We had the good fortune of connecting with Will Hardy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Will, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Invisors is actually the second company I have founded, and the third in which I was an early Partner. The first time that you leave a “traditional” job to create a company is the most difficult. You feel like you have the most to lose as you leave the corporate career ladder. However, after you have successfully done it once, you are able to see it for the incredible opportunity that it is. In the case of Invisors, we wanted to recapture the challenge and excitement of starting something from scratch. For some people, all the decisions and possibilities of a startup can seem overwhelming, but for my business partner and I, starting with a clean sheet of paper was incredibly fun and rewarding. We’d rather write the rules for a brand new company, as opposed to working within the rules at an already established business.
What should our readers know about your business?
Some founders have the incredible ability to see a need in an area they know nothing about and create a company to address that need. We’re the opposite of that. We understood very well the marketplace that Invisors would compete within, and we knew what it would take to be successful there. I also think we do a good job balancing the risks that you must take to create a successful business while exercising fiscal responsibility where possible.
We look at our success through the lens of three sets of stakeholders: Customers, Employees and Investors. Many companies talk about the importance of helping their customers to be successful; however, when you are a small start-up services company, this is much more than lip service. Every new customer must be a reference. We decided early on at Invisors that we would enable our customers to be successful by helping them identify areas on our projects that they did not know they needed to focus on, bringing them to what we call “Ah-ha” moments. We wanted to enable them to have long-term success as a result of our work, not just the short-term success of finishing the project on-time and on-budget.
We believe strongly in hiring the very best people that we can find, even if their initial role is not entirely clear. If you can assemble the best possible team, they will find a way to contribute to the game plan. Once you’ve stacked your bench with the best possible team, you need to ensure that you are providing a rewarding environment for them to flourish in. We’re constantly looking at our employee experience from as many angles as possible: career path, talent development, work-life balance, compensation, and benefits. We want working at Invisors to be a career for them, not just another job.
Finally, your Investors need to see success as well. This is true whether you are talking about internal investors, such as the founders, or external investors that you add along the way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well there is definitely some great dining in the Atlanta area. Some of my favorite restaurants to recommend are: Kaiser’s Steakhouse, Atlanta Fish Market, Rumi’s Kitchen, Yakitori (Ramen), Miller Union, Bacchanaiia.
There’s also a lot of great activities for visitors to checkout. Some can’t miss local activities would definitely include, first and foremost, an Atlanta United Game. There’s nothing like it outside of Europe or South America. Also an Atlanta Braves game, to get a real feel for Atlanta and the south. I love to take friends over to play a round of golf at my club, Atlanta Country Club, but there are many other amazing courses in the area. I would also recommend a walk on the Atlanta Beltline… have a beer and something to eat. And lastly, you can’t miss the Georgia Aquarium.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely would give a shout out to my wife. She is an inspiring example of someone who has had an amazing corporate career, and also had the courage to take a chance and make a change, now with a very successful career as a real-estate agent. And yet, in spite of the demanding schedule, she has always found the time to be supportive of myself and our family, which has enabled me to put tremendous energy and effort into the businesses that I have been involved with.
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