Every other Thursday I take some of the most interesting (and common) questions asked by companies that use Hubstaff. Some questions are related to our products and others are related to our business because we are a transparent company and share our growth strategies.
Our hope is that you’ll be able to uncover how to use Hubstaff more effectively, uncover some hidden uses, or learn and apply some of the marketing techniques we are using and apply them to your own business.
If you have questions or comments we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Here are the questions I covered this time:
- How do I know that Hubstaff is not running when I don’t want it to, and if Hubstaff captures sensitive data, how can I remove it?
- We’re interested in investing in Hubstaff. Can you discuss for an hour so we can get to know more about the business?
- How can I create reports that allow me to customize the date range?
How do I know that Hubstaff is not running when I don’t want it to, and if Hubstaff captures sensitive data, how can I remove it?
So let’s address the big white elephant in the room… Hubstaff is a time tracking software with screenshots, application tracking, and website tracking. Some people get freaked out by the fact that this data is captured, but there are some important pieces of information to consider.
First, Hubstaff requires employee involvement to track time and collect data. It’s not a keylogger. It requires active employee participation. Sometimes we are asked by business owners if we can make it so that it can hide behind the scenes and monitor what’s going on without employee knowledge and the answer is always a big no. The point of Hubstaff is to track time accurately to projects and provide real-time feedback to employers and clients. We require that the employees download the tracker themselves, accept the terms of service, and turn the tracker on when they are working and off when they stop.
This leads to the second point which is that the app is only meant to be running when work is being performed. The employee always has the ability to turn the tracker off. Want to check out Facebook for a few minutes? No problem at all, just turn the tracker off. Employers generally have no problem with this unless the employee is performing work such as customer support and they are the only representative on staff during that shift.
Finally, if there is data captured like an off email from a different client or bank information there is always the ability to remove this screenshot. If the employee removes the shot then the 10-minute segment will also be removed along with that screen. If a manager removes the screenshot the 10 minutes of time can be retained.
We’re interested in investing in Hubstaff. Can you discuss for an hour so we can get to know more about the business?
Why we turn down offers from VC's to invest in our #startup Click To Tweet
We’ve been building Hubstaff for about three years and over that time we’ve received approximately 25 or so of these messages. When we first started to receive messages like this, we would respond and usually, we would take the calls. It was an exciting indication we were onto something because they were contacting us when we only had a small amount of monthly recurring revenue (less than $15k). This was before we went revenue transparent, so many times they didn’t know where we were at in terms of MRR.
In some of the calls, we discussed with senior-level executives. These were always interesting because we usually learnt something new from them. We’ve gotten advice on tools other companies are using, how to reduce churn, and some interesting insights into the industry overall.
Most of the time though, the people who make the calls are junior associates and their jobs are to reach out to a ton of companies that may be a fit. They ask a lot of questions about the business and there was one thing in common that all the calls ended with. “Get ahold of us when you are at about 100k in monthly recurring revenue.”
The internal discussions between Jared and I would then go in a single direction. “But wait, once we get to $100k in MRR why would we need investment?” We’re not quite at $100k yet, but as we approach that number it has become a little clearer why we would need funding at that point but it’s very dependent upon the goals of the business (expand development team / expand sales team / expand marketing / spend money on advertising).
After doing a few of those calls, we started to understand more about funding. Most of these capital firms were obviously looking for proven businesses and operators with potential upside that would limit their risk. While we certainly understand that, beyond that point we wondered what the real benefits were for getting funding. The majority of the risk would be gone by then. On the flip side, we’d have to give less equity to get the cash. But would it be worth it?
The conclusion that Jared and I have come to again and again is no. Unless:
- We are dealing with a firm that can truly help us grow. That would take someone that has had success with a time tracking SaaS app in the past.
- We are just getting a killer deal in terms of equity/ cash. That is unlikely to happen.
- We had a system down where we could invest X and get Y positive return and there was really no cap on a number of times we could invest.
In addition, the process of raising money takes a ton of time and effort. We are not a point where we can deal with that distraction.
How can I create reports that allow me to customize the date range?
To filter reports based on a date range, go to the “Reports” tab in your Hubstaff dashboard, then go to “Custom.” Beside the date range, there’s a button called “Change” that will allow you to input a custom date range to filter reports.
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And if you’d like to give your perspective on one of the questions above, please do not hesitate to share your answer in the comments section below.