Business Startup Spotlight: Time Doctor

Time Doctor

Time Doctor allows entrepreneurs to make sure their team is working at peak efficiency.

Time Doctor

Liam Martin

Name: Time Doctor

Location: Remote, no corporate headquarter


Product / Service Offering: Software that enables remote teams to be more productive

Co-founder Interviewed: Liam Martin

Other Key Management Team Members: Rob Rawson, CEO

This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope that these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.

Right now, what motivates me is helping companies who have remote teams scale and grow. We are living in a time when entrepreneurs and small business owners can start a business in a spare bedroom or basement and have access to a pool of global talent.

I get energized when I hear that a person is running a remote company and living their dream of being an entrepreneur.

When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?

After graduating with a Masters degree in Sociology from McGill University, I opened a small tutoring company which grew to over 100 employees. I looked to solve a problem with remote employees not reporting accurate work data which led to I consult on outsourcing and process design and am passionate about how to gain insights into the inner workings of how people work.

At first, we built this product to help ourselves. My co-founder, Rob Rawson, and I were both running businesses that had remote employees and freelancers. We couldn’t find an easy way to make sure that everyone on the team was working. Thus, Time Doctor was born.

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What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?

Time Doctor allows entrepreneurs to make sure their team is working at peak efficiency.

What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?

Time Doctor tracks when your team members start and end their day; however, we are also able to track what they do throughout the day. We can let you see which applications and websites they visit, how long it takes to complete a project, and we integrate with the best project management tools.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?

We face the same challenges that most startups face, which are finding a product market fit and acquiring customers at scale.

We also face the challenge of having to communicate with team members that are located across every time zone between Ottawa and Sydney.

  1. Product Market Fit: We focus heavily on speaking to as many customers and potential customers as we possibly can.
  2. Acquiring Customers at Scale: Our blog is by far our most effective driver of customer sign up. We focus heavily on SEO.
  3. Communication: Each of our managers meets with their employees at least once a week. Since we all work remote, it is important that all team members feel engaged.

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Are there resources you have utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?

The best resource that I have found is simply connecting with other entrepreneurs through meetings, hosting dinners, and going to conferences. Every time I meet someone, no matter what industry, we find that our challenges are extremely similar.

Have there been any questions you have had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?

There are a ton of “little” questions that we face throughout the day. “Which feature should we build?” “Will this be a good blog post?” “Should we hire this person?” And the list goes on…But most of what we do is trial and error.

If something fails we scrap it immediately. If it succeeds we double down.

What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?

Our biggest challenge is one we have given ourselves. We are looking to grow our company ten times over in the next few years. All of the challenges we face pertain to that goal.

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What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?

The most helpful hack that we have been given is to do outbound sales. I am a huge fan of the book Predictable Revenue which talks about building and scaling a sales team. This is counterintuitive for much of the advice we see. Companies like Basecamp “brag” about not having a sales team. For us, we found that it is an incredibly profitable part of our organization.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?

We are highly analytical and do not take anything for granted. One of the benchmarks of our corporate culture is that we will test everything. We are constantly challenging our assumptions and beliefs. While it leads to us leaving our comfort zone, it has been very effective for us growing our business.

Are you familiar with other startups you believe should be spotlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them, sharing in your comments below!

Sandra Sloan

Sandra has previous supply chain and business operations experience which she is leveraging as an author with FundingSage focused on spotlighting entrepreneurs and their startup efforts.