Building Beyond Your Consultancy: How Founder Brittany Carminati Balances Clients and New Products
Upfront Work sat down with Brittany Carminati, founder of Carminati Consulting and developer of Immuware™, an award-winning employee health compliance software designed to record and track immunizations, screenings, surveillance testing, injuries, illnesses and certifications to make employee health compliance quick and easy.
Tell us about your company. What clients or industries do you serve?
We’re an IT consultancy that helps clients serve their communities better through systems implementation and integration, technology platforms and business intelligence. We specialize in supporting local government offices and healthcare organizations including the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, Chicago Police Department, Cook County Health, Sinai Health System, and Northwestern Medicine.
How has your company evolved over time?
In 2010, I started as an independent consultant developing custom software. As the work grew to more than I could handle, I started hiring more people – initially two interns who become employees after they graduated. We’ve been able to grow by developing a great reputation, referrals from clients, or through the RFP process.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a shift away from custom software development to SaaS product implementation. During that time, a healthcare client ask us to build a flu tracking system to help them achieve compliance. They loved what we built so we built our own SaaS product, Immuware™, an employee health compliance platform.
Today, we have 14 employees and continue to serve our clients and grow Immuware™.
Tell us about your inspiration to build Immuware™. How have clients responded to it?
Being a woman with a technical background, I thrive when building something. I never wanted to lose that passion and I was not interested in only project managing clients because I had employees. Immuware™ was inspired by a client project and became an opportunity to build something bigger.
Initially, we started with the problem of tracking employee health records and created a three-page requirements document. Once the product was built, we hired a salesperson to cold call hospitals and quickly closed our first client, a 5,000 person healthcare organization in Chicagoland.
This was the quickest sale we’ve ever had but I think it speaks to the fact that the product is so intuitive. Previously, healthcare administrators would have to manage paper employee health records on spreadsheets but our product allows access to administrators, supervisors and employees distributing the burden of employee health management across the organization.
What are the biggest challenges building a SaaS product?
It is not just about building really cool software. It is about selling to clients, marketing the product and understanding the financials behind investing in our own product. After two years, our product has just now become profitable. Moreover, our consulting clients are crucial to our success as we continue to determine new ways to market and sell Immuware™ to the right clients who need this.
If you could give one piece of advice for other founders balancing clients with new products, what would it be and why?
Learn to manage the growing pains. I struggle with scaling myself and processes because I used to be involved in every project and part of the business. I’m learning you cannot document and apply a process to everything.
Additionally, make sure your team knows they’re appreciated and valued and find time to stay connected with your team. In addition to being a CEO, I’m a mother of two and a wife which makes it hard to give time to my employees. Sometimes I don't have the time, but I need to make the time.