Big Break Software Podcast

By Geordie Wardman

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.


Category: Management

Open in Apple Podcasts


Open RSS feed


Open Website


Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 7
Reviews: 0

Description

Welcome to the Big Break Software Podcast, the show where we discuss the ins and outs of building software companies. Listen in as we have conversations with industry leaders, and experts, about what it takes to build a software company.

Episode Date
Minding Your Money and Money Mindset—with Danielle Hayden
39:49

Financial expert Danielle Hayden shares strategies for building a profitable, sustainable consulting business by being the boss of your finances and cultivating a healthy money mindset.

Jan 02, 2023
How Richard Miles of Closem.ai found a marketing problem for local businesses and created a SaaS to fix it
48:44
Dec 08, 2022
How Alex Gilmanov went from software developer to agency owner to multiple SaaS owner
42:24
Dec 01, 2022
How Farzid Rishidi was able to fund and gain his first clients at SaaS startup Respona.com
41:14
Nov 24, 2022
How Andrew Yates of Promoted.ai went from high paying job to founding ad tech startup promoted.ai and other stories of startup hustle
47:36
Nov 17, 2022
Daniel Liebeskind (Topia.com)
46:49
Nov 10, 2022
Kate Chernis
39:14
Nov 03, 2022
How Tammy Developed a Security Application that Adults and Teenagers can use to Seek Assistance in an Emergency
20:51

Tammy Haldeman, CEO of Your Shield, talks about coming up with the idea, developing it, their pricing plan, and why the application is ideal for adults and teenagers.

You Shield is a safety application that users install on their phones. Tammy Haldeman, the developer, tells Geordie about it. 

What You’ll Learn

  • How Tammy came up with the idea
  • Lessons Tammy learned along the way
  • Challenges Tammy and her team faced during the development process

In This Episode

Tammy Haldeman believes the You Shield app can protect users from sexual harassment, sex trafficking, kidnapping, bullying, and domestic violence. After activating it, users need to program a secret word they can remember easily, which comes in handy in an emergency.

If you ever experience an attack, your attackers will never know about the app. All you need to pre-program your secret word on the app is shout your preferred term. The app will notify everybody you have programmed, begin tracking your location, and record audio. Tammy gives out an example in the podcast to better understand how the app works.

Tammy describes, coming up with the idea as a gift. She narrates how a bullying incident where the victim, a 10-year-old girl, committed suicide affected her. Suddenly the thought of a security application hit her brain. She says aspects of designing and improving her idea kept flooding her mind, and that’s when she decided to actualize it.

Investing in application development can be a costly practice. However, Tammy mentions that her heart was ready to go over and above to catch attackers or prevent them from violating other people’s rights.

With zero experience in software, Tammy admits that venturing into the industry was intimidating. She struggled with finding the right people to trust with her idea and reputable professionals she could work with.

Tammy narrates how she met Geordie, with whom they had an easy conversation. She says Geordie made her comfortable even though she was not conversant with software-related terms. Find out how Tammy and Geordie’s development team collaborated to build the app. 

Geordie highlights how they struggled with finding the ideal sequence because they needed to configure the iOS operating system. At some point, they encountered particular regulations that barred changes on iOS. How did Tammy navigate that phase?

She remembers one specific week when accessing her account on App Store was impossible for two weeks. However, despite the challenges, Tammy says everything worked satisfactorily because it allowed their developers to focus on the complexities of the application. That phase gave them sufficient time to prepare the app for launch. 

Every entrepreneur struggles with the fear of the unknown, and Tammy was not an exception. Sometimes she feared that the app would never go live. However, she was certain she could keep pushing until her dreams actualized.

Tammy quickly mentions that developing an application is a long, tedious, and time-consuming process. When it comes to app development, a celebration of the last day never comes because you are always thinking about what to improve to enhance the user experience. What’s more, customers keep demanding new features. Still, Tammy describes two moments when her persistence seemed to be bearing fruits. Listen to the podcast to learn about it.

When Tammy started developing the You Shield idea, she had not emphasized sexual harassment. However, her niece was recently harassed sexually at school, which made her regret for not activating her niece’s Shield activated.

In today’s world, where insecurity is rising exponentially, every teenager can benefit from using the You Shield app. Do you have privacy concerns regarding this app? Tammy says only app users can playback recordings from their devices.

Further, they don’t collect the user’s information. Such data is only necessary for activating the app. She also discussed their payment plans in the podcast. If you are interested in the app, do not miss this podcast section. 

This app is meant for both teenagers and adults as well. Tammy says you can never predict when something happens to you and insists that having the app can rescue you from risky situations. One of the most interesting features of this application is that victims can call out for help without their attackers knowing. 

If you are an aspiring app developer, Tammy says documenting your dreams about the project is crucial. She says potential app developers should create recordings, draw their plans, and write down their expectations. Collaborating with trustworthy people with whom you can easily communicate is also crucial during the development process. 

Your Shield app is only available on iOS, but Tammy says they are working on availing it for Android users soon. 

Resources

 

Mar 16, 2022
How Eric Frankel of AdGreets Navigated Challenges to hit 400,000 MRR and Beyond
46:27

Eric Frankel, CEO, and founder of AdGreets, talks about coming up with his MVP, funding it, and gaining his first customers to find product-market fit. Listen in for the insights.

AdGreetz is a leading video personalization technology platform that helps brands build robust customer relationships. It also increases engagement between five and seven times by generating and deploying thousands of smart ads by machine learning and Artificial intelligence in real-time. He talks to Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Why did Eric choose to work with younger people
  • What strategy do Eric and his team use to retain clients?
  • Lessons Eric learned during his search for clients

In this Episode

Traditional advertising involves creating a generic message or ad for everybody even though people are different. Eric and his team are committed to changing that narrative by making hundreds, thousands, and even millions of advertisement versions customized to speak to and meet individual customers’ needs. He says they leverage data to create multiple versions of messages and ads on different advertising platforms across the globe. 

Eric’s passion for advertising started when he was President of Warner Brothers. While there, he spent years trying to make the world understand that television did not have to be about appointments. He believed that the on-demand approach was the idea of the future. Listen to the podcast for more details about Eric’s idea. Unfortunately, some people dismissed it as the worst in the industry, but still, he did not give up.

With time, people started embracing his idea. Eric decided to transform the 100 billion dollar worth of advertising business and left Warner at some point. He collaborated with a group of colleagues to focus on AdGreets, a company he has been running for the last decade. Today, the world is fast catching up with the streaming concept. 

Eric did not leave Warner without a plan. He took his time to strategize and consider various things he wanted to do before settling for one. He would later develop a business plan before approaching investors. He says convincing the investors was easier because he already had money to kickstart his project. He explains how he hired a team of professionals to work with and the number of errors he made along the way. 

Building a platform that works and meets customer demands is an ongoing process. Eric says they spent more than a year in the development process, and they bore fruits. Still, they learned from each client and kept improving the platform. One of the core problems that Eric faced was how to make the platform user-friendly. Listen to the podcast to find out the strategy they used. Eric also gives comprehensive details of how their system works and got his first customers. You don’t want to miss this informational part of the podcast.

As the business grew and the cost of running it became unbearable, Eric had to make a tough decision to let people go. He says that was one of the hardest times he has ever had to go through during his entrepreneurship journey. Find out why from the podcast.

For Eric, becoming cash positive happened by chance. He says while the investors he spoke to loved his idea, he stopped asking them for money. The business continued running smoothly even during a bad week or month when clients had delayed payment. Today, Eric has not written a check in months and doesn’t see the need to do so, which is a sign that he is breaking even. 

The company has evolved tremendously, and investors are reaching out to Eric and his team seeking collaborations. In Eric’s sentiments, what you own is not as crucial as winning in the end. He says he is becoming smarter and believes that having more people on board will make the company better. He looks forward to getting more people to help him push his dream to actualization. 

In every business, there are numerous competitors to deal with. How does AdGreets set itself apart from competitors? Eric says they do so by being an effective omnichannel solution. He mentions that they devised unique selling propositions, which they highlight when conducting presentations or comparing themselves with their competitors. 

If Eric were to turn the hands of time, he would raise more money initially. He explains his reasons in the podcast. He also mentions that having your own money helps you attract investors. 

Resources

 

Mar 09, 2022
How David Perry, CEO of GetCarro.com, Build a Video Game Streaming Technology that Won Two Guinness Book of World Records Before Transitioning into the eCommerce World
54:26

David Perry, CEO, and co-founder of GetCarro.com, talks about developing successful games and transitioning into the eCommerce world. Listen in for more Insights. 

GetCarro.com is a platform that collaborates with other companies to help brands increase their visibility. Brands can reach more customers, increase sales, and gain attention by offering innovative solutions. David Perry, the CEO, talks to Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Impact of influencers on brands
  • How David and his team countered competitors
  • Why David moved to eCommerce
  • Components you need to make a video game work and what they mean
  • Importance of a verification system

In this Episode

David believes that attention is one of the most critical needs for a company, so much so that some brands are buying Google clicks to get more attention. According to David, that is a costly strategy. As a result, he started thinking about a better way of helping brands get more attention by associating with famous people on social media.

David came to this realization at a point when he had sold his company. To keep himself busy, he started building a fantastic man cave that he describes as ridiculous. Among the things he had was a photo studio, and he noticed that people only cared about his pictures when he photographed social media influencers. 

At some point, he engaged some of the influencers who had a wide following on social media to determine how life as an influencer was. David was confident that the influencers enjoyed all the attention from the answers he received. However, they would have been comfortable working with their preferred brands instead of being harassed by random brands from various parts of the world.

David made up his mind to help the influencers accomplish their dreams. He thought of determining a strategy to match influencers to brands they liked. Together with his team, David developed a technology that figures out available influencers, identifies their preferred brands, and pairs them to the brand. David says the response they received for the idea was overwhelming.

They would later develop a technique to circulate their products to the relevant influencers. In this case, influencers would shop free of charge. David says they have developed more than 8,000 homepages to manage that process and ensure influencers request products for free. He explains how brands benefit from that technique in the podcast. He also talks about how they integrated different eCommerce platforms and facilitated cross-selling to help them increase sales. 

David discusses how he ventured into the world of streaming video games, and you cannot afford to miss this part of the podcast. He later sold his video streaming company to venture into the eCommerce world.

According to David, the actual cost of eCommerce is how much it costs to get customers to walk in your store and how much they spend on average. He notes that the average order value is a critical metric because it determines your survival rate and position in the market.  

Suppose the average order size is high, an entrepreneur can invest more in their marketing strategy to acquire customers. What constitutes the average order value? David says many brands restrict themselves to selling only one product instead of diversifying based on their niche.

If you are an entrepreneur, listen to this part of the podcast for comprehensive details on this subject. You will understand why adopting a transformational way of thinking about your brand helps you increase your average order value. 

David says they had to work hard to prove their worth and get special placement on Shopify. Together with his team, they focused on eliminating all hurdles along the way to convince Shopify of their competence. They also did the same with Facebook, and you can learn about it from the podcast. 

While some businesses struggle to raise money, David says doing so is easy, especially when engaging in innovative activities. He mentions that they achieved product-market fit multiple times because their platform comprises numerous solutions.

What strategy can platform owners use to charge subscribers? According to David, the most effective method is allowing them to pay what they can afford. He explains their price points in this podcast.

Shopify store owners willing to connect with David can click on getcarro.com, install the Shopify application and email the team at hello@getcarro.com. David promises you excellent treatment and attention if you mention that you listened to this podcast. 

Resources

 

Mar 02, 2022
How Bob Miles of Salad.com Navigated Challenges in the Crypto Industry to Come up with a New Incentive Model and Build a Successful Cloud Computing Firm
52:05
Bob Miles, CEO, and founder of Salad Technologies, talks about venturing into the SaaS and web three world, funding his MVP, and gaining the first customers to navigate from zero to product fit. Listen in for more insights.

Salad Technologies is a firm that collaborates with numerous computer gamers in their inactive PC resources to develop distributed cloud computing infrastructure. Bob Miles, the CEO, tells Geordie about his journey. 

What You Will Learn

  • How Bob stumbled on his company's idea 
  • Who does Salad Technologies target?
  • What makes cryptocurrency a trustless monetization system?
  • What are the Folding@home and Seti@home concepts?
  • How the Salad Technologies reward program works
  • Why some people are frowning upon the proof of work concept
  • How will the proof of stake model affect Salad Technologies operations?
  • Challenges Bob and his team experienced before launching their MVP
  • Why influencers are crucial for pushing your marketing strategy and building trust

In This Episode:

Bob says Salad Technologies is committed to solving the rising demand for computing resources. Based on their findings, up to 90% of resources remain idle even though they are connected to the internet.

Salad Technologies introduces a concept that encourages people to share their computer resources whenever they are not using them. In return, the individuals will receive gift card subscriptions, games, and various digital purchases. Listen to the podcast to understand their plan for their infrastructure. 

Salad Technologies is introducing a new incentive model that fixes the human challenges of distributed computing that resonates with numerous individuals. While their model is not unique, Bob says they recognized the opportunity in collaboration with his old boss. He explains this opportunity, and you can find all the details in the podcast.

At some point, Bob mentions the sudden rise in crypto prices which occurred in 2017. How did the increase affect the gaming industry? They would later identify the massive latent resources and the increasing demand for the same in terms of proof of work mining.

They also identified a disconnect where a significant percentage of gamers were not mining crypto. Bob says three core hypotheses formed around their findings were instrumental in forming the company and developing the initial product. He explains this concept in detail.

One of Bob and his team's challenges was the two-sided market issue, which crypto fixed. However, they struggled with fraud, forcing the team to work harder into introducing a loophole-free model. 

In a bid to test the three hypotheses, Bob and his team compiled their MVP as fast as they could and released it in the market regardless of a few popular loopholes. They intended to receive feedback from the users, which they would then use to improve it to meet customer needs. Bob explains how fraudsters invaded their system.

Bob spent eight months fundraising for his MVP, where he raised enough capital to hire a few developers to help launch the MVP in the market and test it. Bob and his team found the MVP when the crypto market was crumbling. He admits that it has taken a miracle for the firm to survive those turbulent times.

Still, he was optimistic that better times were coming. Bob mentions that theirs is a reward program and explains how it works. Get the details from the podcast. Even then, Bob is quick to say that theirs is not a cryptocurrency firm but a cloud computing organization. He explains this concept extensively in the podcast. 

Introducing a difficult value proposition in the market is one of the critical challenges the Salad Technologies team has struggled with. Bob gives an example of the Airbnb and Uber concept, saying that nobody would have thought they were achievable years ago.

Today, however, those approaches are some of the most popular worldwide. Bob mentions the different marketing strategies they tried in vain at the beginning. They would later leverage Discord to market their product. Find out how they actualized the deal. 

Bob envisions a future where the web becomes peak centralization, and their online interactions vary from what they are today. The emergence of advanced technologies like web three and peer to peer communication protocols introduces a different incentive model. As a result, Salad Technologies will change its relationship with the web.

The team sees a future where many people will be willing to surrender their computers and servers to web three's varying ecosystems and protocols. The emergence of an interconnected digital world is one thing that Bob is scared about. Find out why from the podcast. 

Resources

Feb 23, 2022
Impact before profits with multi-million ARR employee hiring SaaS Eightfold.ai CEO Ashutosh Garg
43:36

Ashutosh Garg, CEO, and co-founder of Eightfold.ai, talks about building his team, developing  the MVP,  and finding product-market fit to hit seven-figure MRR. Listen to the podcast and learn. 

Eightfold.ai is committed to enabling the ideal career for everybody across the world. The platform facilitates inclusion and diversity, eliminating bias from hiring and assisting American citizens in returning to work via the department of labor in the US. Ashutosh Garg, the CEO, and co-founder talks to Geordie about his journey.  

What You'll Learn 

  • Why finding the right job or skilled talent is becoming harder every day
  • Why the company has its focus on the US
  • Why hiring should be based on a candidate's potential instead of what they have done
  • Lessons Ashutosh learned from attending an interview at Google
  • How did Ashutosh convince his co-founder to join him?
  • How Ashutosh and his team executed the pitching process
  • Why Ashutosh and his team are particular about building matches 

In This Episode 

Finding a job can be a daunting task, as Ashutosh learned during his time as an employee. Ashutosh realized that people were struggling to get the right job while employers had difficulty finding the right talent.  

As technology advances and the world evolve, skills also change and become outdated very fast. Any skill you have today will be phased out in the next few years, explaining why there is a significant supply and demand mismatch in today's job market. Ashutosh says that employees should upskill themselves constantly to stay relevant to their client's needs and remain competitive.

The supply and demand issue is triggering challenges in society, which drove Ashutosh and his team to establish Eightfold.ai. Organizations must stand out in today's highly competitive world to thrive. How was Ashutosh's AI hiring platform different from others? He explains in this podcast. At some point, Ashutosh talks about an interesting scenario when he had attended an interview. Listen to the podcast to find out what happened then, and the lessons both employers and employees can learn from the same.  

Working at Google was an eye-opener for Ashutosh. He says some of the things he learned while there were that; companies are losing out on good candidates due to the lack of knowledge. He also realized that a company's success is highly dependent on hiring the right talent.  

Those lessons were instrumental to Ashutosh when he embarked on launching his company. His core goal was to determine what he could do to help people grow. While he started the business independently, his talented co-founder would later join him, and they both collaborated to form a robust platform. Ashutosh speaks fondly about his co-founder, and you can get all the details from the podcast.  

One thing Ashutosh has realized about the job market is the emphasis on long interviews, which he is against. At Eightfold.ai, they have adopted a different strategy based on three factors.

First, they analyze a candidate's career, assess their journey, and use their findings to determine what the candidate can learn fast, and the roles they can thrive in. Ashutosh talks about the other two factors, and you can learn about then from the podcast. If Ashutok had a chance to re-execute his pitching process, he would do it differently. Listen to the podcast to find out why.  

Having worked at Facebook and Google, Ashutosh and his co-founder were conversant with crawling the web. They leveraged any data they could obtain and developed models based on it. They also involved their potential customers from the first day, which saw some of them investing. They later collaborated with a large corporate company from India, their flagship customer today.  

In identifying their target niche, Ashutosh says they realized that different companies would be hiring for various roles. Further, each position would change based on the industry, with some firms having more professionals than others.

Together with his team, Ashutosh embarked on a research process to identify patterns and learn from data regardless of the language or role, a strategy that worked for them. Listen to the podcast for comprehensive details on this strategy. 

Eightfold.ai has evolved and today has customers in different niches, including mining, logistics, insurance, financial institutions, and tech firms. Ashutosh is unaware of when they found product-market fit, but he gives some examples in the podcast.

He says they strive to work with organizations with 2,000 or more employees, even though the market often drives their decision. Ashutosh's plan for the future is to continue building and defining excellence. They are committed to offering better services every day.   

Resources 

Feb 15, 2022
After years of trying to find product market fit this founder talks about getting through the lean years with 37k MRR clowdwork.com CEO Alexandra Gamarra
47:14

Alexandra Gamarra, co-founder, and CEO of Clowd Work, talks about building the MVP, finding their first customers, and navigating their product-market fit to achieve growth. Listen in for more insights. 

Cloud Work is a fully automatic time tracking system for organizations that need to track, manage, and report time. Through this system, users can keep their projects on track and budget. It comes with an automatic employee time tracking software and various features like reporting timesheets and screenshots. Alexandra Gamarra, the CEO, talks to Geordie about her story. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Why did Alexandra choose to work with a remote team?
  • Why Alexandra and her team were keen to find out what their employees were up to
  • How Alexandra and her team improved their product to make it saleable to other companies
  • Why did Alexandra sell her eCommerce business?
  • How much did Alexandra sell the eCommerce for, and how much did they invest in the software development venture?
  • Why Alexandra and her team redeveloped their software
  • Challenges Alexandra faced during the MVP’s beta testing phase 
  • Importance of determination and patience in entrepreneurship 

In this Episode 

Alexandra kicks off the podcast by narrating her story to let listeners understand why she founded the platform with the help of her co-founder. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, this section will help you understand how much effort you should invest in building a successful entity.  

Alexandra could not afford employees in the UK as a startup, which pushed her to hire a remote team from Colombia, paying lower salaries. She was convinced that the team would make her competitive, but that did not happen. Instead, Alexandra struggled with productivity issues, with the team unable to finish tasks on time.

Alexandra mentions how she could not figure out why the team was not delivering while her competitors were more productive even though their workforce was costly. At some point, she thought about doing away with the remote team and hiring someone in the UK before her husband intervened. Listen to the podcast to find out how her husband reacted to the idea.  

Even after investigating the team, Alexandra and her husband could not identify the problem. Her husband decided to hire a software developer to develop a system to help them understand what was going on. Alexandra says that was the initial version of Clowd Work.

The software could be installed in an employee’s computer regardless of location. They could then rely on it to track what their employees were up to. Was the software effective? Alexandra says the software helped them solve a huge problem. Listen to the podcast to understand their findings.  

Alexandra later informed her team about the software, which became the wake-up call she had wished for. The team became so competitive that the company could not stop growing. According to Alexandra, the company surpassed the $ 1 million daily turnovers in less than one year.  

From their software’s success, Alexandra and her team felt that other companies with remote employees would gain major benefits. However, they were overly busy at the eCommerce business to think about expanding. At the suggestion of Alexandra’s husband, they decided to travel the world and see if they could run the business on the go. They did, and it turned out to be successful.  

Alexandra talks about how they sold their eCommerce business to focus on software development. They would later work with a renowned global accelerator, who played a major role in the business growth.

Alexandra and her team had to redevelop their software to make it saleable to other companies. Listen to her extensive explanation on why they invested in software, and the features they added to improve its performance. If you are thinking about venturing into the software industry, you cannot afford to miss this insightful section.

Covid-19 was a blessing in disguise to Alexandra and her team because that is when they found product-market fit after a long time of struggling. She discusses the challenges they went through in the podcast.

What lesson has Alexandra learned along the way? She says, had she heard her users more, they would not have spent lots of time and money developing features that users were not asking for. Alexandra also mentions that free demos are not valued everywhere, and sometimes they can be a time-wasting approach that bears no fruit. 

Resources 

 

Feb 08, 2022
Starting and Selling SaaS with incubator startup Todd Larsen.
46:53

Todd Larsen, CEO of Tech Leaders, talks about growing SaaS businesses and how his coaching program helps founders better their products. Listen in for the insights.

Tech Leaders is a company that helps technology startups enhance their products and become people leaders. Todd Larsen, the CEO tells Geordie about his journey.

What You’ll Learn

  • What makes a Micro SaaS plug and playable?
  • How Todd’s model works
  • How do Todd and his team execute the sales process?
  • How much equity are companies willing to surrender to Todd and his team?
  • How do Todd and his team assess startups before accepting them into the program?
  • What is the 12-point assessment?
  • Why do Todd and his team prefer real stack instead of no-code tools
  • Challenges Todd and his crew face in their line of work

In This Episode

Todd narrates how his stint at Groupon helped him understand how to do and maintain things at scale and achieve growth at a particular phase. He would later transition to the startup world to experience what it was like moving from nothing to something.

Todd says he did a significant amount of his work remotely. Listen to the podcast to learn how he collaborated with his startup colleague, the CEO of digit.co, an early FinTech firm, and how they grew the team. He explains what the company was all about, and you can get the details from the podcast.

Todd’s passion for small companies saw him leave digit.co at a point when the company had grown to nearly 100 employees. Todd says he derives joy from starting because doing so is exciting, and he wanted to experience it once again. How did Todd execute his exit at digit.co? He gives Geordie comprehensive details that you can learn about from the podcast. 

After leaving digit.co, Todd took a sabbatical to figure out what he wanted to do before settling for a micro SaaS. He identified an already existing niche because he did not want to go through the hassle of building a market. Todd says he invested in reading lots of stuff on social media during his sabbatical. He spent a considerable amount of time on Twitter, where he would later identify his niche, which he calls money Twitter.

At some point, Todd joined a course that one of the popular influencers on Twitter was offering to experience what was happening. While there, he realized that nearly everything was happening manually. He was surprised to see people discussing making money yet using an inefficient process. 

Todd went ahead to develop a simple app around that niche. Before then, he built lots of trust in the community, which helped him understand their pain points extensively. He also befriended people who were prominent within the community. He would later use them as affiliates to help him promote the product, allowing him to achieve 1,000 MRR in the first two months after launching.

Social media is a powerful tool that Todd and his team use to generate leads. They also leverage paid processes for market testing purposes. Cold email, Todd says, still works wonders. The team maintains complete control over the technical stack as the servant leaders during engagements with their customers.

He reiterates that they strive to lead excellent decisions while defining what should happen. One thing that sets Todd and his team ahead of their competitors is that they are order writers and not order takers.

Hiring the right people can be challenging, but Todd says they ensure employees have fun working with them on exciting projects. When it comes to the kind of equity companies are willing to surrender, Todd says it depends on how established they are. Listen to Todd as he explains how they use the 12 assessment factor when analyzing companies.

So far, Todd has worked with various entrepreneurs in different niches. He narrates how he collaborated with a surgeon to develop a CRM platform for plastic surgeons. Listen to the podcast for more details.

Todd concludes the podcast with some words of wisdom for anyone planning to start a SaaS. He says:

  • Focus on distribution in the market. Understand the conversations in the market. What do customers need now and in the future? 

 

  • Do not embark on building a program without a ready market. Developing a product and waiting for clients to come is not a suitable plan. 

 

  • Obtaining feedback from the actual users will help you develop a product that meets customer demands. 

Resources

Sales and Software

Todd Larsen

 

Feb 02, 2022
How Dawn Verbrigghe, CEO of Jottful, gave up a Lucrative CMO Startup Position to start SMB CMS
54:27
Dawn Verbrigghe, CEO of Jottful, talks about coming up with the idea, funding the MVP, gaining first customers, and navigating the zero to product fit journey. Listen and learn.  

Jottful is a SaaS company that allows small and medium-sized businesses to create and manage affordable, professional, and easy to navigate websites to eliminate the need to hire an agency. The company encourages small businesses to market themselves better online. Dawn Verbrigghe, the CEO, and founder, tells Geordie about her entrepreneurship journey.  

What You’ll Learn

  • How working in a family business inspired Dawn to build the MVP
  • How Dawn reached out to potential businesses
  • Why the Jottful niche is horizontal-based
  • Why people were afraid of referring Jottful to their friends
  • How a mentor can help you make the best decision
  • The perks of being an entrepreneur
  • How early-stage business funding has evolved over the last few years
  • Why Dawn and her team don’t use their product on their website
  • What is the difference between direct response and brand advertising? 

In This Episode 

Online marketing plays a core role in the success of businesses. With a robust online marketing strategy, small and medium-sized businesses can accelerate their growth, attract more customers, and increase revenue.

Jottful understands the importance of marketing which is why they collaborate with small businesses to help them increase their presence online through their websites. Hiring an agency to build your website can be costly, especially if you are a small business entrepreneur.

With technological advancements today and the availability of easy-to-use tools, small businesses can quickly build their websites. However, to leverage some of the available tools, you need technical skills that many small business entrepreneurs do not have. This is where Jottful comes in through their “do it together” initiative.

The company gets content from their customers, creates, launches their websites, and helps them maintain the site on an ongoing basis. Listen to the podcast for extensive details on how the company works. Dawn also explains how their pricing model works.  

While Dawn is a qualified graphic designer, a business background played a significant role in carving her entrepreneurship journey. She gained tremendous experience and insight from working in a family business.

Listen to her story to understand how she came up with her MVP. Dawn signed up her first few customers in unlikely circumstances. She explains how a national bridal event paved the way for her to exhibit her website development skills. Get the details from the podcast.  

Dawn says her core focus at the event was to determine whether or not her idea had a viable value proposition. After that, she would focus on building the MVP and ensuring that it worked before figuring out their initial target market.

At first, Dawn and her team focused on bridal shops. They would later enroll in an accelerator program linked to the University of Michigan, which was accepted. Dawn says the University is among their most prominent investors.

The accelerator program helped them realize that their niche is not industry-based but company size-based. She explains this concept in the podcast. How did Dawn fund her MVP? Even though she was in between jobs, she was looking forward to assuming a powerful CMO position in a full-time company that was planning to go public.

She was torn between joining full-time employment and becoming an entrepreneur at some point. She shared her dilemma with her mentor, who advised her that entrepreneurship was her calling. Dawn has no regrets for giving up employment for entrepreneurship. Having a qualified engineer during the MVP development stage is critical.

Dawn explains how she met, what she considered when hiring her engineer, and how they collaborated to build a powerful platform. She also talks about funding the MVP. According to Dawn, their product is easy to use, and customers can easily make necessary changes on their websites in record time.  

Many entrepreneurs struggle with identifying and defining their niche. Dawn gives comprehensive details on how they went about the process. Listen to the podcast to understand how they struggled trying to get their product to their target audience. If you are a new entrepreneur or aspiring to become one, you cannot afford to miss this section of the podcast. Dawn concludes the podcast with some words of advice for aspiring SaaS entrepreneurs: 

  • Start building an audience as early. Many entrepreneurs focus on product development before determining how to sell it, derailing their growth.

 

  • Social media channels can help you reach your target audience better than an email list. Dawn says LinkedIn is a great audience funnel.

Resources 

 

Jan 26, 2022
How multi 7 figure ARR WPX.net became a leader in the crowded Wordpress hosting space with CEO & cofounder Terry Kyle
47:23

Terry Kyle, CEO, and Co-founder of WPX.net talks about starting the company, building his MVP, and how he sets himself apart from competitors. Listen and learn.  

WPX.net is a WordPress hosting platform that specializes in providing excellent customer service and speedy services. Terry ventured into the hosting industry as an entrepreneur in 2013 even though he had already been using hosting companies for approximately 15 years. Terry Kyle, the CEO and co-founder, tells Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • How Planet Hosting evolved to WPX
  • How WPX discovered its product-market fit
  • Why WordPress site owners should audit their plugins
  • Why you should get rid of plugins you no longer use
  • Challenges Terry and his team faced along their journey
  • Why Terry started a non-profit organization 

In This Episode: 

After using hosting services for many years with little satisfaction, Terry decided to venture into the industry as an entrepreneur. He noticed that many things needed fixing in the entire hosting industry, and knew he could fix them and offer better services.

In 2013, Terry collaborated with his business partner, and together they formed Planet Hosting. He explains why they chose that name and their vision at the time.  

Many entrepreneurs and marketers often dread product launch days for fear that their websites will crash. Experiencing a website downtime during a critical event is one of the worst things an entrepreneur can experience.

Apart from rendering you ineffective, it can demonstrate your incompetence, forcing potential customers to lose trust in your brand. Such unfortunate scenarios are what Terry and his team are trying to save marketers and entrepreneurs from by guaranteeing maximum website speed and reducing downtimes as much as possible. Listen to the podcast for comprehensive details about this concept.  

 

Different businesses discover their product-market fit in various ways. For Terry, delivering excellent services marked their turning point. He talks about how his interaction with a particular SEO blogger bore fruit for his company. The blogger had a bad experience with another provider before engaging WPX, who fixed his website problem. He was happy and decided to write about WPX and its services. The blogger had a high following and out of that post, WPX gained lots of traction. 

The pricing model you choose for your company can make or break it. Terry says they chose a cost-friendly and reasonable pricing model that nearly every potential customer could afford. He talks about their model comprehensively. You can get all the details from the podcast. At some point, Terry talks about WordPress plugins, saying they are both good and bad. How do these plugins affect the effectiveness of your website? Terry talks about it in the podcast.  

Terry explains an anomaly that, according to him, was unique to the hosting industry, where firms hired non-technical staff. In this case, customers would have a rough time if their websites crashed because all they received were long technical articles that struggled to read and understand. He gives an illustration to demonstrate the complexity of such a scenario. Learn about it from the podcast.

To overcome such occurrences, Terry and his team introduced the “Fixed for you guarantee” approach, where they would fix offline websites free of charge. Review websites can be instrumental for your business, and Terry seems to agree. He says Trustpilot, their core review portal has been an instrumental innovation in building their reputation.

Terry recognizes the people who write reviews and those that create video testimonials for them as what sets WPX apart from its competitors. The team has overly invested in live chat so they can respond to inquiries or complaints fast.  

Challenges in business are inevitable. Terry talks about a time in late 2021 when their website went offline for six hours in what he describes as Armageddon. Find out what triggered this problem and the consequences they suffered.  

Every Dog Matters is an NGO that Terry and his team founded. WPX is a key sponsor. Their main goal is to rescue and give each homeless dog a spacious and comfortable shelter with sufficient food, water, proper healthcare, and freedom to socialize with people. Terry explains the strategies they are using to fix this problem in the podcast.

In the future, Terry hopes to rescue horses and donkeys too. He concludes the podcast with various quotes that could benefit aspiring and established entrepreneurs.  

  • Do whatever matters as long as you can but start as early as possible
  • The most appropriate time to start is always now
  • Time flows unbelievably fast. Waiting should never be an option
  • Be ambitious and ask yourself how far you can push whatever it is you are doing
  • Never give up. You can accomplish incredible results by knowing what you want and doing everything possible to achieve it. 

Resources 

 

 

Jan 20, 2022
What is shiny object syndrome and how it helped Zip Message Founder Brian Casel
44:27

Brian Casel, founder of ZipMessage discusses his transition from Audience Ops to a new venture and what he has learned along the way. Get more insights from the podcast. 

ZipMessage is a video messaging tool that facilitates asynchronous conversations with remote teams and customers. Brian Casel recently sold his content marketing company to focus on ZipMessage. He talks to Geordie about his journey.  

What You’ll Learn

  • Why Brian sold Audience Ops
  • The difference between a productized service and an agency
  • How did Brian conduct the Audience Ops sale process?
  • What was Brian’s initial idea for ZipMessage?
  • Why the asynchronous approach is ideal for teams working across time zones
  • Why is ZipMessage viral?

 In This Episode 

Brian has sufficient experience in web and front-end development, and design. He has also spoken about productized services for many years. Over the years, Brian has created a course and developed audience applications.

His interest in software, SaaS, and product design and the need to improve his full-stack skills with Ruby on Rails started in the last few years. Brian says he sold Audience Ops to focus on building ZipMessage.  

Knowing what you can or cannot do is crucial when starting a business. Brian says he relied on a few rules for guidance during the beginning and running of Audience Ops. While he is a good writer, Brian did not want to complete writing tasks for his clients. Instead, he hired a team of professionals from the beginning, with whom they collaborated to grow the company into a five figures MRR.

Apart from being sustainable and profitable, the company gave Brian lots of liberty to focus on SaaS ideas. Brian explains how Audience Ops operates and the tools they use. Get all the details in the podcast.  

Brian also touches on his first SaaS idea, Process Kit, and highlights some of the challenges he experienced with onboarding new customers and convincing them to adopt a new tool. He says Process Kit is still operational and sustainable. However, when the ZipMessage idea came along, he focused all his energy on the new venture.

At some point, he mentions shiny objects, saying they often solve many of the challenges he may have encountered in the previous project. Brian’s sentiments are enough to conclude that he suffers from the shiny object syndrome, where he gets distracted by new ideas easily, abandoning his current venture to focus all his attention on a new concept.  

Audience Ops was already successful, but Brian says the idea of selling it had crossed his mind in the first four years of running it. He decided to delay the plans until 2021 came, and he could no longer continue running it.

Brian explains what was running through his mind before he finally sold Audience Ops. He also provides comprehensive details of the sale process, picking the buyer, and why he did not use a broker. Listen to the podcast for the details.  

Brians’s previous SaaS experience came in handy to help him build the initial ZipMessage prototype in less than a month. His developer would then come in to help him transform the prototype into a version one MVP, and within three months they had their first paying customers.  

During the ZipMessage MVP development process, Brian watched the market closely for patterns and trends. He says he has worked remotely and been asynchronous throughout his career, an experience he leveraged when dbuilding ZipMessage.

Brian explains how ZipMessage works in an extensive section that you do not want to miss. The ZipMessage solution is available in three plans which you can learn about in the podcast. ZipMessage features a viral aspect and Brian explains why in the podcast. 

With the world adopting remote work, various agencies are using ZipMessage to cut down calendar calls, facilitate team and sales conversations, and offer customer support. Coaches are also using it for student conversations and coaching. Brian explains what the team is doing to market ZipMessage and get more partners on board.

According to Brian, the shiny object syndrome has played a core role in his growth. He believes he would not have achieved tremendous success had he stuck with one business concept. Brian concludes the podcast by advising entrepreneurs to learn along their business journey, determine what worked and didn’t, and establish strategies to improve their upcoming products. He also believes that entrepreneurs do not just stumble on ideas. Instead, there is always some form of luck in everything they discover. 

Resources 

 

Jan 12, 2022
From failed Wordpress theme service to successful landing buying website & CRM SaaS with Jessey Kwong of Reiconversion.com
44:00

Jessey Kwong, CEO, and founder of REI Conversion talks about inventing the idea, building and funding the MVP, and bootstrapping from zero to 30,000 MRR. Listen in for more details.

REI conversion is a SaaS company that helps users automate and systematize their land buying business. Jessey Kwong, the founder, and CEO started off as a vacant land investor before upgrading his operations. He tells Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Why did Jessey’s first WordPress theme flop?
  • Why the current 50/50 equity split agreement between Jessey and his partner complicates planning
  • Lessons Jessey has learned from the 50/50 equity split
  • How Covid affected the business

In this Episode

While being a vacant land investor paved the way for Jessey’s success in the land investing business, he no longer focuses on the venture. Instead, he is scaling REI conversion to meet growing customer demands.

Jessey says his digital background came in handy to help him develop websites fast. At some point, he helped other people build their websites, and before long, he realized that more and more people wanted websites to market their properties. Launching his website played a core role in helping him scale and systemize fast. 

After helping various people build their websites, Jessey and his team saw an opportunity to create a product. However, the process was not short of challenges. Jessey says their premier WordPress theme flopped, forcing them to go back to the drawing board, where they redesigned everything and focused on marketing. Jessey explains why their WordPress theme was unsuccessful in the podcast. 

Jessey talks about meeting his fellow investor, who was already using a system he had developed for his land management operations. He explains how they partnered in improving the user experience and user interface for the whole system. The team faced various challenges along the journey but later launched the CRM part of the system in mid-2020. 

REI conversion, Jessey says, has multiple products, like CRM and marketing websites that help investors systemize and streamline their businesses. Get detailed of how Jessey and his partner split the equity. 

Launching a product can be exciting, but predicting how people receive it can be difficult. However, Jessey and his team were lucky to have an existing user base making it easy for them to tap into their audience who were already using their themes.

In their first month after launching their MVP, Jessey says they had up to 20 new users coming through their email lists, a Facebook group, WordPress, and lots of feedback. That number grew over the months, and at the end of their first year, they had approximately 200 users. They are planning to double that number in eighteen months. 

Taking up investment can open many doors for businesses, and Jessey and his partner are contemplating it. At this point, Geordie talks to Jessey about the cons of taking up investment and why opting for a business accelerator could be a better option.

Are you bootstrapped but considering taking up an investment? You do not want to miss this insightful section of the podcast. It will open your mind, helping you to understand why bootstrapping is a good idea regardless of the challenges involved. Business can be challenging, and every entrepreneur can benefit from the mentorship that business accelerators offer. 

