First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
John Styers: We have simply learned to cope. While there are some major changes in “how,” most of life’s key responsibilities are still the same….take care of those you love and those who need loving. There are many new opportunities to reach out and help individuals who need it most.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Transportant.
John Styers: Alan Fairless and I co-founded Transportant to make getting a ride to school safer for students and far easier to manage. We learned from a friend that several school systems were struggling to solve chronic problems in student transportation that seemed to be solvable with modern technology and software.
We met with six school administrators and were surprised by some of the information gaps they had to workaround. After more than 100 interviews with transportation directors and school administrators across North America, it was clear there were widespread challenges we could solve through a completely new product and business approach.
As a result, Transportant was created.
How does Transportant innovate?
John Styers: It’s a customer-driven product innovation roadmap. All of our customers know up front that they are joining a community of Transportation Directors that are chartered to identify new opportunities to advance our platform’s features.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
John Styers: It has been an unexpected challenge. We pivoted our offering a couple of times to meet specific industry COVID needs; however, we focused on our core. We were uniquely positioned to provide for the growing demand for Contact Tracing. As soon as the School Districts started to reopen, we re-engaged. 2020 is on track to generate a 75-80% increase in revenue.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
John Styers: Yes. Difficult decisions are part of being any start-up leader, but COVID sets a new benchmark for everyone! Fortunately, the impacts seem to have been minimal, and the future is looking strong.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Transportant in the future?
John Styers: I have a strong faith in Jesus Christ, which is my go to for all stress and praise. Additionally, having a circle of like-minded friends that I can lean on regularly is critical.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
John Styers: Being an innovator, we are offering a groundbreaking technology. No one does what we do; however, many other companies offer portions of our solution, so we are always pitching against them. They have the current market share, and we focus on chipping away. We will continue to out-innovate and underprice the competition for the foreseeable future. We’re going to stay in the game by doing what we’ve always done – offer the only fully integrated solution at a price that simply cannot be beaten!
Your final thoughts?
John Styers: Stay focused on your core customer needs and adjust accordingly. While the world appears like it’s a mess, there are opportunities in chaos.
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