Smartful Growth is celebrating it’s second birthday this month!

Did you know? Smartful Growth is celebrating it’s second birthday this month! In the name of this great celebration we decided to have a little throwback chat with the founder of Smartful – Helen Pärli.

1. Let’s start with a simple question. How did it all start?

It all started from an idea that had followed me for few years by then. I am a driven person and felt like it is time to use my energy for something that is my own. I knew it would happen someday anyway, so in the beginning of 2020 I decided to get started.

In February 2020 we were still living in the pre-pandemic world. If I would have known what is going to happen with just one month after Smartful was launched, I would have probably postponed the decision to somewhere in the future. But today I could not be happier that I don’t have such psychic skills. Looking back, I feel that the timing was right. Having built the agency during such a hectic time when many companies were struggling to stay above the water or had to close their business feels like a great achievement.

2. Do you remember your first projects? What were the main challenges you had to face and how did you overcome them?

I actually started the first project already before Smartful launch was done. It was a recruitment for a startup company that is today conquering the news with their success. And there actually were several trainings in pipeline for March 2020, but as the world was turned upside down, then most of these were postponed.
Thinking back, I would say there were two big challenges. First, how to activate my business in the middle of the pandemic. I needed to rethink Smartful’s focus to make the most out of a situation I had no control over. The initial idea was to have focus also on trainings and development services, but L&D world was on hold for a long time. So, recruitment projects and other HR services took the floor. Today we are re-activating the trainings side as well.
Other challenges was to get the first few projects in. Even though I had started our first project even before launch of the agency was complete, then everyone was asking for references from prior projects. It is normal to face these challenges in the very beginning, but it’s important not to give in for the temptation to cut corners. I had to decline the very first project that we were asked to help with as an agency – our ethics and values simply didn’t match.

3. What advice you give peole when it comes to starting a business?

I would say that it is important to have a plan, but you also need to be ready to ditch it when needed and adapt to the constantly changing world. I recommend to have someone who you can use as a sounding board to bounce your ideas and doubts – there is so much power in cooperation. Even when it is just you to begin with, then find yourself a network or at least one person who you can relate to.

4. What are your plans and goals for the future? What direction you would like SMARTFUL to take?

Our goal is to grow because this is the only way we are able to support our clients in their recruitment and HR needs. When it comes to short term aims then we are now committed to turn on full speed with training and development programs so our clients can keep up with their upskilling needs.
For the long run, Smartful will move to being more international. But I will keep the details to myself for now. Stay tuned and you will see.

5. Write us a birthday wish you give to SMARTFUL🙂 

I wish Smartful a rapid growth based on living our values so we could onboard more amazing people to our team. Our team always comes first – this is the only way we can truly add value to our clients.

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