We Built A $1.26M/Year AI Consulting Business [Over 30 Employees]

Edwin
Founder, Addepto
$105K
revenue/mo
2
Founders
25
Employees
Addepto
from Warsaw, Poland
started April 2018
$105,000
revenue/mo
2
Founders
25
Employees
620K
alexa rank
200
followers
77
followers
market size
$250B
avg revenue (monthly)
$105K
starting costs
$15.8K
gross margin
90%
time to build
210 months
growth channels
Organic social media
best tools
Verifigator, Twitter, Slack
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
39 Pros & Cons
tips
2 Tips
Discover what tools Edwin reccommends to grow your business!
reviews
social media
productivity
Discover what books Edwin reccommends to grow your business!
Start A Data Mining Consulting Business

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi, my name is Edwin Lisowski and I am a co-founder and a CTO of Addepto.

At Addepto, we create advanced solutions designed especially for the client using machine learning and data engineering technologies. If I had to name our flagship services, that would be artificial intelligence consulting and AI-driven software development.

Our mission is to show our clients how much more they can achieve thanks to implementing AI-based solutions. We help enterprises leverage the data they collect and innovate faster with AI and Big Data technologies.

Our technological solutions can solve an infinite number of individual problems, but the most popular are:

  • Using data to increase company profits with the help of Data Science,
  • Minimizing the risk of wrong business decisions using advanced systems based on artificial intelligence,
  • Integrating data from various sources and obtaining information about current trends, failures, etc.
  • Ensuring security against cyber attacks on confidential data of the company and its clients,
  • Optimization of the company's logistic processes and, consequently, reduction of operating costs,
  • Customizing the services offered by the company to meet the requirements of individual customers.

This year, we joined our forces with Grape Up to focus on development and expansion. I believe that this is just a start for us, we are motivated to share knowledge about high-tech solutions and help companies all around the world to grow using AI technology and its advantages.

we-built-a-1-26m-year-ai-consulting-business-over-30-employees

Addepto founders: on the left - Edwin Lisowski (CTO), on the right - Artur Haponik (CEO)

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Since my studies, I have been strongly interested in analytics and business development. In 2015 I graduated from Warsaw School of Economics specializing in econometrics and big data and having already 2years of professional experience working in the Data Analytics area. Later on, (between 2015 and 2018) I worked for a few corporate companies as a BI and Big Data consultant, so as you can see I was working on data-driven solutions long before Addepto was created in 2018.

Artur Haponik, my friend from university and a co-founder of Addepto went through similar experiences. Together we decided that it was time to start something of our own. We combined our visions and skills and put 100% of our time and effort into creating Addepto.

You should believe in yourself, your idea and have a long-term strategy when starting a business.

We saw potential in this sector as it is still rapidly growing and can be of great help to businesses from different industries. At the time, there weren’t many companies specializing in big data and AI solutions. Additionally, being based in Warsaw, we had access to qualified engineers and talented consultants. We strongly believe that AI-based solutions are the future of organizations.

As it turns out, we were right. Together with Artur Haponik, we decided to start an AI boutique company that will help startups and corporate customers leverage data. This is also how we came up with the name of the company - Adept from the Latin language means “completely skilled, well-versed” that’s why this is a part of our name. We successfully started Addepto and managed to get the trust of customers. We started as a very small team, where everyone had to cover a few roles. Now, after three years, we have a team of over 30 members, working from all over the world on projects for international enterprises.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

In the beginning, we were focused on technological solutions we were the most experienced with, so business intelligence and data science. From the start, we wanted to offer customized solutions for our clients so we analyzed their needs and constantly hired new specialists to build the best possible solution for a particular company.

We are asking customers to provide us initial access to the data they are collecting. After receiving access to all data and process documentation, our team analyzes it with the best accuracy.

Based on our past consulting experience, previous implementations, and analyses, our team will use context analytics techniques to complete a deep analysis of the process, features, and data, and provide AI tools that are worth implementing to meet all requirements in terms of functionalities and scalability.

Context analytics are based on understanding the importance of contextual history secluded from insights about entities in the process of finding conclusions beneficial for the business. By connecting data with context, it is possible to determine patterns, trends, and relationships from the existing process and update it

We are both passionate about new technologies and we share a common goal of showing companies from various industries that AI-driven solutions can be a game-changer for their business.

Our first projects were mostly for startups and SMEs looking for innovative solutions to improve their services, cut costs, and stand out from the competition. Back then, we didn’t have any standardized processes when working on a new project. The first few clients were a big lesson for us, both as it comes to project development and different approaches to cooperation.

First customers were acquired from some reference sources and networking events. Projects went smoothly as before we worked on similar projects for large companies. We have adopted agile methodologies to project development and solution implementation.

If it comes to costs, the first months were challenging as we were investing our savings into the growth of the company. We have always been focused on growth rather than only profit.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Researching competitors, describing your strategy, and protecting yourself with contracts and a great team are just a few of the steps you should take when you start a Data Science consulting business. Below is the process I suggest you follow when starting your own business.

Decide on your offering

Remember that your services will be the main selling point for potential clients. When deciding your offerings, commit to ones you have experience with. It can be tempting to offer services outside of your skills in hopes that you’ll win more clients.

