We talked to Freddy Buss on how zistemo lets you track hours worked, time spent on all your projects and this is what he had to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Freddy Buss: Luckily, nobody from my family was infected by COVID-19! But it’s a weird thing meeting each other and always think about COVID-19 and hopefully not to infect anyone. But that’s nothing compared to those who are suffering from that Pandemic. So, we are feeling very fortunate.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Zistemo?
Freddy Buss: I began my career working for small agencies near my hometown in Germany while doing my B.Sc. After graduation, I worked in a couple of companies and saw how they did their time management and how they coordinate their business process. A lot of Excel sheets and manual processes. I thought that this could not be the best way to do this. Productivity rate was unknown, decisions made by gut, nobody knew what they should work on next, and creating an invoice took longer than a flight to the moon.
That’s how we founded Zistemo in 2014 (back in the days, it was MoneyPenny). It took us some time to find our place on the market, but we’re happy to help people to work smarter, not harder. That’s what keeps me motivated every day.
How does Zistemo innovate?
Freddy Buss: Zistemo is a one-stop suite for professional time management and business processes. The hard thing is to cover all of the requirements from different companies since every company is doing things differently. So that’s the first thing you need to keep in mind: “how are things getting done?”. Secondly, it’s “who is doing what things?”. So, that’s the two main points when we’re talking about innovation on Zistemo. Without this base, it’s impossible to innovate. Luckily we found the easiest way to have perfect answers for these two questions. We talk to our customers. We always integrate their point of view and opinion into our development process. Also, we keep development agile, which allows us to react and input from our customers even after things are released. Of course, we are 24/7 available for them, which is outstanding in our industry. We love to discuss new features with our customers and apply them as a feature for the crowd.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Freddy Buss: On one side, we have had a couple of clients who shut down their business because of COVID-19. We saw that, especially with small businesses that were hard hit by the Pandemic. On the other hand, some new customers suddenly needed to manage things from their home office. From our team, luckily, nobody got infected yet. And since we were super remote before COVID-19, it wasn’t that hard for us to be in a home office.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Freddy Buss: Of course, there are always difficult choices. I would be suspicious if I would go to bed one day without having at least one difficult situation. But luckily, we didn’t have any hard choices because of COVID-19. I think the most important lesson learned is to not stress out about anything. Since you aren’t a surgeon or a doctor, nobody’s going to die because you didn’t finish that thing on time. Relax.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Freddy Buss: Just as I said, there’re more important things than deadlines. Lousy coffee, for example – just kidding. My advice is to surround yourself with good people who are motivating and pushing you. Don’t listen to grumpy people. Also, I make myself a list and celebrate everything I can check up – make little steps.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Freddy Buss: Our competitors are everyone who offers anything for time tracking, attendance time, project tracking, or online invoicing. Fortunately, there aren’t that many services that offer all those features in one tool. So, that’s the first thing. Second, we always choose to play the game rather than beat others. That’s why we are always looking for integrations into other softwares and others integrating with us to make business processes as smooth as possible. But in the end, it’s about keeping the innovation going and doing better than others. That’s how Zistemo stays in the game.