They say the best ideas come from personal pain...Well, that's precisely how RosterElf began.

After a long career with News Corporation (yes, I had to wear a suit every day), I left the corporate world to begin my business journey. This started with one, and shortly after, two Mexican restaurants.

Knowing absolutely nothing about hospitality, it was a steep learning curve understanding the complexities of running a small business, from staff and landlords to suppliers and accountants! Welcome to the world of small business...I found that my corporate background experiences helped many areas of my business, but for many aspects, it was useless with so many new skills I had to learn. I also found that parts of running a business were a nightmare without a clear pathway to do it better.

Rostering my 45 employees certainly fitted into this category; in fact, it was perhaps the worst headache. Chasing my staff for times, they can work (which was constantly changing with a heap of students on the payroll), making sure I wasn't spending too much, handling last-minute changes as well as simply communicating the roster in a way that the staff understood when they had to work was challenging to say the least. Looking back, I think I spent 4-5 hours per week creating, communicating and making changes to the roster....the time I could be spending on better and more productive tasks... It drove me nuts!

I searched high and low and trialled a few online solutions (now of which are my competitors) and found whilst they helped a bit, they didn't understand what I wanted as a business owner. They were complex to use and missed many small vital features.

So what did I do? One long Thursday night of trying to create next week's roster, I had a brain snap! Time to create something not only for my business but for the millions of business owners like me worldwide who have the same problems. But how? I wasn't a developer, just a small business owner who knew there was a problem.

As luck would have it, I spoke to my staff the next day about my idea of an innovative and simple tool. They loved it...but more importantly, one of my Brazilian staff ("Crazy Thiago", as I call him) revealed he had designed and built business software solutions before coming to Australia. He showed me his designs...and blew my mind. I knew the business problem perfectly and found one of my staff who could build it—meant to be.

That was three years ago...and what a journey it's been. I can now code (well, line breaks and bold), and we have a product that is making 1000's customers happy, which I am most proud of.

Our team has also tripled in size, and as I write this, we are currently active in 5 countries and growing.

All from some personal pain...I'm a small business owner like you. I get it. That's why I started RosterElf. I hope you love what we have created. If you have any ideas or feedback, I would love to hear from you; my details are below.

Let's make rostering stress a thing of the past.


Simon Ingleson

CEO/Founder @ RosterElf

Magically Simple Rostering