Jessey says they have figured out that their CRM is incapable of doing everything. As a result, they are considering various integrations in the future to expand their business. For example, they want to venture into a different market like the housing sector. However, Jessey feels like they still have a lot to do in the land industry. Currently, they are focused on adding the most value to land investors. 

Mastering the art of marketing takes time. What did Jessey and his team do differently to increase conversions?

They partnered with a prominent influencer in the land investing space who guided them on land investing. They formed an affiliate relationship with the influencer, who had a massive email list, giving them a big running start. Jessey and his team leveraged the influencer’s authority to build their user base and an email list. 

Content is also a powerful marketing component, and Jessey says they have benefited from running podcasts and webinars. If he had a chance to turn back the hands of time, Jessey would plan for the future, prepare for scale, have a planning structure, and define his standard operating procedures

Resources

Jessy Kwong LinkedIn

Rei Conversion 

 

Jan 04, 2022
From bootstrapping to 50m funding & 25m ARR in 24 months with Andrew Butt of Enable.com
43:37

Andrew Butt, CEO, and co-founder of Enable, discusses how he gained interest in Enable, raising his initial funding, building the MVP, and navigating zero to product-market fit to hit 25 million ARR. Listen to the podcast for more insights.  

Enable is a cloud-based collaboration platform for boosting the performance of B2B deals. It also improves operational efficiency and financial transparency. Enable was launched in 2015 and is used in various industries to evaluate, negotiate, and perform intricate trading agreements to push for profitable growth. Andrew, the CEO and co-founder talks to Geordie about his journey.  

What You’ll Learn 

  • How Andrew came up with the Enable idea
  • How Andrew and his team transitioned from customized software to a genuine product
  • What problem was Andrew attempting to solve from the beginning?
  • Importance of pivoting to a SaaS model early
  • Andrew’s experience of raising capital in the US
  • While Andrew and his team decided to raise cash
  • Difference between Enable’s series A and series B funding
  • Why Silicon Valley is ideal for entrepreneurs seeking to grow their SaaS companies

In This Episode: 

Enable works with different companies along the supply chain who join efforts to deliver products to consumers. Andrew says their end customers are wholesalers, distributors, and eCommerce retailers. Enable also collaborates with manufacturers.  

Having a robust software development background was instrumental in helping Andrew navigate the industry with ease. He has built and grown various software development companies that develop software for a wide range of companies.

Everything Andrew does is an opportunity to learn different businesses and their requirements, and identifying existing gaps in the market. Listen to Andrew as he narrates how increasing customer demands pushed them into coming up with the Enable idea.

At some point, they had to develop custom software to meet the growing customer demands. Their customers kept growing, and that is when they realized the need to build a genuine product instead of customizing software every time.

Shifting from customized software to an authentic product can be a complex task. However, Andrew says they experienced fewer struggles. Find out why from the podcast. To fund the MVP development, Andrew says they used cash flow from their core business, an act he says helped them bootstrap for a while.  

From the beginning, Andrew and his team were keen on solving business-to-business rebates problems. He explains this problem comprehensively in this podcast.

Having numerous customers flowing your way in search of a robust solution is uncommon in many businesses. Andrew attributes this to the fact that he and his co-founder are in the distribution industry.

Dennis, his co-founder, runs DCS group, the biggest distributor in the United Kingdom. The two collaborated to form their software development company, through which they met many prospects every day.

Andrew says their first rebate management solution customer came from Dennis’s industry. He mentions how someone they knew referred them to a different sector. Find out what happened next from the podcast. Andrew also narrates their experience with their first customer and how they collaborated to build their solution. You will also learn how they finally pivoted along the way.  

Transitioning from an agency to a SaaS was exciting and challenging because they were bootstrapping. As a result, focusing on their SaaS product entirely at that stage would have been impossible. Learn how they navigated that period from the podcast.  

Marketing plays a significant role in business. Andrew says they had a small sales team whose work was to find customers through outbound marketing. They were also performing well on organic Google search, and potential customers were finding them under rebate management software.

As their business grew, Andrew and his team decided to raise capital in the US instead of the UK. What challenges did they face during this phase? According to Andrew, raising funds in the US is different from the UK. He highlights some of these differences, and you can learn about them in the podcast.

Businesses encounter numerous challenges, and Enable is no exception. Andrew talks about some of the challenges they faced along the way. One of the key challenges is ensuring that everyone is happy and that the team is positive and engaged. Andrew says. Finding excellent engineers and onboarding them can also be a daunting task.

Andrew discusses their strategy of hiring and retaining a team of professional engineers. Andrew concludes the podcast by highlighting the importance of bootstrapping and finding product-market fit before investing colossal sums of money.  

Resources 

Andrew Butt LinkedIn

Enable

Dec 28, 2021
How a conversation with one client about an insurance data problem lead to a 2m ARR pivot for Leo Bernstein of Line Slip Solutions
46:23

Leo Bernstein CEO and co-founder of LineSlip Solutions, talks about funding his MVP, acquiring the first customers, and moving from zero to product-market fit. Listen to the podcast for more details.  

LineSlip Solutions leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to obtain and design insurance data to automate essential tasks and control data vital to corporate insurance companies and commercial insurance brokers. He talks to Geordie about his journey in the entrepreneurship world.  

What You’ll Learn

  • What is structured data?
  • How Leo went about analyzing the market and building his MVP
  • Why many insurance businesses were unwilling to adopt technology
  • What’s the initial problem that Leo and his team were trying to solve?
  • How Leo started the company
  • Challenges Leo faced while searching for a CTO
  • Why Leo decided to adopt full-time online operations
  • When did Leo realize product-market fit?
  • Importance of marketing and creating brand awareness 

In this Episode: 

The creation of commercial insurance has been a manual process in many companies for many years. Leo says he made this discovery when he was a real estate investor responsible for acquiring commercial insurance for the company’s properties.

Nothing could have prepared him for how manual the entire process was. He would later spend close to one year wondering and interacting with people in the insurance industry. During that time, Leo realized that many players in the insurance industry struggled with the manual operations problem.

Commercial insurance companies dealt with structured data without treating it as structured data. Leo explains the meaning of structured data in this podcast.  

Leo narrates the story of how he had attended an insurance renewal meeting and sought to review a few proposals from the carriers. During discussions with his broker, he (the broker) suggested a particular package and Leo sought to see the available alternatives. Unfortunately, the broker could not do so because he could not access the data.

Leo found that strange, especially coming from a data-driven industry. Listen to the podcast for the discussion Leo had with the agent and how thought-provoking it turned out to be for him. 

Leo would later spend lots of time talking to people in the insurance industry and trying to understand why the problem existed in the first place. He could not figure out why the data-driven sector could not access its data. Later on, Leo discovered the insurance industry had good reasons for that. He explains in the podcast. Leo would later understand why the problem existed, and he explains in the podcast.  

While on his inquiry process, Leo met different people, one of whom he had known through a close friend. He ended up meeting another person who happened to be a senior call producer at Marsh McLennan who introduced him to someone at AIG.

The team of three brainstormed the problem and tried to figure out whether technology could or could not fix some of these problems. Leo convinced his team that technology could help solve the issues. Apart from Leo, his colleagues were technically co-founders even though they did not join the company full time.  

In 2018, Leo met Glen, someone he knew socially through his real estate partner. Through their interaction, Glen, an insurance guy, told Leo about a problem he was facing. It turned out that one of Glen’s largest customers wanted to see the entire commercial insurance data of their portfolio companies. Leo explains the problem comprehensively, and you cannot afford to miss this part of the podcast. 

Leo knew he could help Glen, and he told him so. Listen to the podcast to understand how Leo helped Glen fulfill his customer’s demands and how he would later become one of his biggest customers. He also discusses industry lines of business. What are they? Get extensive details from the podcast. Leo talks about the initial idea the team had. This is a comprehensive section that requires your total concentration.  

Leo and his team spend a long time trying to figure things out. If he was to do it all over again, Leo says he would have gone full-time from the beginning. His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is not to spend lots of capital before realizing product-market fit.

Leo reiterates the importance of focus for entrepreneurs looking to succeed in the business industry. Leo says recruiting experts from the industry is the best thing he has ever done. 

Resources

LineSlip Solutions

Leo Bernstein LinkedIn

LineSlip Solutions LinkedIn

 

Dec 21, 2021
Converting from Translation Agency to 1m ARR AI Translation SaaS with Marko Hozjan of Taia.io
53:38

Marko Hozjan of Taia Translations talks about funding his MVP, finding the first customers, and navigating his zero-to-product fit journey to hit €1 million ARR. Listen to the podcast and learn.

Taia is an artificial intelligence platform that gives clients fast translations with assistance from human services. Marco, the CEO, is passionate about business processes and leadership. He is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded and exited numerous companies. He talks to Geordie about building Taia Translations.

What You’ll Learn

  • How automation has helped Taia Translate
  • How the Taia pricing works
  • How does Taia guarantee accuracy?
  • Why finding the first investment can be a daunting task
  • Importance of mindset for entrepreneurs
  • How did Covid affect Taia?

In this Episode:

Taia targets medium-sized and big B2B companies to ensure they get excellent quality human translations executed by professional translators.

Marco says companies have varying needs, and they (the Taia team) combine everything possible to deliver satisfactory services. For example, they have optimized the ordering of translations, allowing clients to drag and drop any form of document. The Taia Translate platform supports approximately 70 file types. Listen to the podcast to find out how the optimized process works. 

Marco says they have developed a tool that enables their clients to execute translations on their own. He explains how the system works in the podcast. Taia’s unique selling proposition is formatting, simplicity, speed, file types, and security.

While files are sent through emails, they are always available on the client’s cloud. Accuracy is a crucial factor when it comes to translations. Marco explains what Taia does to ensure clients get accurate translations. Get all the details from the podcast.

Before Taia, Marco and his partner were running a language school in Slovenia. They then started receiving translation requests, which pushed them to begin a traditional translation agency. However, they quickly realized there were no unique selling benefits and that the market was outdated.

Marco says over 80% of conventional translation agencies in the market today still run their companies in an old-fashioned manner. He supports his sentiments with an example, and you can learn about it from the podcast. 

Once Marco and his partner realized that running a traditional agency was not what they wanted to do, they started considering other options. They wrote the entire process from receiving to returning a file. Then, they realized the core unique selling proposition they had to solve was speed and efficiency.

The team deliberated on how to optimize and accelerate their translation process. Listen to the podcast for a detailed explanation on this concept. Marco and his partner founded the company in 2017 and hired a CEO to run it as they focused on other projects. Unfortunately, the company performed dismally, and in 2018 Marco took over, marking the conception of the MVP.

The team received their 200,000 euro pre-seed funding during summer and launched the MVP in autumn. Their second pre-seed funding of 1.2 million came in October 2020, pushing their growth further. The company has since moved from a team of three to 34 full-time staff spread across various regions in Europe. The team plans to generate one million Euros in revenue in 2021 and 3.5 million in 2022.

Every business goes through challenges, and Taia is not an exception. According to Marco, one of their biggest challenges happened when their first investment cash ran out, forcing them to bootstrap, which was difficult to deal with. He explains some of the difficulties they faced during that period. If you are currently struggling as an entrepreneur, this section will motivate you to keep pushing amid the challenges. 

As an entrepreneur, having goals helps you define where the company will be in the future. Marco says they want to become the go-to platform for overall business translations. The team is currently working on various projects to make their dream a reality. Learn about these projects from the podcast. 

If Marco could go back to 2017, he could be more persistent and develop winning habits. He would also focus on reading, and he recommends a few books such as The Never Split the Difference, The Power of Habit, and Atomic Habits.

Reading is vital and a powerful habit. Marco reads 50 books annually. He prefers listening to their audio versions. He also says exercising is good for your health. 

Resources

 

Dec 14, 2021
How getting on live chat with your customers can give exponential SaaS growth with CMO Michael Epstein of multi 7 figure ARR PostPilot
45:47

Michael Epstein of PostPilot talks about building their MVP, gaining first customesr, and navigating their zero-30,000 MRR journey. Get more insights from the podcast. 

We live in a digital overload world, where cost-per-click (CPC) is fast overtaking email and email engagement. Today, customers are looking forward to getting real and tangible interactions with brands. PostPilot makes these expectations a reality via direct automated mail drives.

Through PostPilot, customers can send handwritten and personalized postcards as conveniently as email campaigns. This technique generates excellent ROI (return on investment) and engagement. Michael Epstein shares critical details with Geordie in this podcast.  

What You’ll Learn 

  • What problem does PostPilot solve for customers?
  • How much equity should companies set aside for potential employees?
  • How did Michael and his team get their initial customers?
  • Why entrepreneurs should strive to engage with their customers and understand the problems they face one on one
  • Challenges Michael and his team faced when building their MVP
  • What requirements do Michael and his team look for in customers before onboarding them?
  • At what point did Michael and his team find product-market fit?
  • Why companies should have an ideal customer 

In this Episode: 

Michael has been in the eCommerce industry for more than two decades, during which he started a company, grew it to millions in sales, and departed to join the private equity world. Having interacted with numerous companies and used direct mail to develop their eCommerce presence, Michael understands how challenging the process can be.

Together with his business partner, they figured there had to be an easier and trackable way of sending direct mail drives. They would later meet their third co-founder, who was already building an MVP to solve this problem. Michael and his co-founder invested in their third co-founder, and they all became partners. Together, they developed the product, launched it, and started growing it.  

In today’s overly competitive digital world, companies need to go the extra mile to offer unique services and stay ahead of their competitors. One thing Michael and his team did differently was their ability to do granular segmentation, offer individual personalization and track elements that enabled them to determine groups of customers that were responding best.

The team also focused on helping their customers track performance and improve their campaigns like they would with any digital-based marketing drive. Michael explains this concept extensively. He also talks about meeting Matt, the third co-founder, and convincing him to come on board.   

Michael talks about how the team worked together to ensure the MVP met their standards. What changes and initial investments did they make to prepare the MVP for the Shopify app store? Listen to the podcast to find out.

According to Michael, their messaging addresses problems that customers face. It is not an attempt to engage in postcard marketing. The team strives to help their clients reach customers who don’t read emails and those not on their email list. How do Michael and his team get their messaging right?  

Michael says Andrew (co-founder) and himself are the target customers. Apart from understanding customer pain points, the team also meets regularly with other CEOs and founders, where they listen to the same pain points. 

Together with his team, Michael uses a wide range of strategies to understand the problems their target customers are facing. Engaging customers one on one is a key strategy that entrepreneurs should adopt. It helps them understand customer problems from a personal point of view. Find out more details from the podcast. Every business faces challenges along the way and PostPilot were not an exception.

One of the main challenges that Michael and his team faced during the MVP’s initial stages was teaching people about their products. Convincing potential customers to try their product was also a daunting task. 

Michael talks about the two pivotal moments the company had. These, he says, did not happen until after some years. The first one was implementing a concierge-level free trial service, and the second was getting the design right.

Apart from the free plan, Michael says they have other paid plans and discusses them in detail. Do not miss this part of the podcast if you want to try this service. Are you are a beginner in the SaaS industry? Michael has some tips to help you determine what your target market wants. Listen to the podcast for the details. If he had a chance to do things differently, Michael says he would have made some crucial decisions earlier.

Resources

Dec 08, 2021
How Aran Khanna of Archera.ai solved cloud pricing problems worth 6 figures per client
44:44

Aran Khanna, the cofounder of Archera talks about inventing his MVP, growing it from zero to 30,000 MRR, and the problem they solve for customers. Listen and learn.

Archera leverages machine learning to enable companies automate and eliminate risks on their cloud strategies. The company focuses on giving business leaders and developers sufficient control to use their preferred resources to reduce their expenses. Aaron, the cofounder, talks to Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • How Aran discovered the need for his MVP
  • Why Aran left AWS to focus on his project
  • How did Aran transition from employment into entrepreneurship?
  • How Aran prospected for customers
  • Why many organizations today are investing in cloud-based solutions
  • When did Aran discover the potential of his company?

In this Episode:

Aran believes he was born in the cloud. He secured his first job at Microsoft Azure, where he familiarized himself with how customers were purchasing servers and moving them from one model to the other.

After leaving Microsoft, Aran joined AWS, where he launched various services. Listen to the podcast to learn about them. During his time at Microsoft and AWS, Aran realized that every project needed various cloud resources, and in those resources laid various long-term contracts.

Aran knew that assisting customers choose the ideal contract would help them manage different functions within their businesses. Listen to Aran as he explains and breaks down this approach in the podcast. 

Together with his team, Aran strives to automate how customers manage organizational functions from management, engineering, and finance teams in Excel spreadsheets to understand the operational cost. With that knowledge, they will predict and optimize costs to facilitate automation and complete tasks promptly.

Through automation, customers can get visibility and tag the management team out of the box. They will also get components like budget plans and forecasts automatically. Aran says the team uses resources to meet their goals and ensure that things are not getting over-provisioned.  

Archera also helps customers compile their operational enablement data, which they can use to create commitment plans automatically. The customers can then leverage those plans to cut down costs without requiring engineering or resource changes. 

Aran talks about automating financial engineering and how customers are benefiting. Listen to the podcast for comprehensive details. While he had a great time at AWS, Aran noticed that customers were struggling to use their services, especially those that required the use of overly expensive GPUs. 

At some point, Aran realized that the services were not solving customers’ problems and mentions how organizations today are adopting multi-service and multi-cloud practices. How does this new phenomenon affect your database? Aran gives a detailed explanation in this podcast.

Upon noticing that there were natural limitations, he collaborated with a team of salespeople from AWS with whom he shared his idea. He sought permission to engage some of their small customers in testing his new concept, and that is how he started discovering what was sensible to build.

From his little study, Aran knew AWS would not be willing to develop the solutions customers wanted. That’s when he started working towards making his idea a reality. Aran gives a summary of the problem his company solves in this podcast. He also talks about contract and pricing complexity, and the sophistication of matching usage to contracts. Find out from the podcast why you should transition from using Excel spreadsheet to automated solutions. 

In many small companies, Aran says, the engineering team executes most of the computation tasks, resulting in inefficiencies due to inexperience. Aran says they decided to take a different approach from what competitors were doing to solve their customer’s financial engineering problems.

They chose to price their product based on the amount of data they were processing and consuming for their customers. Aran talks about the customer onboarding process, and how they introduced their solutions to customers and guided them to ensure they were comfortable with the automation. Their customers became conversant with the solution within two months, according to Aran.

Together with the team, they help customers segment and label data within their accounts and assist  them with forecasts for each segment to determine usage. Based on their findings, they allow their algorithm to build commitment baskets. The process is gradual. Aran concludes the podcast with a story of how he realized the company’s potential. Get more insights from the podcast.

Resources 

 

Dec 01, 2021
Cosmin Costin Going from Web Agency Owner to 30% Owner in 7 Figure SaaS business
47:12

Cosmin Costin of Coaches Console talks about managing the project with limited experience and propelling the company to a 7 figure ARR SaaS firm. Get all the details from the podcast. 

Coaches Console is an application that enables coaches to establish their coaching businesses. It also helps them manage their clients and business. When he ventured into the industry, Cosmin and his team were building websites for different trainers and people in the personal development industry, such as trainers. He talks to Geordie about his journey.

What You’ll Learn

  • How Cosmin joined Coaches Console
  • Challenges that Coaches Console founders faced when developing their MVP
  • Why businesses should strive to offer value
  • Lessons Cosmin learned at the web summit in Dublin
  • Importance of maintaining up to date software
  • Why clients benefit from the Coaches Console training 

In this Episode:

Before joining Coaches Console, Cosmin was running a web design agency which exists to date. After developing websites for his coaching clients under Coaches Console for two years, the projects started to feel repetitive.

Everybody wanted the same type of functionality, website, and service. Again, the people Cosmin and his team worked for took a longer time to execute projects with very few launching businesses.

As developers, the lack of progress was heartbreaking, and they were unmotivated. Cosmin and his team wanted to transition to something more interesting that would survive amid challenges. He mentions that then, there was a massive financial crisis.

Even though they collaborated with big companies, budgets had been slashed, and many people were looking for free services. That’s when Cosmin decided to only work with the right clients and strive to deliver value. He explains how he went ahead to create an internal product that would give clients more functionality. Learn about it from the podcast. 

Cosmin joined the Coaches Console team by chance after a client he was working with mentioned his name and how knowledgeable he was in the coaching niche. Listen to the podcast to understand how he met the Coaches Console team and how their first meeting went. He also explains how they planned and launched their operations from there.

When Cosmin joined Coaches Console, the MVP already existed. However, it was in its initial stages. While clients were using it, the MVP had limited functionality. Cosmin gives a short illustration of the challenges Coaches Console founders experienced when developing the MVP. Get all the details from the podcast.

Cosmin is an optimistic person who believes that everything can be executed. To add value to the business, he encouraged the team to work on one project at a time and monitor its performance before moving to the next. Success and value accordion to Cosmin means a win for everybody involved in a project. These include developers, clients, agencies, and users. 

To make Coaches Console more effective, Cosmin and his team kept on integrating more features and functionality. He also became more involved in the business by training customer support people to enhance efficiency. He would later focus on the company and client’s requirements. Along the way, he wanted to develop a wide range of services for his clients.

Cosmin’s previous agency’s experience came in handy to help him execute his tasks accordingly. The team would later develop and launch the second part of the Coaches Console in 2020. The new platform had better functionality and more features.

Cosmin explains how he would later become the CTO at Coaches Console due to his technical knowledge. He also talks about attending a web summit in Dublin and how life-changing the experience was. At some point, Cosmin felt that he needed equity in Coaches Console to give his best. Determine how he discussed his wishes with the entire team, the outcome, and the transition process. 

Cosmin’s interest in the project was not money-oriented. He wanted to do something he was passionate about, participate in growing the company, and have a feeling of ownership while at it. He talks about his role as part of the management team and controlling the company finances.

One of the unique things Cosmin and his team did was combine training, coaching, and software support which facilitates their client management activities. Listen to the podcast to understand this concept better. Cosmin concludes the podcast with the following words of wisdom to aspiring SaaS entrepreneurs.

  • Invest your entire energy in projects you are passionate about.

 

  • Collaborate with people you enjoy spending time with

 

  • Developing software is just the tip of the iceberg. Think about customer acquisition, attracting investors, getting financing, and growing your team.

 

  • Do not build a product and expect a miraculous type of success. You have to go to the people, interact with them and tell them the existence of your product.

Resources

 

Coaches Console

 

Nov 24, 2021
Buying 3 SaaS in a year while running 100 employee company with JD Graffam
52:12

JD Graffam, digital agency owner, tells Geordie what he considers before choosing businesses to buy and the direction he hopes to follow in the future. Listen to the podcast for more insights.  

Purchasing three SaaS products within a year and running them successfully can be a difficult task. How has JD Graffam navigated challenges and risks to emerge victorious? He tells Geordie about his journey in this podcast.

What You’ll Learn 

  • The acquisition process of Recharge
  • Why JD does not do outreach
  • What type of business does JD avoid?
  • Importance of delegating 

In this Episode 

JD Graffam recently acquired Audience Ops, a content marketing service from the previous owner who wanted to spend his energy and time on a new business venture. JD says he has been working with the Audience Ops team to create new services, optimize and propel it to the next level.

Before Audience Ops, JD had bought Delegated, a dedicated virtual admins service business. Delegated is ideal for individuals and organizations looking for executive admins, executive assistants, or personal assistants.

Delegated collaborates with customers to discharge dedicated virtual admins who engage with customers and become a part of the company and business. Listen to the podcast for more details on what Dedicated does.

JD gives a brief narration of how he started buying software businesses. He mentions that every moment he buys a new business is a learning experience.  Over the years, JD was afraid of purchasing something that did not work out because he was investing crucial funds into the businesses.

According to JD, a business that has been in operation for three to four years with no customer acquisition cost, revenue churn, or shrink, and still attracts the same number of customers as it loses and gets some traffic can sell itself. By converting such a business into SaaS, you expose it to more people where it will sell itself and things will work out right.

JD has always yearned to have a great product, and when he came across ARPU, he knew that was his defining moment. ARPU is a Recharge app for Shopify which merchants can use to sell subscriptions.

JD describes Recharge as a grand app with massive growth. When he learned that ARPU was up for sale, it had not yet met his requirements. As a result, he took time to understand it and figure out whether it was worth investing in and the risk factors. JD says he had to learn everything about ARPU, and you can find the details in the podcast.

He would later buy the business after a long time of doing due diligence. He talks about the acquisition process and how he continued working with Recharge. When did ARPU and Recharge go separate ways?

JD talks about what they have been doing to make ARPU a success. Word of mouth is a powerful tool for marketing and acquiring deals as JD mentions in this podcast. He says he has acquired most of his best deals through human connections. JD and his team are looking forward to buying an influential signature business with a massive following.  

JD says his digital agency has evolved from having eight people to approximately 100 people currently. As a result, he believes focusing on what they have right now is the best thing to do, at least to build more experience, learn how to navigate potential risks, and do an excellent job.

JD is not planning to buy any new product anytime soon. Instead, he will take it slow to avoid incurring huge losses. For ARPU, he says they are considering acquiring more eCommerce add ons they can utilize to ease communication. For example, ARPU could consider venturing into the gifting or SMS industry.

While the team believes they have the momentum to build a robust tool from scratch, JD says that purchasing a well-developed product would speed up their operations. On the other hand, buying as poorly built product could slow them down.

Together with his team, they are looking forward to building a robust product that works well to eliminate the trouble of patching systems together. So passionate is JD at what he does that he analyzes every business portfolio keenly.

At some point, he was evaluating SaaS businesses that would complete an agency model. As the agency evolves, JD says he analyzes every SaaS platform independently. He mentions how he wanted to venture into eCommerce and email businesses at some point because he saw lots of value and potential in the area.

Having a great team is crucial in running a company successfully. JD talks about his team passionately and highlights some insights on running an effective team that aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from. 

Resources

Nov 16, 2021
The Godfather of Bootstrapping Rob Walling CEO of Tinyseed & Microconf and what he looks for in his SaaS invrestments
49:23

Rob Walling, entrepreneur, investor, CEO of Tinyseed & Microconf, and godfather of bootstrapping SaaS tells Geordie what he considers in his SaaS investments. Listen and learn.  

Apart from building and selling different startups, Rob has been collaborating and assisting non-venture backed startup founders for nearly two decades now. He also hosts a popular podcast for bootstrappers, boasting 500 five-star reviews and over 10 million downloads. He talks to Geordie about his journey.  

What You’ll Learn

  • What does Tinyseed & Microconf entail, and how do they work?
  • What makes Tinyseed different from other accelerators in the market?
  • Why SaaS founders choose Tinyseed and Microconf over their competitors
  • Importance of having an audience before launching your idea
  • Why pricing is a critical factor in SaaS
  • Why an entrepreneur's goals determine the type of product they build 
  • Why raising your prices too high is never a good idea 

In This Episode

Rob highlights podcasting for startups, working on Microconf, an in-person and online community for bootstrap founders from different parts of the world, and Tinyseed, the inaugural startup accelerator that strives to facilitate success for SaaS bootstrappers as his key roles. He says he spends most of his time on the latter two. How does he manage? Find out from the podcast. 

Unlike other accelerators in the market today, Tinyseed is remote, and its terms enable people to operate a profitable company. He gives extensive details about Tinyseed in this podcast which you cannot afford to miss.

Together with his team, Rob has started numerous investments with their 59 launching in the next few weeks. How does Rob identify these startups? Doing due diligence is a crucial part of ensuring that you are dealing with reliable people.

Both Tinyseed and Microconf come with an application process that customers should fill before becoming part of the accelerator program. Rob says they do interviews, make offers, and give their applicants a terms sheet to fill. Once SaaS founders agree to the terms and conditions, they become part of the accelerator. Rob and his team then fund them. 

Rob mentions that many of the companies they deal with are not interested in funding but want mentorship, guidance, advice, and the proper SaaS network. Before investing in a potential company, Rob’s team considers various factors. However, he only focuses on the three P’s, people involved, product fit, and price sensitivity or pricing.

Potential companies have to answer questions about their businesses and competition. Listen to the podcast to figure out some of the questions that companies must answer before being considered.

During the application process, aspiring companies must describe their unique advantage over competitors and their average revenue MRR per user. It is at this point where Rob begins his rating on a one to five scale. Rob mentions the importance of MRR for companies, and you can learn about it in the podcast. 

To qualify for the accelerator program, applicants should have at least $500 in MRR, but Rob says they prefer SaaS founders with between $800 and $1,000 on the lower end. He insists that they can still fund people with lower amounts. 

Running a business comes with various challenges, and Rob says there is no blueprint for doing it right. While entrepreneurs may have numerous ideas, they are never sure they will work, making it one of the core challenges for entrepreneurs on their zero to 5000 MRR phase.

Apart from needing guidance, SaaS founders require reassurance to counter challenges along the way and work towards success. The Tinyseed Playbook defines funnels and guides SaaS founders, helping them understand the importance of pricing their products right. This playbook is ideal for -entrepreneurs in their 5,000 to 15,000 MRR phase. In this case, the entire team collaborates to identify what works best for the companies and ensure they are doing things right.

Content marketing is a critical factor that Rob and his team consider before collaborating with SaaS founders. However, he mentions that the strategy is ideal for companies within the lower price range. He also discusses the role of LTV (Lifetime value) and SEO. 

Pricing is one of the factors that Rob holds close to his heart. He says that a huge percentage of his candidates admit that their pricing is either overly low or off in a way. Listen to the podcast for a more elaborate explanation of why pricing can be a difficult task and what entrepreneurs can do to get it right. Businesses that have a higher price tend to grow faster, according to Rob. Find the reason why from the podcast. Rob concludes the podcast by talking about launching Tinyseed in the UK.  

Resources 

Nov 09, 2021
When & How to Pivot from one lucrative market to another with Persosa.com personalisation platform co-founder Greg Lim
45:42

Greg Lim, co-founder of Persosa, talks about coming up with the idea, funding the MVP, finding his first customers, and finding market fit twice. Listen in for the insights.

Persosa is an experience and data platform that enables businesses to boost website conversions by directly speaking to each customer using personalized internal experiences.

The platform also leverages connected campaigns to display customers' needs when they need them. Such efficiency increases conversions, reduce bounce rate, and improves sales. Co-founder and founder Greg Lim talks to Geordie about his journey.  

What You'll Learn

  • Why brands should personalize their websites 
  • Why Persosa has two products
  • Who is the ideal Persosa customer?
  • How Greg and his team priced their product 

In this Episode:

When businesses understand their customers, they can utilize that awareness to increase revenue. Greg says they have two key products one of which allows customers to track their customers across different channels. Listen to the podcast for more details about this product.

The second product involves knowing how to convert the understanding you have for your customers into revenue. Greg says they have a personalization medium that enables their customers to utilize the data they collect to; personalize experiences for people visiting their mobile app and website. Persosa also solves two problems in the marketplace, which he explains in depth in this podcast. 

In the beginning, Persosa was one comprehensive platform, but the team realized they were almost losing it at some point. They then decided to separate their products to serve their customers better. How do Greg and his team introduce their products to customers?

Understanding the customer and their needs is one of the team's most effective strategies. They always use it before talking about their products which helps them determine the right product that best fits the customer’s needs.   

Greg narrates how he became the chief marketing officer of a company by chance and without any marketing experience. During his stint, he had numerous questions but no concrete answers until one day, someone he had met earlier, who also happens to be his co-founder at Persosa, called him and shared with him an idea he had.

That was a defining moment for Greg, seeing that he had been seeking a similar solution and even had a ready client. He quit everything else and joined hands with his co-founder. Listen to the podcast for some background story about Greg's co-founder. His co-founder has tremendous experience in data usage tracking.

At some point, he worked for a small startup company whose product was good. However, they (the company) struggled to discuss and sell their product. When Greg's co-founder came on board, he worked out a solution for them which he later realized was some form of an MVP which could become an entire product and whole platform. It was then that the two colleagues connected.

There are some misconceptions surrounding personalization in today's world, especially in terms of privacy. How does Greg's system work while guaranteeing customers of their privacy? To deliver a personalized and engaging experience, all the team needs is to understand what attracted a potential customer to the website.

Greg supports his answer with an example that you can learn about from the podcast. Together with his team, Greg tracks website performance through geo-location, UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters, and collecting data first, meaning new users only get a personalized experience after a few interactions.

Greg's co-founder enjoys building products. When he was starting, the buzzwords in the industry were real-time data, a term that was frustrating to him but one he relied on to unlock value in real-time.

Greg says his co-founder did not do any market research during the development of his MVP. However, when they crossed paths, the MVP was working, save for a few elements, but they still tried it on Greg’s client. Greg explains the concept of the MVP in relation to what the client wanted and what they did to deliver an exceptional experience.  

The lack of a repeatable sales process threw Greg and his team in disarray even though they had already found a product fit. Greg illustrates some of the challenges they faced along the way and what they did to redeem themselves.

The team first pivoted in web personalization before shifting tact after realizing that consumers interact with brands in different places. Greg's co-founder altered the platform to include personalization API, data tracking, and personalization to make it more accommodating. Find out how the system now works.  

Along the way, Greg experienced some significant failures. For example, he did not focus on customer acquisition, finding product fit, and learning his customers. Instead, he spent time worrying about how much he would spend on marketing when he was losing huge sums in the real sense.

If Greg were to turn the hand of time today, he would invest more in marketing. He speaks about another important lesson that you can learn from the podcast. Greg concludes the podcast by highlighting the importance of being confident as an entrepreneur. Trust your gut feeling, talk to your customer, know them and find out how they interact with your product, then align that with your vision, says Greg.

Resources 

Nov 02, 2021
Why Interviewing People Could Be One Of The Most Undervalued Skills You Could Have For Your SaaS Startup with Mixergy Founder Andrew Warner
51:27

Andrew Warner, founder of Mixergy, talks about mastering interviewing skills, his book, and lessons he has learned from interviewing founders. Listen to the podcast and learn.

Mixergy is a platform where SaaS founders can listen to startup stories and learn from experienced mentors through courses and interviews. Andrew talks to Geordie about the progress he is making with the company. If you are considering venturing into the SaaS industry, this is a must-listen-to podcast. 

What You'll Learn

  • Why chat messages are more effective than email
  • Why surveys don't generate sufficient data
  • Importance of being focused
  • Why techniques are crucial when it comes to interviewing
  • Importance of a personal/social touch during interviews
  • Why storytelling is crucial during interviews

In this Episode

Andrew's entrepreneurship journey started with an online greeting company which was also an email newsletter company. While the company was successful, he decided to take a break and focus on non-work-related stuff. When he finally went back to entrepreneurship, he started doing interviews, and it has been 14 years and counting now.

The core of Mixergy is the podcast, but Andrew says he integrated an educational component in the form of a master class. Get details of how the educational element works from the podcast. 

Together with his team, they sold the master class on a membership basis. Andrew talks about getting ridiculed during the inaugural part of the master class project with the online community claiming that he could only sell software and not information. Still, the information courses continued to grow amid the challenges.

Andrew learned one big lesson from interacting with and interviewing from the membership space. Learn about it from the podcast. SaaS entrepreneurs can learn numerous lessons about their audience by attempting to sell them something. He supports his sentiments with a detailed explanation.

How does the pricing component work? Andrew says the first step of doing it is; not knowing what you have. Sometimes you may run ads even though you wouldn't know how much income they would bring in. Andrew seeks to understand his audience's worth and maximize value from what he is offering.

At some point, Andrew discovered Fresh Books and sought to learn more about advertising. He says Fresh Books played an integral role in helping him come up with pricing. How can entrepreneurs leverage interviews to grow their businesses?

Andrew starts by giving out an illustration that you can listen to from the podcast. He then mentions that developing a personal connection with the person you are interviewing is critical. It allows you to remain in touch with them regardless of where they are. Andrew illustrates some techniques that interviewers can use to develop closeness with their interviewees.

Anyone can be become a good interviewer, says Andrew. He mentions how being different as he grew up helped him build a strong foundation for what he does today. Do not miss that captivating part of the podcast.

Paying close attention to detail is one of the skills Andrew mastered from the start. From spending thousands of dollars transcribing his interviews to evaluating the transcriptions, figuring out what he said that made a difference, and hiring producers, Andrew has gone over and beyond to give his customers the best. He discusses some of the techniques he uses to understand the other person better during interviews. You can learn about them from the podcast.

Many interviewers want to listen to the successes only without paying much attention to the failures. However, Andrew is always interested in learning about the failures involved. Discussing failure not only eliminates some of the pain of failure but also normalizes failing. By discussing failure, interviewers understand what people who fail have in common with their counterparts who succeed.

Discussing challenges is critical because it enables people to understand that interviewees are human. Listen to Andrew talk about one of the best failure stories he has ever done. What makes a good interviewee? According to Andrew, that would be a relatable person who has done something the team aspires to do themselves. Andrew says he would appreciate it if readers of his book pointed out any issues with it. He mentions that they already made some sales before releasing the book, something which occurred unexpectedly. Listen to the details in the podcast.

Some readers have already started implementing lessons from the book as Andrew narrates and gives examples in the podcast. How can you get people to open up with you? Andrew says he does that by opening up about himself first. That way, he creates an environment where interviewees feel free to open up.

Resources

Mixergy

Andrew Warner LinkedIn

Andrew Warner Twitter

Oct 26, 2021
How To Get Accepted Into A SaaS Acceralator and Get Funded with Forum VC founder Michael Cardamone
48:16

Michael Cardamone, CEO of Forum Ventures, talks about what he considers in potential SaaS investments and his lessons from the industry. Get more insights from the podcast.

Form Ventures is a leading B2B SaaS focus accelerator that helps early-stage businesses grow and scale. They have invested 50 million USD in over 250 companies, with their portfolio hitting an approximate valuation of 3 billion USD. Join the podcast and listen to Michael as he tells Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • How the Forum Ventures seed fund works
  • How to know a great founder
  • What companies need to succeed during the accelerator program
  • The framework that Forum Ventures use to help companies track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
  • Why do companies join accelerator programs
  • Which is the ideal place to source a SaaS company?

In this Episode:

Forum Ventures was recently rebranded from Acceleprise, an accelerator B2B SaaS which has been in existence for close to seven years. Michael says they come in at the early stage of a business and run a four-month associate-based program acting as a continuation of the founding team.

Forum Ventures helps companies devise the right market strategy to identify their ideal customers and edge closer to getting funding. Forum also has a seed fund where they invest in institutional seed rounds. Listen to the podcast to understand how the seed fund works.

The core part of the business is to invest $100,000 to each company that joins the accelerator program. While they may not have enough capital to invest in every company that sets up a seed round from the accelerator program, they strive to invest in companies outside the accelerator.

Michael and his team consider various factors when deciding who to recruit in the accelerator program. First, they look for companies that are in the earliest stages of their operations. To understand a company’s product and vision, Forum works closely with the founders whose product may be in the early stages but not fully developed. Some of them may have customers while others may not. Michael defines that stage in detail, and you can learn all about it from the podcast.

