We Built A $420K/Year Remote Worker Platform [From Australia]

Published: September 10th, 2021
Tonya Mead
Founder, Search Remotely
Search Remotely
from Sterling, VA, USA
started September 2019
market size
avg revenue (monthly)
starting costs
gross margin
time to build
150 days
average product price
growth channels
Word of mouth
business model
best tools
Hubspot, Canva, Slack
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
36 Pros & Cons
10 Tips
Discover what tools Tonya recommends to grow your business!
social media
Discover what books Tonya recommends to grow your business!
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hey guys! My name is Christian Carella and I am the founder of Search Remotely.

Search Remotely is a marketplace where existing and aspiring remote workers can find new employment opportunities and up-skill through online courses. Remote companies can use our team of recruiters to source candidates & help you to hire international remote talent.

Our flagship product is the remote jobs platform packed with a robust internal recruitment team that can tap into our community of over 250,000 remote workers.

We also have an online academy where job seekers can learn remote work skills ready for employment and a remote jobs platform that gets updated daily with thousands of worldwide remote jobs.

We have recruited 100+ customers around the world who are the most remote-first companies looking to scale up their remote teams and hire top international remote talent.

Our monthly recurring revenue is between $35,000 - $50,000 depending on a variety of factors.


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

A few years back, I started to see a trend in technology, and the barriers that we once faced had been lifted. The vast majority of office work could be done remotely, and I saw the future of work in front of me.

I spent around 3-6 months religiously researching everything to do with this market and the future of work. I previously had nearly a decade of entrepreneurship + IT experience behind me which definitely gave me an edge.

Apply, fail, apply, fail, and so forth. You will learn 100x more from applying and failing rather than constantly researching and going nowhere.

Since then, I have set up my company, Search Remotely, with the primary aim to help individuals to be able to work remotely and help companies to scale up their remote teams effectively through recruitment.

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

Prototyping was made with a tool called Figma and we did a combination of market research, competitor analysis, and feedback sessions with potential customers to come up with a wireframe of what could work within this market.

We created a spreadsheet that compared the various sections in our competitors' navigational bars, taking note of designs and wording across their websites to see if there were any common trends. We studied color psychology and this helped us to decide which colors would resonate with our customers then we had a deep dive with our founders in terms of how we can improve things and make them better. We collectively created an MVP together.

Afterward, we created a Survey Monkey feedback form that went out to our demographic of people working remotely so that we could gather feedback on our initial MVP and see how we could improve on this. After that, we iterated our initial MVP and so forth.

Have a watertight marketing strategy and listen to your customers. Understand their pain points, ask them numerous questions and relay that back into your business development.

There were several strategic external partnerships we needed to obtain before we could have a real MVP. There were some legal hoops we had to jump through and set up numerous contracts etc.

Describe the process of launching the business.

MVP was launched in 3 months, it took a further 3 months to get the partnerships in place. We launched and then covid-19 struck and the world was forced to work remotely and that’s when our business model was ready and truly skyrocketed.

Although we did envisage a future of remote work well before the covid-19 pandemic set in, we never expected this pandemic to actually happen and what this did was increase our server load and we had to upgrade our servers to cope with the additional boost in web traffic. That was a wild ride, to say the least.

We bootstrapped the whole thing, between myself and my co-founder. Every bit of revenue we have made till today has gone back into the business to scale up and improve things.

Biggest lesson learned:

Do your maths and I mean really do your maths because most likely the startup costs you think there will be are going to be 2-3 what you initially thought.

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

Have a watertight marketing strategy and listen to your customers. Understand their pain points, ask them numerous questions and relay that back into your business development.

It is an endless cycle of iterating and improving based on customer feedback. This has enabled us to truly retain our customers and cater to their needs.

We have invested in various forms of marketing including but not limited to SEO, Social Media including Instagram and Facebook as well as paid-per-click advertising.

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

Today we are a profitable business and look forward to what the future brings. What we do know is that the growth in the remote workspace and the future of work has been astronomical and it has no plans to slow down.

Search Remotely drives innovation by continually listening to our customers and always watching future trends so that we can stay ahead of the curve. Since covid-19, the world was forced towards working from home and remote work. Employers who were once skeptical in allowing individuals to work from home have now had the data over the last year and have seen that the work productivity increase and employee morale have risen in many cases.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Life is full of lessons, business is full of lessons but the great people in this world succeed not just by trying things, but more importantly by failing and learning from those mistakes and getting back up again with a smile and keep persisting on. Tenacity and persistence are what’s required more than anything, particularly in business.

We had several wins, in the beginning, securing some major partnerships around the world.

Covid-19 forced everyone to work from home and the search intent for “work from home” keywords went through the roof and so did our business.

I guess some could say we were lucky, with the timing of covid-19 I would agree this worked for us however I fundamentally believe that luck is created and given to those who try.

You create your own luck.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Favorite tools and in no particular order would have to be the following:

  • Trello for project management
  • Upwork for freelancers
  • Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Analytics for collaboration and analytics
  • Hubspot for CRM
  • Hootsuite for social media
  • Canva for design

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

The 4 hour work weekbook initially inspired me about the remote work revolution quite a few years ago. The Lean Startup was another insanely good book if you want to understand more about feedback loops and building products based on customer feedback.

The Joe Rogan Podcast is pretty cool, some great business podcasts on there included Elon Musk and Naval Ravikant.

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

My biggest early recommendation is to stop reading too much. It is very easy to slip into a phase of analysis paralysis and then several years have passed without any actionable results.

Apply, fail, apply, fail, and so forth. You will learn 100x more from applying and failing rather than constantly researching and going nowhere.

Where can we go to learn more?

Want to start a remote hiring company? Learn more ➜