Have you ever thought about what is most important to growing a great business? Or what steps it will take to get your business acquired? Well, Indy’s own Dan Hanrahan, President and Founder of Sigstr, has pondered all of these questions and his answer is simple: “It’s all about the people. They always come first.” Although his SaaS product is unequivocally innovative and has been called a “simplified genius” by TechPoint, Dan mentions that his biggest priority is taking care of both his employees and customers. People come first. Throughout his entire career Dan has emphasized putting employees in the right place to deliver the best products for his customers. This people focus started very early on in his career and has led him to where he is today.
Around the time of graduation from Indiana University in the early 2000’s, Dan met a few guys starting a company called Brooksource. He quickly got on board and helped grow this firm in their efforts to become a top IT staffing and recruiting firm. By the end of his time there, he was running and operating the Brooksource office in Nashville, TN. Fast-forward 15 years and you’ll find Dan working on Monument Circle at his newest venture, Sigstr. With a focus in B2B marketing, Sigstr is expanding the untapped marketing potential of email correspondence. Since companies typically send over one million emails externally each year, Sigstr capitalizes on this advertising space by inserting email signature campaigns for customers on a company-wide basis.
Sigstr is growing quickly and recently announced that, under Dan’s capable leadership, they hope to create over 100 jobs within the next five years. Dan has his sights set on helping to grow and develop the Indy tech industry. He shared some advice for young entrepreneurs: “It’s important to believe big and deliver results,” he said. He understands that he would not be in his current position had he not followed a vision that others, perhaps, might have thought too difficult to accomplish.
He also shared that the best way to prove your value is by “finding time at work to get things done that you care about.” He suggests that aspiring entrepreneurs identify existing business problems and create specific solutions for them. Dan’s recipe for success includes being open and honest with himself and others regarding future plans.He avoids being secretive about next steps and instead, breaks down his vision into small, easily digestible steps. This openness allows Dan to share his milestones and achievements with those who help him meet his goals.
Between his time at Brooksource and Sigstr, Dan also worked at iGoDigital and ExactTarget (which acquired iGoDigital). Josh Miller worked with Dan at iGoDigital and joined Sigstr’s team in October 2015. He said the following about Dan’s leadership, “I truly feel that I’m working with Dan at Sigstr as opposed to working for him.” Josh’s enthusiasm for Dan’s leadership style echoes a common theme in the response of many who work alongside Dan, who makes a conscious effort to be transparent and treat everyone he works with respectfully.
As a young entrepreneur, following in Dan’s footsteps could prove quite beneficial. Don’t forget to believe big, create solutions, and get things done. For those on the frontlines of the techsphere, creating the newest applications and services, keep in mind Dan’s final piece of advice: “help others before you need help.” Go out of your way to help a coworker with a project, raise your hand a little faster when volunteers are needed, and give back as much as you can to your community. That way, when the time comes for the launch of your next big idea, people will be lining up to join, just like they were with Dan.