Much of what Forum Ventures does is focus on the team and the market opportunity. When looking for a team, Forum considers their founder market fit and tries to understand what they know about the problem they are solving or their target market. They also seek to determine how great the founders are; a term Michael says he detests. Find out his reasons from the podcast.

According to Michael, you do not know a good founder. Instead, he says they determine the characteristics that a great founder and leader would have. Listen to Michael as he gives an in-depth explanation of these traits.

How big or small should a team be to qualify for the Forum Ventures accelerator program? Michael says they do not have complicated rules regarding the team’s size as long as they have an excellent market fit and understand their products extensively. Michael mentions some common traits that make companies successful during the accelerator program in this podcast.

Forum Ventures has a structure that helps companies track their KPIs, which Michael says is different for each company. Get details of how the structure works from the podcast. To acquire the $100,000 funding, companies give up 7.5% equity to Forum Ventures. This arrangement may not make much sense to all companies, but it works for a significant number of companies, according to Michael.

Forum has carved a niche in the industry as a reliable provider capable of acquiring more funding for the companies after the accelerator program. Michael gives some practical examples in the podcast.

Michael says the $100,000 capital that companies joining the accelerator program get should last for the entire four-month program. He also mentions what a company should achieve at the end of the program in terms of performance. Get all the details from the podcast.

The SaaS industry is fast becoming overly competitive. What criteria does Forum Ventures use to determine a company’s potential for success? Michael says they focus on five things: vertical SaaS, the future of work, supply chain logistics, and FinTech, insurance, and tech-based stuff.

Michael explains these concepts in detail, complete with illustrations. He concludes the podcast by mentioning that while angel investing can be great, it’s one industry where being connected to the ecosystem is critical. Investors should also know that some of the companies may not work. If you are new to angel investing, consider doing it in angel groups where you can learn and gain experience before risking your money, he says.

Resources

 

 

Oct 19, 2021
Taking a Regional approach to build a B2B SaaS problem for the Thai market with 300k ARR platform founder Saroj Ativitavas of Wisible.com
50:31

Saroj Ativitavas, CEO of Wisible, talks about funding his MVP, gaining his first customers, and navigating his zero to 30,000 MRR journey. Get more insights from the podcast.

Wisible is a sales intelligence platform that enables B2B firms to reduce sales cycles, increase conversion rates, and enhance sales prediction accuracy. Listen to Saroj as he shares his exciting journey with Geordie.

What You’ll Learn

  • The core problem Wisible solves for customers
  • Why the Chinese market is not ideal for the Wisible concept
  • How Saroj transitioned from the corporate world to a startup job
  • How Saroj and his team transitioned from an agency to a SaaS platform
  • The impact of content marketing for businesses

In This Episode:

According to Saroj, many customers who approach them seeking a tangible solution often have a leaky sales funnel. The team behind Wisible strives to help their customers determine the critical spot and underlying bottlenecks. They work together to provide a robust solution based on their needs.

Wisible focuses on CRM tools while tracking any interactions and data that may have been generated during the sales procedure. The platform also features a dashboard and an analytic report that can display in the sales funnel interface. Customers can also track their conversion rate, determine their average deal amount, and sales cycle. 

Saroj has been in the B2B sales sector for 20 years, during which he encountered a wide range of challenges and learned crucial lessons. He was a salesperson for a mobile telecommunication operator in Thailand before graduating to become a sales director.

During his stint in the sales industry, Saroj tried numerous tools and software but could not identify the ideal option to meet his needs and those of his customers. The quest for an effective solution pushed him into developing a platform they could rely on to solve their problems.

Saroj explains why he left his job at the mobile telecommunication company, and you can learn from the podcast. Currently, there are numerous click funnel options in the market. Why did Saroj feel the need to develop a new one? To answer this question, Saroj begins by defining what B2B businesses do and why they need aggressive salespeople. Get all the details from the podcast.

Saroj reiterates that their system integrates with their customer engagement’s business channel. This feature relieves salespeople from having to feed data into the system manually. He gives an illustration to help listeners understand this concept better.

Nearly 100% of Wisible customers come from the Southern Asia region, but Saroj and his team plan to expand their business to other regions. He explains why they are not yet ready to venture into the Chinese market. 

After leaving his job, Saroj first launched a robust product that focused on giving software developers a healthy platform to exercise their talent. They later quit the market to launch the sales intelligence agency.

Saroj and his co-founder had worked together in the telecommunications company for ten years and were conversant with their customer’s pain points. They also knew there was a ready market for their idea in Thailand. Saroj and his team would spend an entire year developing the Wisible MVP and another year before acquiring their first paying customer.

At first, Saroj says they gave out the system for free and explains how they finally won their first paying customer. Find out the details from the podcast. Promoting a startup can be a difficult task. How did the team reach their target audience? Saroj says they run a blog where they share content about their services before sharing it on different social media platforms.

The journey from zero to 5,000 was easier after winning their first paying customer; Saroj says and explains the phase further in the podcast. Did you know you could make money from customizing customers’ platforms to meet their specific needs? Listen to Saroj as he discusses this concept and explains how it worked for their business.

Apart from content marketing, Saroj and his team engage in teaching as a marketing concept, where they create courses and train their staff. Saroj mentions their go-to content marketing strategy that aspiring entrepreneurs can benefit from. While some online businesses grew tremendously at the peak of Covid, Saroj says they experienced slow growth rates.

What would Saroj do differently if he had an opportunity to go back in time? He would be more focused. He concludes the podcast by explaining why he thinks Wisible is the best in the industry. 

Resources

Oct 12, 2021
Zero to product market fit with mobile app competitor analysis tool SaaS COO Eugene Kruglov of AppFollow
51:14

Eugene Kruglov, cofounder and COO of AppFollow, talks about funding the MVP, gaining his first customer, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR journey. Listen in for more insights.

AppFollow is a platform that enables you to assemble your mobile app data from diverse sources into a centralized place. Join Eugene Kruglov the cofounder in this podcast as he tells Geordie how they navigated various challenges to build this app. He also discusses lessons they have learned along the way.

 

What You’ll Learn

 

  • The problem that AppFollow solves for its customers
  • Three key things that Eugene and his team offer through their service
  • Importance of visibility for app developers 
  • Why tracking your competitors is crucial
  • How did Eugene and his team know that users would appreciate their app?
  • Why video marketing can be an ideal concept for increasing visibility
  • How did Eugene and his team come up with the pricing model in the early days?
  • Why product developers should manage their customer support department
  • The importance of search optimization on product visibility

 

In this Episode:

 

Eugene has been passionate about mobile for a long time. Previously, he was involved in the entrepreneurial space, where he helped launch companies in the mobile industry. He has also worked with mobile operators in the value-added services divisions, where he gained tremendous experience. 

 

With the launch of App Store, Eugene got excited about the possibility of developing applications. He has been involved in developing products for other companies, which they used to pitch in the beginning. Find out how Eugene met his cofounder and how he (the cofounder) shared an idea with him which they would later bank on to start a company.  

 

Eugene says they collaborate with teams and help them navigate app stores with ease. The team is committed to offering solutions from the product perspective because they have encountered the same problem before. AppFollow helps developers navigate through customer feedback. It also intensifies the customer’s voice and provides numerous tools to work with reviews and feedback in the app stores.

 

AppFollow increases your visibility in app stores. Eugene says they understand how the algorithms function and use unique keywords to ensure users are visible in search. Through AppFollow, users can track their competitors with ease. Listen to the podcast for a detailed explanation of these features.

 

Developing a product that target users will appreciate can be a challenging journey. Eugene discusses what they did to ensure users would love the product. Listen to the podcast for the details. Eugene says they spent between 15 and 20 thousand dollars building the MVP in six months. All that time, Eugene was still running a different business while helping to set up AppFollow. 

 

The platform was operating under an acceleration program that gave them some visibility. However, they needed to do something to popularize their brand, and this is where word of mouth and video came in. The team started shooting short videos of them navigating the acceleration program and distributed them in various platforms like Twitter and Facebook. They forwarded links to their friends and did everything to make the videos funny, irresistible but still relatable context-wise. 

 

Determining the ideal pricing for an app can be difficult, especially when you are just getting started. Eugene says they are still trying to come up with the best pricing model. As beginners, they had three basic payment plans, which Eugene admits was relatively low.

 

Eugene says they needed to accommodate as many users on the platform as possible in terms of the pricing. As a result, they ended up giving out the app for small amounts expecting a high adoption which would translate into a high ROI. That was not to happen, and they had to go back to the drawing board.

 

What is their pricing currently? Find out from the podcast. Eugene also talks about the features they have added to the app to make it more effective for users. Eugene says the team was committed to handling every operation independently, seeing that they had no money to pay staff.

 

As a founder, he was tasked with handling customer support and answering user queries round the clock. He adopted this strategy as a way to encourage users to love their product. He was also convinced that doing demos was an effective strategy for promoting their product, mainly because they understood its features better.

 

AppFollow experienced tremendous growth from increased visibility. Listen to the podcast to find out some of the techniques they used to become more visible. Eugene gives a detailed explanation of how they achieved product-market fit, and you cannot afford to miss this section.

The AppFollow platform has evolved over the years, and Eugene explains what they have done to improve it. Eugene concludes the podcast by mentioning the things he would have done differently when starting. Get these crucial lessons from the podcast. 

Resources

 

Oct 05, 2021
How Ching Goh took lessons learned from running 7 figure ARR Piktochart to start videostory SaaS Piktostory
49:49

Co-founder, Ching Goh talks about building Piktostory, navigating challenges to hit a 7 figure ARR, and founding Piktostory later on. Listen to the podcast and learn. 

Piktochart is a web-based communication platform that enables less experienced users to develop professional-level visuals with the help of themed templates. Piktostory is a transcription-based video content creation tool. Ching, the co-founder, strives to help passionate entrepreneurs increase their knowledge in bootstrapping, culture shaping, and talent management. She talks to Geordie about her journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Why video editing can be complex
  • Ching’s entrepreneurial journey
  • Ching’s marketing strategy
  • Mistakes Ching and her team made that cost them the number one position for infographics on Google
  • Why ranking number one on Google is no longer good enough
  • Importance of talking to users

In This Episode:

Storytelling and videos are two compelling forms of communication that businesses can leverage not only to scale but attract more customers. Piktochart is a renowned infographic creation tool.

Together with her team, Ching realized the rising adoption of infographics in different departments and industries by experts seeking to promote their projects. From their research, they concluded that all those individuals had a story they needed to communicate visually. 

After being in the industry for nearly ten years, the team was confident that storytelling was getting better, bigger, and more popular. They then sought another effective storytelling medium apart from infographics and settled on video due to its portability. They were also hopeful that video would be an excellent medium for conducting and transmitting stories.

While they made all these decisions before the pandemic, many people considered the team opportunistic after the pandemic hit the world. Ching explains what they are doing to make the two platforms valuable for users.

Ching says Piktostory was designed to ease video editing, without which users would need between three and four tools to get their work done. She talks extensively about these tools in the podcast. Do not miss this comprehensive part if you are an aspiring video editor, webinar developer, social media manager, or podcaster. 

Why would entrepreneurs, consultants, and coaches need a video editing tool? In today’s pandemic times, webinars, podcasts, and zoom calls have become the order of the day. It’s worth mentioning that convincing people to watch long videos can be a difficult task. However, shorter videos get more traction, and this is where Piktostory comes in. Ching agrees that they leverage their tool for marketing purposes as well. 

Every entrepreneur has an exciting story. Ching narrates her journey and you cannot afford to miss it. Find out how she transitioned from the UK to Malaysia, her first job, and her passion for organizational development and marketing.

Ching also talks about suffering burnout so much so that she had to undergo surgery. Find out why together with her husband, they settled for infographics and her role in their venture then. How did they navigate the business industry without prior experience? Ching explains in the podcast. 

Ching admits their product was ugly in its initial stages, but that changed after doing demos and pitches, and getting coverage from media and news institutions. They recorded high traffic, which Ching also attributes to the fact that people realized there were more storytelling and video editing tools apart from the common ones. 

A robust marketing strategy is critical for business growth and revenue generation. Ching explains their preferred marketing plan in detail. She mentions that they had retained the number one position in infographics for a long time before some of their competitors overthrew them. She also discusses the mistakes they made that cost them the number one position on Google. Listen to the podcast for more insights. 

The quest to break out in business and move deeper into storytelling pushed Ching and her co-founder into developing Piktostory. She mentions that while they have done little to promote Piktostory, they have seen people opting in. What are their conversion rates? Find out from the podcast. 

In every story, there is a lesson to learn. Ching says she has learned various lessons along the way. She believes in the bias for action concept, which defines that it does not matter how great your plans are. You will only know their potential and what can happen once they hit the market.

Ching supports this approach with a detailed explanation which you can learn about from the podcast. She also says having and maintaining a small team has been valuable. Clarity is another critical lesson, and Ching achieves it by experimenting with different tools available in the market to gauge their position.

Interacting with users is an activity Ching takes seriously. Listen to the podcast to find out how she engages every new user. Getting to profitability can be a difficult task, especially for startups. While the team is yet to achieve profitability on Piktostory, Piktochart gained profits six months after launching.

Find out strategies the team used to market Piktochart and achieve massive growth. Ching concludes the podcast by explaining the workweek approach they adopted to spare staff from burnout.  

Resources

Piktochart.com 

Piktostory.com 

Ching Goh LinkedIn

Ching Goh Twitter

Sep 27, 2021
From 0 to 30,000 MRR in 2021 with Powered By Change author Jon MacDonald
47:20

Jon MacDonald, CEO of Powered By Change, talks about coming up with his idea, funding the MVP, his first customers, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR. Listen in for more details.  

Powered By Change (PBC) is a comprehensive, advanced, and robust business growth SaaS platform. It is based on the book powered by change, a Sunday Times Bestselling publication. PBC provides an integrated outlook of an enterprise's product, people, purpose, and process components. Jon McDonald, the founder, talks to Geordie about his journey.  

What You'll Learn 

  • The concepts of Powered By Change
  • How companies started implementing powered by change as a SaaS way before the introduction of the SaaS platform
  • What impact did Covid have on the Powered By Change platform?
  • The Powered By Change pricing model. 

In this Episode: 

Being in the business industry for nearly 30 years is no mean feat. Apart from gaining tremendous experience, Jon says he has interacted with some of the biggest and fastest-growing companies across the globe. During his interactions, he helped the companies increase their turnover from 30 to 40 billion.

Jon says he is delighted and blessed to have had the opportunity to watch how some of the highest-performing organizations operate. As an entrepreneur, Jon has founded nine startups where he has applied much of his lessons. Jon would later become a speaker, an entrepreneur, and an author.

At some point, Jon started journaling all the lessons he had learned along the way into what would become the book; powered by change. He explains how they would convert the book's concept into a SaaS platform. The platform contains practical tips that no one teaches in business school. 

 

Before writing his book, Jon says the entire business setting was similar to the Chinese proverb: "when the winds of change are blowing, some build a wall, and others build a windmill." During his years as an entrepreneur, Jon has learned that while there are numerous wall builders, few are willing to build a windmill.

Many people, especially startup entrepreneurs, often look at larger businesses and wonder: how did they achieve such growth? What do they do differently? Do they have a big brand or colossal amounts of money in their bank accounts? Such businesses succeed because they focus on constructing a robust and functional windmill. Jon says. In his book, the term powered by change is based on the four different blades of a windmill.

To facilitate change as a sustaining technique, you need four different blades of a windmill, Jon says. This observation is something he has noticed from assisting up to 45% of Fortune 500 companies and his startups. He explains the four concepts/blades of his book; powered by change in this podcast. 

Powered by change includes numerous case studies. Jon and his team distributed the first publications to the people who had been featured in it. All the companies that received the book would then start applying it as a toolkit before a SaaS platform was founded.

Later, those companies chose to utilize the book as a SaaS, which pushed Jon and his team to work hard to get to where they are today. What was the process of converting the powered by change book into a SaaS platform like? Jon says his co-founder played a massive role in developing the product. He gives more details in the podcast. They would later hire a developer, making him the third team member to date. 

While some sections of the book were not applicable as an online platform, Jon says they released the MVP as a beta for people to test. They would then make changes on the go. He admits they have changed approximately 10% of the MVP so far. Even then, they have discovered that clients have a wide range of iterations they did not consider.

Building the self-funded MVP took Jon and his developer approximately one year. Another crucial lesson that Jon has learned along the way is accomplishing your plans will cost more than you had planned for, and you will make half of your expected amount. He recommends running your MVP on half the income where possible. He expounds on this subject in the podcast.

Jon also talks about their plans and expectations when they were starting, the challenges they encountered along the way, and how they countered them. He describes the pricing model that they later had to change. Get more details from the podcast.

It took Powered By Change nine months to hit the 30,000 MRR. Jon explains how the journey was from 0-5,000 MRR and beyond. The team is considering angel investors to accelerate the company's growth. Jon concludes the podcast with the following nuggets of wisdom for aspiring SaaS entrepreneurs.

  • Everything you know is wrong. Consider learning on the go
  • Launch quicker and lighter (with fewer features)
  • Ignore detractors, especially those coming from competitor platforms
  • Do not raise capital if you can avoid it

 Resource 

Powered By Change

Jon MacDonald Website

Powered By Change LinkedIn

Sep 15, 2021
Tapping into the One Trillion Dollar impoverished agricultural markets with $1m ARR AgUnity founder David Davies
56:26

David Davies of AgUnity tells Geordie how he came up with his idea, and how software and SaaS founders can identify and solve complex problems. Listen to the podcast and learn.

David boasts more than 30 years of experience in innovative applications design. He has served as CEO for SaaS (Software as a Service), Fintech, and mobile companies during his career. In 2016 Davis founded AgUnity, a Blockchain for Good establishment leveraging smartphone and blockchain technology to enhance the lives of small-scale farmer cooperatives in developing countries. The venture has won numerous awards since its inception. 

AgUnity developed the AgriUT utility token built on the Celo blockchain network as an independent charitable entity. It complements the AgUnity smartphone blockchain for smallholder farmers' platform. He talks to Geordie about his journey. 

What You'll Learn

  • Why every solution provider must think big
  • Importance of record-keeping
  • Why having an identity and proof of income is crucial
  • How do organizations determine deserving individuals?
  • Why teaching disadvantaged people how to do things better is critical.

In this Episode:

While agriculture is a vast global industry, some farmers live in overly remote areas and below the poverty level. AgUnity is a specially designed platform that aims at providing cost-friendly strategies for supporting and connecting people living in remote areas.

The company recently launched the only Smartphone operating system for the people that technological advancements have bypassed. David grew up in a massive sheep and wheat farm in Australia, where he gained his farming experience. However, he has spent all his working life in technology. 

Working for UNESCO in West Africa allowed David to interact with low-income earners and discover their challenges. Together with other founders, David had established a company specializing in Blockchain for Good technology for the market data scope in banking.

At some point, they received an invitation to attend a hackathon in London, but David could not attend, so he sent one of his co-founders. In the process, John, the co-founder, discovered there was a prize to be won as part of the conference. David and his team worked hard to develop a winning product, and win they did to the amazement of many people in attendance. Listen to the podcast for more details. 

Record keeping is critical in David's niche market. He mentions that recording every transaction creates clarity, promotes trust, and eases the payment process. How did David and his team come up with the AgUnity idea? Find out from the podcast.

David says they understood the importance of smartphones in transforming various processes. Further, working for UNESCO exposed him to low-income farmers who, while they had smartphones, were not using them to do valuable stuff. 

According to David, they source their smartphones from China and customize them to meet the farmer's needs. The phones, he says, come with the applets only, which you can learn about from the podcast. Before David started working with the farmers, many of them had nothing to show as proof of income. Apart from lacking an identity, they had no record of their land ownership. Lack of proper records denied them the opportunity to get credit from any financial institution. 

David admits that penetrating the blockchain for agriculture industry can be a difficult task. He says they usually collaborate with various organizations such as NGOs to ease the process. Doing so facilitates a smooth provision of blockchain for the last mile communities. David says one of their key goals is collaborating with authentic and ethical companies who then introduce them to corporative societies and farmers.

Collaborating with corporatives allows them to convert it (the cooperative) into a financial venture capable of scaling faster and larger. Often, David and his team start off working with smaller groups who later grow in their hundreds. According to David, once farmers have more money the entire community benefits.

What does it take to create a new cooperative? David says the initial investment can be quite costly, even though big organizations pay for the pilot program. He explains that concept extensively in the podcast. He also discusses the stack and explains things farmers are capable of doing with their smartphones. 

AgUnity has experienced tremendous growth over the years, with David saying they solve unique problems farmers face. Currently, the team deals with 17,000 farmers in remote areas. Together with his team, David is considering launching a project to reward farmers who do extraordinary things like planting trees to help with climate change. He also talks about other projects they have in the pipeline.

The team focuses on creating an opportunity for people in a developed market to connect with their counterparts in developing markets and create something positive. 

Resources

AgriUT Foundation

Farmer Reward Platform

Marketing, Business Development, and Token Gateway

AgriUT Discord Server

David Davies LinkedIn

David Davies Twitter

Sep 14, 2021
Solving His Own Agency Problem on Increasting Profitability To Agency Solutions AI SaaS with Santi Bibilioni of COR
45:21

Santi Bibiloni, co-founder and CEO of COR, talks about his entrepreneurship journey, building the MVP, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR journey. Listen, learn, and share.

COR is a SaaS platform that provides effective solutions for professional service organizations. It also helps the firms determine how to run their projects, resources, and finances in a single platform. Apart from being an entrepreneur, Santi Bibiloni, the CEO, is also a mentor specializing in startups. He talks to Geordie about his journey.

What you'll Learn

  • How COR operates
  • What is profitability?
  • How did Santi come up with the COR idea?
  • What strategy did Santi and his team adopt to scale his MRR?
  • Why do entrepreneurs need a mentor
  • How COR acquired its first customers
  • How effective is the COR platform in terms of ROI?
  • Challenges that affected COR's growth
  • What are Santi and his team doing to improve COR in the future?

In this Episode

Many businesses today struggle to earn profits from their projects, and this is where COR comes in. Santi says COR is an end-to-end solution targeting the billable hour's industry. The platform encourages time tracking, allowing project managers to understand, and predict their profitability per client, per project, and in real-time.

Santi says a big percentage of his customers have switched from other project management platforms to COR. What differentiates COR from other project management platforms? Santi explains in the podcast.

Running a project comes with numerous challenges like collaboration, but Santi says the biggest of them all is spending money on the project. He supports his argument with an eye-opening illustration that you cannot afford to miss.

COR is a robust platform that collaborators can use for their collaboration, project, and task management needs. It can determine where people are spending most of their time and matches every task with the suitable project and client.

COR multiplies the time spent on a project with an individual's hourly rate and subtracts all expenses from the client's budget. It calculates profitability in real-time. Service providers can leverage the COR platform to renegotiate fees, forecast, and send accurate proposals. Santi gives more details about the platform and how it works in the podcast.

Profitability, Santi says, is more than earning dividends. It is what entrepreneurs require to be able to compensate their employees better. Listen to the podcast to get a more extensive explanation of the term profitability.

Santi talks about strategies different entrepreneurs use to increase profitability. He says every new project comes with unique demands. For example, some projects call for more employees, but some entrepreneurs choose not to hire more workers to evade extra expenses. In that case, your employees will need to work extra hours to deliver the project on time.

Such a scenario not only results in burnout but also triggers a high employee turnover rate. Santi explains this concept in depth. He also mentions that their agency struggled to make profits in the beginning. What did they do to manage the problem and pay their employees better?

Research is critical in any industry. Santi and his team sought to determine what big companies were doing to deal with non-profitability, and to their surprise, there was no solution. They would then embark on developing an internal minimum viable product before proceeding to Silicon Valley.

It took Santi and his team nine months to develop the MVP. They would later try it for their agency first before introducing it to some of their family members and friends in Argentina. Their first consumers thought the product was ugly even though it was functional.

That feedback is all Santi, and his team needed to hear. However, he agrees the product's UX and UI needed lots of improvement. COR's first customers were small and medium-sized businesses. What was their payment model in the beginning? Santi explains in the podcast.

Acquiring the first customer for a new business can be challenging. Santi says they started by understanding the critical pain potential customers were facing and the specific people that were directly affected. They would later send cold emails or give them cold, and discovery calls before scheduling a demo to show how their product worked. Listen to Santi as he explains the challenges they faced while negotiating contracts.

Many companies today would pay anything to manage their time well. According to Santi, time management and its impact on profitability are the key points they are currently using to approach new customers.

The team plans to invest more in time estimation and time span; that is, determining where people are spending most of their time and how long a task takes. If Santi were to turn back the hands of time, he would not second guess thinking big. To aspiring entrepreneurs, he says, think big, practice resilience, and think longer term.

Resources

COR

Santi Bibiloni LinkedIn

Santi Bibiloni Website

Santi Bibiloni Twitter

Santi Bibiloni Instagram

 

Sep 07, 2021
How to position your product in Hubspot marketplace to achieve your SaaS Big Break with Post
43:22

Dennis Kelly, the CEO and founder of Postalytics, talks about building his MVP, attracting customers, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR journey. Get more details from the podcast.

Dennis Kelly has tremendous experience in sales, marketing, HR, and finance. He started his career journey as a sales representative and spent time running data centers, developing products, and being the CEO of venture and angel sponsored startups. During his career, Dennis has developed numerous self-financed businesses. He talks to Geordie about his journey.

What You’ll Learn

  • What triggered the creation of Postalytics?
  • How the Postalytics concept works
  • Importance of research before venturing into a similar project
  • How Dennis and his team handled technology-agnostic challenges
  • Marketing avenues that Dennis and his team are currently focusing on
  • What is it that Dennis would have done differently when starting?

In this Episode:

Technology has evolved tremendously over the last few years. With more advanced communication options available, no one would ever think direct mail would become relevant again. While traditional direct mail is no longer effective, the automated version is what many marketers are reaping huge benefits from.

Dennis says their direct mail automation software solution solves three crucial problems with traditional direct mail marketing. These problems are production speed, integration, and analytics. Listen to the podcast for his detailed explanation of these solutions.

Starting a business can be challenging. Dennis gives a brief explanation of how he started his Postalytics journey out of chance. He says he has been developing software companies for the past 30 years. At some point, he collaborated successfully with a young architect, but they would soon lose touch.

When they later reconnected, they discovered they were close neighbors. The architect introduced Dennis to some technology he had developed as a side project to help direct mail marketers digitize their marketing channels.

Dennis and his team saw potential in the project and pitched it. Listen to the podcast and learn how they developed the software together and the struggles they faced along the way. However, the project did not work according to their expectations. Find out how some customer’s problems came as a wake-up call to the team.

Postalytics offers a cloud-based SaaS solution where marketers can log in and create a letter or postcard. It allows users to import data from lists directly in their marketing automation tool, spreadsheets, files, and CRM (customer relationship management) platform. Dennis says they have incorporated a model to accommodate direct mail. Listen to the podcast for his extensive explanation of how that system works.

More people today are using email marketing than direct mail. Dennis says they leveraged email marketing as a model for their project. The team came up with a concept to develop an email experience that people would use to send direct mail. They were armed with email marketing software for their first product and knew what people wanted in an email marketing experience. How did they execute the business model? Find out from the podcast.

As Dennis and his team pivoted their product, they focused on developing their website and producing marketing materials. Upon launching the product, they realized their ideal customer profile overlapped with the Hubspot customer profile. Still, they went ahead with the launch while targeting the Hubspot customer setup.

Dennis mentions one unique thing that helped them get off the ground, and you can learn about it from the podcast. He also explains further about the Hubspot platform and customer profile.

Should you want to venture into a project similar to the Postalytics platform, Dennis says, you need to research and focus on one platform at a time. Did they use the same approach when starting? Dennis says their first product gave them an advantage. Find out how from the podcast.

Dennis mentions their response rate has doubled recently and attributes the growth to reduced competition in mailbox currently, unlike in the past. He adds that there is better targeting today, which leads to better technology, data, and reduced competition.

Dennis explains another use case that you can learn about from the podcast. You will understand how to leverage direct mail to target people who often ignore email and convert them to increase ROI. Dennis talks about leads and outlines strategies they use to attract leads.

While competitors have emerged in the market; Dennis reiterates they have maintained a targeted approach towards the technology-enabled small and medium-sized businesses as their primary audience. He discusses some of the things they do that their competitors don’t.

Get all the details from the podcast. Having a unique business model has been instrumental in helping Polystatics remain ahead of its competitors, Dennis says. He concludes the podcast with some wise words to people considering introducing a SaaS tool in the market. He says: you cannot be all things to all people. Focus on building something that a specific audience will find value in.

Resources

 

Postalytics

David Kelly LinkedIn

David Kelly Twitter

Aug 31, 2021
Why SaaS founders should podcast & writing killer outbound sequences with Erik Jacobson of lemonpie.fm & usehatch.fm
47:15

CEO and founder of Lemonpie and Hatch talks to Geordie about how he built the two MVPs and navigated his zero to 30,000 MRR journey. Listen in for valuable podcasting tips.

Erik Jacobson is a firm believer that podcasting is a fast-growing industry. In a bid to help brands get in front of a wide audience of podcast listeners per month, he built Lemonpie and Hatch. The former is a podcast production and PR agency that helps brands achieve growth via podcasting.

Through Hatch, Erik creates original podcasts for companies seeking to connect with potential customers directly, develop authority in their industry, and ensure their team understands the company’s mission. He talks to Geordie about his journey.

What you’ll Learn

  • How Erik ventured into the podcasting world
  • Importance of research before venturing into the podcasting world
  • What is the value of a podcast
  • How to best track the performance of your podcast
  • How do Lemonpie and Hatch work for SaaS customers?
  • Importance of sharing expertise in a non-salesy way
  • Why a podcast can be a saleable asset to a company
  • Erik’s outbound strategy
  • What the five-minute favor rule entails
  • Hatch’s onboarding process

In this Episode: 

Currently, having a podcasting channel is fast becoming a must-have for companies that want to reach a wider audience and scale their businesses. Erik says Lemonpie is a comprehensive podcast agency that helps companies considering starting a podcast to attract customers. It also enables them to develop an audience, brand awareness, and a deep connection that triggers higher conversions.

The team at Lemonpie helps your brand create a podcast from scratch, produces it, and promotes it continuously. Listen to the podcast for more details on how Lemonpie helps you along your podcasting journey. Hatch is a platform that provides an entry point into podcasting for teams who plan to DIY lots of podcast pieces but require someone to edit them.

Through Hatch, interested parties enjoy unlimited podcast editing services for an affordable flat rate. The team works on one podcast at a time with a turnaround time of two working days. Get more details on how the Hatch platform works from the podcast. Erik says they discovered an opportunity in the market during Covid, which indicated that 100,000 new podcasts were being created monthly.

According to Erik, both Lemonpie and Hatch are equal. He says there is considerable potential for both enterprises to solve a wide range of pain points. None of the two ventures is superior to the other. Erik discusses the pricing model for both platforms in this podcast. He says they believe in not charging more for something customers can get for less as a company. They also live by the mantra that creating the wrong podcast is one of the most costly things you can do.

The team has developed a strategy to ensure they create the ideal show that helps customers achieve their goals and strike key performance indicators. If you want to venture into the podcasting world, Erik and his team will help you develop the right strategy that works best for your audience. He gives a comprehensive explanation of how they go about it, and you can get all the details in this podcast. 

For many people, the success of a podcast depends on the number of people that watch it, something that Erik disputes. Find out his reasons from the podcast. A podcast, Erik says, comes with numerous benefits. He highlights some of the ways businesses can benefit from having a podcast. Brands can leverage podcasts to market their brands. However, podcasters should be skilled, and possess excellent storytelling skills to succeed, and stay ahead of competitors.

Erik and his team believe that expertise can be the reason why one person would choose your SaaS platform over your competitor. One of the methods of displaying expertise is through a podcast and not a blog, Erik says. Listen in to find out why they hold that belief.

When you start a podcast, focus on creating a podcast that listeners are compelled to listen to. Your podcast should be irresistible enough to convince listeners to listen to the entire session, subscribe to your channel, and keep coming back for more.

Erik mentions that they opt to invest more time in podcast creation to increase their chances of achieving success. Hatch, Erik says, is founded on a company structure, but it’s fulfilled through SaaS. He concludes the podcast by explaining how they pair the platform with expertise. Listen to the podcast for more valuable insights. 

Resources

Aug 24, 2021
How to survive and thrive as a Fintech company when your banking partner shuts you down with Neat co-founder David Rosa.
47:30

David Rosa, CEO, and co-founder of Neat, talks about coming up with his company’s idea, funding the MVP, acquiring his first customer, and navigating the 0-30,000 MRR journey. Listen closely. 

The internet has transformed the world into a global village, allowing shoppers to purchase goods from various parts of the country. However, making online payments can be a huge challenge, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.

Neat, a fintech company based in Hong Kong specializes in giving small and medium-sized businesses an alternative to conventional corporate banking. The company offers access to traditional banking services, credit cards, and customized startup solutions.

Through these solutions, customers can make payments locally, efficiently, and conveniently regardless of their jurisdiction. Join David, the CEO, as he discusses his journey with Geordie.  

What You’ll Learn 

  • The role technology and compliance played in the founding of Neat
  • The amount David spent on the MVP
  • How David and his team survived after their bank account was closed
  • Challenges Neat faced during Covid
  • Importance of working with like-minded individuals 

In this Episode: 

In today’s world, where eCommerce is becoming more popular by the day, the availability of flexible payment networks is necessary. However, this is hardly the case. Neat, David says, seeks to solve the existing payment networks split in various parts of the globe, to make them more accessible for SMEs.  Large banks and multinational corporations often take care of this split, making it difficult and costly for small businesses to link to such payment networks.

David talks about his previous experience working at Citibank before co-founding the Asian branch of integral Capital Management, a company he would later sell in 2014 to focus entirely on Neat. Listen to David as he talks about the challenges that pushed him into founding Neat. He also talks about meeting his co-founder and how they invested in the know your customer (KYC) concept that the Hong Kong government would later award.  

After developing their MVP, David and his co-founder searched for early adopters, and settled on University students. He says University students had sufficient time to test and interact with the product and give them feedback. They would leverage the feedback to make any necessary improvements on the product. However, the time students had, and which David had leveraged turned out to be a liability. How was that? Find out the details from the podcast.  

David and his team went back to the drawing board. They later found product-market fit from young professionals brought to Hong Kong for training, who experienced challenges opening a bank account. While the market was very shallow, everything changed within 12 months.

At some point, David realized the young professionals were running side hustles, and they (the young professionals) urged them to develop an SME payment network solution. That was the first time David and his team identified a pain point in the market. David gives more details in the podcast.

The young professional’s demands pushed David to transform his business into an SME solution. David says that point marked the beginning of their growth. David has some advice for people who are considering venturing into the startup world. Listen to the podcast for the details. 

David invested lots of money in the MVP, most of which paid salaries and other fixed costs like acquiring infrastructure and making deposits. Pivoting into the SME space was a significant move that prompted massive growth. David mentions one incident when their first banking partner closed their bank account because they could not handle their rapid growth.

The incident almost killed their business, and David gives an extensive explanation of why the bank closed their account in this podcast. After that incident, David and his team came back stronger with even more significant shareholders.  

When Covid hit the world, many companies struggled to survive while others experienced tremendous growth. At the onset of the global crisis, David says, there were a few challenges but they managed to sail through and even grow five times. One of the biggest challenges Neat had to navigate is managing the team, keeping them focused and motivated.

Some of Neat’s competitors include modern banks and challengers, which David mentions in this podcast. Businesses should watch out on the competition without obsessing over it in David’s words.  

Suppose David could turn the hands of time based on his experience in the fintech industry today. In that case, he would first raise a considerable amount of money before venturing into the market. He says obsessing about making ends meet as a beginner is not necessary. David concludes the podcast by inviting interested parties to reach him should they need his assistance.  

Resources 

Neat

David Rosa LinkedIn

Aug 17, 2021
How and when to use machine learning in your SaaS with CTO of $50m VC funded ML SaaS Turing.com
46:29

Vijay Krishnan, CEO, and CTO of turing.com, talks about how the company developed and funded their MVP, acquired the first clients, and navigated the 0-30,000 MRR journey. Listen in.  

Turing.com is a platform that pairs companies with verified global remote talent and facilitates success in the resulting collaborations. Vijay Krishnan, the CEO, is a machine learning entrepreneur and researcher. He talks to Geordie about his journey.  

What You'll Learn 

  • How Vijay came up with the Turing idea
  • What problem does Turing solve for their customers?
  • Remote work-based problems that Vijay and his team had to solve
  • How to make remote work effective
  • How Turing attracted its first clients
  • Why Vijay and the team decided machine learning was ideal for their platform
  • How Turing developed tests
  • Problems machine learning solves with ease
  • Tools Turing uses to operate machine learning
  • Strategies Vijay and his team are using to accelerate growth 

In this Episode: 

Before venturing into the machine learning world, Vijay worked in academia, industry research, and the startup sector. During that time, he gained tremendous experience dealing with a wide range of initiatives such as data science and art.

At Turing, Vijay and his team specialize in sourcing software developers from across the globe before interviewing and testing them extensively. That strategy allows Turing to develop a comprehensive profile of different developers.

According to Vijay, over 600,000 software developers from more than 10,000 cities worldwide are already registered on their platform. All of them have been pre-vetted and are ready for the job market. Vijay explains how they go about matching companies with the relevant software developer based on their needs. Listen to the podcast for the details.

Hiring the right team can be a challenging process that Vijay and his business partner faced before starting Turing. He talks about what they did to counter that challenge in this podcast.  Vijay says they had sufficient experience from their previous startup when building the Turing MVP. Listen to the podcast to find out how they funded the MVP.

While working remotely is fast becoming popular, many companies are yet to embrace it. Turing's main goal was to eliminate some of the challenges hiring managers faced. Vijay sought to ensure clients enjoyed excellent quality talent, collaboration, and value. When they ventured into the market, Vijay and his team realized that they could solve a significant percentage of hiring managers' problems.

They decided to take their venture a notch higher by devising a robust global solution. Get all the details from the podcast. He also highlights various challenges in the development industry today. Vijay says they adopted all standard marketing methods like posting ads to reach potential customers.

Building an MVP and acquiring your first customer can be a prolonged process. Vijay says they first focused on building their platform, an experience that directly exposed them to pain points which they improved over time. It took them nine months before signing in their first customers. What is Turing's pricing model? Vijay says their standard model involves companies engaging with a pre-vetted software developer. 

The platform, he says, allows companies to hire developers on a full-time basis after paying a fixed fee. Choosing the ideal candidate manually can be a long, frustrating process that many hiring managers are unwilling to struggle with. However, with machine learning, they have managed to ease the process. He explains why machine learning is appropriate in solving the hiring process.

With machine learning, Turing has developed an extensive profile of their software developers more robustly than what potential employers would get from a resume. While machine learning facilitates the matching process, it also assists with the test design. Vijay gives a detailed explanation of how the platform works. You cannot afford to miss this part of the podcast.

