For Horizn CEO Janice Diner, the secret to making profit isn’t having the perfect product right away — it’s being able to successfully work with the target market to build that product.

Diner, whose marketing tech company helps clients accelerate market adoption by assisting with knowledge distribution among consumers, partners, and employees, stopped by TechToronto recently to talk about the basics of building a profitable company from its early stages.

“Zak, I hear your story, but I’ve been profitable at Horizn from day one. So we’ve never lived on credit cards and we’re certainly not gonna start,” Diner said, alluding to the Upverter CEO’s talk on the company’s near death experiences.

“We tend to think that the only way to raise a business is to raise capital. And I don’t think that’s true — I’m not telling you not to sell your car or live on your credits card and stuff, but you can build a business with your clients and be profitable,” she said.

Horizn began four years ago with a customer that saw a prototype and wanted something similar. With this model, the company has always been able to serve a sizeable market of mid and large enterprises. “You need to love your clients and you need to make them love you. Understand their business, understand how they view success, speak with them weekly,” Diner said. “I’m the CEO of a large company and I still speak to my clients regularly. If I understand the market I’m in, I can produce better product.”

Watch the talk below: