Entrepreneurship isn’t like Shark Tank, said the co-founders of rapidly expanding Kansas City startup ProfessionalChats.
“I think people get confused in the Kansas City entrepreneurship community and they think they need to have an original idea that nobody’s ever done before and they need funding,” said Scott Hansen, co-founder, and CEO.
Outside funding doesn’t necessarily create a recipe for success either, revealed Trevor Flannigan, co-founder and COO of ProfessionalChats, which focuses on providing businesses with an informed, responsive and empathetic online chat service.
“We now have about 110 employees and we’ve grown the business this entire time without funding and without debt,” he said.
Hansen and Flannigan believe growing their company without the use of an outside investor has been one of their most rewarding and challenging entrepreneurial experiences to date, they said.
The company recently expanded its Kansas City headquarters, a direct result of a boom in business, Flannigan said.
“Now we’re in about 20,000 square feet and continuing to address new markets and bring this really straightforward and desirable service to more industries,” he said.
The company has amassed more than 1,200 clients in just two years, the co-founders revealed. It’s a growth rate the pair attributed to staying true to their original vision for the company.
“We designed the business to grow really fast and we hit our projections, but we wish it would go faster,” Hansen said. “I think that’s part of the fun too. It’s never been like we’re ever going to feel like we’ve made it because a lot of the fun is in the pursuit.”
Further expanding on the company’s growth won’t require reinventing the wheel, Flannigan said in acknowledgment that live chat platforms have existed for nearly 20 years.
“We’ve just done it better,” he explained.
Flanningan and Hansen both agreed that ProfessionalChats has found its permanent home in the KC entrepreneur space. The leadership team said they see the company thriving in the metro for years to come.