The prevailing pandemic has affected nearly all businesses across the world in various ways. Vijay says the market experienced shock with people not knowing what was happening at the beginning of the pandemic. A few months in and Turing started experiencing massive growth. He mentions that some of the people who had resented remote work previously started embracing it. Developers do not pay to join the Turing platform. 

Resources 

Vijay Krishnan LinkedIn

Vijay Krishnan Twitter

Turing.com

Aug 09, 2021
How to buy your first SaaS company with PE CEO owner Akeel Jabber of horizencapital.com
44:51

CEO and founder of Horizen Capital talks about his expectations when making investments and what to include or eliminate in your SaaS pitch. Get all the details from the podcast.

As the SaaS industry advances, many entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities to venture into the market. Akeel Jabber, an expert in growing SaaS companies, tells Geordie about what you need to invest in a SaaS business.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why outsourcing the technical part of your SaaS business can be a huge mistake
  • Why investors should avoid hurried decisions
  • Why Akeel and his team picked 500 thousand MRR as their cut off line for their potential SaaS companies
  • Why Akeel targets companies with a big LTV (lifetime value)
  • What is seller earnout?

In this Episode: 

Horizon Capital works with B2B SaaS companies whose MRR is between 500 thousand and 5 million. Akeel says they come in when the businesses have already identified product-market fit. He explains two things that the company does at that point to accelerate growth. Get all the details from the podcast.

Akeel is neither a marketer nor a technical or product specialist. He is a petroleum engineer turned entrepreneur who worked in the white-collar industry for many years. His entrepreneurship journey began during his days in the University when he ventured into the stock market and learned the mistakes that come with investing. He discusses some of these mistakes in the podcast.

Akeel would later invest in the real estate industry before venturing into other businesses where he gained tremendous experience. Listen to him as he narrates his entrepreneurship journey. He also discusses SEO, email marketing, and affiliate marketing. Akeel bought his first startup company before joining a different company to become the CEO.

While working as a CEO, Akeel says he doubled the company’s earnings within five months. The growth earned him another project that would land him in California, where he worked as a CEO for all the SaaS companies in the group. He highlights some of the lessons he learned during that phase of his life.

How do Akeel and his team go about handling deals? He says they collect all the necessary information to ensure it meets their investment framework before doing extensive due diligence. He also mentions valuation, saying some people expect more than the actual value of their companies.

How do they handle such cases? Find out from the podcast. Akeel mentions three key factors you should consider to determine your valuation. These are churn, growth rate, and lifetime value (LTV). However, he mentions numerous other things to look out for, which you can find from this podcast.

Which is Akeel’s ideal company? To answer this question, he gives an illustration that you can learn about from the podcast. Akeel says they target companies that have been in operation for a minimum of three years with a 1.1% churn rate and a minimum LTV of between 1500 and 2000.

Reaching people looking to sell their SaaS businesses can be a difficult task. However, Horizen Capital has an inbound strategy where they generate lots of high-quality content and SEO. He opines that many people find them after reading their articles. He explains this strategy further in the podcast.

They team also reaches potential customers directly via LinkedIn. Here, they get powerful founders from different databases who share their experiences. Apart from cash, Akeel says there are numerous ways of financing a company based on where you are.

In Canada, for example, there is a system where investors can acquire a small business administration loan from a bank. He explains how the system works. Akeel mentions the seller financing system as another viable company financing strategy. Listen to the podcast to find out how it works. Akeel also highlights other financing methods in this podcast. Listen and learn.

Horizon Capital strives to offer quality instead of quantity. According to Akeel, they are comfortable doing fewer deals and doing them exceptionally well than handling more deals hurriedly.

If you are looking to invest, Akeel breaks the process into three parts: do a great deal, do nothing, or do a bad deal. Doing nothing, he says, is better than doing a bad deal. He advises potential investors to peruse through deals and understand what is on offer before committing themselves.

Akeel concludes the podcast with some advice to investors wishing to buy their first SaaS Company; invest in something you are passionate about and prepare to study and understand how the industry works.

 

 

Resources 

 

Akeel Jabber LinkedIn

Akeel Jabber Twitter

Akeel Jabber YouTube

Horizen Capital

Aug 01, 2021
SEO Freelancer to Agency to 50k MRR SaaS with PageOptimzer.pro SEO Kyle Roof
48:40

Kyle Roof, founder of PageOptimizer Pro, talks about inventing his idea, building his MVP, and navigating his entrepreneurship journey from zero to 30,000 MRR. Listen for more insights.  

Like many entrepreneurs, Kyle Roof struggled with SEO before finally devising a robust strategy to rank websites. His strategies help marketers, and business owners eliminate their SEO challenges, accelerate their goals, and save money. Join the conversation as listen to Kyle as he tells Geordie about his journey.  

What You’ll Learn 

  • Specific areas that Google checks on your website
  • Who is Kyle’s ideal customer?
  • Challenges that Kyle and his team faced during the software development stage
  • At what point in the business did Kyle and his team start developing the SaaS tool?
  • The testing concept and how Kyle executes it
  • Most effective areas to position your keyword
  • How to get your SEO right
  • How Kyle handled the MVP development process 

In this Episode:   

In his quest to understand Google’s algorithm, Kyle co-founded and acquired a patent for high voltage, an agency to facilitate his efforts. Through the agency, Kyle and his team develop controllable environments to regulate all web pages before it (the agency) evolved to become a SaaS platform.

Kyle and his team have mastered identifying what can or cannot be a ranking factor, and factors that could be stronger than others. Kyle mentions one lesson he learned from testing the Google algorithm, and you can learn about it from the podcast.  

According to Kyle, Google analyzes various sections of your website by searching for critical terms, your target keyword, or the main keyword. He would later realize that the Google algorithm is math-based. Identifying and granting the algorithm the correct math, helps you develop the best content to rank better than your competitors.  

Previously, the agency did everything manually, which Kyle admits was terrible. They later changed to Google Sheets before writing a script. Find details of what happened once Kyle had a script in the podcast. Are you looking to rank better on Google? Kyle says you are his target customer.  

Before venturing in the tech world Kyle was a lawyer. However, he quit and moved to South Korea. While he had intended to remain there for a year, his stay stretched to five years, during which he launched a business, a school. At some point, Kyle needed a website, but the process was slightly complex even though he had some website development experience from his college days.

While building his team took a while, he ended up with a strong team. Kyle later figured he could contract websites and went ahead to do so. Kyle collaborated with his brother, a web development and design expert, with whom they opened a company in India before he (his brother) was thrown in jail. Find out why the police raided their small company in India and how they freed Kyle’s brother from the podcast. 

They say necessity motivates you to invent, a phrase that applies to Kyle’s situation when he had no option but to learn SEO immediately. He, then acquired SEO clients from his failed company marking his entry into the world of algorithm testing. Kyle mentions that everything they incorporate within their strategies is tested and data-driven to guarantee results.

Following the need to automate their processes, Kyle and his team decided to develop software. He explains some challenges they faced before finally getting the software right. Get all the details from the podcast. Kyle also gives a detailed explanation of the testing and SEO concept. Do not miss this informative part of the podcast.

What problem does Kyle’s platform seek to solve? It helps users figure out how to generate excellent content that helps them rank better than their competitors. For example, if you have a target keyword, the platform helps you determine the number of times it should appear in your paragraph and the number of times you should include it in your age tags.

Listen to the podcast for extensive details on how the platform operates. He also breaks down their MVP development phase and pricing model since inception to date. Working with a development team can be challenging, especially if you are doing so virtually. Kyle talks about some of the challenges he has had with his development team.

One of the most effective strategies that Kyle and his team used to navigate from 15,000 to 30,000 MRR was attending conferences, appearing on YouTube shows, and doing podcasts. Kyle concludes the podcast by discussing some of the lessons he has learned during his journey.

Resources

PageOptimizer Pro. 

Kyle Roof Twitter

Kyle Roof LinkedIn

 

Jul 27, 2021
From Minister To 3m MRR with Tithe.ly founder Dean Sweetman
43:56

CEO and Co-founder of Tithe.ly talks about founding Tithe.ly, how they funded, built it, and evolved from zero to 30,000MRR and beyond. Listen and learn.  

Dean Sweetman spent over 30 years in ministry before launching Tithe.ly. The platform is designed to give you the tools you require to engage, stay connected, and ease the lives of your congregation and staff. He tells Geordie about his journey.

What You'll Learn

  • How Dean collaborated with his son to develop Tithe.ly
  • How Dean transformed his business from an app to SaaS
  • What problems do Dean and his team solve?
  • The problem Dean's platform seeks to solve for the congregants
  • Importance of content marketing
  • How Dean and his team integrated other software into his platform
  • Why company missions should be well-aligned to customer’s missions
  • What does Dean attribute their success to?
  • How Dean and his team handled tremendous growth during the onset of Covid

In this Episode:

In his childhood, Dean was a passionate surfer who did not grow up in church. He gives basic details about his life from birth, growing up, and how he ended up being a youth pastor. Dean describes his journey to tech as the "30 years of preparation".

At some point in his life, Dean had an encounter that he discusses in this podcast. Listen in for first-hand details.  The advent of the iPhone in 2012 was pivotal in catalyzing Dean's idea of transforming giving in the church into a smooth process.

He sought to ensure that people could do it through a mobile gadget, anytime and anywhere. Dean describes a particular incident in Starbucks where he bought coffee and paid through his mobile phone. Listen to the podcast for this exciting story. 

After the Starbucks incident, Dean tasked his oldest son, an engineer, with developing an App through which congregants could contribute directly to the church bank account.

 

Nine months later, the app was approved on the App Store, and Dean stood in front of his church with his MVP in hand. Dollars started trickling in through the App from the first month. How did Dean market the product?

Being well connected, he encouraged his congregants and friends to download the app and utilize it in their churches. Listen as Dean explains his son's role which he continues to play in developing and running the platform.

Dean and his team offered the App free of charge initially, but their business model changed as they evolved. Listen to the podcast for more details. Dean maintains that they strive to price their products fairly, and as the platform evolved, their vision moved from being an endpoint giving solution only, to an entire technical stack that churches require.

The team continues to develop more products, and Dean illustrates them in this podcast. He talks about the problems he and his team solved for the church, and you can learn about them in the podcast.

How do congregants benefit from Tithe.ly? Unlike in the past when credit cards were commonly used, many people are now transacting through mobile devices. Dean says nearly every industry has adopted mobile technology apart from the church, which limits their potential. He explains this concept further in the podcast.

In a world where competitors are increasing every day, entrepreneurs need to devise strategies to remain ahead. Dean explains how they have managed to beat the competition. If you are an upcoming entrepreneur, listen to this section and gain the lessons.

What pricing model does Dean use on big churches? He says they have a SaaS fee affiliated with larger churches and admits that 80% of their revenue comes through payments. Should you develop or buy software? Dean mentions that integrating different software into their platform was one of the biggest challenges they faced.

He recommends developing software from scratch and explains how fortunate they were to acquire great technology from a small company. Listen to the podcast for comprehensive details.

According to Dean, they experienced explosive growth during Covid. He explains how they execute their vetting process to ensure they are dealing with authentic churches. SEO plays a critical role in business growth, and Dean explains that most of the churches found them due to their powerful SEO.

Before COVID, Dean and his team had devised a robust SEO strategy that came in handy to help them attract the right audience. He concludes the podcast by explaining what they are doing to reduce churn rate.

Resources

Tithe.ly

Dean Sweetman LinkedIn

Dean Sweetman Twitter

 

Jul 21, 2021
How to determine cost per lead per marketing channel and navigating COVID with Michael Ashford of The Receptionist
48:05

Michael Ashford of the Receptionist talks about changing the company's marketing and growing amidst economic challenges triggered by Covid. Get insights from the podcast.

Michael has navigated various fields before getting to where he is today. He started in the engineering field before transforming into a sports writer and plunged into project management along the way. He would then end up in the sales and marketing industry. Michael admits that his vast experience in different fields has prepared him to thrive in any field. He tells Geordie about his journey in this must-listen-to podcast.

What you'll Learn

  • Importance of working together as a team
  • The best approach to adopt as a marketing manager
  • Strategy Michael and his team used to identify highly valuable leads
  • How to get a precise picture of your marketing activity
  • Importance of reviews
  • What to do after getting a bad review
  • How the visitor management system works

In this Episode

While some organizations experienced hard times at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, others like The Receptionist thrived. However, it took a change of strategy to navigate through the hard times.

Michael talks extensively about the concept behind The Receptionist. He gives an illustration of walking inside a company building as a guest or visitor, where you have to sign in to inform the authorities of your presence. Listen to the podcast for more details. 

Michael joined The Receptionist some years back to help build the marketing team. The Receptionist works with numerous businesses that deal with walk-in visitors and have no front office staff, probably because they cannot afford to pay them.

How the system works is that; you are a health practitioner for example, handling a client and your next client is waiting at the front office. The system lets you know that someone is waiting in the line and eliminates the need to keep walking to and from your office to find out whether you have clients waiting.

Michael describes his experience when he first joined The Receptionist, which you can only understand by listening to the podcast. Regardless of the team's efforts to boost the organization's performance, none was designed under the go-forward strategy umbrella.

Michael's first task was to outline everything the company was doing and bring it under one cohesive go-forward approach. Working together as a team is critical even when you are the overall manager.

According to Michael, collaborating with the entire team played a significant role in boosting the organization's performance. Acquiring traffic and leads as a new company can be a difficult task. Michael says that a big percentage of their leads and traffic was from referrals and organic traffic.

He mentions that the company was already excelling from an SEO point of view, and the team needed to focus on getting paid search. Michael also discusses another area they needed to focus on building, and you can get the details from the podcast.

Michael explains how to get started as a marketing manager in detail. If you want to enter the marketing world, you cannot afford to skip this part of the podcast. Breaking down data and separating valuable and non-valuable leads was a straightforward process, in Michael’s words. He explains how they did it, and you can get the comprehensive details from the podcast.

Data is critical when defining the direction a company is taking and what the team should do to boost performance. However, Michael admits that he did not appreciate data before he ventured into the marketing field.

Still, he mentions that other factors are critical for performance enhancement. Listen to the podcast to learn some of the surprises that Michael encountered along his marketing journey. When Michael joined The Receptionist, they did not have a robust strategy to get reviews.

Instead, they relied on natural and organic traffic. He highlights the company's only strategy then was the post-customer drip campaign. The Reception has since evolved and adopted an advanced traffic generation approach. He talks about this concept in detail in this podcast. To acquire reviews, Michael and his customer experience representatives had to work hard and implement a solid strategy. Listen to the podcast to learn more about it.

The Receptionist team values reviews and usually incentivizes clients that leave honest reviews with an Amazon gift card. Michael talks about how they address negative reviews, and you can learn about it from the podcast. He also discusses how the company operated during the onset of the pandemic down to the peak of things.

How did they navigate the challenges? Listen to the podcast to find out. Michael also explains the strategy they used to keep the business afloat in detail. It would be best to listen to this part of the podcast whether you are a startup or an established entrepreneur.

Resources

The Receptionist

Michael Ashford LinkedIn

Jul 13, 2021
From Web Designer to restaurant website SaaS owner with Brian Casel
29:02

Brian Casel of Restaurant Engine tells Geordie about working as a restaurant web designer and evolving to become a website SaaS owner. Listen to the podcast for more insights.

Brian Casel is an experienced software developer and website designer with many years of experience. Over the years, Brian has evolved from being a freelance web designer into developing a products business. He talks to Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • What it takes to move from freelancing into productizing
  • What problems do Brian and his team strives to solve?
  • Which strategy does Brian use to attract customers?
  • Why valuable content is critical
  • Importance of being intentional in decision making
  • How a productizing service works

In this Episode

Starting a business has never been easy. As a startup entrepreneur, learning from experienced people who have been in the business world for years can be beneficial. Apart from setting websites for restaurants and related businesses, Brian blogs about productized services, bootstrapping and moving from a freelancer to a fully-fledged entrepreneur. If you are considering venturing into the entrepreneurship world, then this podcast is a must-listen. 

Brian says moving from freelancing to productizing did not happen overnight. It took him many days of working extra hours, during the weekends, early mornings, and late nights to get his business up and running. Currently, Brian says he is working with a small team of professionals, and the business is doing well. Listen to the podcast to find out why Brian chose to venture into the hospitality field. 

While many restaurants today have websites, some of them are still stuck with outdated versions. In today’s fast-evolving world, numerous people rely on their mobile gadgets to get information. As a result, every business needs a mobile-optimized website to attract the right clients and scale. Businesses that lack this feature risk losing a significant percentage of potential customers.

Together with his wife, Brian introduced online ordering to their client’s websites some years back. While this feature has been around for some time now, it has just started getting momentum, with many customers preferring it for its convenience. Restaurants are also appreciating the feature due to its impact on sales, according to Brian. Find out how the online ordering method works from the podcast. 

Finding clients interested in Brian’s service is not easy, but he has devised the right strategy to reach his target audience and attract customers. Listen to the podcast to learn about this strategy. Apart from Restaurant Engine, Brian also runs Hotel Propeller and a podcast where he talks about everything to do with running a business. Why did he start podcasting? Get the answer from this podcast.

Brian is a passionate writer who expresses himself better in writing. He explains why being passionate about something is crucial. In the future, Brian hopes to be waking up every morning and loving his work. Leaving a full-time job was borne out of a passion for pursuing valuable things.

Brian explains that he is currently doing what he loves while building things he wants to pursue in the future. Given a chance, would you follow your passion for no pay, or would you opt for something that makes you money first? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Brian says you can use some opportunities as a stepping stone to get where you want to be. He explains his concept further in this podcast.

Brian learned a few lessons after breaking from the freelancing world and venturing into entrepreneurship. He mentions that having the business run on autopilot has freed him to venture into other interests. He also talks about other lessons which you can learn from the podcast. 

Over the years, Brian has learned through self-teaching and reading widely. He mentions one book that has been a game-changer in his journey. Learn all about it from the podcast. Whether you are a startup or an established entrepreneur, Brian says you should strive to work on your business instead of working in your business. He mentions that working on what will propel your business forward is critical.

You do not have to focus on things you get paid for, according to Brian. Brian says every person should strive to build something for the future and gives an example to illustrate his sentiments. Not many people would delegate their duties to other individuals, but Brian opines that doing so frees you to concentrate on other valuable tasks. 

Resources

Restaurant Engine

Brian Casel Website

Brian Casel LinkedIn

Brian Casel Twitter

E Myth Revisited Book

Jul 08, 2021
How to get people to pay for data, when you have no data with Data as a Service provider Mike Mandel of Compstak.com
45:47

Michael Mandel, CEO and co-founder of Compstak talks about building his MVP, meeting his co-founder, and building the company from 0-30,000 MRR. Listen for valuable lessons.

Compstak is a marketplace that is based on a crowd-sourced framework. Users can leverage the framework to find hard to get data. Michael Mandel, the co-founder, and CEO of this marketplace, talks to Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Who is the ideal Compstak customer?
  • What data does Compstak offer?
  • How Compstak members earn
  • Where do Compstak members get data, and how do they submit it?
  • Importance of granular information
  • Importance of having a technical expert
  • What does credit mean, and how does it benefit Compstak members?
  • Comparison between getting funding and bootstrapping

In this Episode

The real estate industry is broad, and sometimes finding detailed data can be a difficult task. Compstak, a real estate data company, promises to give you ample experience by providing comprehensive data you would otherwise have difficulties finding.

Michael says they collaborate with approximately 30,000 commercial real estate appraisers, brokers, and research experts who share on the Compstak platform. What information do these experts share? Listen to the podcast to find out. 

As the team of professionals shares data on the Compstak platform, they give Michael and his team a comprehensive database comprising all deals in the market. Compstak then sells subscription access to allow their clients access to the data. According to Michael, the company is popularly known for its lease comps, and he explains what these are. Get details from the podcast. 

Michael says sharing unique, recent, and comprehensive data on Compstak earns clients attractive credits. If they (clients) want to retrieve the data, they can leverage their credits to do so. Listen to the podcast for more insights on how this approach works. 50% of people who give Michael and his team data are brokers, while the remaining 50% are people working in real estate brokerage firms.

Compstak members can use a wide range of methods to submit data, which Michael talks about in the podcast. The team has also devised software to ease the process of uploading data while making it as efficient as possible. 

Michael’s stint as a commercial real estate worker gave him massive experience which played a major role in founding Compstak. He says their mode of operation was inefficient and that pushed him into devising an easy to use and more effective platform. Michael gives a detailed explanation of how clients leverage their data to achieve results. Listen to the podcast and learn. 

Compstak has evolved over the years and Michael says they have learned the importance of leveraging crowdsourcing to collect data. He mentions another crucial crowdsourcing lesson, which you can figure out from the podcast.

Michael’s co-founder who is also the technical expert was working for Compstak full time before Michael joined him even though the company was inexistent then. He (Michael) mentions the process he went through before finally getting a technical person he could partner with. Get the details from this podcast.

According to Michael, collaborating with a technical expert is critical, especially if you do not have the technical know-how. He supports his sentiments with an example, which you cannot afford to miss. Starting and building a company can be a tedious and time-consuming process.

Michael explains how his initial days looked like as he sought data from every broker he knew. Every startup entrepreneur needs to listen to this part of the podcast. Earning your first customer is not a walk in the park.

After launching Compstak in January 2012, it was not until nearly 10 months later that Michael and his team got their first paying client. How did Michael and his team come up with the pricing? While Michael does not remember the details, he says they researched around to determine what their competitors were charging. 

Raising money to fund the business was not an easy process. After a year of trying to figure out how to raise money, Michael and his team got angel investors before working with micro venture capitalists. At some point Michael joined the 500 startups accelerator which he admits was a great experience. Listen to the podcast for more details on the accelerator experience.

Collaborating with big companies can be both a good and a bad idea. Michael talks about his experience working with a big company. Listen to the podcast for more insights. He also discusses a few mistakes they made along the way. This part is a must-listen for startups and already established entrepreneurs. Michael concludes the podcast by telling listeners to appreciate the small breaks as much as they do big ones. 

Resources

Michael Mandel LinkedIn

Compstak.com

Michael Mandel Twitter

Jun 30, 2021
How to 10x your SaaS business with M & A expert Chris Daigle
43:23

Chris Daigle, founder and M & A advisor, talks to Geordie about his passion of the digital marketing industry and how he helps businesses scale. Listen in for the details. 

Chris Daigle boasts many years of experience in M & A digital marketing, business development, and business management industries. Today, he is a leading strategic advisor and growth architect. Chris is committed to helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses. He talks to Geordie about his journey. Listen to the podcast and take away some valuable lessons.   

What You’ll Learn 

  • Why rapid growth can be chaotic for companies
  • How the entrepreneurial operating system (EOS) works
  • Importance of planning in business
  • Importance of thinking in entrepreneurship
  • What does Chris look for in potential clients?
  • What strategy does Chris use to help clients increase the valuation of their companies?
  • Why every entrepreneur should know their conversion numbers 

In this Episode: 

Chris always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur from his fifth-grade days when he sold candy bars from his locker. He says that experience opened his eyes to the world of possibilities.

At the age of 20, Chris was already running a restaurant, but he was yearning to go to Silicon Valley and learn about technology. Chris would later land in Silicon Valley, where he had an excellent time. Listen to the podcast and get more details about his experience and the lessons he learned.  

Amidst business growth, Chris says, entrepreneurs should devise ways to maintain sanity and prevent chaos. A chaotic situation not only stalls development but also may result in business failure.

Chris mentions that he has spent the last 20 years enhancing his methodology and devising new strategies to scale companies while ensuring that the scaling is valuable. He highlights a specific quote in the podcast that every entrepreneur should listen to. Chris also explains how he collaborates with company owners to help them recognize opportunities.

Together with his team, Chris leverages this strategy to propel companies from seven to nine figures within a record 36 months. Listen to him as he illustrates his magic methodology in this podcast. EOS (entrepreneurial operating system) is designed to give businesses a robust framework to assess their day-to-day operations. Chris talks about the system in depth in this podcast and you cannot afford to miss it.

Why do you need a plan for your business? It allows you to achieve your target goals fast, and will still be available when you are not. At some point, Chris discusses the shower time concept, in relation to having a plan, an idea that he got from his friend Justin. Get details of this exciting story from the podcast.

Who is Chris’s ideal client? He says, his perfect client is someone who is looking for more than just money. He breaks down the components of his ideal client, and you need to listen to the podcast to understand them clearly. Chris also talks about thinking and why doing so is critical.

Asking critical questions is crucial for business success. Chris says the quality of your questions determines the quality of the results. He gives an example of growing a business double forth. To achieve valuable growth, entrepreneurs must work as hard as their anticipated growth. Listen to the podcast to understand Chris’s perception of how this concept works.

How does Chris’s strategy accelerate business growth? Results depend on the business level. For example, he says, if your business has already hit seven figures, that indicates the market has identified something valuable from your enterprise.

A lot goes into growing a business, and while Chris will not tell entrepreneurs what to do, he assists them in asking the right questions to facilitate growth. Are you an upcoming entrepreneur? Get some examples of those questions from the podcast.

Chris explains the strategy he uses to encourage entrepreneurs to ask the right questions that facilitate businesses growth. How does he tell whether a system is working or not? Chris has mastered the art of asking specific questions. He supports his answer with an example which you can listen to from the podcast.

Instead of focusing on scaling the business only, Chris says he strives to help entrepreneurs evaluate and stabilize their successful strategies. He explains this method further in the podcast. Affiliate marketing is still significant in today’s world. Chris mentions that he collaborates with affiliate marketers and describes how he executes the process. If you are considering affiliate marketing, you do not want to miss this section of the podcast.

Chris concludes the podcast by giving listeners some advice he has acquired from working with diverse clients. These are; watch your language and monitor the questions that run through your mind. He expounds on this advice, and you can get valuable insights from the podcast. 

Resources 

Chris Daigle Website

Chris Daigle LinkedIn

Chris Daigle Facebook

 

Jun 22, 2021
How 1 wordpress mastermind event changed the SaaS trajectory from failure to 30kMRR for Adrian Tobey
51:06

Adrian Tobey of Groundhogg talks about coming up with his business idea, building his MVP, and how he propelled his SaaS from poor performance to 30,000 MRR

Adrian Tobey is the CEO and sole founder of Groundhogg, a market automation and customer relationship management WordPress Plugin that offers users a comprehensive integration in their WP environment. He talks to Geordie about his journey.

What You’ll Learn

  • How Adrian discovered CRM
  • How did Adrian’s first product operate?
  • Why developers should focus on building their own products
  • The shoemaker’s son’s syndrome
  • Lessons Adrian learned while working in the agency
  • How Adrian funded his MVP
  • How Adrian and his team launched Groundhogg
  • Advantages of partnering with other professionals
  • Why cheaper solutions hardly solve significant problems
  • What strategy did Adrian use to attain his big break?

In this Episode

Groundhogg software is specially designed to cater to WordPress and digital marketing agencies. Adrian says he gained experience working as a WordPress developer. His primary focus was building WordPress websites for his clients, complete with layout design and page builders.

He would also integrate the websites with effective marketing automation and CRM products such as Hubspot, Active Campaign, and Infusionsoft. Having worked with numerous small businesses, Adrian understands how much small companies struggle with implementing practical strategies with marketing automation software. Groundhogg does not handle small businesses. Find out why from the podcast. 

Groundhogg’s core business focuses on areas where they are likely to make the most profit margins, that is, WordPress and digital marketing agencies. Apart from requiring minimal support, Adrian says already established agencies are high spenders and always renew their licenses whether their clients thrive or not.

Agencies are both persistent and consistent, making them easier to work with. According to Adrian, his business found him, and he gives a detailed explanation why. Listen to the podcast for this exciting story.

Many businesses struggle with attracting the right audience to their websites and converting them into paying customers. At some point, Adrian and his dad were working to identify the right strategy to initiate and maintain a conversation between visitors and the business until they finally become paying customers.

Adrian explains the most common method that many firms used in the past (some still do) to start conversations which you can find out about from the podcast. He also explains the method he and his dad used to start conversations with potential clients. 

At 18 years old, Adrian was already a certified partner of Infusionsoft. During that period, he worked with numerous small businesses and companies. Apart from building thousands of campaigns, Adrian attended the funnel hacking conference to horn his skills. He would then develop his first product while still in University. Adrian learned to code from YouTube and later quit the university.

Working on your own product is crucial for creating wealth and establishing yourself in the industry. According to Adrian, working for agencies is similar to the shoemaker’s son’s syndrome. Listen to the podcast to learn what the syndrome is all about.

What is Adrian doing to improve his product? He says a combination of building features and listening to customer demands works for him. Working with the agency exposed Adrian to numerous lessons, which he uses to build his business. He narrates some of these lessons in the podcast. 

At some point, Adrian realized that he was getting a raw deal from working for the agency and decided to quit. He gives details of this realization in this podcast. While he is no longer involved with the agency, he agrees that he can identify with most agencies’ problems. 

 

Quitting employment can be an easy process, but surviving after that and running a personal business can be difficult. Adrian borrowed some money from his grandfather, which he intended to depend on until his business stabilized.

Being at the right place at the right time is crucial for an entrepreneur. Adrian says he spent lots of time in areas where small businesses and agencies were, like Facebook groups. Here, he noticed the frustrations many companies were facing. Listen to the podcast to find out what these were. Adrian knew he could offer solutions for all those problems without fail. 

When Adrian and his team launched Groundhogg, they faced numerous challenges. He explains the strategy he used to attract regular customers. This is a long and detailed process filled with multiple failures that you cannot afford to miss. He would later devise the right strategy to develop an audience and create a constant flow of customers, which he would later convert into revenue. Listen to the podcast and learn about it.

At some point, Adrian attended an event where he discussed his cash flow and revenue problems. Listen to the podcast to find out the solutions he got from the professionals in attendance. He also explains how he leveraged those lessons to get his big break.

Adrian concludes the podcast by encouraging listeners to reach him with any questions they may have. He says he’s very reachable and ready to assist where possible. 

Resources

Ygroundhogg.io

Adrian Tobey LinkedIn

Adrian Tobey Twitter

Jun 15, 2021
Running a SaaS in the very competitive space of online scheduling with Bridget Harris of youcanbook.me
43:10

Running a SaaS in the very Competitive Space of Online Scheduling with Bridget Harris of Youcanbook.me

Bridget Harris, Co-founder and CEO at YouCanBook.Me talks about inventing the scheduling tool and building a  SaaS to 30,000 MRR. Learn more from the podcast. 

Before launching YouCanBook.me, Bridget was an advisor in government, parliament, and politics. Apart from running her company, she speaks in tech-related conferences and is passionate about various topics like building businesses from scratch, hiring processes, remote working, understanding the company culture, and bootstrapping. She talks to Geordies about her journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • The idea behind Youcanbook.me
  • Problems that Youcanbook.me seeks to solve
  • How Bridget and her team got their first customer
  • What was Youcanbook.me’s pricing process in the beginning?
  • The effects of competition on Youcanbook.me
  • Challenges Bridget and her team faced during the initial stages of the company.
  • Strategies Bridget and her team used to facilitate growth in the early days
  • When is the right time for investors to quit full-time employment and focus on their businesses?
  • How do Bridget and her team structure their plans?
  • Phases Youcanbook.me has undergone to achieve the current growth

In this Episode:

Project management tools facilitate the configuration of tasks, milestones, and calendars. With the right scheduling tool, entrepreneurs can cut down waste, save money, and enhance productivity. What makes Youcanbook.me different from other scheduling tools available today?

Bridget says the platform which is one of the oldest in the market is based on a meeting scheduler they had developed in 2007. Development is a continuous learning process, and Bridget says they have worked on multiple projects for many years together with her cofounder. Listen to the podcast to learn about some of these projects and how they have evolved.

Today, scheduling is widespread, and this has led to an influx of tools. To stand out from the crowd, Bridget says their tool is specially designed to ease team management processes. The tool facilitates overall scheduling for numerous people across an organization, allowing them to link, pool, and share their calendars.

The platform has evolved fast over the last few years. Apart from offering educational data through Youcanbook.me, Bridget says they also deal with small businesses. Currently, the platform has become a robust tool with numerous customers and monthly bookings. Find out the actual numbers from the podcast.

Customer feedback plays a major role in the running of a business and often determines its level of success. Bridget says Youcanbook.me is a product built out of customer feedback from their old platform. There are two key types of problems today, Bridget says and illustrates them in this podcast. Listen in to find out.

How has the ongoing pandemic affected Youcanbook.me? Bridget mentions that the pandemic has introduced some of the systems people use today. Learn about these systems from the podcast. Bridget explains the idea of having free and paid versions. She also explains the company’s current pricing model. Get the details from the podcast.

Youcanbook.me is a bootstrapped company and Bridget admits it has not been a smooth journey. Together with her co-founder, they did not receive payment from the business for years. However, they were still working full time which gave them sufficient funds to cater to basic needs. Bridget talks about other strategies they used to survive the difficult financial times which you can find out from the podcast.

Quitting full-time work can be a difficult decision, especially in the midst of financial constraints. Get Bridget’s nuggets of wisdom on this matter. She talks about considerations you should make before quitting. For Bridget, quitting helped her devise a strategy to earn income from the company. Learn about it from the podcast.

Taking risks is critical for success as Bridget explains. However, she mentions risk-taking may not be ideal for everybody and explains the concept further. At some point, Bridget tells the “elves and the shoemaker” story which you cannot afford to miss.

According to Bridget, building software products is easy but managing the business, acquiring customers, retaining them, and guaranteeing their happiness can be difficult. Listen to the podcast to find out what Bridget is doing to facilitate the company’s future growth. The hiring process can be complex and time-consuming, especially when you hire the wrong people who keep on leaving the company.

She explains what Youcanbook.me is doing to make the process much smoother. Bridget shares things she wishes she knew about hiring from the beginning. Aspiring entrepreneurs should listen to this part of the podcast keenly. Bridget concludes the podcast by discussing some of the most important lessons she has learned during her entrepreneurship journey. 

Resources

YouCanBook.Me

Bridget Harris LinkedIn

Bridget Harris Twitter

Jun 08, 2021
The ins and outs of angel investing with multimillion dollar fund of funds manager Ertan Can
47:46

Ertan Can of Multiple Capital talks about his passion for micro funds, investment expectations, and the components that make way for success in his investments. 

A fund of funds is an investment approach that involves investing in a collection of funds instead of directly investing in bonds, stocks, or other securities. Ertan Can has devised a new strategy that facilitates varied access to early-phase technology. He has invested in a collection of more than 500 initial-phase technology companies in Europe. Further, he prides himself on having developed a robust international network of founders and venture capitalists. He chats to Geordie about his journey.  

What You’ll Learn 

  • Why investing in tech companies can be a complex idea
  • Importance of conducting a market study
  • How to become an investor in Multiple Capital
  • What are rolling funds?
  • Why the Multiple Capital portfolio is less affected by heart downturns, unlike other portfolios
  • Reasons why Ertan would choose one fund over the other 

In this Episode 

Unlike other VCs and angel investments, Ertan says their strategy does not involve making direct investments into companies. Instead, he says it is a chain that consists of investing in venture capital before getting into the company level.

Ertan has a finance background, and living in the financial center in Germany played a huge role in molding him into the person he is today. After completing his late MBA, Ertan secured a job in a family office, where he was tasked with initiating investments into technology organizations.

Along the way, he realized that to invest in tech companies, one required specialized expertise. Ertan explains more about his realization, and you can get all the details from the podcast.  

It was not long before Ertan approached his employer with a proposal to do things differently, investing with specialists. He would later develop the thesis where he determined realistic specialists. His thesis focuses on investing regionally, and he illustrates his concept in this podcast. Listen and learn.

Ertan says his idea has been working for him since he launched it in 2013 to date. He has invested in numerous micro funds, small funds, and mutual funds. Apart from betting fund managers, Ertan says he is getting pitched by companies and as a VC fund. Listen to Ertan as he explains the lack of transparency in the funds market and how you can achieve transparency as an investor.  

Conducting market study is critical, and Ertan says he does so often in search of prospecting opportunities. However, Ertan mentions that reaching out to startups through LinkedIn and direct mail can be a significant struggle. Find out why from the podcast.

While Ertan sees a need for a match-making SaaS data platform in the fund industry, he says some of the existing platforms are ineffective. How does Ertan go about determining the ideal funds to invest in, or investors he can work with? Listen to the podcast and get his detailed explanation.

Ertan says he has adopted a robust selection concept that involves the fund size when it comes to choosing funds. He only invests in small funds because, according to his experience, they perform better than bigger ones. Ertan describes his opinion of small and more significant funds.

Is there value in what Ertan is doing? He says the team has always anticipated reaching the top quartile, or two to three times the overall money over the fund’s lifespan. In this case, it is 25% of the best-performing funds.

Value, according to Ertan, comes from screening the market and having a thesis to choose his ideal funds. To achieve his goal, Ertan and his team have been sourcing more funds and enhancing their theory. As a result, they are currently at the top decile level.

Ertan explains the top quarter returns concept, which you can learn about by listening to this podcast. Has Multiple Capital been affected by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic? According to Ertan, some businesses have reaped significant benefits during the pandemic, while others have suffered losses. However, he says their portfolio has not been affected.

Ertan mentions the company has gained from the current influx of capital in the market. Multiple Capital is now experiencing increased ABC rounds that have surpassed their expectations. Ertan says that while the market is now healthy, it is subject to fluctuate. Many markets are correlated; Ertan says and supports these sentiments with extensive details, which you can figure out from the podcast. 

Resources

Multiple Capital

Ertan Can LinkedIn

Ertan Can Twitter

Jun 01, 2021
Becoming the #1 authority in the slide presentation space with SaaS owner James Ontra.
50:21

James Ontra, founder and CEO of Shufflrr talks about coming up with his presentation management company idea and navigating challenges to build a six-figure SaaS platform 

What began from two phones, a borrowed desk, and cold-calling clients is today a robust sought-after slide presentation solution. Clients can leverage this solution to shuffle, share, and display their content. He talks to Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • How James moved from consultancy to SaaS
  • How corporates can leverage video and graphics to create interactive advertisement content that converts
  • What James and his team did to keep the business afloat amid advancing technology
  • Why having expertise in a specific field is critical for attracting large companies.
  • What makes Shufflrr more of a communication management system
  • How James got his first Shufflrr client
  • The primary content creation tool that Shufflrr uses
  • Who is the key Shufflrr client?
  • Why every entrepreneur needs a LinkedIn account
  • Why a SaaS business is a workflow that needs articulation 

In this Episode 

James was passionate about presentation long before the internet blew up. He says he acquired a big chunk of experience working in a tech company that manufactured CD ROMs or content slides, where people discuss issues interactively.

As technology, evolved and the internet became popular, James held on to his passion. Together with his team, they collaborated with big companies to help them integrate video into content to create advertising presentations. However, with the standardization of video production and the evolution of advanced video platforms, their value equation dropped immensely.

Not to be deterred by the turn of events, James and his team would divert their focus into building software. Their clients would use the software to enhance the quality of their presentations. What was the software’s basic function then? Listen to the podcast to find out. With continued technological advancements, the team later converted the software into a comprehensive content management system. James tells the story behind his consultancy job and how it influenced his move into SaaS. Find out all the details from the podcast. James talks about an exciting moment that triggered an instant change in their business model. Do not miss this jaw-dropping section of the podcast.

