When you’re running a business, especially a small one, you wear many hats. That often means doing everything from sales to accounting to HR activities. But what if you could offload some of this back office work, and focus on the areas you’re passionate about and good at? This is where Stride comes in.
Founded in 2004 by Becky Brown, the full service bookkeeping, accounting and HR services company was acquired by three technology entrepreneurs, Eric Page, Russell Benaroya, and Raja Kapadia in 2018. As serial entrepreneurs, they knew first hand the pain of dealing with back office needs. So Eric, Russell, and Raja joined forces with Becky as partners and set out to do something very simple, yet crucial: Give entrepreneurs the peace of mind that their books are done right, every time. They also wanted to provide actionable insights from their client’s financial data to help them plan for their company’s future with confidence.
The four partners rebranded the company to Stride and have grown their revenue by over 100% and their team to 35+ employees in their first year alone. Their clients come from a range of industries and typically have 5-50 employees, with revenues of $1-$25 million annually.
While Eric focuses on operations and client management, Russell leads the company’s demand generation and acquisition programs. As the two partners began to reset and build the business, they quickly realized they needed to:
After evaluating a few work management tools, Eric and Russell chose Asana because of its intuitive UI, flexibility to handle a variety of workflows, and high visual transparency. They also saw it as an opportunity to eliminate other software because they could centralize information in one place.
To get the team comfortable with this new level of transparency and way of working, Eric and Russell took a “learn by doing approach” to implementing Asana. Each team member first learned the basics of Asana, and then all new work was planned and assigned in the tool rather than in spreadsheets, meetings, or email threads.
“With Asana, we know at any time where things stand with each client so we can mitigate issues proactively. This has helped us extend the lifetime value of our customers, which delivers significant incremental value to us. - Eric Page, Co-founder and Partner”
While Eric and Russell’s ‘learn by doing approach’ helped people get onboard, usage increased significantly for their team of accountants and HR professional when they created a Client Health Board to track the status of each account. In this project, each Account Lead can specify the status of their client relationships so they can get more help where needed before issues escalate.
Now the Stride team manages all of their work in Asana, from setting company objectives to onboarding new employees. Some of the ways they’re using Asana to operate more efficiently include:
By moving their work into Asana, everyone at Stride now has a voice in what gets prioritized as well as what gets done within the organization. Employees are more engaged and doing better work because they feel empowered to share their ideas and they know what goals they’re working towards. The result? A team that’s more focused, less stressed, and helping the company to double its growth for the second year in a row.
“Distractions are costly, so we’ve focused on eliminating them wherever we can. With Asana, people are able to get into a flow and do their work without disruption because everyone knows where things stand and what they’re responsible for—no stand up required. - Russell Benaroya, Co-founder and Partner”
The marketing and creative production teams in the catalogue division, Legacy Recordings, at Sony Music are responsible for promoting 100+ years of music and keeping artists like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and Mariah Carey in heavy rotation. Beyond ensuring creative is produced on time, Asana has enabled the team to scale their creative production process to create more ads, videos, and media formats for their social and email campaigns.
When Air France and KLM merged in 2004, they became the largest airline in Europe. They now house some of their operations under one roof, such as their joint financial services center is located in Budapest. Asana helps the Business Development team at the FSSC execute projects that improve the efficiency of Air France KLM’s financial services center year-on-year.