Growth, growth, growth.
Soon enough, it was time to move out of the garage. My business partner Paul and I began searching for an office close to the city. At $50,000 a year we found one in Richmond; this was a very big expense for us at the time. Fortunately, a majority of our clients were choosing the finance option, which allowed is to receive a steady income for almost every deal. In 2008 we were in a real office with about 100 venues all over the country.
We had been in operation for about three years when the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008. All financing stopped. No one was buying anything. We had this new office space with very large overheads and we were back to having no money coming in.
Up until this point we had never charged any clients for customer updates or support fees. We had been more concerned with getting new venues using ImPOS and providing exceptional customer support more than we were in charging support and update fees. But sales had dropped dramatically and we needed to do something. So we decided to send letters to our customers advising them that as a result of an administrative error, we had forgotten to charge them for customer support. We offered to waive the backdated costs if they agreed to pay for support on a monthly basis from there on in. Surprisingly, most of our clients returned the paperwork. We had also signed a distributor to sell ImPOS in Western Australia – we now had passive income trickling in.
Despite our sales still being quite minimal, we spent whatever money we had coming in over the next 12 to 24 months on our marketing and branding. This may not have exactly been a wise use of money at the time, but it did put us in a lot of full-page, colour advertisements in many major hospitality magazines. Everyone considered us THE POS system for the hospitality industry.
Soon enough the market recovered from the crash. By 2012, we had outgrown the Richmond office and had moved into a 250-squared metre office on St Kilda Road. A year later we opened our Sydney office in Surry Hills. The ImPOS brand had great awareness and business was good – for a few years in a row we were clearing six figure profits. With the money that we were making I reinvested in more staff and better development skill sets, as well as a team of UI/UX designers. We had venues scattered all over Australia, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.
From there our Melbourne head office tripled in size in two years, and soon enough we were again in search of an even bigger and better office. So this year we ended up taking an entire floor of a building just a few doors up from our existing office.
Our new office is the best POS office in the Southern Hemisphere (…until someone can prove otherwise) with beer and cider on tap, a Ping-Pong table and even a tram in the middle as a meeting room. The design of the office is based on the streets of Melbourne, which is where we started.
From humble beginnings in 2005, we are now the most trusted POS provider for the hospitality industry, with more than 1,800 customers and a team of 50 employees, including 12 in-house developers. While we are still primarily focused on the hospitality sector we also have customers in other industries including Government schools and large catering companies.
We may have moved on to bigger and better things over the past decade, but we will never forget where we came from and look forward to the years ahead.