Our origin story
This month we dove into Heritage as a theme to celebrate the great diversity of South Africa. The directors of Iridium took some time this month to reflect on our heritage and how far we have come in the almost decade we have been in existence.
Our business goals are South African-centric and driven by people. We work with people who are innovators, problem solvers, job creators, love what they do and are great people themselves. We love to invest in people and build a community centred around the values we share.
Reflections from our founders...
Reflected in our vision and our values is a sense of community. We have always enjoyed sharing client stories, recommending clients to one another and ensuring that their growth is underpinned by business savvy and learning. Our partner in PR, Kim Barty interviewed Simon and Peter around the heritage of Iridium or as Peter would say Our Superhero Origin story.
Iridium through the years
The first move
In June 2013, after registering a company with CIPC and resigning from his auditing job, he agreed with his wife to try his best to make this work. She responded,”If it doesn’t you’ll just have to quit and get a real job to cover the costs of living.” (No pressure right!)
Teaming up to start
Peter, the younger brother, decided to join Simon in this venture into cloud accounting for SME’s with no time sheets, dining room table as an office and boxes of paperwork. We took on our first retail and Vend client, Shelflife.
Signs of growth
In January, we hired our first team member and moved into our first office in Westlake Square, a 25m2 space. We proudly became Xero Silver partners and before the middle of the year had become Xero Gold partners. We hired a further 2 people before the end of the year. It was a year of significant growth. Financially, revenue grew by 330% year on year fueled by our team growth.
Moving office and adding CIMA
In preparation for additional growth, we decided to move into a 80m2 office in the same office block. This was well timed as we took on 4 additional people during the year. Adri, a newer team member, brought CIMA to our attention and we decided to start the registration process towards becoming a CIMA training office. Simon was selected as one of seven Xero Partner Advisory Council Members (XPAC). Revenue also grew by 262% year on year.
Adding Receipt Bank (Now Dext)
4 New team members joined during the year, which meant we needed to move offices once again. We moved to our current offices, Cirtech House and expanded to 185m2 space. We added Receipt Bank (Now Dext) to our tech stack and also won the global Receipt Bank Effortless Bookkeeping Challenge.
A brand overhaul
Our first rebrand, with a website overhaul and change in look. The creation of our current vision and values. Simon was also asked to speak at the Xero roadshow. We were admitted into SAIPA as an approved training office. We also grew by 4 people and had revenue growth of over 60%.
Lots of firsts
Our team grew by an additional 8 people, including our largest intake of CIMA trainees, our first System Specialist and first Office Manager. Peter was selected as one of the Top 35 under 35 SAICA finalists. Our first Values awards ceremony was held to celebrate people who are living out our company values.
Largest client growth ever
Covid was a big challenge for our team, clients and the country. Despite the challenges, 2 of our clients were selected by Xero for a radio campaign, we had the largest client growth in our history of 52 new clients, added 8 new team members, including our first People Success Manager, spoke at over 20 events/webinars and were selected as Xero Partner of the year finalists. It was certainly a busy year. Our team also decided to add an additional value to our list, Respect Yourself and Others. We also celebrated our second Values Awards.
Clear focus and BHAG
Roll forward to 2021 and the team has grown to over 30 in size and the vision and focus of the business has become clearer. We also expanded our existing offices from 185m2 to over 500m2 to cater for further growth. Today we support close to 200 SME’s on a monthly basis and finalised our Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG):
By 2030, have 150 Team Members supporting over 1000 Entrepreneurs who employ over
10 000 People.
The people of Iridium
Our focus has always been on developing a team culture that reflects our values of being resilient people who are curious learners and team players that are passionate about helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses. We believe that success should not be centred around making money, but rather building people into the next generation of leaders. Money is merely a bi-product.
Our focus on people is reflected in creating future professionals and entrepreneurs who make an impact. Fostering a healthy culture is vital. We enjoy taking our team on various adventures, including hiking, cycling, running, zip lining, laser tag, pilates, HIIT, adventure hunting and much more.
We include our team in the hiring process to ensure we are hiring team players who fit our culture.. We love celebrating with our people milestones in their lives like birthdays, babies (lots of lockdown babies), weddings, engagements, exam passes and new cars/homes.
Mental health and wellbeing are important to us. People often struggle with mental health challenges like stress, anxiety, depression and other personal trials. As a result, we made the decision in 2019 to rename our sick leave to wellbeing leave. This broader definition encourages our team to take leave for physical, mental and emotional challenges. In 2020, our first sabbatical was taken by a team member. We have also partnered with various organisations to support our team through EQ programs, leadership development and health and wellness programs.