This is a series of posts, written in co-operation with the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs to promote entrepreneurs working with software. This post is about Leena Klaavu from Enfide. This post is very different from the other posts in the series about larger companies. In this post Leena Klaavu explains how she started her company, where she employes herself and feels about running a business.
In this series, we try to dig deep into the backgrounds of the entrepreneurs and their companies. You can also win a ticket to Arctic15 by subscribing to the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs newsletter over here. Please note; the interview below is a translation from the original Finnish interview.
ArcticStartup (AS): Explain to us where you work currently and what were the steps that got you there?
Leena Klaavu (LK): Enfide is currently a one woman shop that focuses on education and professional services related IT purchasing and requirement specifications. At the turn of the millenium I came across a situation where I needed to think what I wanted to do “when I grow up”. I’ve got a wide educational background and also possess years of experience from the IT industry, going the entrepreneurial way felt like an excellent choice. The idea for my company got started from trade magazines that talked about requirement specifications and their importance for the quality of development. The idea then developed little by little into what we do today.
AS: What is your company trying to achieve, why did you pick this offering?
LK: Enfide has created a tool for documenting requirement specifications, an application that will ease creating requirement specifications and in doing so, improve the quality of it. I first planned the application to be used by only me, but very soon realised the commercial potential and need in the market place. A simple document done in Word has many challenges that I wanted to improve on. Doing a quality document took time and effort. Also, updating the document felt like it was not the best use of anyone’s time.
Creating a requirement specification was not cost effective nor was it specific enough.
AS: As a software entrepreneur, what is the best part of your job and why?
LK: Best parts of my job are the excitingness of it and the challenge it provides. It’s an advantage, that one can develop herself to the direction she wants. As an “eternal student” in the ICT-sector, there are more things to study than one has time to learn, so you have to filter new information. There are advantages in working by yourself, but going solo is not an alternative, you need partners from other stakeholders in the industry.
AS: What about the most challenging? Why?
LK: The business side as a whole. You need to be able to do or at least understand all sides of running a company. You don’t need to excel in everything though. For example, book keeping among others can be outsourced. The most challenging part of running a business for me is marketing as I don’t have a natural tendency towards it. It is however a necessity in one’s company and you can find help with it.
AS: What is it like creating software and scalable services in Finland?
LK: As I don’t do any coding myself, I had to outsource the work. There weren’t any challenges in finding a suitable agency for this, Finland has a lot of talented businesses in this sector. I need a partner who is willing to co-operate on this with their own efforts as well. In the end, you need money to fuel the development.
AS: What kind of a role do organisations like Finnish Software Entrepreneurs play in your possibility to grow?
LK: Finnish Software Entrepreneurs play a big role in the development of my business. It gives possibilities to extend my own networks and people to bounce off ideas with. The events and seminars they put together are also interesting and worth it.
AS: What are the plans with your company, where do you plan to take it?
LK: My plan is to develop a new requirements management software to help clients cope with their needs. The tool will be useful for both software developers in both their own development work as well as consultation work, where they do requirement specification for clients. So essentially, my plan is to develop the application further.