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CEO Mark Steiner says increased bookings through have propelled revenue.SBJ photo by WES HAMILTON
CEO Mark Steiner says increased bookings through have propelled revenue.


2017 Dynamic Dozen No. 6: GigSalad

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SBJ: What has been key to your recent growth?
Mark Steiner: I think its just time. People still think we’re a startup. We’re not – we’ve been doing this for 10 years. In part, I think our marketing has helped. People are more aware of us. We’ve been at this long enough that we have repeat clients. Not only do we have new leads churning every day, but also we have old customers coming back. We’ve often talked about whether we can get a customer from cradle to grave. Our growth has seemed like it’s spiked, but, in part, that has to do with having some new products, new services and new revenue streams.

SBJ: What are your top issues when it comes to managing growth?
Steiner: You know, as we make more money, I have no problem spending more money. What can happen is, you get too far and you commit to too much. You overextend yourself. I don’t think GigSalad has ever been in danger of growing too fast. We’ve always been able to handle what we’ve gotten. My problem is, I’ve always wanted more. I think the biggest challenge is remaining patient and staying on course.

SBJ: What has the company’s growth enabled you to do?
Steiner: We’ve been able to do some experimental marketing, but in addition to that, our podcast GigSalad Greenroom Interviews. Is that going to be a game changer for us? It’s certainly not now. We’re not making any revenue from this podcast, but it’s a way of introducing people to GigSalad. I get to pursue some of my harebrained ideas without the burden of feeling like I’m going to stress the company.

SBJ: Is your fast growth sustainable?
Steiner: I think our growth is high. I’m not sure it’s fast. For the past two or three years, it seems like we’re taking these leaps, but I think it’s just because we were so low before.

It just doesn’t seem fast to me. It’s like watching your baby grow up. You just never see the height like grandparents do when they come to visit. I see it as slow growth. I want more, and I want it to grow greater.

SBJ: Do you think there’s such a thing as growing too fast?
Steiner: I do. I’ve read enough articles and seen companies that talk about, for instance, their new widget. Everyone loves the widget; the problem is they can’t put the widget out fast enough. Now, there’s customers that put orders in for the widget and cancel their orders because they never got it. And now there’s some other widget that they want to buy. I get it. As a service-oriented company, if more people shop with us, we’ll put more people on. I can’t imagine too fast of growth for us, but I do believe it exists.

SBJ: Where is the tipping point?
Steiner: I can’t even imagine. Would we love to see all of our people being booked off the GigSalad platform? Absolutely. I think our tipping point is well down the line.

SBJ: What is the worst business advice you’ve received?
Steiner: The worst advice I ever got was “This is the way you have to do this thing.” I go with my gut. There have been plenty of times where I have thought, instinctually, “This is not a good hire.” There’s something that’s off. And I’ll give it a shot. And sure enough, every single time, it’s not worked out. And I think, why don’t I just go with my gut every time? Ultimately, I’ve come to believe that my gut is always right.


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