Research your market and competitors

Once you’ve settled on potential services, determine what type of clients you’ll pursue. You might target customers by business size, or you could focus on companies in sectors where you have made a name for yourself.

Some cities or countries are more difficult to start a business in than others in terms of customer base, competition, and expenses. Do market research on competing businesses in your area.

Finding out what services they offer is relatively easy, but dig deeper to learn how much they charge. A competitive analysis will help you identify opportunities to fill gaps in your services market.

Hire strategically

When your business begins to grow, it could be time to consider hiring employees or freelancers. Beyond lightening your workload, it can allow you to take on new projects.

But don’t necessarily hire the first person who applies. Every new hire should undergo a thorough background check. You may be trusting these employees to handle confidential and potentially sensitive information. Call their references, and make sure that all terms of employment and wages are clear in the offer letter.

Invest in marketing and sales

Finding clients for your new services company can be challenging. But it’s the most important step for long-term success. That’s why your marketing and networking are critical.

As a service business, digital marketing is a must. Many potential clients will find your business through digital channels. If your budget allows, hire a web firm or freelancer to create your website. A Digital Marketing consultant can help boost lead generation through digital channels.

Use paid press releases (cheap today, sometimes even free) to share some company info and increase credibility, write a blog about your product or service, and share it on all possible social media platforms.

If you don’t have the budget for professional help, try designing a site yourself with online tools like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.

But don’t forget the human touch. There’s still no substitute for networking.

we-built-a-1-26m-year-ai-consulting-business-over-30-employees

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

At Addepto, there are a few factors that in my opinion help us attract customers.

First, the most important one is the quality of services. We believe that a satisfied customer is the best advertisement you can have. That is why we are always trying to offer the best possible service to our customers. If they are happy with the outcomes, they will sooner or later come back to us. We encourage them to share their opinion on portals such as Clutch, which helps us gain the trust of new customers.

Secondly, the brand image on the Internet and visibility. We are putting a lot of effort into our marketing strategy. We observe the latest trends and try out what works best for us.

We are present on all social media like Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram and on various platforms focused on topics such as AI, machine learning, business intelligence, digital transformation, and many more. For your professional exposure, Linkedin works best and helps you to build trust among other companies. Other platforms could be leveraged to increase your employer branding. We want our potential customers to be able to find us easily and we want them to be able to verify on their own that we are experts in high-tech solutions.

We are still experimenting with different approaches and following the latest trends. In my opinion, it is crucial to stay updated and observe how customers’ needs are evolving.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today we are in a very good place. We are working on many exciting projects for large companies around the world.

Don’t forget the human touch. There’s still no substitute for networking. Attend industry conferences and meetups where you could share your product or service case studies or use cases. Meet people who are interested in technology and share with them the knowledge you have gained working in your industry.

Some of the projects we are working on are related to Digital Twin in Manufacturing, Supply chain optimization for Mining & Metals, Machine Vision for various use cases.

A few months ago, we joined forces with Grape Up, an innovative company that shares values similar to ours. Every day we face new challenges and learn a lot. It helps us in creating better business strategies for the future. I believe that we have good times ahead of us, new development opportunities. As per the past three years, we grew at least 50% in terms of employee number - from 9 people in 2018 to 27 in 2021.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

To communicate with our team members as well as our clients, we use mainly Slack and Google tools. They are just the most convenient and well known to people from different countries.

From my experience, it is good to try out new tools from time to time, finding a suitable tool for your team can be a game-changer. Since the pandemic, there has been a rapid growth of communication tools and project planning tools designed to work remotely. It is a big advantage for companies such as ours.

If it comes to our branding and communication efforts, we are concentrated on LinkedIn as our primary social media channel. We want to give our clients a chance to get to know us better, be up to date with what is happening in our company and gain a better understanding of technologically advanced solutions in which we specialize.

Our marketing actions are diversified. We invest in search engine optimization, modernize our website to be more user-friendly, run remarketing campaigns via Google Ads, and send newsletters to our clients and blog readers. Daily, we analyze the effects of our activities mainly in Google Analytics, GSC, Ahrefs, and Hotjar.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

The most inspirational and influential has been my experiences through the years and meetings with people from different backgrounds. Those real-life situations are irreplaceable.

If it comes to other sources, I can recommend:

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Be brave.

You should believe in yourself, your idea and have a long-term strategy when starting a business. Below are my few top tips for beginners.

Recognize your strengths and weaknesses.

Understand what team members should fill your team and what competencies you are missing.

Understand your target customers and existing market.

It’s possible to develop an excellent business concept and deploy it in the wrong area. That’s why it’s important to understand the area in which you want to start your small business as well as your target customers.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Even when a business is on the right track, unexpected issues and chances for growth and improvement can quickly pop up. Addressing these problems and opportunities is critical for long-term stability and prosperity.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Yes, we are always seeking new talents.

Right now we are looking for candidates with different expertise levels, who want to develop further their skills and experience as:

  • BI Developer
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Engineer

To check the most recent job offers, you can visit our career page.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Edwin   Founder of Addepto
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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