Cinthya and Andrea are the co-founders of Backy Check, a company that provides background checks for businesses hiring staff and people who need one to apply for a job or license. Backy Check is also a commercial arm of AMICI Tech, a social enterprise that financially supports the SnowBell Project, an Australian charity fighting child sexual exploitation. Every time a person or business processes a background check with Backy Check, they’re helping to provide a safer world for the children.
Cinthya and Andrea launched the business in the middle of the global pandemic. In only a few months, many important brands already use the service, and interest is rapidly growing. They’ve already overcome many hurdles, so we chat with Andrea to find out more about them and what’s next from here.
Who are you and what brand did you start?
We are Cinthya and Andrea, founders of Backy Check. Backy Check provides a background checks service. We are an AMICI Tech brand and a company born in Australia as a social enterprise. Our primary purpose is to support the charitable organization SnowBell Project to become self-sufficient in their fight against child sexual exploitation.
We're based in Sydney, and our market focus is Australia. However, we are already expanding our services in the United States, Canada, Sri Lanka, and soon in New Zealand.
Our services are for companies who are hiring or people who need background checks to apply for their job or license. We serve B2C and B2B, without any distinction of size. We are entirely online and scalable.
As a social purpose company, we have excellent attention to aged care, charities, teachers, healthcare workers, volunteers, and students. We also have tailored solutions for those categories.
We already have some important brands using our services in only a few months, and the interest is growing fast. We have been really surprised to close some partnerships from not-targeted markets such as the United States, Canada and Sri Lanka.
BRAND IDEA - how did you come up with the idea for Backy Check?
We wanted to build something to support the charity SnowBell Project financially. As we couldn't find the time to organize events and find donors "on the street," we decided to create a for-profit company.
We decided to align the for-profit company with the charity's values of making the community a safer and happier place. And, the for-profit organization should have also had to share some technology expertise with the charity.
Therefore, our choice has been to create a background check company.
The background check market is composed of companies with old or chunky systems that are difficult for the user to use. There are also only a few companies doing all the checks we can do on one single portal, with just one application for the user. We can definitely improve the user experience, the service for our clients and make the service fast, secure, flexible, and scalable with advanced technology.
The name Backy Check is dictated by two factors. Firstly, we wanted to have something short that reflected our service and background checks. Second, we wanted to have a ".com" domain to secure.
Choosing the logo was relatively easy. We wanted to communicate our primary value of protecting the community, and the umbrella is the perfect symbol.
BRAND LAUNCH - take us through how you launched Backy Check.
The development of the technology took us two years. It was challenging to build something more advanced for global technology companies with more resources. However, we had flexibility, expertise, and the willingness to do better. Big corporations can struggle to change their technology, motivate their employees, and move the decisions quickly through their stakeholders. Working with a small, experienced and determined team has a lot of advantages.
We launched the first beta and tests in November 2020. We fixed a few things, gathered feedback, and fully launched our product to the public in January 2021.
We promote our business through LinkedIn, EDM campaigns, calls, affiliation, and partnerships to target our B2B. We mostly have referrals for our B2C channel.
ONLINE STORE SETUP - what are your top 2 tips for successful Ecommerce store setup.
- Since the beginning, we've focused on the team. Having a passionate, reliable, and experienced team has been really important to us. The experience of the team made building a scalable design from the beginning possible. Along with a scalable solution, we found having a lean type of implementation is important. Both scalability and a lean kind of implementation help manage costs effectively, accommodate the initial service online set up according to customer's feedback, and adapt to new opportunities fast enough.
- Planning is fundamental. We spent months planning and researching before even writing the first line of code. We studied the market, what other competitors were doing, what we could have improved. We also looked at the size of the market and what profit we could have had. Then we considered our marketing strategy and how we could differentiate Backy Check from the existing providers.
CUSTOMER RETENTION - what has worked best to attract and retain customers?
We have set up a promotion for returning B2C customers. Our service is much easier, affordable, and faster than our competitors, so customers return for these reasons.
B2B clients are especially happy with how easy it is to use our portal and how fast and affordable our services are. Our technology also allows easy integrations and adaptability to their existing processes. Our competitors are usually too big to listen to all their client feedback and customize the service for each one of them. Also, it's too costly for them. While we pay attention to each detail for our clients, making our clients happy is our priority.
We have developed an online ticketing system, and we have super-fast and local support. However, the process is easy enough, and we barely have support requests or calls.
SOCIAL - what are your top 2 tips for successful use of social media to engage with customers.
We use LinkedIn to engage with businesses. It's a great tool because you can engage with people who need to improve their current background check process. If you have a B2B model, you should consider using LinkedIn.
