Practical Founders Podcast

#51: Scaling His Bootstrapped SaaS Company with Happy Founders and Happy Employees – Jordan Fleming

Jordan Fleming grew up in Toronto and New York,  then lived in Edinburgh, Scotland for 15 years where he created a successful consultancy helping larger businesses automate and improve their processes. His experience developing workflow apps led him and his cofounders to create a tightly-integrated phone system solution called smrtPhone built just for the Podio workflow platform, which is very popular in several industries. Jordan now lives in Poland and most of the team works in their office in Romania. 

The bootstrapped and profitable smrtStudio Global company is now growing fast with 2400 customers, 45 employees, and nearly $5 million in ARR (annual recurring revenue). They are very disciplined about company culture, building a scalable organization, growing employees, and preparing for growth before problems arise.

Best quote from Jordan:

“There’s a lot of talk from startup founders about someday ‘winning the prize.’ But I realized years ago that you can’t just focus only on a future prize. You have to have the present prize. If you’re living in ‘when I sell this someday, then it’ll be great’ and you’re always pushing your enjoyment of life into the future, then you’re in a state of unrest because you’re not where you want you think you want to be.

“For me, and for the four of us who own our company, we place a very, very high premium on our personal lives and what is going to make us the happiest as human beings right now. How am I living my best life right now? Not in five years when I sell the company or ten years, but now. That is one of the core parts of our company culture. It’s the way we develop people and we build opportunities for our staff and for ourselves. 

“When I say I’m not stressed, I really do mean it. Yes, there are times when I have to do things or I have to focus on things. But the truth is, we are all not only operating and growing a great business, but we are having the best lives we can possibly have right now, which kind of negates any stress.”

In this episode, Jordan explains:

  • How he transitioned his business focus and mindset from custom consulting service provider to CEO of a growing SaaS product business
  • How they manage steady growth to build the company and grow all team members in an smart way
  • How they grew a sizable and profitable business with 45 employees as tightly integrated solution specifically for customers using the Podio software solution
  • How the culture of his company is focused on supporting founders and employees to live their best lives now and not wait for an successful exit “someday” to live a good life
  • Why he thinks that every employee should be a leader, even if they don’t manage people



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Greg Head recorded this on episode on June 22, 2023 for the Practical Founders Podcast see all of the episodes.

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