BT People

Jackrabbit’s client focus helps drive rapid growth

featured_jackrabbit

CARPER

The two entrepreneurs behind Jackrabbit Technologies took their place at the internet table early, and learned quickly. It turns out many of their target customers weren’t quite ready for Jackrabbit’s online class management services when the Huntersville-based company launched in 2004.

Think online software for the back offices of swimming, martial arts, dance and gymnastics schools. For these businesses, the management side is all about registering students, conducting classes, taking attendance and managing staff hours.

Jackrabbit founders Mike Carper and Mark Mahoney created software specifically for them to manage their businesses online. It runs on both Macs and PCs and small business owners are eating it up.

MAHONEY

MAHONEY

Carper, 45, and Mahoney, 54, have built a fast-growing virtual company, with some three-dozen employees all around the country serving 15,000 customers all around the world. Annual revenues are in excess of $6 million, with steady growth on the order of $1 million a year.

Carper and Mahoney say they learned to treat their customers with extreme care. Enhancing the product is a big undertaking. “We take it so seriously,” says Carper.

In fact, Jackrabbit Technologies last month was honored by the North Carolina Technology Association as 2014’s top Industry Driven Technology.

“This award is a gold validation stamp for our efforts in focusing on the needs of our customers and the challenges that their industries force upon them,” said Mahoney. “Being recognized specifically for Industry Driven Technology shows our team that the long-term strategy and the daily details that we focus on are driving the results we want.”

Carper and Mahoney put together an advisory board made up of customers “actively involved” in helping determine future product enhancements as well as the direction of Jackrabbit.

One upgrade is an online Point of Sale module because more and more customers are selling merchandise.

Start-up capital: Around $10,000 in credit card charges to get jackrabbitclass.com up and running.

Biggest challenge: “Back in 2004, not everyone was ready to go online and they weren’t all ready for E-commerce,” Carper says. “Some customers didn’t have websites. 2004 was still early for the industries we serve to go online.”

No. of people in customer service: 14. Jackrabbit has service people on the west coast and the east coast. “There is activity in our system 24-7,” Carper says. “We’re a 24-7 business.”

Biggest challenge now: “Prioritizing enhancement and delivering the right next set of features that our customers need. We take pride in listening to our customers. With 4,000 customers, we get a wide variety of requests.”

Biggest risk: “You try to enhance the product, but you take the risk that you will mess with it. If you head it in the wrong direction you are gonna hear about it tenfold.”

Success module: “We credit our success to hiring great people. But finding great people, well we work hard at that.”

MENU