According to James, they built a piece of software at the time, which they sold and settled some of their bills. However, they later realized they had not done things right, a realization that left James frustrated to the point of not wanting to develop the software further. He then embarked on building Shufflrr from scratch.

Even with their new software development, James and his team were committed to taking in their new clients whenever they (the clients) were ready. James says it took him 13 months before he could sign up his first paying client on Shufflrr. He mentions that presentations have been critical since the advent of time and gives some convincing examples that you should listen to.

James also discusses how companies can use numerous slides to tell their story. He talks about how they got their first client who has been with them to date. Listen to the podcast for the comprehensive details.

James has some advice to give to small SaaS companies that are struggling to penetrate the market. If you are a first-time entrepreneur in the SaaS industry, you cannot afford to miss that piece of advice.

Pricing is a crucial part of any SaaS platform, and James gives a breakdown of their pricing versions. As an entrepreneur, patience is of the essence, and this gets clearer when James explains that they only started experiencing consistent growth four years after signing their first client.

While Shufflrr has salespeople currently, James says most of their sales come from inbound marketing. James talks about a book they have written in collaboration with his sister. He explains the book’s concepts and how they will help readers solve specific problems in this podcast.

James is a firm believer in the grandness of content marketing, and he gives his detailed explanation in the podcast. Do not miss this informational part of the podcast. How has presentation impacted the modern world? James talks about this subject in detail and gives practical examples. He mentions that presentations follow a conversation.

Previously, people read in a vertical format, unlike today when they read in a slide format, James says. As an entrepreneur, he continues, writing a book gives you authority ahead of your competitors. He concludes this insightful podcast by discussing Shufflrr’s conversion rate from their freemium plan to payment plans. 

Resources 

James Ontra LinkedIn

Shufflrr

May 25, 2021
Getting laid off due to covid and going full time on your SaaS with Zack Naylor of Aurelius
48:42

Zack Naylor of Aurelius Labs talks about establishing his MVP, co-founding a company, finding the first customers, and building his SaaS product to its current state.

Zack Naylor, Co-founder and CEO of Aurelius Labs, has been assisting entrepreneurs in researching customer insights to facilitate the development of excellent products. He talks to Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • The meaning of research, according to Zack
  • How Zack came up with his SaaS company
  • How did Zack come up with his MVP?
  • How Zack and his co-founder structured the company
  • How Aurelius Labs acquired its first customers
  • Why word of mouth marketing is an effective strategy
  • Strategies that Zack and his team have used to achieve growth
  • Importance of remaining active on social media platforms
  • Why Zack and his co-founder were against the idea of acquiring venture capital

In this Episode:

Market research plays a critical role in helping companies understand the needs of their target customers. Getting feedback from your audience enables you to manufacture the ideal goods that meet customer demands. Zack says his company specializes in user experience, people, product, and market research.

The SaaS Company is often defined as an analysis tool or research repository. According to Zack, Aurelius Labs is an all-inclusive platform that allows entrepreneurs to capture feedback, notes, and data from calls, customers, and usability testing.

Zack and his team help entrepreneurs to evaluate such data and convert it into core insights. Further, you can leverage the Aurelius Labs platform to search, share and reuse the data based on your needs. Zack gives his definition of research which you can learn about by listening to the podcast. 

 

The ideal Aurelius Labs customer is medium-sized businesses and user experience teams. Zack’s background lies in product strategy and user experience. It is no doubt that he ventured into a related industry. Zack says he spent 15 years of his life working in this industry.

Together with his co-founder, they worked at a consultancy firm and would be hired to work on SaaS projects as a team. Zack says he learned a specific lesson and identified a particular challenge from interacting with different clients. What lesson and challenge was this? Listen to the podcast to find out.

Zack tells the exciting story of how he came up with his MVP. Find out all the details from the podcast. After Zack shared the MVP idea with his co-founder, they started building it immediately.

The platform was bootstrapped for approximately five years, during which they also had full time jobs. They were later laid off at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. From there, they decided to focus on Aurelius Labs full-time.

Building an MVP can be a long time-consuming process, as Zack explains. He says they redesigned and redeveloped their application a record three times. Listen to the podcast to find out why they scrapped the app three times. Launching a company can be a challenging process but acquiring your first customer is equally hard.

Zack recalls how Aurelius Labs got their first lot of customers in this podcast. What started by charging customers per project is today an established company complete with three plans that customers can choose from. Zack gives a detailed explanation of how the payment plans work and how they help customers choose the right plan for their needs. You will get all the details from the podcast.

Zack runs a podcast which he says does not market his SaaS Company. He mentions why he launched the podcast, and you can find the reasons in this podcast. Navigating through the COVID season has not been an easy task for different companies globally.

Zack says they have adopted various marketing strategies to push the growth of their company. However, they have experienced a decline in some of their marketing strategies over the COVID season. Still, he is confident that things will get better soon.

According to Zack, his team has been occupied with product development, leaving minimal time to apply a wide range of marketing strategies. He highlights some of the techniques they have used before to push for growth and you can determine them from the podcast. When did Zack and his team get their big break? Zack has an interesting answer to this question. He mentions that regardless of how good your company is doing, there is always a risk ahead.

Sometimes you may be excited that you are finally making it. However, the feeling doesn’t last as often a cloud of uncertainty engulfs you, and you start wondering where you should go from there.

Zack and Joseph, his co-founder, were against getting venture capital from the beginning. Find out his reasons from this podcast. Zack concludes the podcast by saying you do not have to incur considerable risks to start a business that you are passionate about. 

Resources

May 18, 2021
He was paid 32k to remove 1 bad review then built an Agency to SaaS that is making over 100k MRR around reputation management
50:59

Curtis Boyd, CEO and founder of Objection Co tells Geordie about coming up with the idea for his SaaS company, getting his first customer, and growing it to 30,000 MRR

As technology grows and many businesses move their operations online, reputation becomes critical. Curtis Boyd, a skilled online reputation management professional, talks to Geordie about his journey. Listen to the podcast for some insights on protecting your business reputation online. 

What You’ll Learn

  • What Objection Co does for its customers
  • How Objection Co deals with churn
  • How much is the Objection Co license?
  • Why reviews are critical for business progression and increased profits
  • What sets Objection Co apart from its competitors?
  • How did Curtis transition from an agency to SaaS?
  • Why offering low prices for your product is not a good idea. 

In this Episode: 

Technological advancements come with challenges and limitations. For example, adopting digital processes for your business helps you reach a wider audience. However, sometimes you will have to struggle with fake reviews, often from malicious competitors. If you have been facing similar challenges, Curtis, formerly a nursing assistant, is here to help. 

Curtis says Objection Co specializes in building technology that helps identify and contest fake reviews on websites like Yelp and Google. The ideal Objection Co customer is the entrepreneur who is struggling with illegitimate or fake reviews written by malicious competitors or customers, disgruntled employees, or even bots.

At what point does Objection Co come in to assist your business? Find out from the podcast. Curtis also explains how they go about identifying fake reviews. 

Churn can be a significant problem, especially for a business like Objection Co. Curtis agrees that they had struggled with churn before, which left him frustrated at some point. However, he had to develop a robust strategy to address this matter, and he talks about it in-depth in the podcast. Listen and find out the technique he used, and whether it was successful. 

Pricing is one of the main factors that customers consider before paying for a service. Curtis talks about their license charges and expounds on what the price covers. If you are considering Objection Co services, you do not want to miss this part of the podcast. 

Many entrepreneurs are willing to pay any amount to maintain a good reputation online if Curtis’s interesting background story is anything to go by. He tells Geordie how a doctor approached and requested that he have his (the doctor’s) negative reviews deleted. Having zero experience, Curtis called every company he knew would assist to no avail.

At some point, he spent nearly half of his savings to travel overseas in search of a solution. You should listen to this part of the podcast to understand the importance of a good review and the impact of a bad review. 

After struggling to get a solution, Curtis finally met someone who took him through the process of removing bad reviews. He later managed to assist the doctor, who paid him a whopping $32,000 and introduced him to other clients. At this point, Curtis quit nursing to venture into the reputation management industry.  

Curtis would later go back to school, where he studied computer science and learned how to code. He then built software, marking the birth of Objection Co. Curtis used the software to read reviews, eliminating the need to do so manually. As Curtis became more conversant with artificial intelligence and machine learning, he realized that fake reviews hurt consumers more than entrepreneurs. He explains this concept in the podcast. Listen in and learn. 

Curtis sought help in writing and building the Objection Co MVP, a team he says was a total nightmare. Find out why from the podcast. He would later find a different great team which he liked. Listen to the podcast as Curtis narrates the exciting details of how he flew to Ukraine and ended up acquiring a development team.

Transitioning from an agency to SaaS can be a daunting task. At some point, Curtis and his team lost some of their clients. Listen to the podcast to understand strategies that Curtis used to facilitate the transition process.

During Covid, Curtis says they lost a chunk of customers, seeing that everything shut down. He explains how they coped with the situation before online reviews became critical. According to Curtis, 2020 was one of their best years. He concludes the podcast by explaining the structure of Objective Co financing.

Resources

Curtis Boyd LinkedIn

Objection Co

Curtis Boyd Twitter

May 11, 2021
Bootstrapping SaaS 101: When and how to make your first hire
51:52

David Hollander of Order Desk talks about launching his SaaS platform and leveraging his passion for development to grow the company to over 30,000 MRR

David Hollander is the CEO and founder of Order Desk, a platform that allows merchants to save time in eCommerce order fulfillment. The business that he started as a side-project has since evolved to become an entirely bootstrapped company with more than five employees. He talks to Geordie about his journey. 

What you’ll Learn

  • The story behind the Order Desk platform
  • How Foxy cart works
  • What triggered David to restart his operations?
  • How does David’s new platform differ from his old one?
  • Did the relaunch help boost Order Desk’s performance?
  • At what point did David quit the agency (Foxy cart), and how did he go about it?
  • How David’s customers find him
  • Why David thinks that word of mouth is more effective than affiliate marketing
  • When did David get his big break with Order Desk?
  • Importance of teamwork

In this Episode:

Order fulfillment is a critical part of the eCommerce industry, and Order Desk strives to make the process smooth for their customers. David says Order Desk is a SaaS platform that mainly deals with merchants.

The merchants bring in their orders into the Order Desk platform from different eCommerce channels. They (Order Desk) then dispatch the orders based on the merchant’s request to their preferred fulfillment locations.

David tells Geordie how the Order Desk idea was born. Listen to the podcast to figure out how David’s association with Foxy cart led him into meeting different customers with varied needs. He also discusses how he leveraged one customer’s needs to come up with an order fulfillment platform. So robust was the platform that some customers advised him to start charging for his platform. David says he was not ready to start charging for his services, but he thought it was a great idea after some time.

According to David, the MVP did not cost him real money, but he spent lots of time building it. David continued working for the agency while building and advancing his SaaS platform. Listen to the podcast to figure out how he added his order fulfillment platform to other main eCommerce channels.

Soon, David says, he started receiving different demands from different people, which forced him to consider going back to the drawing board. Listen to the podcast to find out how David started rebuilding his order fulfillment platform and the effort it took to achieve success. 

During the rebuilding process, David’s old platform was making $1,000 every month, but customers could not wait for the new platform. Often, all you need to take action is one trigger word which is what happened to David. He says a customer approached, and encouraged him to release the advanced platform.

Something then hit him, and he realized he had to release it as soon as possible. David went ahead to launch the platform even though it was not ready. He admits that the platform can be complicated for users and highlights measures he took to make it simpler. Find out the details from the podcast. 

David mentions that the platform kept growing, and he added numerous integrations regularly, which increased his income tremendously. He worked long hours based on how excited he was, a feeling he admits was triggered by customer excitement and satisfaction. David says he built integrations upon request from customers.

He explains how the process worked, and you can figure the details out from the podcast. At some point, Order Desk was evolving fast, and David realized that he needed to hire even though he was skeptical about it. Why did he struggle with hiring? Find out from the podcast. He also explains how he conducted the hiring process.

His first hire turned out to be successful, and by the end of that year (2016), they had significant progress. David would later hire more staff from outside the USA who he says has done a great job. However, he mentions that his first developer left after a few months, which he blames on his (David’s) inability to onboard him accordingly. Did David finally get an effective developer? Find out from the podcast.

Order Desk has experienced a particular trend, which David explains further in the podcast. If you are an aspiring eCommerce platform entrepreneur, you should not miss this part of the podcast.

David says he prefers email support as opposed to phone support. Find out why this is so from the podcast. His big break happened back in 2019 when he and his five employees went for a retreat. He concludes the podcast by mentioning that successful people should work hard towards their goal.

Resources

David Hollander Twitter

David Hollander LinkedIn

May 04, 2021
How Aaron Ross grows his SaaS clients to $1mARR or more through outbound marketing
44:27

Aaron Ross of Predictive Revenue talks about his startup adventures, being an author, and an entrepreneur. Listen to the podcast to get the best outbound marketing tips. 

While many people call it an outdated strategy, outbound marketing remains a popular form of persuasive communication for approaching customers. Marketers can use it to inform customers about their services and products. The main idea of outbound marketing is to generate sales: Aaron Ross, an outbound marketing expert, talks to Geordie about his journey.

What You’ll Learn

  • Difference between organic growth and proactive growth
  • What are the different cold calling techniques available?
  • How does Predictive Revenue operate? 
  • Importance of targeting the right companies
  • Data cleaning strategies
  • Why knowing your prospects is crucial

In this Episode:

The journey to successful entrepreneurship can be challenging, based on Aaron’s story. He talks about starting a tech company that would later fail despite his engineering background. He later opted to learn sales, out of which he formed a team which he says executed outbound prospecting in a very predictive way.

While he struggled to help his team achieve double growth, something good came out of his effort. Find out about it from the podcast. He would later start a successful consulting company. 

According to Aaron, hitting 30,000 MRR is not proof enough that an entrepreneur has established a product-market fit. He opines there is a difference between organic growth and proactive growth, explains these concepts, and talks about product channel fit. Listen to the podcast and learn.

Aaron says his specialty is outbound selling and prospecting. In the outbound prospecting approach, humans are involved in deciding the companies you want to target. How do marketers identify suitable companies? Aaron mentions three crucial channels, which you can figure out from the podcast. He talks about the process of handling customers from the beginning to the end.

According to Aaron, many clients may not beware that they do not need outbound prospecting in the first place. Listen to the podcast for his explanation of this concept. When it comes to outbound prospecting, getting your target company right is critical.

Aaron opines that what you say on the phone, Email, or LinkedIn does not matter if you target the wrong companies. Are you looking for the ideal strategy of getting your outbound prospecting and marketing right? Aaron speaks about three steps you should follow, which you can learn from the podcast.

To get a good return on investment from outbound prospecting, you must have a specific type of customer. What’s more, that customer must pay you otherwise you will hardly make any money. Aaron gives an illustration in this podcast that you must listen to. 

What tools can you use to understand your customers? Aaron says there are numerous tools in the market today, and choosing the right one can be difficult. He recommends identifying three suitable tools and testing them to see what best meets your needs. Outbound marketing strategies can lead you to find the ideal customer, but you will also need the right tools to build your lists.

To determine the effectiveness of your lists, you will need to send messages through your preferred communication channel. For example, Aaron says you could send 100 emails that do not bounce. If you receive no response at all, that could indicate that the strategy does not work. However, if you receive even one positive response, that would be a good start.

Aaron says that the testing process is more time-consuming than many people realize as he breaks down the process in the podcast. Listen to this section keenly to grasp the details. Getting an outbound prospecting email right is not an easy task. Aaron talks about the different factors you should consider before you can start writing.

He also discusses strategies you should use to figure out the effectiveness of the Email and recognize mistakes before sending it to your target customers. Listen to the podcast for all these comprehensive details.

According to Aaron, an effective cold email should be between 300 and 500 characters. Focus on delivering a short and precise email that the target people will not find boring. Aaron says there are various effective calls to action you can use and gives examples in the podcast. He reiterates that the number of cold emails you send per day varies. However, Aaron recommends between 6 and 8 cold emails, but you can still send more.

Cold calling is another outbound prospecting strategy that marketers can use. However, it takes lots of learning to get right. Listen to Aaron’s cold calling tips on this podcast. Aaron concludes by talking about practical SaaS books you should read.

Resources

Fromimpossible.com 

Aaron Ross LinkedIn

Predictable Revenue

Apr 27, 2021
How Colin Gray took his blog with high traffic and used it to grow a SaaS to $60,000 MRR
39:52

Colin Gray, CEO, and founder of Alitu, talks about launching his startup and combining it with SaaS to hit $60,000 MRR. Listen to the podcast and grasp the lessons. 

The popularity of podcasting has been growing rapidly in recent years. Whether you are currently a podcaster or planning to become one, Alitu.com will come in handy. This efficient tool is ideal for podcasters who want to achieve excellent sound without being audio experts.  

Alitu allows you to automate complex audio aspects and features user-friendly drag and drop components to facilitate easy editing. Listen to Colin Gray in this podcast as he tells Geordie more about Alitu.  

What You’ll Learn 

  • What does Alitu do for its clients? 
  • How did Colin navigate the startup during its earlier stages? 
  • How Colin came up with the idea of an automated podcaster maker 
  • Importance of content as a marketing concept 
  • Why has Colin and his team maintained the same pricing package since they launched?  
  • How did Colin acquire customers when they first launched? 
  • Importance of affiliate marketing 
  • How Colin and his team identifies affiliates and their revenue share 
  • How is the conversion rate on Alitu from affiliates? 
  • How did the pandemic affect Colin and his team? 

In this Episode:  

Content is powerful, and Colin demonstrates this when he mentions that Alitu grew from the content they produced. Together with his team, they started writing blog posts to teach their readers how the platform worked and how they could create an excellent podcast. They would later venture into assisting people in creating podcasts on their own before developing the software.  

Colin ventured into podcasting through education. He tells Geordie that he was a trainer of lecturers in learning technology at the university for nearly six years. His main goal was to ensure that lecturers understood how to leverage technology to aid their students.  

Podcasting was one of the popular technologies then, and Colin’s team encouraged him to consider it. He would later love everything about it and incorporate it into his curriculum at the university. At the same time, he documented what he was learning on his blog, giving birth to the host.com podcast. Colin admits that podcasting back in the day was not as smooth as it is today.  

Find out his reasons from the podcast. Editing can be a time-consuming procedure that many people detest. Colin explains how the idea of starting Alitu.com crossed his mind, and you can find the details from the podcast.  

Colin says that he spent an entire year developing a plan for his primary business. He also focused on other aspects like content, agency, and affiliate. While Colin had a robust plan for the software at the end of the year, he was yet to start the development stages.  

At some point, he applied for funding to support his MVP, which he got and indulged in building the software. Still, Colin says he had to pay a third of the initial MVP cost and explain how he budgeted for the funding. Listen to the podcast to learn.  

Colin and his team got some regular clients from the MVP but continued growing content, which he says was their main income. Colin explains this concept further, which you can learn about from the podcast.  

What were the components of the MVP? Colin gives a comprehensive explanation of his MVP and the tools behind it, which you can only learn about by listening to the podcast. He says working on the MVP was not only exciting, but it also exposed him to coding even though he had no prior coding experience.  

Colin talks about how the MVP operates, and you can get all the details from the podcast. Platforms evolve with time and based on client needs. Sometimes clients may request specific features. How do Colin and his team handle such a situation? He answers this question in the podcast.  

According to Colin, most of their traffic was going to their blog, but they worked a way to direct it to the podcast. Find out how they did it from the podcast.  

At some point, Colin and his team experienced a surge in traffic on Alitu, and after that, they started growing tremendously. He explains the strategy they used. Every entrepreneur or marketing professional cannot miss the details in this part of the podcast 

Colin highlights the months of November and December 2019 as the moment when they experienced their big break. There were multiple signups, and their client base grew in the first three months of 2020.  

He mentions that they are considering introducing higher pricing tiers soon. In conclusion, Colin says that podcasting is an excellent way of selling products because it develops trust among clients and entrepreneurs. 

Resources 

Apr 21, 2021
How This Vacation Rental Services Owner Solved His Own Technology Problem and SaaS'd It Out for His Industry
35:28

Na'ím Anís Paymán of Zeevou talks to Geordie about discovering the Zeevou idea, developing software successfully with zero experience, and funding the MVP.  

Na'ím Anís Paymán is the founder and CEO of Zeevou, a customer relationship management platform. Zeevou allows entrepreneurs and managers in the vacation rentals industry to manage their property with ease. He talks to Geordie about his journey.  

What You’ll Learn 

  • What prompted Na'ím to launch Zeevou? 
  • What problem did Na'ím experience with his project management software? 
  • How Na'ím navigated the problems he faced in his capacity as the property manager 
  • How did Na'ím fund his MVP when the company was transitioning into the SaaS model? 
  • How the direct booking system works 
  • How the freemium package works 
  • What outbound marketing strategy does Na'ím and his team use? 

In this Episode: 

According to Na'ím, Zeevou is not an ordinary startup, but what he calls a spin-off startup business. Initially, Na'ím says he had a property management enterprise specializing in managing short-term rentals. Along the way, they faced issues and struggled to determine the right software online.  

After days of searching without positive progress, they decided to develop software to help solve the problems existing in their system. Out of this quest, Zeevou was born. Na'ím says while they launched the business recently, his project management company has been in existence for many years.  

At some point, they had to discontinue their operations because everything was not working accordingly. He gives a detailed explanation in the podcast. Listen in for details on how they spend six months without a system, instructed his developers to replace the entire system, and how the developers misunderstood its core. 

 

Na'ím says the project management system they were using before was developed for hotels and property managers struggled to make it work effectively. He explains the system in this podcast, and you need to listen to understand. He also mentions a range of issues that hindered the proper functioning of their software. Listen to the podcast to find out how the system Na'ím and his team was initially using operated.  

Today, Na'ím says they have advanced their system to accommodate various features, which you can learn about from the podcast. Unlike their previous project management system built for hotels, their advanced system is specially designed for property managers. Na'ím says the system that they launched just when the COVID-19 pandemic hit has experienced significant growth.  

He mentions that offering direct bookings has been instrumental in their continued growth and explains how it works. Find the details from the podcast. Na'ím notes that they developed the software as a matter of urgency to handle their issues.  

As a result, and seeing that he had not developed software before, they missed some details, which you can learn about from the podcast. He mentions that some of their clients say the software is overly complicated, making it non user-friendly.  

Pricing is a critical part of any business when it comes to conversions. Na'ím says the fact that their paid plan is slightly pricey discourages clients from converting. However, they have decided to maintain their prices without competing with other players in the market.  

Listen to the podcast to understand why Na'ím and his team keep that principle. How then does Na'ím monetize the platform? He gives comprehensive details to explain this concept in the podcast. You can only understand it better by listening.  

Marketing plays a massive role in business continuation. What strategies have Na'ím and his team been using to stay afloat amid the pandemic? Where have they been getting their users? Na'ím says they have done little marketing using funds they received from sponsors. They won most of the sponsorship awards through applications.  

A big part of their marketing has been through word of mouth and ensuring that customers are happy. Previously, many of their customers came from Facebook groups and Instagram. They have recently incorporated content development in their marketing strategy. They also have an outbound marketing strategy that you can learn about from the podcast.  

According to Na'ím, their property management services and software are currently working well together. Startups need lots of support to thrive, and Na'ím is committed to establishing the right solutions. Together with his team, they are currently working on a tool that startups can leverage to manage all their requirements, including development, marketing, and sales. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this tool. 

Resources 

Apr 13, 2021
How Alex Zerbach of Carrot.com went from WordPress template theme to real estate investor SaaS leader
42:45

Alex Zerbach, co-founder of carrot.com, tells Geordie about founding the platform's idea, building the MVP, and growing from 0-800,000 MRR. Listen for more details.

Carrot is a SaaS platform that streamlines property websites' development to help clients manage investor's assets. While Alex and his team deal with larger enterprises, he mentions that they mainly deal with single clients. Listen to Alex as he shares his story with Geordie. 

What You'll Learn

  • The story behind the carrot.com domain
  • How Alex and Trevor converted the agency into a SaaS platform
  • com pricing plans
  • What was the MVP, and how much did it cost?
  • How did Alex go about the SaaS marketing process?
  • When did Alex and his team get their big break?
  • The latest carrot.com development and the story behind it
  • How Alex and his team executed their content marketing strategy
  • SEO strategies that Alex and his team were using
  • Importance of content as a marketing strategy
  • Importance of case studies
  • Strategies Alex and his team used to achieve success from their cold traffic.
  • What strategy did the team use when raising prices?
  • How did Alex and his team manage their finances?

In this Episode:

When Alex was schooling, a mutual friend introduced him to Trevor, who later became his co-founder, who was launching a SaaS business. According to the mutual friend, Alex needed to contact Trevor for a chance to work together. However, when Alex called, Trevor claimed the project was still in its inaugural stages, but they could still collaborate when everything was ready. 

Trevor loved Alex's ambition and was sure that something good would come out of his expertise. Alex maintained contact with Trevor until one day; he proposed collaboration between them. They would later launch Carrot. Alex tells Geordie the story behind acquiring the carrot.com domain. Listen to the podcast to find out. 

While in college, Trevor had purchased his inaugural rental property in partnership with a family member. This step marked his entrance into the real estate investing world. Trevor had developed a website through which he could generate leads for tenants. He also used the platform to search for discounted properties.

At some point, he became a consultant. Out of sharing about his experience and work on social media platforms, many people became curious, and they started approaching him in search of solutions for their websites. It is from these inquiries that the Rei conversion theme was born. Please find out how Trevor implemented the Rei theme on his customer's websites before Alex joined him.

When Alex later joined Trevor, the business was still an agency seeing that he (Trevor) was running his operations manually. Alex left at some point and rejoined the team later on. During his (Alex's) absence, Trevor was struggling to upload themes and contracted out Chris (the other co-founder) to help him out.

Surprisingly, Chris completed the massive work in less than half an hour. Impressed, Trevor invited Chris to help him automate the agency into a SaaS platform. Find out how the team executed the process from the podcast. Alex would later rejoin the team as a marketing expert, which he has outgrown to become the director of operations.

Alex talks about the platform's pricing plans and the services clients received on placing an order. He gives a detailed explanation about the platform and what set them apart from their competitors then. Listen to the podcast for this informative section. He also talks about the transition period from an agency to a SaaS platform you cannot afford to miss. 

After converting the agency to SaaS, Alex and his team needed to market it to reach a wider audience. He mentions that they did not have a hard time achieving that, seeing that Trevor was already famous on social media platforms.

According to Alex, Trevor played a massive role in marketing the platform to multiple industry partners. He talks about other strategies they used to promote the platform that you can learn about from the podcast. Alex tells Geordie about their big break moment, which you should hear to grab the details.  

Alex talks about navigating their content marketing and the effort they invested in getting things right. Why did the team spend a lot of time on content generation? Did they achieve growth from content marketing? Listen to the podcast to find out.

Alex says they experienced growth from investing in paid ads, affiliates, and adding members to the team. He mentions that a significant percentage of their growth came from organic traffic.

What impact did COVID have on the company? Alex says they were not adversely affected. Listen to the podcast to figure out how they survived the period. Alex finalizes the podcast with some tips for aspiring SaaS entrepreneurs. Listen to the podcast to figure these out. 

Resources

Carrot.com

Alex Zerbach LinkedIn

Alex Zerbach Instagram

Alex Zerbach Twitter

Alex Zerbach Personal Website

Apr 06, 2021
How George Carollo and his co-founders of dover.com 10 Xd their MRR from 40 to 400k in 9 months during Covid
45:40

George Carollo of Dover.com tells Geordie how he founded the platform, built the MVP, and built their MRR from 40 to 400k in 9 months amid the pandemic. Listen and learn.

George Carollo is the co-founder of Dover, the inaugural end-to-end Y Combinator-based recruiting platform that helps enterprises recruit top-tier talent. Previously, George worked in venture capital, project finance, and fintech, where he gained tremendous experience. He talks to Geordie about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • The problem that Dover.com solves for its customers
  • Who is the ideal Dover customer?
  • How George and his co-founders identified the core problem
  • What is George’s vision for their product?
  • How George and his team started building a SaaS product
  • Where can hiring managers find potential candidates? 
  • How Dover collaborates with hiring managers to get the best talent
  • How George and his team determined the core problem
  • Importance of user feedback before developing a potential solution
  • Pros and cons of Y Combinator

In this Episode

Many recruiting managers struggle with hiring and retaining top talent. George, whose career began in the finance industry, says he learned how to become a front-end engineer on the go.

During his learning process, he came up with the idea of developing a targeted solution that hiring managers could leverage to hire experienced talent. George has coding skills which he says helped him become conversant with the coding language. However, he believes there are more talented people than him.

According to George, Dover is exclusively designed for hiring managers regardless of their department. He says that approximately 50% of their users are founders, while the remaining 50% are hiring managers. 

 

Every successful business must begin with robust ideas. By the time George joined Dover, his co-founders had already identified around 20 ideas they wanted to work around. They later worked together to prolong their list of ideas and surprisingly got their first customers without tech. Listen to the podcast to understand how this idea worked. 

While George and his team had a long list of ideas, they struggled to differentiate the good from the non-effective. He explains how they finally worked on a solution for this challenge, and you can find the details from the podcast. During the initial stages of the venture, their customers paid for the services upfront.

George says his co-founders enjoyed a great reputation which explains why many of their customers trusted them. With continued automation of the Dover platform, George says their prices have become more affordable. He envisions a time when Dover will be the face of great products. He gives his definition of a great product in this podcast. Listen in to find out. 

At some point, George explains his journey building the SaaS product from scratch. He says the process was manual and taxing. Together with his co-founders, they had to peruse through more than 1,000 resumes. This is an interesting part of the podcast that every aspiring entrepreneur should not miss.

Amid major struggles, George and his team managed to develop and automate their core technology. George says recruiters can get candidates from three different sources, which he explains in detail. He also mentions how they collaborate with other channels to attract potential candidates. Listen to the podcast for more details.

Regarding building the MVP, George mentions that they acquired customers before getting any funding. Together with his co-founders, they built their inaugural MVP amongst themselves. It was not until they understood the problem that they began investing more energy in developing a follow-up solution.

He explains how they survived the initial stages seeing that all of them (co-founders) had resigned from their current positions. George says they cut a different niche than what is the norm in the industry.

Unlike many developers who focus on development before knowing the solution, they wanted to establish their target user needs. The team focused on understanding their end solution first before embarking on development. Listen to George as he explains how the idea of acquiring user feedback worked for them.

When did George and his team get their big break? He says they hit 60k in around four months. They decided to focus more on product development at some point, and it is around that time that Dover started growing exponentially. Following the Covid uncertainty across the world, Dover lost a chunk of its users.

As people started working remotely, their numbers started growing, and they managed to keep the platform afloat. Listen to this podcast to understand how Dover grew in the midst of the pandemic and what they are doing to maintain the growth. George concludes the podcast with his top tips for a successful hiring process, which you do not want to miss. 

Resources

Dover.com

George Carollo LinkedIn

Mar 30, 2021
How to jump start your 0 - 10k MRR sales with Manuel Hartmann of salesplaybook.io
36:20

Manuel Hartmann tells Geordie how and why he founded Salesplaybook. Listen to the podcast and learn different methods of initiating your 0-10k MRR sales journey.

Manuel Hartmann is the founder of the Sales Playbook. The platform provides a sales accelerator to B2B tech startup founders and salespeople unhappy with their existing market grip to enhance profitability. He talks to Geordie about his journey.

What You'll Learn

  • Manuel's door to door sales experience background
  • The solution that Salesplaybook offers to customers
  • How do Manuel and his team generate leads?
  • Challenges that Manuel and his team faces
  • Common problems that Manuel and his team deal with
  • Automation tools around LinkedIn that you can use
  • Customization tools that Manuel uses
  • How to compose a good case study

In This Episode:

Manuel begins this podcast by mentioning that determining product market fit and validating new markets fast is a subject that Universities do not teach. This realization pushed him into founding the Salesplaybook to help B2B entrepreneurs understand how to grow by between 100 and 500%. Manuel says his company falls under the sales acceleration and enablement category. They focus on studying market development and marketing trends. Further, they strive to make their solution user-friendly and trustworthy. He talks about the importance of marketing during the initial stages of a SaaS startup. Listen to the podcast for the details. 

The journey of a thousand miles always begins with a single step, and this is evident from Manuel's sales history. He talks about using various methods to navigate the sales industry and failing numerous times. Listen to the podcast to find out how he finally ended up at Tesla, the lessons he learned, and how he later built sales for a young startup company.

Along the way, Manuel and his team decided to rebrand the startup, and he was responsible for looking for a sales coach. He says he struggled to find a reliable and qualified person the startup could pay with minimal struggle. Manuel says his door-to-door sales experience is an activity he would love to engage in again. Listen to the podcast for comprehensive details on his encounter. 

Sales playbook is an all-inclusive coaching package in one-on-one sessions or groups. It comes with a self-learning platform with over 40 actionable templates that users can implement fast. With Salesplaybook, users get access to different coaches, allowing them to broaden their knowledge. Manuel says they have 25 to 250k ticket offerings in America, which he believes sets them apart from competitors. He explains how they get leads in this podcast.

Manuel mentions that they strive to solve various challenges in their day-to-day operations. For example, attracting and retaining excellent salespeople can be a difficult task. He highlights other challenges that you can figure out by listening to the podcast. Together with his team, Manuel engages their clients in a short discovery quiz to highlight their current challenges. The feedback they get helps them figure out the right solution for their clients.

According to Manuel, different customers approach him with different problems based on the stage they are in their startup. He gives more details on this issue that you cannot afford to miss. Many startup entrepreneurs are interested in understanding effective strategies they can adapt to jumpstart their sales. Manuel says that startups should try to reach as many people as possible in a non-salesy way.

Listen to the podcast to understand different automation tools in LinkedIn and how they work. Apart from jumpstarting your MRR sales journey via LinkedIn, Manuel recommends various other sales methods ideal for the USA and Europe. Listen to Manuel breakdown the different methods in this detailed part of the podcast. 

Video is a powerful and effective tool that Manuel and his team use to reach potential clients. While this method works, Manuel recommends the best way to use it and explains other customization tools he uses. Learn about them from the podcast. According to Manuel, other top-performing sales strategies include excellent customer service and delivering exceptional results.

Manuel changes his sales approach based on the startup level. He explains why this is the case in the podcast. He concludes the podcast by talking about case studies and some of the main questions you should ask during one. These include: what prevented you from buying initially based on people's perceptions? How did your perception change after you learned more about XYZ? What particular thing do you like? Who recommended XYZ to you? What else would you like to share?

Resources

Manuel Hartman LinkedIn

Salesplaybook.io

Manuel Hartman Twitter

Mar 23, 2021
Overcoming some of the most common SaaS MVP mistakes with Cory McKane of We Strive App
42:10

Cory McKane of WeStrive tells Geordie how the platform was born, acquiring funds for the MVP, and navigating challenges to develop one of the most popular fitness apps.

What You’ll Learn

  • What was Cory’s original idea?
  • How Cory hired his development team 
  • What advice does Cory have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
  • Why you should choose your development team carefully
  • How Cory funded his MVP
  • Why Cory advises against including a social wall in a program
  • What big lesson did Cory learn from building his MVP?
  • What did Cory and his team do to have the app reinstated on Apple Store?
  • Considerations that Cory makes before adding new features to his application
  • Building a relationship with your competitors
  • How the WeStrive pricing works

In this Episode:

Cory McKane, CEO, and founder of WeStrive started his journey with zero experience in startups, apps, and entrepreneurship. However, venturing into the app development industry triggered in him a passion for startups. He speaks to Geordie about his journey. 

Cory graduated with an accounting degree but had no previous experience with a fitness app. He tells Geordie that he acquired knowledge about startups, tech, and angels along his entrepreneurship journey. However, Cory has been passionate about fitness for a long time, according to his background story. Listen to the podcast for first-hand details into his fitness background. 

Previously, WeStrive was known as PerFIcT. Cory tells Geordie that the idea of PerFIcT had lingered in his mind for a long time. After graduating from college, Cory worked both part-time and full-time jobs for years while trying to understand the market. Along the way, Cory says he made numerous mistakes like working with the wrong investors, hiring unqualified development teams, and adopting the wrong platform.

It took Cory four years of mistakes before finally getting his idea right. Even then, the idea did not work, and he had to restrategize. How did he do it? Find out from the podcast. Cory gives a detailed explanation of his original idea that you need to hear from the podcast first hand. He explains the events that led him into hiring developers and how he invested colossal amounts of money on the platform.

The platform was not working from the word go, and there were numerous challenges along the way. Cory would later scrap it immediately after its release in the market. He found a different team and decided to pivot into SaaS. Cory learned many lessons from the experience which he shares with aspiring entrepreneurs. Get these lessons from the podcast. 

Choosing the right development team is ideal for the success of your application. Cory explains the struggles he went through while working with the wrong development team. At some point, he had to work more than 16 hours writing and rewriting his program manually. Listen to this podcast to learn from his experience. Cory cannot recall memories of his breaking point after the strain of disappointments. However, he moved to LA to try and re-strategize.

Amid numerous challenges, Cory transitioned from doing things manually. He also moved to Santa Monica to attend an accelerator program that never happened. While that was disappointing, Cory is happy with the relationships he formed from the experience. What relationship does Cory have with his current development team? He gives all the details in the podcast. Listen in to find out.

Cory did everything from waiting tables to operating uber only to fund his MVP. He mentions how frustrating it was to make so much money waiting tables and still be broke trying to finance the company. Cory would later find his development team in 2017. They both worked hard and launched the advanced version of the marketplace before finally pivoting in mid-2018. Cory speaks about the updated product and the various features they included. Listen to the podcast to find these out.

Just when Cory was ready to launch his product, Apple pulled it from the App Store. What happened next? Listen to the podcast to find out. Many investors advise against engaging in a feature battle. However, Cory says in an industry full of competitors, entrepreneurs should define their minimum features.

When it comes to adding features in the app, Cory says he pre-designs his updates two to three years prior. Working closely with the end-users is crucial for the success of any product. Cory mentions that they engage their community and listen to, and even initiate their update requests. Cory concludes by reiterating the importance of research before launching your MVP.

Resources

WeStrive.com

Cory McKane LinkedIn

Cory McKane Twitter 

Cory McKane Instagram 

Mar 16, 2021
How Dmitry Dragilev chooses his SaaS projects as if he had 6 more months to live.
47:00

Dmitry Dragilev of JustReachOut talks to Geordie about leaving the corporate world and how he helps different businesses during their 30,000 MRR journey.

Dmitry Dragilev is the founder of justreachout.io. The platform helps entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses pitch and acquire press coverage from influencers and journalists drawn to their niche. Listen to Dmitry as he shares his journey with Geordie.