We use LinkedIn to build trust, build our brand, and talk directly with people interested in increasing their onboarding process and experience.
Our two tips are:
- Build trust through your communication and promotion.
- Manage the risk and start your social media campaigns once you are out of the beta. This will limit having to deal with bad reviews, complaints, or similar.
BUSINESS GROWTH INSIGHTS - how has Backy Check changed and evolved?
We fully launched to the public and went off beta in January 2021. During these three months, we saw our revenue climbing fast both on B2B and B2C. We think the Australian market is more reliable and stable during those times than other countries around the globe.
The demand for our services is growing even in countries we are not actively targeting, such as the United States, Sri Lanka, and Canada.
We adapt our resources where we find opportunities but sticking with our quarterly plans. Our suggestion is to build and follow plans and adapt those to the market opportunities without changing much from the plan. Otherwise, the risk is to follow too many different things and not meet targets.
MANAGING CHANGE - what are the top 2 tips you’d suggest others adopt to safeguard their business.
We launched in the full pandemic, and that was tough. However, looking at the glass half full, we started from zero market share, so any gain was a success. Another good thing about the pandemic for us is that businesses are looking at ways of cutting costs. We offer a better service at a better price. On reflection our advice would be;
- Always have an optimistic view - this is is essential in any business, as it keeps everyone motivated. Try to find the bright side and opportunities in any situation.
- Make sure your business can work 100% online or with minimum reliance on physical spaces - this is key to ensuring operational continuity and ability to service and support clients online.
FUTURE BUSINESS PLANS - how is Backy Check doing today and what does the future look like?
From Australia, we want to expand our services in New Zealand soon. Also, we will add other services to our list as we are finding many growth opportunities. Finally, we have already started partnerships in the United States, Sri Lanka, and Canada. There will be more to come soon.
Some of our services, such as our reference check and our online identity check for global frauds, can be already marketed globally. There is an enormous potential already for millions of checks outside Australia.
Our expansion passes through an increase in investments in sales and marketing opportunities to accelerate growth rate and expand our services portfolio to have a wider coverage of industries such as age care and education.
ENTREPRENEUR INSIGHTS - what has been your biggest learning experience since starting Backy Check?
Find the opportunities into the challenges. Each day, there are significant challenges to overcome and hours of work. Our suggestion is to find opportunities in each task. At the end of the day, businesses are born where there are issues to solve.
Be resilient and stick with the plans. Having a structured approach is essential. A small business can be easily pushed around by contingencies and client’s ideas and requests. This can really be disruptive for business success.
ONLINE BUSINESS TOOLS - what are the business software tools you couldn't live without?
- Microsoft Azure - it is our business heart; we cannot exist without it. Even if expensive, it sets the standards for security, scalability, and development of technology as ours. Many think that going with cheap and simple tech solutions can save costs and speed up a new business launch. Eventually, minor operational issues, unexpected patches, and security hazards accumulate unexpected expenses that may require a more significant investment in a nearby future for more reliable solutions.
- Stripe - online payment is probably the only thing we did not develop. In our view, the commission's a bit too expensive, but it's top-level for managing online payments.
- Mailjet - with all its limitations, we are using it a lot to manage all the email automation. The pros are that it integrates with Azure, has APIs, and it is affordable. It has a lot of limitations for marketing use. Also, it follows European standards for privacy, so they are high, and definitely, the Australian user is not used to go through some subscription processes that are so demanding.
See what tools other founders use here.
SELF DEVELOPMENT - what are the educational resources you’d recommend?
We think learning by doing is the best way. From a technical perspective, we all have very different skills and backgrounds. So, just working as a team opens us to each other's experience.
We can say the same when it comes to dealing with external clients and stakeholders. Dealing directly with the market is a far more enriching experience than any other book can teach you.
Another source of information and experience is networking. Learning from other people, talking, and asking everyone’s opinion.
Personally, I read books to relax and break from business thoughts. It can be anything from science to novels as long as it is not business-related.
INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE ‘shout-out’ - who have been the most influential people for you during your brand journey?
We both come from different backgrounds and learned a lot from each other. We both think that our main influential people have been ourselves so far. People that we've crossed paths with during our career journey have also been influential. For Cinthya, her ex-manager can be an example, as she always showed support to her projects. And Andrea's first manager has taught him a lot about his current entrepreneurial mindset.
FINAL WORDS OF INSPO - for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
- Get the right set of skills you need for your business, as it will maximise your investment utilisation.
- Be constant, resilient, and passionate.
Latest offers & promotions - where can we go to learn more about your latest offers and promotions?
Please check on our website https://backycheck.com.au/