Cross-posted from https://generator.org.uk/newsroom/business-coaching/is-business-coaching-for-you-3/, and based on work that Mike and I did together through Generator’s Digital Futures programme.
Business Coach Justin Souter tells us about his work with mentee Mike Jurowski to develop his recruitment startup, WotJob.
Mike Jurowski has worked in recruitment for a number of years with market leaders such as Michael Page International and Nigel Wright Recruitment before running his own business Lorna Michaels Recruitment Ltd for six years.
Mike then created a startup called WotJob that brings together employers and candidates to fill job vacancies using short videos.
Based initially at the NatWest Entrepreneurial Accelerator (formerly Entrepreneurial Spark), WotJob brings together the two sides of the recruitment marketplace in a fresh way allows both sides to tell their stories in authentic ways.
Mike and I worked together through Generator’s Digital Futures programme. This post gives a flavour of our collaboration.
Challenges / problems
Mike is a ‘solo founder’ (i.e. he’s on his own), and whilst highly motivated to disrupt this market, when we started our engagement he was seeking to validate his assumptions around monetisation and his commercialisation strategy. Key for him was “setting the right direction”.
Being on his own, Mike was also seeking an opportunity to sense-check his thinking with something independent from the business. This could be described as working on the business, as well as in it. Solo founders tell me that they value being ‘held accountable’.
Work together / solutions
Mike and I worked together on which initial customer segments to target, and then we talked through his feedback from the many meetings he had. We also talked about his technical options – with WotJob being a mobile app. We discussed potential sources of finance, and how to match their profile with Mike’s needs.
Mike had discovered a scalable and affordable ‘hack’ for lead generation, and we explored how that would fit with the way Mike wants to work and how to offer participants real value.
Mike is exploring the possibility of an investor taking a minority stake in WotJob. He and I continue to talk about how this could work, and his role going forward to make the most of what this investor could bring to the deal.
This regularly gives Mike food for thought, with the intention of creating a workshop relationship and dynamic which sets all parties up to succeed. This potential investor brings a new set of players to be brought together. Mike’s task is to establish what the fundamentals of a profitable business model that does so.
In summary, Justin has coached Mike as a ‘virtual co-founder’ to test ideas with and explore how things could play out. He has also acted as a mentor regarding how the investor and WotJob can fully realise the potential of this deal.
As a sole founder one of the biggest challenges that I face is receiving constructive challenge and feedback about my mindset. Justin has provided invaluable assistance to me over the last few months whilst I have been having investment conversations with a corporate VC. Rather than being too willing to accommodate the needs of the corporate VC he has given me the confidence to stand my ground and ensure that any potential investment is on terms that satisfy my needs as well as theirs. In testament to all the support that Justin has provided I have included some funding in my business plan that would allow me to continue working with him on an ongoing basis