Sramana Mitra: What was an average deal size when you were selling these to your first batch of clients?
Janine Yancey: I believe the first actual client was Intuit. I think it was $30,000 for their whole organization. It was significantly discounted. Some of the first clients were organizations that I had relationships with.
Sramana Mitra: That’s perfect. What was the first year of selling the product?
Janine Yancey: The first year was 2004. Even before I was actually working for Emtrain, I was creating something within the umbrella of my law practice. Then in 2006, we started going full-time. I had this beta period even before jumping in full-time to Emtrain.
Sramana Mitra: I guess the question I was getting at is what was the revenue level for your first year of selling this product?
Janine Yancey: I think our first year revenue was probably $400,000 to $500,000.
Sramana Mitra: Then how did the business pick up from there? What’s the next strategic move?
Janine Yancey: This is where, frankly, I had a long journey of learning business. We made some good moves, but I was trying to figure things out as we went. From there, I’d say hiring some more sales talent and starting to get out in the marketplace. Frankly for a few years, it was just me learning business the hardest way possible.
Sramana Mitra: How did the business pick up? What was the trajectory of growth?
Janine Yancey: The business was increasing slowly. I think the first watershed moment was when I just took a leap of faith and confidence that this was business that I could grow. I just invested in a good sales leader to help grow the business. That’s when we grew. The common denominator is my being able to invest in the type of leaders the business needed to take it to the next level.
Sramana Mitra: What form did that take?
Janine Yancey: It was basically me prioritizing where our budget dollars were going to go. At the expense of my own income, I was saying, “I won’t take this money in. I’ll reinvest this.”
Sramana Mitra: What sized team were you running two years into the project?
Janine Yancey: We’re probably 15 people. We’re probably a couple of million dollars in revenue.
Sramana Mitra: You were doing all this with organic financing since you were describing that you were putting all your income into hiring more people. You didn’t raise financing for this?
Janine Yancey: I didn’t. For the longest time, I thought of taking a really conservative path.
Sramana Mitra: How long did it take you to get to $5 million?
Janine Yancey: We are just getting there now. We got there at the end of last year. We could have gotten there a whole lot sooner if I had the type of experience and knowledge that would be ideal to have.