Meet Jessica of That Works For Me
Jessica Heagren is CEO and cofounder of flexible working site, That Works For Me. She created That Works For Me in order to bring skilled professional people in need of flexible work together with businesses in need of skilled professionals on a less than full time basis. She won Enterprise Nation’s Female Start of the Year 2020 as well as being listed as one of Tech Nation’s top five early-stage tech companies in the South East.
1.Can you explain to us how the idea for your business came to you and how the whole process kicked off?
Six years ago, I was working as Strategy & Distribution Director in Direct Line Group having progressed quickly up the ladder from starting there while I was studying at uni. I had recently launched two new businesses and was responsible for 50% of the division’s income and 80% of the profits. I was leading the Women and Family strand when I had my first daughter.
I did a staggered return to work after 5 months on an agreed 4-day week. I was on calls at 7am until 7pm. I was driving at all hours of the day and I didn’t see my baby from Monday to Thursday. When I fell pregnant with my second child, I’d had enough. I couldn’t maintain that pace so I left.
At one point I was headed for the Board, but because I couldn’t fit the standard 9 to 5 model I ended up leaving. After that, I met so many more women like me and that was what inspired me to start That Works For Me.
My real lightbulb moment came when a very brave and successful friend of mine called in tears one day on the brink of going bust. Her under qualified finance resource had miscalculated her cash flow. I asked why she didn’t have a CFO and she said she was too small and didn’t have enough work for someone that senior.
“Why not recruit a Mum who’s done it before at a really senior level but only wants a few hours work each week?”
That Works For Me was born.
2.What were the biggest challenges you faced when bringing the idea to market?
The platform development was quite complex. We used overseas developers who promised us a three-month delivery that ended up taking a year. There was still a lot of work to do on the platform when it came back onshore so our launch took a lot longer than anticipated.
3.Where do you think good ideas come from and what inspires you?
My children! As well as people’s passion to do amazing work that fits in with their lives.
4.What are your company’s values and why are these things important to the business?
Diversity and inclusivity are incredibly important to us. The whole business is built around opening opportunities to people who would otherwise struggle to find work that fits around their lifestyle. We’re anti-CV and keep people at the core of our business.
5.What is next for your brand?
We want to get to a point where when people think of flexible working, they think That Works For Me! We want businesses to want to work with us because they want to support their employees holistically and care about them outside of, as well as in, work. It’s so incredibly important, especially at the moment. We want people to know us as a trusted environment that values quality over price. And that they can come to us to find work that fits their lives.
We’re really keen to keep growing and help even more people find work that suits them. Securing funding is a big part of that and is a big focus moving forward.
6.What one piece of advice would you have for someone just starting out on their business journey or currently going through a setback?
Talk to people! Running a business can feel very lonely but talking to other people gives you the confidence – and often connections – to move things forward. It’s all about being part of a community.
7.What resources and tools do you use to remain productive or up-to-date on industry trends etc?
Trello for content, a great team of flexible professionals around me, and a great network.
More info on What Works For Me
Company Name: That Works For Me
Brand Name: That Works For Me