What You'll Learn

  • Interests Dmitry had when he moved to Silicon Valley
  • Why did Dmitry leave his corporate job?
  • How Dmitry ventured into the startup world
  • How Dmitry connected with Luke Wroblewski
  • Why did Dmitry reject a call to work at Google?
  • How Dmitry came up with the JustReachOut idea
  • Dmitry's big break

In this Episode:

Dmitry started experimenting with software when he was a teenager. He later got his degree in computer science before working in the Department of Defense, where he engaged in lots of coding. His decision to quit his job was abrupt, as he tells Geordie. He woke up one day and decided he did not want to continue working. He then sold all his belongings and moved to Silicon Valley in pursuit of startup development knowledge.

Dmitry says he met brilliant people at Silicon Valley who helped him during his stay. Listen to the podcast to understand how Dmitry built, and sold three startups. He also gives some extensive details about the businesses that you should hear about. 

When he quit his job, Dmitry admits that he did not have enough money to start a new company. At some point, he discovered that neither did he know how to do CSS and JavaScript, but his marketing skills were wanting. Dmitry's idea of enrolling for an MBA was both fulfilling and beneficial. He met a popular designer who held his hand and gave him numerous essential lessons. Listen to this interesting podcast for more interesting details. 

Dmitry tells Geordie how he met Luke Wroblewski at some point in his career. The two worked on some big projects, and you can find all about it in this podcast. Together with Luke, a designer, and a developer, they developed a polling app that would later grow to 40 million page views. He explains this project in detail in the podcast.

Google later bought the project and even allowed Dmitry to work at the multinational organization, which he rejected. He explains why he declined such a golden opportunity. While Dmitry founded JustReachOut, he says he is only a minority stakeholder in the company today.

Currently, Dmitry focuses his energy on SmallBizTools, which helps entrepreneurs find any small business tools they need. Whether you need to host your blog or want tracking software, you will find these tools from SmallBizTools. Dmitry says they are committed to ensuring that entrepreneurs get the right tools for their needs. He explains the process they take clients through before finally recommending the right tools.

Keywords are crucial for the success of any digital business in today's overly competitive marketplace. In the quest to ensure that businesses rank highest, Dmitry has an entire playbook explaining how to rank for keywords. Currently, his blog has a total of 30 tools that you can leverage to scale your business. He also mentions his course and the plans he has for the future. Get all the details from the podcast. 

According to Dmitry, SmallBiz Tools has been growing rapidly. He mentions how they moved from 10 clicks to 400 clicks a day within six months. Dmitry is committed to triple the growth in another three months' time. Listen to the podcast to figure out the specific keywords they use and how they rank on search engines.

At some point, Dmitry talks about PR that Converts, a course that he build from scratch. Please find out how he came up with the course and how he made money from the same. In his quest to see people implement his teachings, he developed an app to. Dmitry explains how he built it, and you can get the details from the podcast.

What content marketing strategy does Dmitry use? He mentions that ranking on Google is crucial and highlights the importance of targeted long-tail keywords based on what you do. Listen to the podcast and take away some crucial lessons. Dmitry is happy that SmallBizTools is fast transforming into a SaaS business. He concludes the podcast by mentioning that he only collaborates with businesses that he uses. Dmitry says he chooses tools that he is not only passionate about but those that he uses daily. 

Resources

JustReachOut.io

Dmitry Dragilev Twitter

Dmitry Dragilev LinkedIn

SmallBizTools

Mar 09, 2021
From University Professor to MVP to Funded SaaS Entrepreneur with Lindy Ledohowski of Essay Jack
52:37

Lindy Ledohowski of Essay Jack talks to Geordie about coming up with her company’s idea, building the MVP, and navigating challenges during her MRR journey. 

Lindy Ledohowski is the CEO and founder of Essay Jack, a fast-growing SaaS company that teaches learners how to improve their writing skills. She talks to Geordie about the events that led her into becoming a founder. 

What You’ll Learn

  • The problem that Lindy and her co-founder wanted to solve when they launched Essay Jack
  • Who does Lindy and her team approach?
  • What is courseware?
  • Has Covid had a positive or negative impact on Lindy’s company?
  • How did Lindy and her team keep the business afloat without revenue at the heat of Covid?
  • How Lindy and her team build the Essay Jack MVP
  • Importance of having a business behind a product
  • Why did Lindy choose to raise money for the MVP?
  • How Lindy and her team got their first partnership 

In this Episode

After being an educator for a long time, Lindy joined forces with her co-founder to develop technology. This technology would help them solve one of the challenges they experienced in their classes. Listen to the podcast to understand the challenge in detail. Essay Jack has evolved since its inception to accommodate different writing genres and can be used by students in various education levels. Unlike other tools in the market that help writers correct what they have already written, Essay Jack allows users to get writing ideas from scratch. Lindy discusses this idea in depth in this podcast. 

Determining the effect a potential solution will have on your target customers is critical before embarking on its development. According to Lindy, they first sought to understand whether Essay Jack would be appropriate to both students and teachers. From their research, they established that professors and teachers were among the first adopters of the solution. Many of the teachers were happy that Essay Jack could digitize and enhance their operations. Lindy and her team would later modify the program to ensure users could customize it with ease based on their needs.

When it comes to approaching potential users, Lindy says there is no universal way of doing it. Sometimes you may have to start from the top administration, while in other times, approaching individuals works better. Listen to the podcast to understand Lindy’s concept better. Lindy mentions a particular approach that she says works best. Listen to the podcast to know this approach and how it works. Lindy also gives a sales breakdown between the B2B and B2C concepts. 

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has impacted businesses in different ways. Lindy admits that their business has not been spared. She says they are currently experiencing more growth in teachers, individual student subscribers, and classes. Lindy attributes this to uncertainty in large institutions, especially with the current lockdowns in some countries.

Many learning institutions are currently struggling with budgetary challenges and this is reflecting on the company’s growth. Lindy explains the effects the pandemic has had on her business. Listen in to find out and learn from her experience. Lindy gives Geordie a detailed explanation of how they build the MVP. At some point, they had to communicate their idea through pen and paper. Convinced that they had an excellent product, they needed to present it before interested people. Listen to Lindy as she reminisces about their visits to local schools in Kuala Lumpur and testing their product.

According to Lindy, the experience enhanced their confidence in the product. They would later promote their product in Canada at the University of Toronto before developing an advanced product. Seeing that Lindy had zero experience in the technology field, there are many things she was not conversant with. As a result, she needed to outsource her services to a qualified technical team.

Lindy says the product started growing, and they made money. She talks about their pricing then, in this podcast which you need to listen to find out. Lindy says they even had free services for B2C users. She talks about the MVP and how she managed to keep the cost down. Lindy also explains the process of building the MVP and converting it into a beta product extensively.

Lindy also talks about re-building the product. Find out the details from the podcast. She is happy that while numerous products are now available, their product is unique. Lindy concludes the podcast with tips about what they are doing to create real value and stand out among their competitors. Get all this information from the podcast. 

Resources

Essayjack.com

Lindy Ledohowski LinkedIn

Lindy Ledohowski Twitter 

Mar 02, 2021
How Nicolas Vandenberghe found a spreadsheet problem and turned it into a sales automation powerhouse SaaS
44:49

Nicolas Vandenberghe of KosmoTime and Chili Piper tells Geordie about co-founding and running the companies, determining customer problems and offering solutions.

Nicolas Vandenberghe is the CEO and co-founder of KosmoTime and Chili Piper. Chili Piper is a collection of programming tools. These tools allow prospects to book an appointment and launch a phone call right away after submitting their form on a site. Listen to Nicolas as he narrates his journey to Geordie. 

What You’ll Learn

  • What goal did Nicolas and his team have for Chili Piper?
  • What problem does Chili Piper solve for their clients?
  • Why Nicolas started KosmoTime, the idea company
  • What problem does KosmoTime solve?’
  • How does KosmoTime operate?
  • How did Nicolas start Chili Piper? 
  • What did Nicolas do after the telecom company he did sales for collapsed?
  • How and why Nicolas and his team developed an automated solution that integrates with web forms

In this Episode

Did you know that you can have either an idea company or a thesis company? Nicolas tells Geordie that Chili Piper is a thesis company, or a company whose launch depends on a trend that he wants to seize. In this case, the craze was digitization of sales. KosmoTime, his other establishment, is an idea company. 

Nicolas says he started KosmoTime to help clients execute their tasks and also solve a problem he experienced. Together with his partner, Nicolas saw potential in the company and wanted to grow it to fruition. Listen to the podcast for more details about KosmoTime. 

Nicolas mentions that their software is smart and made to evaluate the amount of time you take to complete your tasks. He gives more details about the software in this podcast. Listen to it, especially if you are struggling with time management. According to Nicolas, many people are searching for time tracking solutions, forcing them to integrate their software with Asana. Listen to the podcast to understand how the system works on Asana. Nicolas says they are searching for people who have already identified a problem and are seeking solutions. While Nicolas has a robust product, they are yet to come up with pricing options. He also admits that getting people to change their habits can be a difficult task. 

On Chili Piper, Nicolas says they interviewed actual users to determine possible problems. According to Nicolas, using an excel spreadsheet can be a good sign of a problem. He explains that many companies struggled with pointing their potential clients to the right executive. They needed to devise a way to make locating the right professional easy. Nicolas says that their system is ideal for different companies regardless of their size. 

Seeing that no one had the same solution as theirs, their first customer placed an order and prepaid 21,000 for it. Nicolas and his team developed the solution and customized it accordingly before delivering it. At this point, Nicolas knew that other companies were also struggling with the same problem, and they set out to offer their solution. He mentions that the problem is not as hard as companies perceived it. 

According to Nicolas, they interviewed sales teams to determine the problem even though they had other ideas, such as assisting people to check their metrics. He tells Geordie why customers were willing to pay upfront. Listen to the podcast to find out. How did Nicolas fund the 21,000 MVP? He says they bootstrapped and gives more details on the process. You can find these details from the podcast. 

Nicolas tells Geordie the story of how he stumbled in sales, in the telecom industry by chance. While the company was successful, its license was cancelled when the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) realized that their spectrum was nearly the same as the GPS spectrum. Listen to the podcast for comprehensive details on this story. 

After the telecom company collapsed, Nicolas went back to starting companies, something he says he enjoys doing. It is out of this passion that he leads a sales team on Salesforce. Nicolas says he would call tech companies and sought to find out the problems they were facing. Together with his team, Nicolas would later get a second client who also prepaid for their services. 

Chili Piper services come with an annual subscription, after which clients can choose whether to renew or not. According to Nicolas, they are now edging closer to 1,000 customers. He says he knew from the first time that Chili Piper was going to be a big company. Nicolas explains how they found a bigger problem. Listen to the podcast to know. Nicolas concludes by saying he prefers working with in-house developers. 

Resources

Nicolas Vandenberghe LinkedIn

Nicolas Vandenberghe Twitter

Chili Piper

Feb 23, 2021
How entrepreneurs can give back without breaking the bank with Fix This Next author Mike Michalowicz
27:17

Mike Michalowicz, author of business books tells Geordie about his entrepreneurship journey, losing money, battling depression, and finally discovering his purpose.

Mike Michalowicz is an author of business-based books for small business owners and entrepreneurs. His books help entrepreneurs fix sales, accounting, and operations. He talks to Geordie about Fix this Next and his latest book. 

What You’ll Learn 

  • What is the one thing about Mike that he has never written about?
  • Why you should appoint an excellent team to run and manage your businesses
  • What significant challenge do nearly all entrepreneurs face?
  • What analogy does Mike use? 
  • Mike’s hierarchy of business needs and how it works
  • Who does Mike approach while doing his research?
  • Problems entrepreneurs are facing that Mike comes across during his research.
  • Why businesses should understand each employee’s dreams and desires
  • How does Mike define legacy? 

In this Episode: 

Mike says he has been an entrepreneur since his college days, during which he has built various tech businesses and sold them. His third business, as an angel investor, was the most relevant even though it resulted in a challenging phase. Listen to the podcast to find out how that disastrous experience turned out to become a restart for him.  

As Mike went through difficult times, he thought about how little he understood entrepreneurship. He made up his mind to spend the rest of his life exploring entrepreneurship to determine what works for him and what does not. Mike wrote everything he learned and ended up becoming an author. He tells Geordie that he is focused on finding simple and effective solutions for the various entrepreneur challenges. 

According to Mike, many entrepreneurs struggle to make profits. Clockwork, his book was inspired by the fact that while many entrepreneurs seek personal freedom, they are always working endlessly. Mike says he also struggles with these challenges. Often, he makes a hypothesis of the challenge and indicates potential solutions. 

Writing books is not an easy task, and this is evident from Mike’s sentiments that some books can take him up to 10 years to complete. However, he says some are easier and fast to write. Mike considers himself a curator instead of an authority. Find out why from the podcast.  While he owns various businesses, Mike says he does not run or manage them actively. He appreciates that he has a great team who assist him in daily operations.

Writing a book makes you accountable, and the content becomes your accountability component. You have to live by what you preach, and Mike says every system he created was suitable to his businesses. Many entrepreneurs have the urge to grow but are unable to do it. Listen to the podcast to hear what Mike has to say about this phenomenon. He explains an analogy that he uses, which you can learn from the podcast. 

Mike talks about why many entrepreneurs attempt to fix links in their businesses with no notable results. Many times, entrepreneurs fix links randomly within their business chain and end up breaking the weakest areas. Fix this next, Mike says, is an excellent tool that helps entrepreneurs identify weak links in their businesses. He gives more details about this approach that all entrepreneurs need to listen to from the podcast. 

Research is crucial when it comes to writing books. Mike talks about how he conducts his research and the people he targets. Do not miss this comprehensive part of the podcast. Mike perceives his business to be the platform of expression. He says the critical job of an entrepreneur is to create jobs. Their job is to envision where they want the business to be, and aligning the vision with how it helps them get colleagues to move in the same direction. He discusses more details in the podcast. 

In the quest to penetrate the market, some entrepreneurs give out free things until their businesses start making losses. Mike mentions that this is a mistake that entrepreneurs should avoid making. He narrates the story of how an entrepreneur ventured into entrepreneurship in the city of Guatemala. While a high percentage of the population is poverty-stricken, the entrepreneur managed to sell his wares for a profit. 

Mike does not discourage giving, but he believes there are various ways of giving. He mentions that the problem happens when entrepreneurs give until they compromise their businesses. He narrates another story about a small town in New Jersey. Listen in and learn from the story. He concludes by telling us the title of his next book. Listen to the podcast to figure out the book title and its contents. 

Resources 

Mikemichalowicz.com

Mike Michalowicz LinkedIn 

Mike Michalowicz Twitter

Feb 16, 2021
How Adam Stone broke through the 2500MRR and 4500MRR to build speedlancer to 7 figure wealth
49:58

Adam Stone of Speedlancer talks to Geordie about; starting a company at 12 years, growing another company at 14 years to 7 figures, and founding Speedlancer.

Adam Stone is the CEO and founder of Speedlancer, an online freelance platform for skilled data-entry experts, designers, and experienced writers. Adam is a young entrepreneur who ventured into entrepreneurship at 12 years. He has won numerous accolades during his journey. He tells Geordie what it took to build Speedlancer.  

What You’ll Learn 

  • How the company that Adam started at 14 years grew to more than seven figures in revenue and profit while studying
  • How Adam came up with the idea of Speedlancer
  • What makes the Speedlancer system unique?
  • What goals does Speedlancer seek to achieve?
  • Why does a freelancer entrepreneur need money?
  • How Speedlancer is developing its arbitrage
  • What was Adam’s experience at 500 Startups?
  • Importance of networking
  • Challenges that Adam and his team faced at $2500 MRR
  • What problem did Adam solve not long ago that doubled the company’s growth?
  • What plans do Adam and his team have for the future?

 In this Episode: 

The world is evolving fast, and doing business is becoming easier than ever before. Today, you can start and grow your business from the comfort of your home, as was the case with Adam. He was passionate about entrepreneurship ever since he was a kid. He tells Geordie how he started selling toys on eBay, thanks to his supportive parents. 

Adam talks about the business he launched at 14 years. He says they grew the company to become one of the leading in the industry. It would later earn more than seven figures in both revenue and profit. Listen to the podcast for more details. Adam says while running a business amid studying was a difficult task but he managed by working with freelancers. It is from his encounters with freelancing platforms that the idea of Speedlancer was born. 

Speedlancer specializes in selling predefined workflows to companies and operating them with the help of freelancers. He explains the concept further, and you can find more details by listening to the podcast. Often, entrepreneurs dispose of their businesses even when they are thriving, which happened to Adam’s previous company. Adam says he was sure the business was not going to prosper for long. He also discusses more details that you do not want to miss.  

Adam joined 500 Startups by coincidence. He says that a startup meeting in Australia opened an opportunity for him to join 500 Startups at a young age while studying. Then, he neither had revenue nor product then. Listen to his story and learn. Adam also explains why a freelance entrepreneur would want money. He says, building their technology and continued growth requires outside capital. Speedlancer is committed to becoming a mainstream platform that individuals and companies can depend on to get various things done uniquely. 

Adam says being at 500 Startups was life-changing. Apart from creating a network of lifetime friends, he explains other things he gained from the event. Listen to the podcast to find them out. Adam tells Geordie that he relied on an international firm to build his MVP, even though growing became challenging along the way. Still, the platform grew fast from $200 to between $3,000 and $3,500 a month in two months. How was this possible? 

Adam says that changing their operations model and exposure made a big difference. He explains how he managed to get a journalist to write an article about their platform. This idea helped his company reach many people. He also mentions other robust strategies that he used. Listen to the podcast for more details. 

Adam also talks about growing the company from $2500 a month and the challenges they faced. He gives comprehensive information in the podcast that you should hear. Adam also talks about converting his product into recurring revenue. He says some people thought the recurring idea was irrelevant. However, it ended up being easy to manage. Find out more details from the podcast. 

What challenges did Adam face with managing the team now that they were working in different time zones? He sights time zones as one of the reasons he is moving from Australia to the USA. He also mentions other challenges in this podcast. Adam says while they have solved many challenges, they are yet to devise a methodology for referrals. 

Apart from getting their customers to talk about how Speedlancer is helping them, Adam hopes to get more capital to grow the company. He concludes by saying that they have finally found a strategy to retain their customers. Listen to the podcast to find out what this strategy is.   

Resources 

speedlancer.com

Adam Stone LinkedIn

Adam Stone Twitter

Feb 09, 2021
How to land 7 figure Data as a Service contracts with drone technology and data provider CEO & founder Didi Horn
42:07

Didi Horn is the CEO and founder of SkyX, a leading provider of innovative aerial technologies in AI (artificial intelligence). The company specializes in the delivery of actionable data required to increase revenues and results for their clients. He talks to Geordie about his journey in the technology industry. 

What You’ll Learn

  • What does SkyX seek to achieve?
  • Where does SkyX get actionable data?
  • Why many corporate companies are not interested in hardware
  • Why service providers should be specific on the services they offer
  • Importance of attending events as a potential investor
  • To what heights should you go to determine potential customer’s pain points?
  • What problem does SkyX solve for its customers?
  • How did Didi get funding to execute their first project?

In this Episode

Born and raised in Israel, Didi served in the Israeli Air Force for nearly a decade. He worked with a Flight Academy before spending his final two positions in drone Squadrons. 

In his last position with the Air Force, Didi worked as a link to the defense industry. From working with the Israeli Air Force in different areas, Didi gained tremendous experience, which has been instrumental to what he has become today. He tells Geordie that he interacted with talented professionals in the autonomous aerial system solution. 

From his experience with drones, Didi says he figured that they come in various types. He also realized that only Modern Warfare benefitted from the drones while the commercial sector gained nothing.

Didi wanted to avail the drone technology to anybody who needed them in their preferred frequency. He gives an example of his then anticipated target audience, and you can get the details from the podcast. According to Didi, SKyX sells the service and not the hardware. Doing so allows their customers to receive data that the company gathered after processing it into actionable elements. This approach would be different from hardware, where potential customers would have to learn how to use it until they achieve tangible results.

Didi explains where they source the drone technology data and how it. Listen to the podcast to find out. Didi mentions that after leaving the Israeli Air Force, he invested in attending conferences and seminars. It is there that he studied what his target audience wanted. He says that SkyX was born out of the need to provide potential customers with an actionable item.

According to Didi, they started SkyX by asking potential customers numerous questions on what they wanted. Many of the people they approached did not know what they wanted, and they had to come up with targeted questions for every customer. Listen to the podcast to find these out. Why did Didi opt to attend events and seminars instead of traveling across the world? He explains his reasons in detail. Listen to the podcast to find out.

How did Didi know that he needed to venture into data? He gives Geordie detailed information that you can only figure out from listening to the podcast. Didi says that while they had some failures, the successes were more. He focused on conducting demonstrations to convince potential customers who doubted the services.

So determined was Didi that his first contract after commercializing the product was a seven-figure number with a giant company in Texas. Didi explains how he got funding for his business, and every aspiring investor cannot afford to miss this story. He says that his initial investment was 5 million US dollars, with the investors promising to continue funding him only if he met some objectives.

Listen to the podcast to figure these out. Didi’s project was so viable that the investors pumped in 8.5 million US dollars before other investors came on board. Geordie seeks to find out from Didi what he said during the meeting that impressed the investors and convinced them to work with him.

Didi says he was knowledgeable and understood how to execute his solution based on the customer's needs. Listen to the podcast for more details. He also talks about his business plan and how he broke down his model. While SkyX suffered at the onset of the pandemic, they managed to sign some contracts along the way. Didi says that many of their customers opted to use drones instead of flying. Listen to the podcast to figure out how they have been coping with the situation to date. Didi concluded by talking about the plans he has for the company. 

Resources

Didi Horn LinkedIn

SkyX.com

Feb 02, 2021
TOP SaaS Conference
09:49

Geordie Wardman of 1Stop.io talks to Jeremy Weiss about the leading SaaS conferences in Europe. Learn why every development entrepreneur should attend at least one.

Apart from 1Stop.io, Geordie Wardman has founded five companies and sold three. He is a software expert who has been in the industry for two decades now. He talks to Jeremy Weiss about top SaaS conferences in Europe. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Some of the leading SaaS conferences
  • Why you should consider attending conferences
  • Why does Geordie like small conferences?

In this Episode

Conferences are crucial for both established and novice entrepreneurs in the SaaS industry. Apart from meeting people from different parts of the world, entrepreneurs get an opportunity to network and share new ideas. Many entrepreneurs even develop bonds that lead to business conferences.

Geordie says as much as he adores conferences, he never gets to attend enough of them. However, he plans to start attending leading SaaS conferences in Europe. Top on his list is the SaaStock conference that Alex Duma runs. You will need to part with 750 Euros to participate in this conference. Geordie mentions that the price is reasonable based on the value you will get. Attending this SaaS conference allows you to meet excellent and resourceful keynote speakers. 

The SaaStock conference takes place in Dublin, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. According to Geordie, some of the top software experts who speak at the conference include Aaron Krall, a conversion expert, SaaS development hacker, and email marketer. Dan Martell, the founder of clarity, a leading investor, and a SaaS business coach who coaches top-achieving SaaS founders, also speaks at the conference. Geordie reiterates that SaaStocks is one of the top conferences you should not miss. 

Geordie is quick to mention that there are other key SaaS conferences you should know. He talks about SaaStr Europe. SaaStr is a unique non-vendor region where SaaS institutions converge to learn and develop their businesses through events, content, and teamwork. Jason Lemkin, who also founded SaaStr, runs the massive SaaS show in the USA.

According to Geordie, SaaStr is currently giving out some special offers with tickets going for $400. He says this amount is cost-friendly for a SaaS conference. Attending SaaS conferences exposes you to the world of technology, and as Geordie says in this podcast, you could even meet your development team there. Listen to Geordie as he gives more reasons why you should attend SaaS conferences. 

Growth marketing stage is another top SaaS conference that Geordie recommends, even though he is yet to attend it. It takes place in Kyiv, Ukraine. Geordie says that while it is small, he still considers it cost-effective and among the best in Europe. To attend this conference, you will need $200, which Geordie calls excellent value.

Kyiv, Geordie says, is a hotspot for development. Are you looking forward to changing your development team or venturing into SaaS? The growth marketing stage should be a must-attend conference. Listen to the podcast to find out what you stand to gain from attending the SaaS conference. Some big companies attend the growth marketing stage conference, such as Adobe, Dropbox, and Nike. 

SaaS monster is another top conference. It happens to be among the leading SaaS conferences worldwide, linking over 5,000 CTOs and CIOs, established companies and startups, sellers and buyers, and investors and experts. Geordie says the SaaS monster is an offshoot of Web summit, a conference that brings together companies and people changing the local technology industry.

Web Summit will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, sometime this year. The SaaS part of this conference attracts numerous attendees each year. The comprehensive web summit attracts big corporate companies. Find out which companies these are from the podcast. 

Geordie mentions Microconf, a leading and trusted community for non-venture SaaS founders. Rob Wallings collaborated with other co-founders to organize this conference that takes place in Croatia. He and his team put together excellent speakers like Mike Taber and a group from Hubspot.

B2B Rocks, in Paris, Europe, is a top SaaS and B2B conference. Geordie says B2B Rocks charges are friendly at $500. This conference focuses on all SaaS features. Listen to the podcast to understand some of these features. Geordie mentions the Pipeline Summit, a meeting he attended in Poland. He says he met the founders of some of the biggest techno-firms. Listen to what Geordie has to say about his experience in Poland. He also mentions some of the companies he interacted with then.

Geordie concludes by saying that attending conferences is critical for networking and marketing. Consider attending any of these shows, especially if you want to work with different experts from various parts of the world.

Resources

1Stop.io

Jan 25, 2021
Should you use SAFE, priced equity or use a convertible note to fund your SaaS with Leslee Cohen
41:59

Leslee Cohen of Hershco.com talks about managing startups and explains why safe priced equity is the best option for startup entrepreneurs seeking to raise funds.

Leslee Cohen has more than 20 years of experience working as a securities and corporate lawyer in established law firms. Her firm has set up and managed women’s initiatives at a key Chicago law firm for more than 10 years. She is committed to serving businesses and helping them achieve their corporate legal obligations. She speaks to Geordie about her journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • The three sections of Leslee’s practice
  • Why Leslee enjoyed working with startups
  • At what phase in their businesses do Leslee’s customers come to her?
  • How Leslee deals with different clients based on their individual business needs
  • Why Leslee likes the law set up in Delaware
  • How to go about finding a co-founder
  • What happens in co-owned businesses when one partner wants to buy it out?
  • Why co-founders disagree and finally break up, and how to avoid such a scenario
  • Common miscommunications that co-founders face
  • How Vesting equity works
  • How to structure majority ownership
  • What it takes for foreigners to set up a company in the USA
  • What are convertible notes and safe priced equity?
  • How do you determine equity?

In this Episode

Often, where you spend most of your time becomes the source of inspiration for starting and building a successful business. Leslee spent many years on Wall Street, where she specialized in acquisitions, mergers, and IPOs.

She would later spend another 13 years in Chicago practicing law for privately-owned large businesses and publicly traded microcap companies. From working with small and large companies, Leslee developed a passion for working with startups and entrepreneurs.

Leslee's passion saw her, and a partner start a firm to work with startup companies while charging them affordable fees. Leslee says that working with small groups gives her satisfaction. She mentions that startup entrepreneurs are not only excited about their businesses, but also have new ideas. Leslee loves the fact that startup entrepreneurs look forward to making a difference and changing the world instead of focusing on corporate culture. Listen to the podcast to understand what drives Leslee into working with small groups. 

Leslee tells Geordie that many of her customers come to her at the inaugural phase of their businesses. Often, they will have a co-founder and their well-baked idea ready. Many times they will be seeking to understand how to get their first potential customer. Sometimes they will be seeking Leslee’s assistance to raise fees. She explains various best-case scenarios that you should hear from the podcast. 

Starting a business can be challenging, forcing many entrepreneurs to want to raise funds at some point. Leslee believes that having a co-founder is critical, especially when it comes to raising funds. She gives more details about this matter, and you can only grab them by listening to the podcast. 

Finding a co-founder with whom you share the same interests is not easy. Leslee discusses various tips about choosing a co-founder. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you do not want to miss this part of the podcast. Leslee speaks in-depth about ownership, co-founder agreement, and how to solve disputes. She also discusses various factors that may affect a co-owned business. Listen to the podcast for more details on this crucial matter. 

Just like any other relationship, co-founders disagree and sometimes break up. When such happens, the business is likely to suffer. Why does this happen, and how can co-founders avoid it. Listen to Leslee as she gives a comprehensive example of this scenario. She also talks about how aspiring co-founders can prevent it. 

Not many people like accepting liability and this can affect the business. According to Leslee, potential entrepreneurs should outline each other’s responsibilities. They should also explain what each person depends on to add value to the business. She discusses other factors to consider before starting a co-founded business. Listen to the podcast to find those out.

Leslee says she is passionate about vesting equity. She explains this concept in detail, and you can find these by listening to the podcast. Leslee tells Geordie what it takes to raise equity and also talks about convertible notes and a safe. This part of the podcast is detailed, and you can only get the crucial components by listening.

According to Leslee, safe comes with lots of advantages. She says she guides her clients and ensures they understand some of the best money-raising practices. She also links them up with some high net worth people who love partnering with startup entrepreneurs and supporting them.

Leslee concludes by saying that disclosure is critical, whether you specialize in convertible notes giving multiple promissory notes, shares, or safe. She also mentions how to handle safe priced equity securely, and you cannot afford to miss this part. Leslee agrees that safe priced equity is ideal for people who need to raise funds for their startups. 

Resources

Hershco.com

Leslee Cohen LinkedIn

Jan 19, 2021
ESL teacher to $55k MRR to Successful Exit in 24 months with Danielle Simpson
50:21

Danielle Simpson, previously of FeedBackPanda tells Geordie how her quest to ease task execution led her into building a robust SaaS platform.

Danielle is a teacher, co-founder of FeedBackPanda, and a certified meditation and Yoga instructor. During her stint in the teaching industry, she realized that teachers needed a tool to help them remain focused on student success and reduce burnout. Listen to Danielle as she shares her journey with Geordie. 

What You’ll Learn

  • How Danielle ventured into teaching English as a second language
  • What was Danielle’s original solution for easing the feedback generation process for her students?
  • What was FeedBackPanda doing in the beginning? 
  • When and how did Danielle realize that an automated solution could be effective?
  • How long did it take Danielle and her co-founder to build the prototype?
  • How Danielle and her partner rolled out the solution to potential customers
  • Why you should determine where your potential customers hang out
  • What made FeedBackPanda unique?
  • What channel did Danielle and her team use to grow?
  • How Daniella’s product moved from 0-55,000
  • What inbound strategy did Daniella and her team use to boost the product?

In this Episode

Teaching English as a second language can be a difficult task and this was the case with Danielle. Being part of the teaching team helped her identify the problems that she and her colleagues were facing. She would later pitch her idea to her boyfriend, a software engineer, and together they came up with the FeedBackPanda idea. Danielle gives Geordie brief details about her background. 

Danielle explains the events that pushed her into inventing the FeedBackPanda idea. She says she taught in one-on-one classes, and after each class, they had to submit a short report about each lesson. Seeing that all she did was gig work, there were no guaranteed bookings, and she had to handle all her marketing tasks.

It was too much work, and Danielle wanted a solution that could help her develop her career, improve her ratings, and save time. Listen to the podcast to understand how difficult Danielle’s tasks were before she finally came up with the solution. She says that generating feedback was taking up lots of her time, and she had to do something about it. Find out what she did to counter this challenge. 

While there were competitors already, Danielle and her co-founder worked hard to ensure that their platform was unique to attract more bookings. At some point, Geordie gives a practical example of the importance of reviews, and you cannot afford this, especially if you are an entrepreneur.

Danielle says she wanted to determine whether the system would work before selling it to other teachers. According to Danielle, many of her colleagues in the marketing industry were not ready to be entrepreneurs. Together with her co-founder, they used that as a marketing strategy to show the teachers that they were already entrepreneurs. She sought to demonstrate to the teachers the importance of having proper tools that could ease their job. Danielle gives a detailed explanation of the marketing strategy they used. Listen to the podcast to find out.

When the product was finally ready for roll-out, Danielle set out to find potential customers. Find out how a question posted on a Facebook group presented her with an opportunity to introduce her product to the group members. Did anybody sign up for the product from that post? Find out from the podcast. Danielle says that even after three months of creating the product, she was not convinced that it was ready. She also felt that they needed to let potential customers use the product first and get feedback before finally launching it in the market.

When Danielle finally made the product available to teachers, she received numerous ideas on how to improve it and even make it community-based. Listen to the podcast to figure out some other excellent ideas that the teachers had. Danielle also talks about a template database system and how it worked. When Danielle launched her product, there were numerous companies they could have chosen to integrate with.

However, they opted to work with companies that wanted to work with American teachers. She explains this strategy in-depth, and you can get all the details from the podcast. Danielle narrates her 0-55,000 MRR story, which you should listen to. While FeedBackPanda was thriving, Danielle sold it. She explains why in this podcast. Danielle admits that while she went through a moment of loss after selling the business, she does not regret her decision. 


Resources

Danielle Simpson Twitter

Danielle Simpson LinkedIn

FeedBackPanda

Danielle Simpson Website

Arvid Kahl

Zero to Sold

Jan 12, 2021
From $250k student debt to $1.5M ARR in 36 months with Nick Fogle of Wavve.co
49:49

Nick Fogle of Wavve and Churnkey tells Geordie how he moved from law school to embrace a childhood passion and finally build a successful SaaS product.

Nick has managed to thrive in the SaaS industry. However, he neither had intentions of venturing into SaaS nor did he have any college degree to prepare him for disruption in the market. Nick juggled between economics and law but did not like any of the courses. He speaks to Geordie about his journey in this podcast that you do not want to miss. 

What you’ll Learn

  • How Nick transitioned from being an attorney to a software engineer
  • How did Nick get started in coding?
  • How Nick came up with the Wavve idea
  • How Nick converts audio to video
  • How Nick handled the pricing part of his business
  • How Nick achieved organic growth for his startup
  • How did Nick come up with the idea of Churnkey?

In this Episode:

After struggling to determine what he wanted to do, Nick’s video gaming passion and coding knowledge finally became his guiding principle. He would then begin a long journey into becoming a software engineer. During this journey, he tried numerous startups, many of which did not succeed. However, it also marked the beginning of Wavve, which has since been a success. 

Nick says that some people thought he was crazy when he chose to leave law school for coding. He is quick to mention that such a decision would be more sensible today than it was back then, seeing that the world is evolving fast. Nick tells Geordie that his interest in law was slowly fading away in the course of his learning. He was sure that being an attorney was not what he wanted to do, and he had to switch to something he was passionate about.

He tells Geordie why he felt that being an attorney was not what he wanted to spend the rest of his days doing. Listen to the podcast to know these reasons. With no coding knowledge, Nick knew that few people would trust his ability, and this is where he decided to learn how to code. At some point, he got a job as a shuttle driver, but he still managed to work from his laptop when he did not have a pickup. Listen to the podcast to find out how he did it and the stack he chose when he started coding. Nick admits that being a solo SaaS startup founder can be a difficult task, but one that’s worth all the effort.

His wife introduced him to his co-founder at Wavve after realizing that they had common startup ideas. Nick and his co-founder started working on their first product, which they would later sell. While his co-founder focused on sales and marketing, Nick handled the technical stuff. What was their first product all about? Find out from the podcast. He also talks about his first business model, then in-depth. You cannot miss this section, especially if you are a startup entrepreneur. 

After selling their first product, Nick and his co-founder had gathered some critical lessons which came in handy when they established Wavve. Nick gives a detailed overview of Wavve and how they started making money from the product. You can only grasp these details by listening to the podcast.

In between creation of the product and coming up with pricing, Nick and his team experienced various challenges that he talks about in the podcast. These challenges opened them to the idea of having different plans to cater to different customer needs. Nick says that this idea helped them create better pricing plans. What three payment plans did Nick and his team create? Listen to the podcast to find out.

Content marketing in this digital age is fast becoming an essential part of any business. Nick tells Geordie about the content marketing strategy they rely on. He says their strategy is different from what many businesses use. They focus on talking to customers one-on-one and listening to their needs.

Nick mentions that one of the most difficult things about building content is starting and writing something. He discusses details about SEO and keywords in this podcast that you should listen to. According to Nick, using a suitable tool to analyze SEO is crucial, especially because Google changes fast. While Nick is operating a business in an overly competitive industry, he says they have managed to remain afloat. Nick also talks about the concept behind Churnkey. Listen to the podcast to get an idea of how it works. 

Resources

Nick Fogle LinkedIn

Nick Fogle Twitter

Jan 05, 2021
How Geordie Wardman and his Team work together to help Entrepreneurs Achieve their Goals Fast
09:14

Geordie Wardman of OneStop DevShop talks about the importance of having a proof of concept rather than working with numerous features that offer no value

Geordie Wardman is the founder of OneStop DevShop. Apart from running a successful podcast, he has founded five companies during his entrepreneurship journey, three of which he has since sold. Geordie has been in the software industry for two decades now. He talks to Jeremy Weiss about his journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Why you should consider delegating your technical tasks to professionals
  • Why you should consider collaborating with Geordie in your project
  • What exactly did Geordie do for John?
  • Importance of getting proof of concept for your project

In this Episode

In today's fast-evolving world, where many entrepreneurs hire remote workers, they still have to struggle with managing them. Are you looking forward to working with freelancers but do not know how to go about managing them? Geordie is your go-to person. He will do the management part and give you enough time to focus on the things that matter. OneStop DevShop specializes in developing applications in blockchain, real estate, and even eCommerce.

Technology is advancing fast, and keeping up with the changes is becoming a difficult task. As a startup entrepreneur, you want to collaborate with experts in the industry to grow your business from scratch. Case in Point: Geordie talks about John, a thriving real estate broker who recently approached him.

According to Geordie, John enjoys a massive network and has been in the market for approximately 30 years now. He has a robust idea and is convinced that it will hit the ground running now that he believes he has all the necessary contacts. He figures out that an app would help him sell his idea better. Instead of collaborating with a professional in the field, he decides to do it all by himself.

Geordie explains more about John’s concept in this podcast. Now John wants to try and pitch his idea to would-be buyers, so he starts walking from one conference to the other, talking to people and getting favorable responses. However, there is a problem. John has been trying to do everything by himself.

After six months of doing this with no traction, John approaches Geordie, who, after listening to John’s expectations, presents him (John) with copywriting services and delivers a fully functional website in a record two weeks. John has little technical knowledge, which explains why he struggled to create an ideal app or website for his business. Geordie mentions that he prefers engaging experts and letting them do things that he is unable to achieve.

How did Geordie handle John’s case? Listen to the podcast to find out. Having been an entrepreneur for a long time, Geordie says that he perceives everything from a business owner’s point of view. He mentions one of the crucial factors he considers, and you can get it first hand from the podcast.

Geordie says that he is not only a developer but also a business owner, which means he understands the struggles that entrepreneurs face. While you may have your idea, he strives to suggest better ways of helping you achieve your goals in record time. Geordie gives a general example of what he and his team did for John. Find out the details from the podcast.

