Story by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson, Photo by Jim Peterson
When Eagle resident Matt Rissell ran into issues keeping track of his employees at Cartridge World, he looked for a solution. Not finding one, he created his own with former roommate and computer programmer Brandon Zehm. They founded TSheets in 2006 and dedicated full-time attention to it at the end of 2007. Over 10 years, their offerings and services have grown. Today TSheets employs more than 200 people in their new Eagle Road headquarters. Rissell’s bachelor of science degree in management and finance and a minor in psychology from Colorado Mesa University came in handy in previous businesses including Cartridge World stores, a printer cartridge recycling business, and a few other small tech companies. Born in Sterling, Colorado, Rissell, now 40, lived in Grand Junction and Greeley before moving to Idaho in 1999.
Rissell’s home is now Eagle where he lives with his wife, Robin Rissell, a copywriter and full-time mom to their 3 children: Nicole (11), Hunter (10) and Caiden (7) and their pets, a Weimaraner named Brushy and a cat named August. “I love camping, hunting and fishing, mountain biking, dirt biking, skiing–essentially anything outdoors with my family,” Rissell says. “I am also a pilot! Want to fly on Rissell-Air sometime?”
TSheets CEO Matt Rissell shared his thoughts with Eagle Magazine.
What do you like most about Eagle?
The new building with the big red “T” on it 😉
Why did you choose Eagle as the home for your company’s headquarters?
It’s the best place to live on the planet. In fact, we have two bests: best place to work in Idaho and best place to live on the planet.
What is key to your success?
It’s never just one key thing and it’s not just one thing that causes a company to fail, just as one donut won’t make you fat. It’s a sum of all the little things–the right principles that lead to the right decisions made every single day.
What do you like most about what you do?
That we get to affect small business owners literally all over the world in 112 different countries from right here in Eagle, Idaho.
How did TSheets get started?
I needed a way to track time for my employees when building the Cartridge World stores here locally. With multiple locations and employees constantly on the go, keeping track of my employee hours became a pain. So I went to the Web and searched for an online solution but couldn’t find one that could do what I wanted it to. So I recruited my buddy, who happened to be a brilliant programmer, Brandon Zehm, to create a custom solution. We started using TSheets at Cartridge World and our first month saved a couple thousand dollars on payroll. My bookkeeper came to me and said “This is amazing… can you sell it?” And that’s where it all began.
What makes your company culture different?
I built a culture that I personally would want to be a part of.
What makes it the #1 best place to work in Idaho?
A group of people that truly want to build a company that makes a difference.
How many employees does TSheets have now?
We are currently at 200 and expect to end 2017 around 250. We anticipate ending 2018 with somewhere between 350 and 400 employees. So far we haven’t had difficulty hiring for any positions. Our culture and our team–they attract top-notch individuals.
What is the most popular tool in the TSheets repertoire?
The Who’s Working Window. Business owners can see who is working, what they are working on, how long they have been working on it and where their team is, from anywhere in the world.
What makes TSheets so appealing?
It’s insanely easy to use (if you can turn on your cell phone, you can track time with TSheets). And because we have hands down the BEST Customer Experience department on the planet.
What industry uses TSheets the most?
Any small business that has hourly employees and needs to track employee time for payroll. A lot of construction companies, service-based and professional service-based companies come to us to solve their payroll challenge.
What is your biggest business challenge?
Our product is not like tomatoes in that we don’t have to grow our product. We don’t have a product that goes bad–like tomatoes go bad–and we don’t have a problem distributing our “tomatoes.”
We have unlimited product, with unlimited distribution to anywhere in the world. We’re in a really big market–there are more than 2 million businesses in the U.S. alone that use spreadsheets or paper time cards to track their employee time. Our biggest challenge is how to grow faster. We are doubling now, and it’s my belief we should be tripling.
What tips/advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you listen to other people you will never start a company. And if you do, you will quit. Don’t listen to other people. Make your own decisions.
What is your biggest challenge as a CEO?
Making sure my CEO capabilities continue to grow with the company. The CEO required when we were 40-50 employees is completely different now that we’re at 200.
Book(s) you are reading?
Right now I’m reading Fierce Conversations and Tools of the Titans, and both are extraordinary.
Some of the ones that have made the biggest impact on me, are How to Win Friends and Influence People, The Magic of Thinking Big, The Greatest Salesman in the World, The E-Myth, Acres of Diamonds, and The Lean Startup.
Once in a lifetime experience?
Going to Alaska last summer–three generations–with my son and my dad.
Who gave you great advice? What was it?
I have had so many mentors and people who invested in my life. One of the most important things said to me, in regards to business was when I came home and wanted to give up after TSheets had experienced a couple go-to-market failures. My wife put a collage together that said “We believe in you Daddy” and said she would follow me to the ends of the world whether we lived in a cardboard box or a mansion–that as long as we were together, that was all that mattered.
888.836.2720 • tsheets.com
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