JustRosters - Easy and Simple Staff Rostering

Today we showcase the story of an entrepreneur, Aulay Macaulay, from GoldCoast, Australia, founder of JustRosters - a web application for Staff Rostering.

In a candid interview with us, he gave insights into how he is managing and juggling. This is what he has to say in his interview with us:

• How long it took to launch
It took 3 of us 6weeks from brainstorming to launch @ about 25 hours per week each. That is around 450 man-hours all up.

• Stage of Venture
Launched on the 3rd March 2009.

• Which Market Segment
  • Industries that employ a high number of part-time staff (Hospitality and Retail)
  • Industries that employ shift workers. (Health, Emergency Services, and Manufacturing)
  • Industries that have staff working at multiple locations (Building and Construction)
  • Industries that sub-contract on an irregular basis (Government and Contractors)
• Customers
Business owners/managers. Whoever is in charge of rostering for the businesses identified above?

• Targeted Age Group
All ages.

• Users Using Service
Just under 30 as of March 5th. It's still early days and I think most of the people that have signed up are tech heads checking out the interface.

• Marketing Technique
Funny you ask - I am looking for someone to help me with this side of the business at the moment. My team has a strong background in online marketing, but I know we need help with our offline marketing which is critical for this app!

• Measuring Success
The first goal is 500 happy (paying) customers ASAP.

• Monetizing/Revenue Model
A monthly subscription is based on the amount of staff the business is managing (50 staff account costs $US29 per month). Some SMS credits for notifications are included in each subscription, but they can also be purchased in blocks.

• Main competitors
Microsoft Excel, findmyshift.com and about 50 other companies with over-complicated solutions..

• Technology Stack used
  • Hardware: Dedicated LAMP server
  • Software: CakePHP Framework, jQuery to make the interface sexy
• How Much Money is Used/Reqd.
I developed JustRosters using my time and the time of guys from my web development company. I guess if we working on client projects instead of JustRosters we could have made around AUD$30-40K.

• Main Barriers
Learning curve on iPhone O/S, Objective-C. Registration/approval and compliance with Apple's requirements. Increasingly crowded space. Downward pressure on prices.

• Advice For People
If your app is NOT aimed at the tech crowd directly, get it out the door as quickly as possible. The tech guys (especially in Australia) are really cool and because they are the first ones to see your app, their feedback and support are golden. Now if your app IS aimed at the tech crowd, make sure it is polished, or they will cut you down :-)

• Your Education/Professional Background
I had a small lawn mowing business at the age of 12 and things kind of went from there. I was sick of the education system by the end of high school and founded Digital Acceleration, now Marvel Internet Group Pty Ltd, shortly after it finished. Through MIG we have provided hosting, web development and online marketing for a heap of companies internationally. My focus has shifted to building in-house start-ups like JustRosters while keeping a handful of MIG clients for that bread-and-butter money

• External Funding

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