What is the biggest question that Geordie gets from non-tech savvy entrepreneurs? He says that many of them are interested in determining the amount of time it will be before they can see positive results. Some of Geordie’s clients want to determine the cost implications and how functional the software will be to their businesses.

Geordie mentions that sometimes he and his team trim down some features after evaluating the customer’s needs. In the case of John, Geordie says his features were too many. They had to sit down, identify, and work with the most critical ones for the project for a start. In the end, Geordie had trimmed down what would have been a year-long project to five weeks. He explains that together with his team, they strive to give their clients the best to accelerate their success in the market.

According to Geordie, once clients make money and have successful businesses, they will want to keep working with the team at OneStop DevShop because they deliver results. He mentions that he prefers testing a client’s concept first to see if it works instead of struggling with features that add no value. 

Resources

OneStop DevShop

Geordie Wardman LinkedIn

Geordie Wardman Twitter

Dec 29, 2020
How Tiny Seed became the perfect funding partner for Jane Portman and other startup lessons
49:41

Jane Portman of Userlist and author speaks about discovering her passion from an early age, launching a range of businesses, and the lessons she learned along the way.

Apart from being a user-experience, user-interface consultant and author, Jane Portman is a co-founder at Userlist. She specializes in assisting software companies to develop profitable and focused products. She speaks to Geordie Wardman about her journey.

What You’ll Learn

  • How Jane started her entrepreneurship journey
  • How Jane transformed from doing UI breakfast and related stuff to launch Userlist
  • What problem does Userlist solve?
  • Strategies that Jane and her team use to address a SaaS problem
  • Why real-time chat support is not always compulsory for small bootstrap founders
  • What strategy did Jane and her team use to validate the need for their product?
  • Why you should join a slack community
  • Importance of understanding best practices before launching a company
  • Why you need a launch goal for your product
  • How small bootstrap companies can determine their target buyers
  • Importance of understanding your product
  • Jane’s plans for the future

In this Episode

Some of the best entrepreneurs in the world discovered their passion during their formative years. Jane falls in that category, and she gives Geordie a brief history of where it all started. You cannot miss the details in this podcast. Jane ventured into the book writing world before launching the UI breakfast, which she says is in its sixth year with 200 episodes under her name.

She says she had been consistent in producing and publishing podcasts until she had her third baby and had to adjust her frequency. However, Jane is quick to mention that she is getting back to the weekly program with time. Jane says the UI breakfast podcast is a massive project that she plans to have for some years. Find out why she is pleased with the podcast's performance from this engaging discussion.

Jane gives some insightful tips for aspiring podcasters that you should hear. The journey to establishing Userlist was not an easy one. Jane says she had launched another product previously, which did not yield much success. Still, she gathered massive lessons that would come in handy as reference points in her future businesses. Initially, Jane says Userlist was intended to solve a problem that she encountered first hand. Listen to this podcast to find out what the problem was.

Userlist focuses exclusively on SaaS, which Jane says has enabled them to generate an appealing, concise, and simple yet robust product. Developing an MVP can be challenging and Jane seems to have done it differently. Listen to her as she explains how she went about it and how they developed their product from scratch.

According to Jane, they launched their product late because they probably were not ashamed of it. She says they spend a lot of time, in the beginning, preparing the product to make it appealing and beneficial. Jane talks about the lessons she learned from launching Userlist. Listen to the podcast for more details. Jane mentions an equity splitting method that every entrepreneur needs to know.

Having a launch goal, Jane says is crucial if you want to succeed in business. She goes ahead and discusses the launch goal they had and how significant it was for the business. However, she is also quick to mention that launch goals do not give you instant users. Jane talks about working with Tiny Seeds which gave them massive assistance. They also interacted with peers and discussed the problems they face as small business entrepreneurs.

Working with Tiny Seeds saw them receive mentorship from experts they would otherwise not have known. Jane is excited to mention that they were privileged to have April Dunford, a positioning expert, as their mentor. She gives a detailed explanation of their experience working with April that you do not want to miss. At some point, she mentions how they compared Userlist with their competitors.

Listen to the podcast for the details. Before Tiny Seeds, Jane says they had already acquired one of April’s books, which were instrumental in their venture. Find out what book that was from the podcast. Jane says that Userlist benefited from implementing April’s rules. What changes did Jane and her team experience? Listen to the podcast to find out.

Still, in April's book, Jane mentions that they learned how to understand their product and figure out their ideal customers. This aspect is critical for every entrepreneur and one of the most insightful parts of the podcast. Jane gives out details about the funding they received from Tiny Seeds.

What did it take to acquire the funds? Listen in to find out. Jane mentions various things they either have recently launched, or are planning to launch in the future. To aspiring entrepreneurs, Jane says; explore different options when it comes to searching for investors. 

Resources

Jane Portman LinkedIn

Jane Portman Twitter

Userlist

UI Breakfast

Dec 22, 2020
How Bernadette Butler beat struggles to find $1M ARR in less than 2 years with the help of TechStars (and other extreme stories of hustle)
48:54

Bernadette Butler is the founder and CEO of Story Tap. She is a detail-oriented experienced marketer who has been in the advertising industry for up to 20 years. Bernadette talks to Geordie about her journey in the marketing industry and how she discovered her technical co-founder. Listen to the podcast and take the lessons home. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Why Bernadette transitioned from the corporate world into entrepreneurship as a SaaS expert
  • Events that triggered the formation of Story Tap
  • What is safe equity?
  • How Bernadette finally decided to find a co-founder
  • How long it took Bernadette and her team to build their MVP
  • Why Bernadette decided to go to Ireland
  • What channel does Bernadette use to reach enterprise customers?

In this Episode:

Telling a story sounds like an easy thing to do until a corporate tells you to do one. Bernadette found herself in this position at some point. It is out of this necessity and the quest for answers that she made up her mind to find solutions for that problem. Bernadette opines that each entrepreneur has some kind of fire burning inside their bellies, pushing them to do or accomplish something.

Bernadette says that she found herself in that situation, which marked the beginning of Story Tap. Listen carefully to the podcast for the details. It takes a single decision to change your life for good, as Bernadette found out. To counter the entrepreneurship fire that was burning inside of her, she knew she had to do something. Her opportunity came when she took a one-year maternity leave.

So enthusiastic was she about her venture such that she started her company four months post-delivery. She admits that some personal issues had happened to her, and she wanted something to disrupt her thoughts.

Listen to the discussion to figure out what these were. Advertising is all about stories. Bernadette says. She would later realize that stories about her life fascinate her. Bernadette later transitioned from writing and telling stories about her life to writing a business plan.

Bernadette had zero experience with startup businesses and SaaS, but still, she was determined to succeed as an entrepreneur. She was confident that she had the capacity to solve the problem at hand. What did Bernadette do to get her business up and running? Listen as she explains all this and more.

You will also figure out the feeling Bernadette had when she received her first call from a potential investor. It turns out that raising capital in Canada as a startup company with no traction can be difficult. She mentions what she sacrificed to grow her company from scratch. Listen to the podcast to find out. Finding your first investor as a startup can be a difficult task. However, Bernadette says she had an easy time finding her first investor, which was surprising to her.

Find out what the process was like and how she spent the initial amount the investor paid. As a startup entrepreneur, finding a mentor is critical. As she was figuring out the best way to run her company, Bernadette held a meeting with an established startup entrepreneur in Vancouver who had beaten all odds to remain on top. He gave Bernadette some suggestions that she is glad she heeded. What were these suggestions? Listen to the podcast to find out.

Running a startup business can be challenging, and Bernadette says, at some point, she was so frustrated that she cried. As an aspiring entrepreneur, you should not miss this inspiring part of the podcast. Even though Bernadette and her co-founder had run out of money, something funny happened that eased their pivoting efforts. Find out what this was from the podcast.

While Bernadette has a background in marketing, she struggled to market her startup company. She explains why in the podcast. When things got too tough to handle, Bernadette took out a loan and got herself a mentor, who suggested that she needed a course to succeed in sales.

Things changed after Bernadette incorporated the mentor. Listen to the exciting turn of events as they evolved. Bernadette gives a comprehensive breakdown of how Story Tap works. Listen carefully to grab the critical details. Bernadette explains what it takes to succeed when approaching people. Get all these tips first hand from the podcast. Bernadette says that they are still learning and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. 

Resources

Story Tap

Bernadette Butler LinkedIn 

Bernadette Butler Twitter

Dec 15, 2020
From hackathon idea to 3,000 users in the first 12 months with VideoAsk.com creator David Okuniev
31:59

For David, his entrepreneurship journey came from his passion for music. He would later join brand and product design, a venture that saw him launch a design studio. It is in his studio that he met Robert Muñoz, and together they co-founded Typeform. Listen to David as he shares his journey with Geordie. 

What You’ll Learn

  • How David transitioned from music to design
  • How David met his co-founder and the first project that they did together
  • What was the rolling out process for Typeform like?
  • How did David come up with the Video Ask idea?
  • How Video Ask operates in collaboration with Typeform 
  • What is a hackathon according to David's terms, and how do they execute it in the company? 
  • Events that led to the formation of Video Ask
  • Why David separated Typeform from Video Ask
  • How did David come up with the pricing options for the Video Ask product?
  • What characters does David look out for when interviewing developers?
  • What challenges has David faced since the launch of Video Ask?
  • Marketing strategies that David and his team are using to scale the company and stay ahead of their competitors

In this Episode:

The activities you engage in now could what defines your future in the entrepreneurship world. David was not aware that his passion could pave the way for him to penetrate the world of design.

The experience that David gained during his singing days came in handy to give him tangible ideas for his business. Listen to this intriguing podcast and understand how he moved from singing to design.  

David says that he specialized in music production, which involves assembling and layering things. He says there is a connection between music and design because both procedures are about building something. His co-founding journey did not just stem out of nowhere. First, he became an agency owner before finally meeting his co-founder.

David tells Geordie that the Typeform idea happened by mistake. He explains the details that led to the establishment of the company. Listen to the podcast and learn some lessons from his explanation.

You will be surprised to learn that David and his co-founder never invested in the project. How then did they pull through? He explains everything about it in the podcast. David mentions that he recently stepped down as co-CEO of Typeform to focus on other products. While he is now working on Video Ask, David says he is still very involved in the running of Typeform. He goes ahead to explain what Video Ask is all about. Listen to the podcast to get all the details.

Today, modern customer expectations are high, and companies need to interact with their customers more to remain afloat. David explains that Video Ask seeks to help entrepreneurs have meaningful relationships with their consumers. If you are an entrepreneur, you cannot afford to miss this conversation.

David took time to plan and strategize before finally launching Video Ask. He tells Geordie how together with his team, they left the idea pending for a whole year before finally picking it up. Even after launching the venture, they would have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic challenge. What has the Video Ask journey been so far? Listen to this engaging podcast to get the answers.

Currently, Video Ask enjoys a subscriber base of up to 3,000 customers. David says they have both paid plans and a free plan. Listen to the podcast to understand how each plan works. David also explains how he came up with pricing options for the plans. What does David and his team do when it comes to designing? He says they aim at delivering a product that is not only clear but one that is understandable and appealing.

Customers today are looking for ideal solutions that they can use to maneuver from one area to the other. David and his team understand this too well, which is why they are committed to customizing the product to fit different needs.

David gives a practical example of how the system works, and you want to get it straight from the horse's mouth. If you are a developer, you will benefit from David’s nuggets of wisdom, as he talks about characteristics of the ideal developer. Listen in and determine what you should improve on to become more competitive. David says he still has unfinished business with the companies, and he is not planning to quit anytime soon. 

Resources

David Okuniev Twitter

Typeform

David Okuniev LinkedIn

VideoAsk

Dec 08, 2020
How Ravi Sahu pre-sold $150,000 to fund his mining SaaS before his product existed
40:23

Before establishing Strayos, Ravi Sahu worked with Fortune 500 companies in different roles for over ten years. Listen to this podcast as he talks about transitioning from employment to entrepreneurship and his 0-30,000 MRR journey. 

What You’ll Learn

  • What problem do Ravi and his team solve for their customers?
  • How does Ravi’s product operate? 
  • Benefits that you will gain from using Ravi’s product
  • How did Ravi identify the problem his customers were facing?
  • What is sustainable mining?
  • Adoption threats that Ravi and his team face
  • How did Ravi obtain feedback from his clients to determine whether he was solving their problem?
  • How did Ravi build his MVP?
  • Ravi’s transition from the MVP to when money started flowing in
  • Importance of user feedback

In This Episode:

Working in the mining industry can be challenging. However, technological advancements are fast transforming the industry to make it more efficient, productive, and safer. Having spent many years in the technology industry, Ravi gained the experience he needed to develop a robust product that would come to the rescue of users in various countries and contexts. He tells Geordie that he strives to solve problems that occur daily in the mining industry and within the mineral extraction process. He also explains other challenges that he and his team are committed to helping their customers solve.

Ravi is a computer scientist with a background in development and programming. It is surprising how he identified a problem in the mining sector, but he explains it all in this podcast. Listen to his narration on how and why he started. At some point, while pursuing his MBA, Ravi interacted with a colleague. He (colleague) had been in the mining industry for 30 years. It is through this colleague that Ravi got to understand the real limited data challenges that players in the industry were facing.

Ravi explains the actual data problems in detail, and you do not want to miss this. Ravi’s colleague would later become his advisor. Clients who adopt Ravi’s system stand a chance to reap numerous benefits, such as operating the plant more effectively and increased productivity. Ravi gives Geordie a breakdown of how he and his team handle their equipment. He says Strayos is an AI and software solutions platform, and they deal with different types of drones.

Many of their customers have their hardware, but if they don’t, then Ravi and his team can develop and customize an entire package for them. Ravi admits that in the beginning, he was not sure that he was solving the right problem.

At some point, Ravi decided to enroll in a three-day mining lesson where he met a mineral extraction process expert. Here, he learnt more about what happens in the mining industry. You want to find out what the expert said from the podcast. From the lesson, Ravi established that the process was tedious and presented various safety concerns. It is here that he started figuring out that AI and software would be ideal in this sector.

Ravi would later collaborate with players in different departments in the mining sector in a bid to understand the problem extensively. Companies that Ravi and his team interacted with were impressed with the service, which he says was an indication that there was an MVP. Ravi talks about the strategy he uses when it comes to the startup development process. Listen to the podcast to figure this out. He also talks about the amount he made from his first customers on a pre-sale basis.

Ravi says the pre-sale amount came in handy to convince him that customers were willing to pay to find solutions to their problems. As an entrepreneur, you should offer services that will build both your business and that of your clients too. Knowing that there were ready customers was the reason why Ravi finally quit his day job to become an entrepreneur. He says that in his first MVP version, he hired two members and grew his team as the MVP evolved.

Doing something that he had not done before was not easy. Ravi attributes his success to his friends and family. He also mentions that he was passionate about his venture, which is why he held on amid the challenges. How did Ravi convince clients to pay for a non-existent product? Listen to his response in this podcast.

At some point, Ravi had to raise some seed money to keep the company afloat. He explains how much he raised, and also mentions the amount of equity he had to give up. Ravi reflects on his journey from the first to their tenth customer, and you cannot afford to miss this. He also explains the challenges they faced along the way and the measures they took to remain relevant. Being one of the biggest pre-sellers in the industry, Ravi concludes by recommending situations that would be applicable for a pre-sale. 

Resources

Ravi Sahu LinkedIn

Ravi Sahu Twitter

Strayos

Dec 01, 2020
Recruitment Agency SaaS leader Derry Holt talks about his 0 to 30k MRR journey
45:32

Derry Holt of OneUp Sales talks about his journey from being a Video game developer to building a SaaS company that has evolved to become a popular firm in the UK.

Derry Holt is the CEO and co-founder of OneUp Sales and also a video games developer. After working as a software engineer in the games industry for years, he later channeled his energy into the sales software sector. He tells Geordie Wardman everything about his journey in this captivating podcast that you do not want to miss. 

What You’ll Learn

  • What inspired the launch of OneUp Sales?
  • How does the OneUp Sales concept operate?
  • How James (Derry’s co-founder) came up with the OneUp Sales idea
  • Why you should execute your idea whether someone else is doing it or not
  • What kind of competitors does Derry have?
  • Derry’s vision for OneUp Sales
  • The one mistake that Derry and James made during their developmental stage
  • Importance of market validation
  • What strategy did Derry use to attract customers?
  • How did Derry figure out that his software was ideal for the recruitment agency industry?
  • When did Derry and James first experience recruitment?
  • Differences between SaaS companies and recruitment firms when it comes to onboarding
  • Importance of networking in business
  • What’s Derry’s long-term vision for OneUp Sales?

In this Episode:

Did you know that you can convert what you are passionate about into a money-making venture? Having been video game developers for years, Derry Holt and James, his co-founder, figured they could use their video game building knowledge to develop business software. They thought about combining the massive data that salespeople generate with equally rich data video games to keep people engaged and motivated.

What began as a simple approach of engaging in fantasy football with salespeople has evolved to integrate a TV display within the system. Listen to the podcast to figure out the connection between salespeople and video games. Derry also gives details on how the OneUp Sales concept operates. You will need to listen carefully to grasp the details.

Along the journey, Derry and James enrolled in an accelerator program in the UK, where they received office space and support free of charge. During this period, their mentors encouraged them to figure out whether they wanted to build a business or become developers.

Derry and James thought about developing a game, but some hurdles stopped them from doing so. What were they? Find out from the podcast. After deliberations, they decided to do something they had never tried before, which you can find out by listening to this podcast.

The duo made up their minds to take time and work on the project. They were also committed to consulting people until they were sure that their target audience would spend money on it. It took the team some years to finally get their idea right and convince people to buy it.

Listen to Derry as he says it all in this podcast and get motivated. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or have just started your company, this podcast will inspire you to keep going regardless of the challenges.

At some point, Derry and James had to lay off all of their staff and start afresh. It was not until 2018 when the company started experiencing some growth. They even formed some collaboration in the UK with recruiting networks. The company experienced lots of growth then. They would late raise some money, but Derry feels like they should have done one thing before raising capital. Find out what that is from the podcast.

According to Derry, there are numerous things they would change were they to do it all over again. Listen to the podcast for details. Derry explains the different phases of growth that they went through extensively. He also tackles the struggles they suffered as well as the plateaus they conquered, and you cannot afford to miss this part.

Derry talks to Geordie about partnership networking. He also discusses the SaaS and recruitment companies they collaborate with. Listen to the podcast for more details on this. Having been in the industry for a long time, Derry understands the recruitment space well. If you are looking forward to investing in the industry, you will benefit from his insights on where to look for customers.

The world is currently grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, and Derry and his team have experienced some challenges. Listen to the podcast to understand how the experience has been for them. Derry also talks about how they have managed to remain afloat. Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Don’t miss this particular section of the podcast.

Derry has tremendous plans for the company that he shares with Geordie. Listen in and get the inspiration you need to start your business today.

Resources

Derry Holt LinkedIn

Derry Holt Twitter

OneUp Sales

Nov 24, 2020
How to rent out your SaaS marketing activities with Fractional CMO coach Casey Stanton
49:53

Casey Stanton founded CMOx to help fitness, health, manufacturing, and technology firms accelerate their growth. He has been a marketing consultant for years and has worked with numerous companies during his career. Listen to Casey as he narrates his story to Geordie Wardman. 

What you’ll Learn

  • What prompted Casey to start selling his products online
  • What is Casey’s description of marketing?
  • What key problem does Casey solve?
  • Why having the right workforce is critical for your business.
  • The type of companies that Casey works with
  • Why Casey founded CMO Exponential
  • Key skills of a marketing technician
  • Why you should manage your team tightly
  • The importance of creating social proof
  • What does social proof do?
  • The importance of believing in what you do
  • Why marketers should be factual rather than persuasive
  • Why a sales script is important
  • Importance of a good conversation in business

In this episode:

Fate has a humorous way of connecting people to their destiny, and nothing describes Casey’s experience better than this. He narrates to Geordie how he struggled to get work and later settled for mowing lawns.

One day he approached a man he worked for and sought to find out how he had managed to get his life together. Casey says the answer he received that day changed his life for the best. Listen to the podcast to find out what the answer was, and the riveting events that followed. 

 

Casey says he founded CMO Exponential, a company that specializes in providing part-time and fractional marketing officers. Together with the team, they have a pragmatic operation that they have christened the functional marketing framework. He mentions that they utilize this method on seven and eight-figure firms to help them grow.

CMO Exponential also works with startups and six-figure businesses. If you fall into this category, you should listen to Casey as he explains how they can help you in your journey. Coming up with a marketing strategy, according to Casey can be challenging. However, the moment you have one, you do not have to keep on paying a chief marketing officer. Still, Casey mentions that we are living in hard times, and businesses need CMOs now more than ever.

With everything going digital, Casey believes that every business intending to grow should hire a full-time CMO. If you are considering moving your business online, then Casey gives a detailed breakdown of the companies they work with. Listen in to understand how your business can benefit from collaborating with CMO Exponential. Casey offers detailed information on the impact of a marketing strategy on business success.

According to Casey, while there are numerous strategies available today, not everything will work for your business. He stresses the importance of understanding your product, identifying your target consumers, and coming up with a concept that works for everybody involved. This is comprehensive coverage that all entrepreneurs will benefit from. You will need a pen and paper as you listen to this podcast.

At some point, Geordie engages Casey about his new time tracking software. He seeks to find out what he would do to enhance its performance. Casey’s explanation is what every new entrepreneur needs to propel their products to the next stage. You cannot afford to miss this part of the podcast. Even as Casey explains the importance of testimonials, he also gives out the case study formula. He also explains what you should do after acquiring social proof. Listen in to find this out.

One on one selling is crucial as it helps sellers see their customers and listen to their complaints. This strategy also helps entrepreneurs in figuring out why customers are not buying the products. It can also help them figure out how to improve the product, to meet customer demands.

Casey advises entrepreneurs not to shy away from making a single sale in a week, especially when starting. While he understands how discouraging it can be, he says that the effort you invest today will pay you tomorrow.

If you are a marketer, you know that dealing with people can be difficult, especially when they reject your product. According to Casey, sales is a chance for somebody to say no to you. All marketers should avoid losing sleep because no is part of the sales process. Casey discusses the importance of having a robust sales process, keywords, and an SEO campaign, and this is something you must listen to. According to Casey, you should not let the complexity of marketing interfere with your sales strategy. He also mentions three other very critical issues that every entrepreneur should know. Listen to the podcast to figure these out.

Resources

CMO Exponential

Hire a professional marketer

Casey Stanton LinkedIn

Casey Stanton Twitter

Casey Stanton website

Nov 17, 2020
The Do's and Don'ts of Content Marketing With Market Expert & Saas Provider Steve Pockross of Verblio.com
40:19

Steve Pockross is the CEO of Verblio.com, a multimedia content creation platform that focuses on SEO and quality writing. Steve has more than 20 years of experience in startups and nonprofit organizations. He was part of the initial management team at LiveOps and has led five marketing and SaaS businesses previously. He shares his journey with Geordie Wardman in this engaging podcast.

What You Will Learn

  • What problem does Steve and his team solve for their customers?
  • Understanding market 2.0
  • Key pain points of getting the ideal content creator
  • How does Verblio.com operate?
  • Challenges that Steve experienced when he first joined Verblio.com
  • Strategies that Steve used to achieve his goals for the company
  • Importance of organic traffic for businesses
  • What services does Verblio.com offer?
  • Other marketing initiatives and channels that Steve and his team use
  • How Steve and his team handled challenges brought about by the ongoing global challenge

In this Episode:

Content creation is fast becoming essential, especially now that the world is struggling with a global pandemic. Businesses have had to change the way they operate to stay afloat. If you are an entrepreneur, then this podcast will help you understand the importance of content and how you can use it to drive sales. 

Steve says that his target customers are digital marketers who specialize in inbound content marketing. If you are struggling to create quality content that gets to your audience at different inbound funnel levels, then you will highly benefit from this podcast. While creating content consistently can be a problem, Steve mentions that maintaining quality is what many of their customers struggle with.

If you are wondering why people create content, then Steve gives a comprehensive explanation in this podcast. He also explains the crowdsourcing model and how it has evolved over the years to incorporate Saas technology. Listen to this podcast and understand how you can adopt the same model within your establishment.

Steve believes in defying common knowledge to come up with unique ideas that deliver quality. This fact is evident in his explanation of the market 2.0 model. Listen to Steve as he shares his views with Geordie. He says there are tremendous opportunities that companies can leverage to come up with models that work best for their needs.

Steve talks about some of these strategies in the podcast, and you cannot afford to miss his insightful details. How does Verblio.com work? Steve as he breaks down how the platform works. He also points out notable differences between the platform and other similar platforms in the market today. 

At some point, Steve looks back at the events that followed his appointment at Verblio.com. Listen to his narration on this podcast and gather some valuable lessons. Steve says he was tasked with taking over the company and growing it. Seeing that he had no prior experience with a bootstrap company, he experienced a few challenges. He lays them bare in this podcast, and you can only understand them by listening. Steve and his team came up with a robust strategy to facilitate growth in the company.

What strategies were these? Listen in to find out. Steve gives numerous practical examples within the podcast that make it worth listening to. You will have an easy time identifying with both the theory and practical sessions of this podcast. How did Steve find ways to scale? He says that he first thought about improving the quality of the product the company was offering.

Apart from quality content, Steve says their clients measure them depending on the flexibility, scalability, and user experience of their platform. He discusses other things he thought of doing to improve their services in detail. You will get all this information from listening to the podcast.

Steve talks about the tremendous marketing strategies they had in place before the ongoing global pandemic brought them to a halt. He says, at some point, they had no marketing strategy at all, and they had to go back to the drawing board. Listen in to find out how he managed to come up with even more robust strategies to scale the company.

Steve reiterates that content is today a more effective marketing channel than was the case a few years ago. He lists down some of the benefits that entrepreneurs can gain from using content as a marketing strategy. Steve also talks about the crucial content trends that you should know. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, Steve advises you to work with experts and focus on what you are good at. He concludes by highlighting some powerful SEO tools every content creator should consider.

Resources

Verblio.com website 

Steve Pockross LinkedIn Profile

Nov 10, 2020
How Peter Valley funded his SaaS MVP by dumpster diving used books and reached 0 to 30k MRR in 6 months
41:11

Peter Valley decided to never work for anybody other than himself from an early age. He has authored many books about selling on Amazon and recently launched Zen arbitrage. This simple tool scans through Amazon to identify profit-making books. With this tool, you neither require an inventory, nor experience to make profits. Listen to Peter as he shares his journey with Geordie. 

What You Will Learn

  • Peter’s intriguing history
  • The unlikely formula that Peter used in his pursuit for success
  • Why doing something that everyone says cannot be done changes your perception towards things
  • Why you should always try things regardless of what the society says
  • The different entrepreneurial mindsets
  • Peter’s initial idea for his tool
  • How Peter succeeded on Amazon and finally ventured into software
  • About Zen arbitrage
  • How did Peter find and pay his developer?
  • How did Peter generate his startup capital?
  • Why you should not limit your expectations
  • Why Testimonials are critical for the success of your business
  • How Peter moved from 30,000 to 150,000

In this Episode:

Evolution is inevitable, especially in today’s world, where technology is advancing rapidly. Peter Valley has been selling used books on Amazon for many years with no software experience. However, he has evolved with the changing times in his quest to find solutions for problems he faces in his field.

Peter gives Geordie an intriguing story about his background that you should not miss. You will be amazed to learn that Peter had zero entrepreneurial history. He even did everything to avoid working. How then did he venture into the entrepreneurship world? Listen on to understand.

Peter says while he lived his life in a destitute manner, he learned some of the best lessons then. He describes one of the critical things he achieved from his traveling escapades as learning how to identify loopholes that no one else has. Peter tells Geordie that being able to identify unique problems is what has helped him to becoming successful in SaaS.

Peter’s story is one of resilience, courage, and determination. Do not miss his interesting narration on how he broke into a house and lived there. Figure out how he dodged landscapers and the police to live in the abandoned house for two years. You will also find out the lessons that Peter learned from that experience.

According to Peter, the experience of living in an abandoned house was the best he has ever had. It created in him the value extraction mindset he had when he finally ventured into entrepreneurship. To achieve success as an entrepreneur, Peter says you should strive to add value to people.

For his initial idea, Peter hired a developer to write a program. While the program did not work out, it was a great learning experience. He shares the entire experience in the podcast, and every entrepreneur should listen and learn. Peter attributes part of his success to listening to professionals in the field and researching extensively on the internet.

At some point, Peter mentions how he accidentally bumped into a party that later became one of his life changing opportunities. Peter explains how he attended an event, discovered the SaaS model, and fell in love with it. He launched his product right after completing the SaaS model training.

How does Zen arbitrage operate? Peter gives a detailed explanation in the podcast. Getting your first customer can be an uphill task. How did Peter navigate challenges to get his first customer? He says he had a lead magnet that you can find out from listening to the podcast. At some point, Peter held a webinar where he demonstrated how his SaaS product automates manual tasks.

So successful was his webinars that they generated tremendous amounts of money. He says while everything was happening very fast, he always wanted to hit the 30,000 mark. There is another reason why Peter was obsessed with 30,000. Listen to the podcast to find out. While Peter finally hit 30,000 within a short period, he would stagnate for some time. He attributes his stagnation to the fact that he did not understand customer retention.

Dealing with customers is not easy, and sometimes you will encounter some who keep on canceling their orders. While you want to make it easy for them to cancel, it is critical to establish why they are canceling. Peter mentions that entrepreneurs should be ready to offer solutions that encourage customers to stay.

For Peter, the future is bright, and with numerous plans in the pipeline, he believes he will soon overshadow his flagship product. Listen to the final part of this podcast where Peter narrates his plans for the future. He also talks about writing a memoir soon, and you can find all the details from the podcast.

References

FBA mastery.com

The Zen arbitrage

Peter Valley Twitter

Peter Valley Amazon

Nov 03, 2020
How to break down your limiting beliefs, conquer your Inner Game and raise your profits with Business Mindset Coach Nina Cooke.
38:50

Nina, a business mindset coach specializes in assisting entrepreneurs to release their deep inner blocks to enhance continued growth. She also strives to help businesses reduce downtime. During her career, Nina has not only hosted the entrepreneur’s inner game podcast, but she has also been featured on BBC Radio and Forbes. Listen to Nina as she narrates her journey to Geordie. 

What You Will Learn

  • Why your mindset can help you strike their big breakthrough
  • Why entrepreneurs should appreciate both success and failure
  • Nina’s career history
  • Leveraging the internet to start a business in the comfort of your home
  • Nina’s personal development journey
  • Importance of confidence in business
  • Why coaches require continued training
  • Why every entrepreneur should avoid blaming other people and take full responsibility for their decisions instead
  • Facing and countering your Limiting beliefs
  • Why you should not rely on someone to validate, or make you feel better or worthy
  • You are the only one that is responsible for changing your thoughts and mindset
  • To succeed, you need to eliminate every negative thoughts from your mind
  • As an entrepreneur, you need to approach your prospects and let them understand why they should choose you over your competitors
  • An example of a tangible framework that Nina uses
  • Understanding the shortest method an entrepreneur can use to reach their goals
  • Why you should avoid taking things personally
  • Why entrepreneurs should enjoy the present moment
  • Why writing things down increases your chances of achieving it

In this Episode:

Entrepreneurship can be an interesting journey but it comes with lots of challenges. It is these challenges that convinced Nina to start working with entrepreneurs. Nina says she realized that many entrepreneurs get in their own way and end up tripping themselves up. She notes that what stops many entrepreneurs from succeeding is the way they think. With this approach at her fingertips, Nina decided to work with entrepreneurs. She aimed to help them understand that their mindset is all that mattered.

Nina says entrepreneurs should develop a courageous and resilient mind that can quit the comfort zone and take up risks. Listen to Nina as she gives Geordie exclusive details of her career history. Nina says while her concepts are intangible, it has to generate tangible and practical results. She reiterates that her approach must create an impact and increase income while making life easy.

Having a free mind is crucial when it comes to making sound decisions, according to Nina, and that is what her concept does. Her training helps entrepreneurs to develop better problem-solving skills. Even then, Nina says that the intangible factors are what she values most.

The idea of knowing that you are prepared to handle any challenges you face in your journey and remaining optimistic regardless of the situation. These are the concepts that make Nina want to keep on doing what she does.

Nina tells Geordie that relying on someone else to make you feel worthy would be futile. After all, everybody is busy with their wellbeing. Nina mentions that no two people share the same thoughts. She says everybody is a unique thinker, and everyone is entitled to their opinions. Nina discusses more details about this idea that you can listen to in the podcast.

Nina tells her clients that their power surpasses their beliefs. Listen to her as she expounds on this matter in the podcast. She also discusses her understanding of tangible frameworks and takes Geordie through what she does to help her clients eliminate limiting beliefs. You cannot miss this part of the podcast. Nina says her concept is like therapy that helps clients eliminate inner blocks and develop new and empowering thinking about themselves.

Nina reiterates that many times, entrepreneurs judge the reaction of an audience before starting their projects. Nina’s mantra is; if you do not ask, you will not get. She says she has evolved over the years and no longer takes things personally. Nina is always prepared to take feedback.

According to Nina, how you respond to feedback is more critical than what other people say. She is happy to know that her clients can knock down every barrier of resistance. Once you eliminate these barriers, you begin doing things they love doing and those that grow their businesses.

Nina discusses the different types of blocks in this podcast. She says, clearing your mind off these blocks helps free your thinking. Her strategy, she says, works. However, she is quick to mention that it works differently for different clients. Nina concludes the podcast by reiterating the importance of living at the present moment. 

References

Nina Cooke

Nina Cooke LinkedIn

Nina Cooke Podcast

Oct 27, 2020
How Mitch Bowler uses Bubble ZeroCode App to build Evolve Artist and launced another SaaS in less than 30 days
34:02

From an early age, Mitch Bowler already knew that he wanted to become a video game artist. While his vision is no longer the same, Mitch is still enthusiastic about art. He strives to inspire all artists to be better versions of themselves. Mitch shares his journey with Geordie Wardman in this informative podcast that you do not want to miss it. 

What You Will Learn

  • How Mitch became a video game artist
  • Understanding realism and how to learn it within a virtual setting
  • What problem do Mitch and his team solve for their clients?
  • How did Mitch know the problem his clients were facing?
  • How Mitch build his first MVP
  • Why Mitch and his team wanted a custom software solution for their operations so badly
  • The amount of time Mitch took to switch from the Frankenstein to the Bubble app version
  • Why entrepreneurs should invest in a coach
  • Why understanding where your strengths lie is critical in the entrepreneurship world
  • Understanding the concept of time tracking
  • How Mitch incorporated his time tracking spreadsheet into the Bubble app
  • How Mitch and Geordie changed the time tracking spreadsheet into SaaS
  • How to successfully build a SaaS program within 30 days

In this Episode

Having a vision from an early age can be all you need to carve your own career path. Mitch understands this well, seeing that he started his journey as an artist from the age of seven years. He spent lots of time on the farm with his grandfather, from where he learned how to make money from doing a few chores.

Mitch narrates the impact a rumor about a video game that would help artists create their own video games had on him. Listen to the podcast for details on what happened next and Mitch’s journey to being a video game artist.

During his stint in the art industry, Mitch made a decision that saw him quit his corporate job to become a digital nomad. Then, he spent a lot of his time with entrepreneurs trying to understand their journey.

In his quest to discover new things, Mitch struggled to figure out how to develop a guaranteed art program. After around three years of trying, Mitch was unsuccessful. He even tried collaborating with a professional, and still, they could not do it. According to Mitch, the art industry can be challenging.

Mitch says he now understands why parents are hesitant when it comes to sending their kids to art school. Listen in to know his reasons. After years of struggling, Mitch finally found a qualified person who was recruiting 12-year-old children to engage in realistic paintings. He gives a detailed explanation of this concept in this podcast.

Mitch realized that while realism is essential, there was a shortage of teachers. He wanted to devise a system where interested learners could access lessons anywhere just as they would with physical learning. It is at this point that Mitch began assessing technological solutions in the search for a system that would help him actualize his dreams.

His search yielded nothing, and while he had the option of using chat rooms and forums, he knew that was not going to work. Mitch started considering custom solutions that would help him make online learning smooth for everyone.

To succeed in the entrepreneurship world, you should identify your customer’s problems and come up with viable solutions. Mitch already understands what his customers want, and he shares all this information with Geordie in this candid conversation. Listen in and grab a few lessons.

Mitch launched his first MVP on Evolve Artist, his first tool, but later moved it to Bubble. By this time, they had around 100 users and four blocks of curriculum, each of which he charged $300. Mitch says that art students who sign up for his program pay a more affordable price than they would for a physical art college.

Listen to the conversation for more details. Mitch says that building Bubble was a learning process for him, and it took him some time to be comfortable with it. After years of managing the Bubble app, Mitch tells Geordie that he has since become self-sufficient and hardly runs into problems. Geordie and Mitch discuss a SaaS idea that they developed together in less than 30 days. Here, Mitch tells Geordie how he came up with the concept of time tracking.

The discussion at this point is long and engaging, and you do not want to miss it. According to Mitch, knowing how you spend your time changes your relationship with both money and time. It also transforms you into a better decision-maker. Listen to the podcast and understand why a time management tool makes you more efficient. 

Resources

Mitch Bowler LinkedIn

Mitch Bowler Twitter

Evolveartist.com

Tick Tock Lab.com

Oct 20, 2020
The 3 essential questions you need to ask yourself before you launch your next SaaS with Joe Sanok
42:02

Joe defines himself as an accidental entrepreneur whose parents were school system workers. He grew up knowing that he had to work hard at school to get excellent grades to get a good job. However, Joe was committed to taking a different route, as we shall learn from this podcast.

What You Will Learn

  • What problems does Joe solve for his customers?
  • How Joe started his podcast
  • What is the core of Joe’s business?
  • Why searching for curiosity, ideas, and information outside your field is critical for the success of your business
  • Importance of professional branding
  • About the Family Medical Leave Act. What does it entail, and how does it operate?
  • How Joe generated leads
  • Joe’s strategy for content production and SEO
  • How does Joe leverage content from his podcast to create different materials for a wide range of platforms?
  • Who is the Ideal Joe Sanok’s client?
  • What is Joe's definition of the big idea?
  • Importance of outsourcing
  • What you should do before 
  • Long term habits you need to succeed
  • Joe’s lead magnet course
  • Importance of life blocking

In this Episode:

Joe started his career working at nonprofit organizations and a local community college. He would later launch private practice as a side job, where together with his team they helped people solve different issues. Some of these issues were depression, marital problems, and anxiety.

Along the way, Joe discovered that he had zero experience in entrepreneurship. Armed with the desire to learn and enhance his knowledge, Joe started researching and learning. The thought of starting a podcast crossed his mind during that time. What method did Joe use when starting his podcast? Listen in and find out.

After operating the podcast for some time, Joe decided to quit his fulltime job gradually while paying more time to the podcast. Joe explains that many people do not know how to use their time well and only operate through the society’s manual.

According to Joe, this is not always the best method of doing things. Listen to Joe as he gives further details about this concept. He also discusses the timeframes within which he transitioned from his fulltime job to podcasting.

