Iron Roots does the work of 20 with 9 employees on Zoho One
"Pre-Zoho is pre-efficiency." -Saru Saadeh, Co-founder and CEO of Iron Roots
Iron Roots was founded in 2014 to help companies large and small creatively build their brand through digital marketing. Founder Saru Saadeh always knew he had a passion for helping businesses thrive and as early as high school, started creating and passing out flyers for different business. From there, he knew he wanted to get into marketing and expanded his skill set, seeing an opportunity to help businesses creatively, as well. When he was just 17, he taught himself InDesign and how to manage printing. And just after graduating from college, he turned his passion into Iron Roots.
Iron Roots started as an all-encompassing digital marketing company. After a few years steady growth and improved processes, they now specialize in paid advertising, specifically on social media. Wanting to offer his expertise at a more accessible price, Saadeh started second company, an extension of Iron Roots called AdRobin that uses automation and a SaaS model to businesses who can't afford a concierge service.
While both companies have under ten employees, they work with enterprise clients including Gillette, Warner Bros, Netflix, and more, all while continuing to grow with the help of Zoho One. "Zoho One has turned nine physical people into feeling like we have 20 people working here because the automation helps so much. We would not be able to work with these huge brands without all the extra help," said Saadeh
Iron Roots started out using Google Sheets to keep track of their customers, a kanban board for task management, MailChimp for email marketing, Zapier for custom integrations, and email for invoicing. This meant each sector of the company became extremely siloed and records became difficult to manage.
Saadeh and his team were struggling to keep up with incoming business and with every move to help their team, things were getting more complicated. "We were often trying to categorize our documents into folders and then add Chrome extensions to share those folders to our teams, but this just added additional work and time that we did not have," said Saadeh, "the hours spent attempting to organize and share these folders held the company back from tapping into a bigger customer base."
Iron Roots was also struggling to keep track of client communication and invoices. With mismanaged documents and general disorganization of tools, it took significant time for employees to figure out what needed to be done, by who, and when. On top of that, scattered client data not only limited growth potential but made it difficult to keep existing clients happy.
Saadeh began researching what software had the best features and functionality to help streamline his business, save time and, most importantly, get all employees on the same page. "I spent a lot time comparing companies but no other product could solve all our problems with just one integrated suite, until we came across Zoho," Saadeh said.
Iron Roots introduced Zoho Invoice first, in 2018, to automate billing and finance processes. From there, Saadeh started looking to integrate their software solutions and started using Zoho CRM to manage their customers, Forms to gather leads, and Campaigns to keep in touch with their client base. When Zoho One was released, they immediately saw an increase of revenue correlating with their usage of Zoho tools. Iron Roots was up and running with Zoho One in just 30 days.
"Zoho is embedded in so many aspects of our business that it truly does act as the sole operating system of our company," Saadeh said. Just two years after implementing Zoho One, IronRoots is now using 17 applications across the business: People, PageSense, Books, Assist, Analytics, Campaigns, CRM, Desk, Expense, Flow, Creator, Forms, SalesIQ, Sign, Social, Sprints, and Survey—and they're always looking to add more.
With the introduction of Zoho One, Iron Roots was able to audit to track everyone's task completion, automate email alerts to decrease time spent on emails, and handle overall user management. Specifically, Zoho Desk helped IronRoots drastically cut down on customer response time. Now, customers can expect responses through email or phone within a day. This means customers are happier with the service they are getting and Iron Roots is able to keep customer retention high amidst rapid growth.
Benefits and ROI
As that growth picked up and Iron Roots became more deeply embedded in the Zoho One platform, they started using apps for more niche needs. When they started using Zoho Sprints, an agile project management app, they saw a 30% increase in task competition from their employees, in addition to seeing what was getting done, by who, and when. "We've turned nine people into 20, labor wise," said Saadeh, "I send 90% fewer emails now." Instead of focusing on replying to emails, making sure employees were completing their work, and other administrative tasks, Saadeh can now put his time and creativity into other parts of the business and focus on his creative passion.
As Iron Roots continued to grow and automate, they began using Zoho Flow, a low-code integration platform. They worked to automate their client onboarding and saves 15 hours of manual effort for each client. Now, clients fill out a form with all their business information and Zoho Flow sets up the onboarding call and alerts the team with all necessary information. They also brought the internal onboarding of team members down from three days to just one day using Zoho People for HR and Zoho Wiki. With onboarding significantly sped up, new team members are able to jump into their client work faster and overall the teams have more time to spend where they're needed, with their clients.
In Saadeh's own words, "Pre-Zoho is pre-efficiency."
Even though Iron Roots is just nine employees, they are continuously able to grow their client portfolio and get work done as if they had a larger staff and even launch new platforms. Through using Zoho One, the company was able to improve reporting, increase automation, and overall improve disjointed processes by bringing them all under one contextual system. With these updates and improvements, Iron Roots not only increased revenue but was able to show their clients reports of true ROI, and dive into how to save clients their own time and money.