The path to success is not always easy – just ask aspiring entrepreneurs, and they will tell you about the tiresome, persistent process that has kept them awake on many nights. For them, business is more than just a means to make money; it’s a way of life. Elizabeth Cooper, the CEO of ShiftPosts, exemplifies this entrepreneurial journey, transforming challenges into opportunities and risks into rewards. Her ‘I can do’ attitude, diverse industry expertise, and multitude of entrepreneurial experiences make her an inspiring female role model and a successful business leader. Today, she is regarded as one of the driving forces behind ShiftPoststm becoming the leader and benchmark in the pharmacy industry for relief and staffing.
Trip Down the Entrepreneurial Journey
Elizabeth’s very first venture was a goat cheese creamery. After tasting some goat cheese that she found to be the best she had ever experienced, Elizabeth, who was working as a winemaker in Napa Valley at the time, shared her delightful cheese encounter with a member of her wine-tasting group. Impressed with her background, the individual suggested that she could create premium-quality cheese herself. Encouraged by the idea, Elizabeth decided to give it a try. She recalls, “I shared samples with my friends, and they loved it. Suddenly, I found myself making cheese instead of wine.”
Over the years, Elizabeth’s career choices were driven by her ‘I can do’ attitude, genuine interest in various subjects, and her extensive experience as an entrepreneur, an “intrapreneur,” and, once again, an entrepreneur. This combination of skills and knowledge has made her adept at evaluating potential opportunities. As a result, she has played a crucial role in the development of more than 50 young companies and has worked closely with prominent venture firms, including Accel, NEA, Morgenthaler Ventures, Mohr Davidow, and Draper Esquin.
A Fulfilling Experience of Working with Startups
When it comes to working with startups, Elizabeth truly enjoys the intellectual stimulation of problem-solving, listening to new ideas, and evaluating their potential for success. Once she becomes involved in a project, her nature doesn’t allow her to quit. This relentless attitude can be traced back to her upbringing, where she was taught always to finish what she started.
During her time at IDG, Elizabeth was recruited for a role that allowed her to contribute significantly to putting Sun Microsystems on the map. At IDG, executives were expected to be at the forefront of technology and stand out in the market. To achieve this, they brought in experts who provided training to Elizabeth and her team, including the consulting group that prepared President Clinton for the Camp David agreements.
“After about 18 months at IDG, I noticed a market gap that I believed we could fill. Encouraged to do so, I pitched the idea to our Founder and COB, Pat McGovern, who then provided me with 8MM to start a new division,” reveals Elizabeth. However, within a few months, she managed to give back that investment. Elizabeth established a “go-to-market strategy” playbook that was used to create a “sales channels” focused publication and consulting services group. These initiatives assisted both major and minor technology firms in launching new products, reassessing sales and distribution strategies, or even spinning off new companies. Elizabeth and her team excelled at dissecting complex problems and reconstructing organizations into more efficient and effective entities. As a result of her successful track record, she was entrusted with many young organizations to revamp and reshape.
ShiftPosts: Where Quality Staffing is Made Easy
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota ShiftPosts operates its Canadian business out of Toronto and is a disruptive Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that connects a network of pre-verified pharmacy professionals with pharmacy operators seeking relief, part-time, or full-time shift coverage. The ShiftPosts team comprises healthcare and pharmacy experts who work together to deliver top-quality, verified staff promptly and without compromise.
Celebrating the Success Stories
ShiftPosts was initially launched in 2019 in Canada, with a pre-planned expansion into the US in the fall of 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted these plans. The company faced financial challenges, and the social distancing requirements made people anxious about interacting with unknown individuals, even in essential services like pharmacies.
Recalling those unprecedented times, Elizabeth shares, “We realized that healthcare staffing was a more significant problem. So, when mass vaccination efforts were announced, we actively sought the opportunity to operate the planned mass vaccination sites.” Despite facing competition from three large established agencies, ShiftPosts managed to win a contract with one county in Ontario. In less than 72 hours, ShiftPosts qualified over 600 healthcare workers and successfully staffed more than 4000 shifts in 120 locations, including 13 mobile sites, with minimal manpower. The company outperformed the competing agencies, earning trust and becoming the go-to staffing solution for the county.
