How ELLA Changed Us

Spotlight on HeadStart Copywriting as part of ELLA Altitude 2020


HeadStart was one of seven companies selected for the Entrepreneurial Leadership & Learning Alliance (ELLA) Altitude program as part of its first cohort. Led by York University, and funded by the Canadian federal government, ELLA supports women founders who are ready to grow and expand internationally.

HeadStart Copywriting sets itself apart by offering unlimited writing and editing as a subscription instead of using a project-based approach. Founded in 2012, HeadStart has focused on its flagship offering “Copy-as-a-Service” so that content marketers can free up their time and get more published.

This key difference – unlimited writing and editing as a subscription – has allowed it to grow revenue, partner with more clients from a variety of industries, and provide stable work for writers.

This vision has had the following advantages amplified with ELLA. Here’s what happened.

Before ELLA – October 2020

  • 16 accounts and unsure of scalability
  • No clarity around/if marketing efforts were effective
  • No visibility into the financials or financial oversight
  • No thought leadership being published
  • No clarity to determine if pricing was right
  • No software requirements to enhance our clients’ experience.

After ELLA – March 2021

  • 26+ accounts and confirmation that the business model can scale
  • Full clarity into marketing efforts and profitability by account
  • A new chart of accounts with “dashboard” metrics to determine progress and make future decisions
  • Thought leadership on the theme that every company “must become a publisher” to drive awareness of HeadStart’s approach to providing quality content for B2B Content Marketers.
  • Adjustments in pricing based on clear information.
  • Full software requirements for a web-based system to improve operations and our clients’ experience in the future.

The two things that impacted our bottom line thanks to ELLA? Hearing about Growth Genius from another participant and working with our Fractional Executive.

Growth Genius provided a sales process out of the box. When we could no longer meet people in person (during the pandemic), it helped us reach the right people, at the right time.

Our Fractional Executive renegotiated fees with web-based service providers, set up a new chart of accounts with codes to review profitability and other metrics for success. In addition to diving into the details, she provided big picture and strategic insights important for a new growth mindset. As a result, we have data to answer unknown questions such as – can we scale? Yes. Can we afford specific types of marketing? No., etc.

The future has become very clear. As we create the path, stone by stone, we are excited to always be learning.

Thank you, ELLA, for this opportunity.

Please contact our Founder and CEO, Susan Varty, if you are considering the program.

photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik Amy Lee In The Spotlight via photopin (license)

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HeadStart is an extension of your team to help you finish your content projects. Call 1.416.712.4440 or contact us.