers crucial support as hospitality and retail businesses open their doors again.

Shaw says, “Thanks to Enterprise Ireland, we can say this was a year out, rather than a year lost.”

 

Advice for other impacted businesses

Today, 70% of Bizimply’s business is back. Hospitality and retail customers are operating again, with adjustments. Care homes are implementing the company’s new and adapted products, and Shaw believes the future is bright for Bizimply. Looking back, he says that, in addition to the important support provided by Enterprise Ireland, the key to survival was staying focussed on the aspects of their business that truly made a difference for them and their customers.

“My advice to other impacted companies is to remember: nothing is sacred anymore,” says Shaw. “You’re going to have to unlearn some of the stuff that led to your past success, give up on things that were previously held sacred, and stay focused on the future.”

 

Click here to learn more about applying for the SEF. Contact your Development Advisor or our Business Response Unit to find out more.

 

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