Now, ShiftPosts has secured a year-to-year contract with the county and regularly employs people from its platform. “With that effort, we proved we could scale and handle emergency situations easily,” proudly adds Elizabeth. ShiftPosts has made a significant positive impact, transforming the healthcare staffing market at a faster pace. The wages for ShiftPosts’ workers have increased by nearly 20% compared to full-time employees. Additionally, the company’s major customers have experienced a 70% reduction in hiring costs, and cultural barriers to employment have significantly decreased. Healthcare professionals now have the freedom to choose when and where they want to work as members of the ShiftPosts platform. They can even book shifts as far ahead as 2025, providing them with long-term planning opportunities.
Overcoming Startup Challenges
In the world of startups, entrepreneurs face a myriad of challenges on a regular basis. According to Elizabeth, the biggest challenge for leadership is the ability to discern real challenges and determine how to address them effectively. Embracing change is also crucial. Leaders must make decisions without being driven by fear or uncertainty, whether it involves vendors, functions, or any other aspect of the business.
Furthermore, it’s essential for leaders to understand that if their team believes in the company’s mission but has concerns about the leadership, those issues must be addressed and resolved promptly. This highlights the significance of being patient and actively listening to the team’s feedback and needs. Being open to feedback and making necessary adjustments contributes to building a strong and cohesive team in the startup environment.
Lessons Learned from the Venture Capital World
One of the first lessons Elizabeth learned from her VC days was the importance of staying ahead of the curve, especially when communicating with investors, as surprises are unwelcome. Equally essential is understanding the specific areas of interest for VCs when seeking capital resources. Being proactive and well-prepared in these aspects can significantly enhance the chances of securing funding and maintaining a positive relationship with investors.
Essential Skills Required to Become Successful Womenpreneurs
An inspiring businesswoman herself, Elizabeth believes that women’s innate multitasking abilities can make them exceptional entrepreneurs. To access capital effectively, she recommends aspiring women entrepreneurs secure verbal commitments from potential investors before diving into client interactions. Keeping a close watch on competitors, their funding sources, and capitalization is also crucial in staying ahead in their market space.
Businesswomen should recognize their own potential, whether they have acquisition prospects or the ability to sustain growth independently in the long run. Understanding their strengths and growth potential helps in making strategic decisions.
Similarly, Elizabeth advises start-up founders to consider offering advisors a percentage of the company or compensation. This approach allows founders to reward those who contribute to the company’s growth with ownership, ensuring alignment of interests and a shared commitment to success. By involving advisors with a stake in the company, founders can build stronger partnerships and create a more dedicated support network for their start-up’s journey.
Pearls of Wisdom
Elizabeth advises women entrepreneurs to test their ideas on at least 15 people who genuinely understand the problem and need the proposed solution. As women and sole founders, they should be prepared that their idea might not receive the expected attention or the grand applause from VCs. VC investors come across numerous brilliant ideas daily, making them somewhat immune to hype. VC’s rarely invest in sole founders, they like teams that have prior experience working together.
To get started, Elizabeth encourages female entrepreneurs to leverage their network of friends and family resources. Seeking their insights and opinions can be valuable, even if the feedback is not always what they hope to hear. The outside perspectives bring critical viewpoints that can help refine and strengthen the business idea.
Building a team before diving into the idea is crucial. Entrepreneurship is a substantial undertaking, and trying to handle everything alone can be overwhelming. Assembling a close, motivated team of doers not only aids in achieving set goals but also fosters a supportive environment that propels the startup toward success. A collaborative team brings diverse skills and perspectives, enhancing the chances of victory for the venture.
Moving forward, ShiftPosts envisions expanding its reach into diverse industries beyond healthcare. The platform aims to cater to sectors where the demand for up-to-date valid credentials, thorough background checks, and verifiable skills is essential. This strategic expansion will enable ShiftPosts to provide top-quality verified staff to a broader range of businesses, meeting their specific staffing needs with the same level of efficiency and reliability as in the healthcare sector.
For More Info: https://shiftposts.com/