If 2019 was a whirlwind for Cookeville’s Tyna Bryan, 2020 holds much of the same.
The Chief Executive Officer of Proverbs Technology LLC and DOT Readiness Group Inc. launched the latter’s initial offering – the Beta version of an all-in-one digital product that provides regulatory compliance for both truck drivers and trucking company owners – on February 23, 2019.
Since then, Bryan has scaled-up her combined staff to three full-time and two contract employees in addition to herself, moved at the end of 2019 into larger space after incubating at The Biz Foundry, and started to explore external funding for the first time.
“I’m staying very, very busy,” says the West Texas native who leveraged two decades of experience in the compliance, consulting and training aspects of the trucking industry into designing and selling a new software product. DOTReady is billed as the only all-inclusive, fully digital, cloud-based software that can do everything needed to keep a company’s drivers and fleet organized and meet U. S. Department of Transportation compliance regulations.
The journey from consulting and training has been an education for Bryan, but we have come to appreciate her straightforward, candid manner in describing the challenges she’s faced and the methodical manner in which she has addressed them.
For starters, before she even launched her full-fledged version of the product named DOTReady, Bryan had to have the software completely rewritten, a challenge we described in this February 2019 teknovation.biz article. Even after owning and operating six businesses, DOTReady almost did not come to fruition.
“Without The Biz Foundry, I would have sold the company; I was exhausted,” Bryan says in describing her struggles to develop the software when she received an offer from another company to buy her consulting business but not the software product. “It was a hard decision, but there was no way I could let the software (idea) go.”
That’s about the time Bryan was introduced to Jeff Brown, President and Executive Director of The Biz Foundry, who helped her find a new programmer. With newly written code, she launched the product in Beta mode for six months where paying customers identified bugs in that version. Her programmer fixed the few bugs that were found, and the updated version was launched in September.
“The slowness was driving me crazy, but doing it with intention was the right approach,” Bryan says of that rollout process. Today, DOTReady is used by customers in all 50 states plus Canada, Guam and Mexico.
“We’re steadily bringing clients on each week,” Bryan says.
Another important lesson she learned was the nuance of sales and marketing.
“Selling software is not as easy as I thought,” Bryan admits. “All 700 to 800 of my (consulting and training) customers did not buy-in immediately” when she launched DOTReady. Much of that has changed, however, as Bryan has used frequent posts on social media, email blasts to clients, and her consulting and online training activities to drive awareness and sales.
“Software sells services, and services sell software,” she says. Today, revenues are about equally divided between consulting and the DOTReady product.
“The consulting side is a little stronger, but software is catching-up,” Bryan adds. “Everything is profitable, and we have good margins.”
She has bootstrapped efforts thus far but needs outside capital to scale the company. Whether it will be a seed round or a full-fledged Series A is still under evaluation. The funds will be earmarked for sales and marketing, additional operations assistance, and future product development.
“My biggest challenge is having the time for administrative tasks and marketing,” Bryan explains.
And, in terms Brown, she says simply: “Without The Biz Foundry, I would have given up. Jeff has spent a lot of time and energy helping us, particularly the connections he’s made.”