When Joe finally decided that podcasting was what he wanted to do he had to do things differently. He hired a professional to redesign his website and also had his logo professionally made to give his brand an authentic look. Joe also discusses how he catered for the medical requirements of his pregnant wife. Listen in to get comprehensive information.

At some point, Joe had to quit his fulltime job entirely, and he explains how he did it in the podcast. When it comes to SEO, Joe says they have a team that has excellent copywriting skills and experience. He tells Geordie about the strategy he uses when interviewing his guests to get as comprehensive information as possible.

Joe says that he only works three days a week and explains why. He mentions that before adopting any big idea, it is critical to have sufficient space to ensure employees can work comfortably and with minimal distractions. He talks about a saying that they use as their guiding principle and a course he defines as their lead magnet. Listen to the podcast to figure it out. You will also get comprehensive details on how Joe developed his MVP.

At some point, Geordie seeks to figure out how he (Joe) managed to convince his clients to pay colossal amounts of money. To this, Joe says that people will be willing to pay more for implementation as opposed to information only. Joe says that entrepreneurs should invest in the implementation process to charge more.

How does Joe assist clients who want software as a service models? He admits that he has no experience in matters technology but he always refers clients to techno-savvy experts. Joe says he is happy with outsourcing his client’s technology-based needs and tells Geordie why he chooses that path. Listen keenly to find out why.

According to Joe, entrepreneurs should only focus on only what they can do and not tasks they can easily outsource. Find out his explanation for this from the podcast. Joe reiterates the importance of meetings, especially if a company has a new assistant. He says, not only do they create an opportunity to receive feedback, but they also help people communicate with one another effectively. “Assess how you are using your time” is Joe’s message to anyone who is looking forward to launching their big idea.

References

Podcast Launch School

Joe Sanok LinkedIn

Oct 13, 2020
How to find your force multiplier and 10x your SaaS business with Adam Hergenrother & Hallie Warner
42:05

Adam Hergenrother is an entrepreneur and CEO of a billion-dollar organization that started building businesses while in college. He strives to ensure that his clients become the business leaders they need to be. Hallie Warner, on the other hand, is Adam’s chief of staff. Hallie has also co-authored the book The Founder and The Force Multiplier that illustrates how executive assistants and entrepreneurs can achieve more together. Adam and Hallie share their journey with Geordie Wardman. 

What You Will Learn

  • Why entrepreneurs should enroll for a training
  • Why entrepreneurs should invest in the right people
  • How did Adam find Hallie?
  • Why entrepreneurs should discover employee talents and place them in positions where they perform best
  • How to find the best executive assistant 
  • What factors should you consider when searching for an executive assistant?
  • Leveraging social media and staffing agencies to identify great talent
  • What do executive assistants expect?
  • Importance of matching a candidate’s behavior to their position
  • The importance of working towards the same goal as partners
  • Why organizations should use the right language when advertising for jobs
  • Importance of employee retention

In this Episode:

Adam established his companies in the real estate industry, where he opines, he had to work 1517 hour days. Along the way, he discovered what he could achieve with the right team of talented people around him.

Today, Adam has more than 60 local control stations (LCS) and five main operating companies. All of these companies deal with training real estate developers. Adam tells Geordie that success is not simultaneous but sequential. Listen to Adam as he shares more details about his companies.

Hallie joins in to mention that they recently started podcasting with Adam confirming that they had launched the service in more than 75 countries. Adam tells Geordie how he believed that to prosper, he had to spend long hours working hard when he started. While he is sure the strategy works, there are alternative approaches entrepreneurs can adopt.

Adam is quick to mention that sometimes entrepreneurs have to put in the work to get enough money. At some point, Adam realized he needed leverage in his life. How did he achieve this? Adam says he easily delegates duties that someone else can do. Listen as he gives Geordie all the details.

At some point, Adam was redeploying employees in his office, and that is how Hallie was appointed. He would later realize that some of his employees were in the wrong positions, and this is how Hallie became the Executive Assistant. Adam talks about how he tackled the matter without hurting any of his employees. You can only get the details from listening.

Geordie turns to Hallie for her take. Hallie confirms that before securing the job, she had just moved to the area, and all she wanted was a job. Having been an executive assistant before, Hallie knew she was fit for the task. Listen as she tells Geordie the vision she had for the job. She describes skills that the ultimate executive assistant should have, where she mentions various factors. Listen in to understand these factors. She also has tips for entrepreneurs who are looking to hire an executive assistant.

Hallie recommends places where entrepreneurs can find the ideal executive assistants. Listen to the conversation and benefit from the information she shares. Different companies have varying interviewing procedures. Adam discusses the interview strategy they use before identifying the right candidate. Listen to what they do, and you may want to replicate it for your organization.

Geordie mentions how important having employees who challenge you is, and Adam agrees. Listen to his sentiments in detail. Adam also talks about hiring a force multiplier. He also mentions how letting things you are holding on go allows people to force multiply your life. How do Adam and his team attract the right person that is aligned with his companies?

Adam says they have an approach that promotes culture before profit. He explains that their culture is all about models and execution. Adam explains this concept further, and you should listen in to understand it. Hallie says they recently started working on establishing a SaaS company to track their progress. Listen to both Adam and Hallie as they speak on this matter in depth. Adam says entrepreneurs should discover what they do not have and realize you can leverage a force multiplier. Doing so helps them fill the divide, which makes everything easier and more aligned. 

References

Adam Hergenrother

Hallie Warner

Hallie Warner LinkedIn

The Founder and Force Multiplier

Adam Hergenrother LinkedIn

Oct 06, 2020
How Scott Desgrosseilliers went from helping 1 client friend track paid advertising ROI to own the paid advertising reporting SaaS space
45:47

Scott Desgrosseilliers is the CEO and founder of Wicked Reports. He established the company to facilitate optimization and acceleration of the digital marketing ROI for small and medium-sized businesses. The ideal Wicked Reports customers are people who sell products online. Scott opines that companies should strive to track lifetime customer value. Wicked Reports strives to help SaaS businesses have a clear picture of their paid advertising progress. Listen to Scott as he discusses his story with Geordie Wardman.

What You Will Learn

  • How Scott started his journey
  • Why entrepreneurs should spend money on a campaign and the impact of the same on long-term ROI
  • How Scott and his friend leveraged Facebook campaigns to attract leads
  • Importance of Email when it comes to closing leads
  • Why entrepreneurs should read widely
  • What Scott does best
  • How did Scott gain customers while still consulting for his friend?
  • How Scott came up with his pricing
  • What challenges did Scott face during his journey?
  • How companies can leverage offers to increase awareness and make more money
  • Where does Scott source his developers?
  • Why you should pay your employees well
  • Which of Scott’s marketing methods is the most effective for his business?

In this Episode:

Marketing attribution is the value or credit that you allocate to a particular marketing touchpoint. Experts define it as the science of establishing the ideal marketing drive or media that drives revenue. Scott says the idea behind market attribution is that you spent where your money is making money to increase your earnings.

Again, you desist from wasting money where you do not make money. Before starting his SaaS journey, Scott was running databases amid other tasks like being a technical architect and project management. He was getting tired of these tasks and wanted to leave. When Scott shared his feelings with his seniors, they requested him to work for a year. Scott shares some detailed information with Geordie on what happened next.

Listen in to find out what he said. Scott would later collaborate with his friend, who had a lobster business and lots of work to handle. However, he (Scott's friend) was struggling to keep his business afloat amid a competitive space. At some point, Scott's friend sought his help in a bid to convert leads.

Scott explains how he leveraged this opportunity to demonstrate his capabilities. He ended up becoming his friend’s consultant, and within a short period, he helped him close many deals. Listen to Scott as he shares all the details with Geordie. Scott says that he established Wicked Reports out of passion but reiterates that the company happened by chance.

After launching his SaaS Company, Scott and his team printed T-shirts with the company name ingrained in them. The team wore the T-shirts and walked around, asking people what they were doing to track their ROI. They interviewed different business owners to find out whether their emails were earning them money.

Scott and his team were surprised that no one they interviewed had a definitive answer. That is how Scott identified a pain point and decided to work on it. He says the demand for a SaaS product was so high that his company hit the first MRR within the first year after launching. Surprisingly, they achieved all this by relying on word of mouth. Listen to Scott as he explains how he and his team worked tirelessly to achieve this tremendous success.

Even with this success, Scott says they were using an ugly product. Listen as he explains his sentiments. At some point, Scott and his team organized a show to promote the business. He talks about how they made colossal amounts of money from the show and numerous leads. You will need to hear the story in his words to understand.

While Scott has no problem hiring from any part of the world, he prefers working with people within the same time zone. He also opts to work with people who speak English. According to him, doing so enhances convenience. Scott says he has both full time employees and others who work under full-time contracts.

All of his employees work remotely. Scott reiterates that content marketing is critical not only for his business but for many others. He says has a content team that leverages his thoughts to come up with the right content for his business. He believes that great content is crucial for the success of any business. 

References

Scott Desgrosseilliers

Wicked Reports Blog

Wicked Reports

Scott Desgrosseilliers

Sep 29, 2020
Positioning expert April Dunford explains how you to find your best SaaS customers to position and explode your MRR
56:08

April Dunford was a repeat vice president of marketing at various tech start-up companies before she finally transitioned into consulting. She focuses on positioning, where she helps customers understand their competition and target market. Listen as she tells Geordie Wardman what she does. 

What You Will Learn

  • How did April reposition her first product?
  • How April and her team discovered the impact of repositioning
  • Does your product influence the market? Importance of doing a market study
  • The importance of understanding your competition 
  • April’s journey into understanding positioning. How did she approach it?
  • What is April’s advice to start-up companies that do not have enough customers?
  • Why small businesses should begin with a thesis before creating a product
  • Why companies should identify their target market
  • Why you should know who your customer is and who is not
  • Importance of copywriting in marketing
  • Common mistakes that small businesses make before consulting a professional SaaS company
  • Investor expectations vs. customer expectations

In this episode

Many successful entrepreneurs today never achieved success overnight. It took them many years to understand their product, learn and master their competitors, and know their target market. April says her first job was a startup company. As a junior, together with her team they did product repositioning from where she learned two things.

Listen to this conversation to find out these two things. One critical thing that April walked away with was that positioning was crucial for the success of products in the market. At some point, April began teaching about positioning at a local University before transitioning into teaching small businesses.

Today, she is a professional consultant. April gives Geordie a detailed story of her experience with repositioning her first product. This story is interesting, and you need to listen to it to get the concept behind it. While working for the startup, April's role was to conduct a market study to find out how the company’s product was doing in the market. The task involved calling 200 customers.

From her survey, many of their customers were not interested in that product. Rather than focusing on how poorly the product was doing in the market, April and her team brainstormed transformation ideas. Their efforts paid handsomely, and the product received tremendous support and success. She says many customers still use the product to date. According to April, if she were to do it again today, she would pursue a different approach.

Listen as she shares her sentiments with Geordie. How did April come up with the positioning strategy? She tells Geordie how she imagined someone could have done or even documented it (positioning) before. April embarked on research and enrolled in marketing classes. She would later discover a great book about positioning. Listen in to find out which book that is. She says the book was impactful, and many trainers still use it in master classes.

This book explains the importance of positioning in detail, and April believes every marketer should read it. However, she is fast to note that this book will not tell you how to execute positioning. April furthered her studies in marketing school, where she learned more about positioning. Listen to her conversation with Geordie to find out what she gained from the lessons.

In her quest to understand and execute positioning, April broke it down into various component pieces before establishing the best answer for each item. April says figuring the components out was not a difficult task. Listen to understand how she did it. She gives details on the relationship between products, unique features, and a competitive alternative. Listen to understand her explanation precisely.

April opines that many companies only put products on the web, believing that willing customers will use the product. However, companies need to do more to ensure the target audience knows about your brand. She says a SaaS company can help improve the visibility of your product. April reiterates that for every product there is in a crowded market companies should establish who loves the brand and why they do.

Companies should figure out what makes their products unique among their competitors. April speaks about this matter in detail. Listen in to capture everything that she says. She explains that people have numerous reasons for not buying a particular brand. However, your focus should be on the people that love your brand, which she calls a rare event, especially in the current competitive arena.

Remember, people have many choices and can buy anything from anywhere. Understand why they would pick you over the others, to understand what you should change, or improve to meet their expectations. April says selling anything today amid the crowded market is a miracle that businesses should appreciate. 

References

April Dunford

Net promoter

April Dunford Twitter

Obviously Awesome

Sep 22, 2020
Inside the mind of mindset business master Dane Maxwell and how he grows multiple profitable businesses at the same time
51:19

Dane Maxwell is an enthusiastic entrepreneur who strives to help others navigate challenges in the business industry to achieve success. Dane started establishing companies from a young age. While many of them failed, that did not deter him from pursuing his desire to establish a multi-million dollar company. Some of his companies still exist. Listen as he shares his exciting journey with Geordie Wardman.

What You’ll Learn

  • What to look out for in a contract crew
  • The book Dane launched. Was it a business model or a passion project?
  • Why entrepreneurs should hire experts to help solve their customer’s painful problems
  • Demonstrating customer results is a critical part of success in business. Find out why.
  • Why entrepreneurs should be intentional about the goals they want to achieve
  • What happened when Dane realized his talent
  • What triggered Dane into writing a book?
  • How did Dane go about writing his book, Start from Zero?
  • When can an entrepreneur hire without struggling with trust issues?
  • Importance of reading books
  • How to make friends with the mind
  • What freedom is
  • Pricing your products

In this Episode

Being passionate about something means going beyond limits to achieve what you desire. This approach is the case of Dane Maxwell, who started out working as a hotel tech support. Dane would later learn business and sales, and marketing before venturing into SaaS development with no tech skills at all.

Dane tells Geordie that many times the brain of an entrepreneur battle to identify that magic point. It is this confusion that deters you from identifying opportunities at the right time. Many times, another brand may crop up and do something differently that transforms the industry, and overtakes your product. According to Dane, as much as what you do matters, how you do it is more crucial. Dane talks about the launch and progress of his book project. Listen in to know everything about it.

Dane ventured into the business world at 22 years old. He believes that had he started earlier, he would probably be worth much more than he is worth today. Listen to his conversation with Geordie as he explains this concept in depth. According to Dane, your consciousness as an entrepreneur can make or break your business. He goes ahead to give a personal example that you need to hear first-hand.

Did you know that you are likely to become what you believe you are? Dane tells Geordie how being bullied from a younger age made him believe he was garbage. Little did he know how talented he was. What happened when he finally understood himself, confronted his fears, and took the initiative to change his belief? Listen to his sentiments and learn from the same.

Dane opines that one of the highest return on investment (ROI) he has ever achieved was from hiring therapists for business matters. You do not want to miss the part where he explains the importance of hiring a reliable, trustworthy therapist. However, he is also quick to mention that finding a good therapist can be a difficult task.

When is the best time to hire, and how do you identify the right person? Dane believes that companies can hire when they have the most leverage. They can also hire when customers come to them in search of solutions. Dane has more to say on this topic that you can only understand by listening to the podcast.

Listen to find out his sentiments on finding the right person to hire. Dane discusses his book, Start from Zero, and explains that it is all about mindset. Listen to the podcast and learn more about this book and why every entrepreneur should read it. Dane explains about identity and how working with it can become poisonous at some point. He opines that identity never makes you happy.

Often, Dane says, many people suffer in pursuit of an end to their current suffering. What happens if you focus your entire mind on this search? Listen to Dane’s answer to this question. Do you want to grow wealth? If you do, you need to listen to Dane as he explains the four brains to grow wealth. Dane says making money is neither mystery nor magic. He says, making money may be the easy part but keeping it can be a difficult task. He tells Geordie how to grow, and keep money.

Marketing is a critical part of business success. Find out how Dane markets his business. Dane and his team have a specific structure for their blogs. You will need to listen to find this out. He also shares about how he finds employees for his SaaS Company. Dane has a free excerpt for his book that you can read before committing yourself to the entrepreneurship world. 

References

The Foundation

Paperless Pipeline

Dane Maxwell

Start from Zero

Sep 15, 2020
How Rand Fishkin of moz.com and Sparktoro.com creatively raised $1.3M without VC and why search is not part of his marketing plan
46:58

Rand Fishkin has founded many platforms like moz.com, Whiteboard, inbound.org, and Whiteboard Friday before his latest platform, SparkToro. Listen as he shares his journey with Geordie Wardman. He also gives extensive details about SparkToro, an audience intelligence platform that allows marketers to understand websites that an audience reads. Marketers can use this platform to know who their target audience follows on various social media platforms. 

What You Will Learn

  • How Rand dropped out of college and the events that followed 
  • How Moz was established
  • How Moz evolved and achieved success in revenue generation
  • Hy did Rand leave Moz?
  • How is Moz different from SparkToro?
  • How Rand and his co-founder started SparkToro
  • Alternative content marketing strategies that companies can use
  • How the audience intelligence product works
  • How did the SparkToro launch go?
  • What are Rand’s marketing plans?

In This Episode:

Education is critical, but sometimes it takes dropping out of college to become one of the most successful SaaS or SEO gurus available. Rand, for example, dropped from college in 2001 to join his mom at a marketing consulting company. This company would later become Moz. Then, the company was a struggling web design venture, forcing Rand to launch an SEO blog. This blog attracted lots of consulting customers who were interested in SEO services.

Rand and his team would later launch some software, nascent tools that interested parties could subscribe to. To their amazement, demand for the subscription product skyrocketed, and that is how they raised part of their venture capital. The success of Moz did not stop here, and you can get all the details from the podcast.

Listen to figure out how Rand became CEO, and how the company experienced exponential growth before Rand finally left to establish SparkToro. Rand discusses the venture model in detail. If you are an entrepreneur looking to launch a company, you need to listen to Rand’s wise words. Rand says he and his co-founder own SparkToro entirely. Listen as he shares more details on SparkToro with Geordie. For years, Rand has been a passionate marketer, and many people sought him for assistance on SEO matters. However, Rand made a critical discovery about SEO and search. Listen as he shares the discovery with Geordie.

Rand discusses the frustrations entrepreneurs have to deal with when it comes to identifying potential customers from different parts of the world. He tells Geordie that together with his co-founder, they decided that no one should go through these troubles. Listen to find out what they did to achieve that milestone.

Rand mentions that while he works with his co-founder, they have hired some experts to help them during their journey. Listen to Rand explain how the audience intelligence works, how it helps collect data, and how they use the data to develop a validation system. Rand explains that he believes in a marketing flywheel model.

Currently, Rand says he is excited because they have a diverse market and extensive applications. One of the strategies online marketers use to attract traffic is through guest posts and links. However, Rand says that this method hardly works unless your platform is SEO based. According to him, many of the links you use for SEO hardly send back traffic.

The SparkToro system is different because it sends you high-quality traffic. In this case, you would not need a link because your objective is to get coverage and awareness. Rand says that email list building has been one of their most successful marketing strategies. Still, he is quick to mention that, together with his co-founder, they are hesitant about sending people too many emails. They only strive to send emails that will be beneficial to you.

According to Rand, SEO, or SEM (search engine marketing) are not a terrible strategy, but they are risky. He explains this concept in detail and concludes by saying that some businesses have come tumbling down for relying on search exclusively.

Rand opines that investing in social media and content marketing that does not depend on SEO, but the quality of content is a great idea. Marketers should invest in content that leaves an impact on people so much so that they would miss it if it were unavailable. Rand has some sentiments about podcasting as well. Listen as he shares what he thinks and how you can use them to your benefit. 

 

Resources

Rand Fishkin

Moz.com

Rand Fishkin LinkedIn

SparkToro

SparkToro Product

Rand Fishkin Twitter

Sep 08, 2020
How Michael Brown went from freelance writer to 10 person agency to $200k MRR content creation SaaS
46:19

Michael Brown is the CEO of nDash, a company that provides content creation SaaS to some of the leading agencies and brands. Before establishing nDash, Michael was a freelance writer, sports, and news reporter. He also had a stint working with crowdsourcing SaaS companies. These tasks shaped his passion and understanding of content creation, especially written content. Listen to Michael as he shares his journey with Geordie Wadman. 

What You Will Learn

  • Michael’s journey as a writer, reporter, and freelance content creator
  • How Michael started nDash
  • How Michael charges for his services
  • How Michael sources for writers and how he pays them
  • Challenges that Michael and his team faced when transitioning to SaaS
  • How do Michael and his team use the platform?
  • When did Michael establish the agency, and when did he launch it online?
  • Importance of a landing page when it comes to reaching your target audience
  • How does Michael vet his writers?
  • How long did Michael and his team take to build their MVP, and what did it involve?
  • Why You need an in-house technical advisor
  • What was the revenue situation after the agency was launched?
  • Why Michael and his team recently introduced a managed services plan
  • Importance of having an SEO mentor
  • How has Michael’s keyword strategy affected traffic to the platform? 
  • How to optimize conversions

In this Episode

Crowdsourcing allows you to choose the ideal result from a pool of talents. By using this service, you can be sure of receiving results way faster than you would with conventional methods. 

Crowdsourcing enhances both the creative process and boosts productivity. While Michael was working for Crowdsourcing SaaS companies, he saw a chance to apply Crowdsourcing differently. It is this idea that pushed him into starting nDash with his main goal being to provide high-quality writers. 

Michael was also committed to improving the quality of freelancing platforms. According to Michael, their main customers are market leaders and market decision-makers. Michael tells Geordie that when he started nDash it was just him handling the freelancing work and a few core clients. 

The agency would later evolve to accommodate around ten in-house writers. Then, they neither had a platform nor software. Michael used funds from the revenue and profit they made from the agency to create a platform. He mentions that for the initial two years, they were running the agency on the side, but their customers noticed it the most. However, on the back end, Michael and his team were developing a platform that would help them scale. 

Michael opines that the agency started making a profit right away. He tells Geordie that the agency had to be profitable, especially seeing that they had no funds in the bank. What’s more, Michael says he noticed that many bootstrapped companies started this way. Listen to Michael as he shares how he sources for his writers, how he pays them, and the strategies he uses to charge for his services. 

Transitioning from SaaS, as Michael says was not easy. He mentions one good thing that happened during the MVP phase. You will need to listen to the podcast to figure it out. During the agency years, Michael says he worked with different writers who played a role in launching the community part of the platform. 

Michael tells Geordie that at some point, they realized their MVP was overly advanced. It comprised many things that were not necessary. Listen as he shares more information about the MVP process and the challenges they faced down the line. Michael explains that the journey from zero to 30,000 did not happen during the first month. It took them a lot of effort to reach there, and he explains it all in detail in this podcast. 

Michael also talks about the managed service plan and upselling. Has the current COVID-19 pandemic affected the performance of the platform? Yes. Michael says that their sales have been fluctuating as a result of the Pandemic. He is happy that they have not seen any drop-offs yet. 

Michael explains the SEO strategies they use to promote the platform in a bid to increase their reach. He also highlights that while he does not follow any SEO mentor religiously, he is always striving to learn something new. Michael is quick to mention that his keyword strategy has triggered an increase in traffic to the platform. 

Has the platform evolved? Michael says while he does not have the exact numbers, he is sure that his traffic has increased tremendously since they first started. Further, he shares some critical conversion tips that can help your business grow. 

Resources

nDash.com

Michael Brown LinkedIn

Sep 01, 2020
How Mark Thompson grew PayKickStart with zero paid traffic and reducing churn from 20% to 6% to reach $1M ARR
42:21

In his own words, Mark Thompson says he had been an ordinary entrepreneur for close to 10 years before co-founding PayKickstart. During that time, Mark created different software, mainly focusing on SaaS. He also developed information products that he sold to his target audience, with PayKickstart as their core business.

The ideal PayKickstart customers are; digital entrepreneurs, people who specialize in selling software solutions, people running membership sites, online course creators, coaches, and consultants. Listen in as Mark shares his journey with Geordie Wardman. 

What You Will Learn

  • What prompted Mark and his team to offer their PayKickstart shopping cart tool to their vendors?
  • What happened to the previous applications that Mark and his team built over the years?
  • Does Mark have any plans to develop a SaaS platform?
  • Niches that PayKickstart focus on
  • What sets PayKickstart from its competitors?
  • How did Mark transform the PayKickstart tool into a product?
  • Pain-points that Mark and his team relied on to build the PayKickstart platform
  • How PayKickstart leveraged their sister company to make their first $10,000 in MRR
  • How PayKickstart found their customers
  • What growth strategy did Mark use after opening the platform to the public?
  • How giving bonuses helps drive traffic to your site
  • How long was it before PayKickstart got brand recognition?
  • Why companies should have a blog
  • The impact of SEO on companies
  • How affiliates can help companies increase revenue

Mark founded PayKickstart out of necessity. After selling many products over the years, he and his team realized that many of the shopping carts their customers used were archaic. Not only were these carts rigid, but they were also not adaptable to their business.

After consultations, Mark and his team decided to develop an internal tool that would help them sell their products. They were determined to use the PayKickstart tool to promote their affiliate partners. After around two years of using the tool in-house, it evolved to become a system that the team had not envisioned.

Listen in as Mark explains how people would call them endlessly to enquire about their cool checkout page. Mark and his team released the PayKickstart tool to the public close to three years ago. Today, the PayKickstart tool has evolved into a fully-fledged platform complete with robust functionality.

The PayKickstart tool helps eliminate the technical hurdles that come with managing recurring revenue. Mark says that over the years, they have realized it is not easy to become the best providers in the market for a single product. He and his team only focus on ensuring that PayKickstart is running smoothly.

PayKickstart strives to evolve with the times to ensure customers get the best, up to date services. Mark and his team have devised numerous advanced tools that help maximize conversions. Listen to Mark as he shares more reasons with Geordie on what sets PayKickstart apart from their competitors.

Mark shares his journey and the events that preceded the development of the PayKickstart platform. At some point, they offered the tool for free to a specific number of people, after which they started charging a small fee per month. Mark mentions that their sister company played a role in helping PayKickstart penetrate the market.

A growth strategy is critical for companies, especially when starting. Apart from working with affiliates, and inviting people to webinars, PayKickstart gave its customers a free post-shopping offer. Mark tells Geordie how he and his team went about it. Listen in to find out what other methods PayKickstart used to attract more customers and attract more customers through word of mouth.

Like any other business, PayKickstart has faced some challenges along the way. Mark says their biggest challenge so far has been people canceling. To prevent this, Mark and his team have worked hard to revamp the site, improved the signup flow, and improved the in-app onboarding experience to give people value.

Mark explains that PayKickstart still runs different challenges in a bid to introduce customers to their services. Mark has some sales conversion and retention tactics to share that you need to hear. He and his team are committed to retaining costumers, a tactic he calls 'overcoming objections to save the sale.'

With significant advancements on the PayKickstart platform, Mark has managed to offer customers a smooth experience and minimize cancellations. Customers can now navigate through the website with ease. Further, Mark strives to convince customers to stay. Listen to find out the strategies he has applied to achieve this. Mark mentions that while PayKickstart has experienced challenges, they have leveraged them to grow the platform. 

Resources

Mark Thompson

PayKickstart.com

Mark Thompson LinkedIn

Mark Thompson Twitter

PayKickstart Facebook

Aug 25, 2020
Sean Fulp Explains how the Organization he Leads is Benefiting from using SaaS
27:44

We interviewed Sean Fulp on his company's experience with SaaS. Listen now to understand why advanced technology is essential for the smooth running of your business.

Sean Fulp is the executive managing director for Newmark Knight Frank, a publicly-traded international full-service real estate company. The company strives to facilitate real estate transactions without teams or agents. Sean recently collaborated with Geordie Wardman and his team in a bid to understand how SaaS works. He shares the entire experience with Geordie. 

What you will Learn

  • Why companies need to adopt advanced technology practices
  • How businesses can leverage SaaS to achieve more with a small team
  • Importance of data in different industries
  • Why companies should consider outsourcing their services
  • Why companies should engage decision-makers that control the product in their industry
  • Importance of automating certain functions in your business
  • Why communication is critical for any business project
  • How to identify a great team to work with
  • Why you should opt to engage professionals instead of doing things on your own

In this Episode:

Times have changed, and nearly every industry today has transformed from analog to digital practices. Companies that are not innovative are likely to drag when it comes to productivity and return on investment. It is this realization that prompted Sean to approach Geordie and his team in search of a viable solution.

Apart from selling commercial real estate, Sean admits that the company specializes in various other things. He says the organization is diverse, and he only leads a particular revenue stream within the company. Sean and his team are in agreement that they need technology to scale their practices both from an automation and marketing point of view. In his words, he refers to himself and his able team as market makers.

Listen as Sean explains why and how they plan to accomplish more with fewer people. Sean tells Geordie the reason they need the SaaS technology is to help facilitate smooth transactions from a marketing and workflow point of view. He mentions that the structure of the company allows for effectiveness when they are dealing with their customers face to face. However, they are hardly doing so currently. Instead, they are adopting virtual practices.

Sean says they do not see themselves going back to running the business physically. Technology will play a role in propelling their efforts to the next level. He tells Geordie that they strive to increase their revenue. To achieve this, they spend a lot of their present engaging decision-makers who control the commercial real estate industry.

Sean says he chose to work with Geordie’s team to get help in automating things that hardly generate revenue to enhance workflow. He and his team are happy that adopting SaaS has helped them reduce the duration it takes to complete tasks. Listen as he expounds on this topic.

Sean admits that they have achieved a lot from working with Geordie. You will need to listen to understand how much Geordie and his team have helped Sean automate their reports. From working with Geordie, Sean and his team have connected with people from different backgrounds.

He says they now have an effective system that allows them to collaborate with their consumers smoothly. He is pleased about the consistent use of a vast range of applications and tools that Geordie and his team use. He admits that they always receive recommendations on how to enhance the efficiency of their services from Geordie’s team.  

Listen to Sean as he narrates the tremendous benefits he and the company have gained from working with Geordie. Sean has excellent things to say on what his company has achieved from working with Geordie’s team. He says before the collaboration, they were achieving okay results. However, they wanted something better.

They were looking to collaborate with a passionate and committed team of professionals. He admits that Geordie and his team have surpassed his expectations. You can only get a clear essence of his satisfaction from listening to the explanation in his own words.

Sean is happy with what Geordie and his team have managed to do on the design and engineering part of their website. Listen to learn more about what Geordie’s team did and how Sean and his team are handling the site to maintain its user-friendliness. Sean shares tips on his experience so far.

Listen to him as he explains his utmost appreciation to Geordie for what they have managed to do within a short period. If you are a business owner, Sean reiterates the importance of understanding your scope of business. What are you developing? How long will it take? Do you have qualified in-house staff to do it to perfection? According to Sean, sometimes you just have to stop what you are doing to ensure the entire team understands the scope. From there you can work together towards success.  

Resources

Sean Fulp

Sean Fulp LinkedIn

Newmark Knight Frank

Aug 20, 2020
How Michael Hunter launched Spiffy with a wordpress $5,000MVP and ramped up sales to $50,000MRR 36 months later
43:46

Spiffy is an online platform that creates appealing auto forms to increase revenue from your online purchases. Michael Hunter, the co-founder says the company evolved from a marketing agency they had started ten years ago.

The company deals with anybody in the entrepreneurship field like authors, coaches, speakers, personal brands, and top leaders. Spiffy works for both startups and established entrepreneurs. Listen as Michael shares his journey with Geordie. 

What You Will Learn

  • How Spiffy transitioned from an agency to SaaS
  • What prompted Michael and his team to switch their business model to SaaS
  • How Michael and his team came up with ideas regarding the running of the business
  • The eight-step process that Michael worked with to determine what they wanted to achieve
  • How Michael and his team build their MVP
  • Importance of Outsourcing
  • How Michael and his team build their MVP
  • How Michael funded the MVP
  • How Spiffy got their first customers

Michael says that during his company’s journey, they had used a wide range of software. They later realized that many businesses were struggling with taking payments. Technology has evolved, allowing companies more options to receive payments remotely.

However, many entrepreneurs do not understand how to go about it, especially with the numerous payment options available. Michael is quick to explain that there are many user-friendly payment options available, but they are limited. He says Spiffy is committed to ensuring that non-technical people can receive payments easily.

According to Michael, advanced technology should not be a limiting factor when it comes to making payments online. When Michael and his co-founder started Spiffy, the company grew suddenly. They were working with some of the biggest customers in the industry, and this propelled them to the top.

Success did not come easily, as Michael and his team, were working long hours to beat deadlines and satisfy customer demands. Even though the results of their hard work were visible, Michael knew they could not continue working long hours in the future. He shares the challenges they faced before changing Spiffy to a SaaS platform. Michael tells Geordie how they had numerous ideas they thought were viable for the business.

Listen as he tells Geordie how they finally narrowed down their plans to come up with the right formula for the company. Michael speaks about the four-step process that they used as a guide to achieving their goals. For example, a service provider should strive to solve an existing problem. The target audience on the other hand, should understand that they have a problem that needs to be addressed. Michael discusses the remaining six steps with Geordie, and you cannot afford to miss them.

Launching a company may be easy, but getting customers can be a challenge. Michael says they had a marketplace from their consulting clients because they were custom coding the order forms in the beginning. He says this move helped Spiffy carve a name for themselves, and connected with some of the big names in the industry.

Even then, Michael says they managed to visit some of their clients, something which turned out to be pain-point. Michael explains that while they charged customers for their services, implementing the service took long.

One day Michael suggested that they needed a strategy to productize their process. Listen to find out what happened next, and how Michael walked from booth to booth during an event to market Spiffy. Some of the people Michael spoke to then were skeptical, claiming that numerous competitors were doing the same thing. Such comments did not break Michael’s desire to build a robust platform.

He mentions that they knew they would one day prove the naysayers wrong. Still, they also knew that the platform they had envisioned was not the one they had developed. To gain satisfaction and ensure that their customers were comfortable, Michael decided to transform it to make it more robust and effective.

Over the years, Spiffy evolved and even shot some how-to videos in a bid to solve customer problems. With Spiffy no longer an agency, Michael and his team decided to wind it down. However, they are still working with some consulting clients. Michael shares a lengthy and detailed conversation with Geordie, where he explains how building an app for one company increased their growth.

However, he admits that many of the calls they received regarding the app were from people wanting to know about the other company, and not Spiffy. Even then, the company (Spiffy) has evolved and managed to remain ahead of many competitors in the market.

Resources

Gospiffy.com

Michael Hunter LinkedIn

Spiffy Twitter

Spiffy Facebook

Michael R Hunter Facebook

Aug 18, 2020
How Dave Cristello Cracked and Validated A Pain Point in the Accounting Space, and Grew Jetpack Workflow To $100k MRR
50:46

Jetpack Workflow is a company that helps accounting firm owners track down all the recurring debts and due dates to avoid losses. Dave Cristello, The CEO and founder of Jetpack Workflow realized that many accounting firms have numerous customers. However, they lacked an efficient checklist management system. The ideal Jetpack Workflow customer is any accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, and tax firm in different parts of the world. 

What You Will Learn

  • How Dave launched Jetpack Workflow 
  • How Dave identified the pain points that accounting firms face
  • Why did Dave start interviewing the accounting departments of various companies?
  • How Jetpack Workflow bagged its first customer
  • How Dave invested in website development
  • How Dave navigated the industry with zero software experience
  • Why accounting firms should upgrade from using spreadsheets
  • Which platforms did Dave go searching for a technical co-founder?
  • Why entrepreneurs should know how to pitch their ideas
  • Find out why Dave opted to raise money
  • The impact of well-written words on your website
  • How businesses can benefit from summarizing podcasts into a blog post or even a book

In this Episode

Many accounting firms have a proper project management system. However, if they cannot keep track of deadlines, customer data, and due dates the system becomes irrelevant. Jetpack workflow helps accounting firms standardize their operations. 

Dave gives Geordie a comprehensive breakdown of the pain points that Jetpack Workflow strives to solve. Jetpack strives to eliminate pain points that accounting firms face to ensure they can beat deadlines. 

While Dave did not have a job before starting Jetpack, he had a strong feeling that he wanted to build something. Dave went ahead and approached different companies. He says that he began interviewing the accounting departments of these firms through trial and error. Dave wanted to establish the most time consuming, tedious, and painful problem the departments were facing daily or even weekly. 

From the responses he received, Dave was able to get reflection points. Listen in as he narrates the challenges he faced when developing a website. He also tells Geordie about the expenses they incurred. During the development process, Dave was working as a marketer and channeling all his earnings to the developers. The first year Jetpack managed 600 MRR, but Dave says their product was horrible. 

What kept them going is the fact that the earliest adopters appreciated the product because it solved their pain points. When Jetpack workflow was at 5,000 MRR, Dave was experiencing a crazy relationship with his developer. He also felt that his product was terrible, even though some people were still using and appreciating it. 

Many competitors were beginning to get into the market as well. To scale his company and stay ahead of competitors, Jetpack’s early investors advised Dave to bring onboard a technical co-founder. Listen in to find out how challenging finding a co-founder was. At some point, Dave’s advisors told him to hire somebody to drive the company, failure to which it would tumble down. 

Dave narrates to Geordie how he managed to raise money to hire a professional in 2016 who is still with the company to date. During one of the meet-ups with other entrepreneurs, Dave noticed that nearly everybody was talking about the importance of Facebook ads. He decided to invest some money in Facebook ads just to see the outcome. 

Listen as Dave narrates his journey with Facebook ads and how he pumped in more money on the project. In his opinion, Dave says companies that identify a reliable channel have a high chance of accelerating growth. However, he is quick to mention that there are downsides that come with accelerated growth. 

Between Jetpack’s 5,000 to 30,000 MRR, Dave’s product was doing well. They were deleting some features and doing everything they could to clean their website. The company was enjoying some visibility, Dave managed to post content consistently, and they even launched a podcast. The team was also writing blog posts, sharing content, doing webinars, and running ads to market the company. 

Geordie sought to find out what worked for Dave out of all the strategies he was using. However, he (Dave) was unable to pinpoint a single strategy that worked comprehensively. Instead, he says the company posted results from using a combination of all the strategies. Dave highlights the fact that he and his team were generating lots of content in a bid to develop a database. He is happy that this strategy worked to attract organic traffic to the website. His breaking point was when he discovered Facebook ads. Listen as Dave speaks about his breaking point at depth. Dave’s mantra is, “believe in yourself, and you will be able to achieve anything you want.” 

Resources

Dave Cristello Linkedin

Dave Cristello Twitter

Jetpack Workflow

Aug 11, 2020
Why Calvin Correli calls Simplero a Love As A Service (LaaS) and how Coaching has Changed his Life and Grown his Business to $200k MRR
50:11

Calvin Correli is the founder and CEO of Simplero. The company is an all in one online platform that strives to help coaches run and manage their online businesses. Simplero’s ideal customers are trainers, authors, educators, and speakers. 

In general, Simplero targets online business entrepreneurs and helps them scale their businesses through online courses. Listen in to find out Calvin’s journey into achieving his software big break. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Why Calvin established Simplero.com
  • How Calvin transitioned from programming to entrepreneurship
  • How your background can affect your entrepreneurship path in the future
  • The importance of knowing what you want to do in business
  • Find out what happened when Calvin finally figured out what he wanted to do
  • What is the purpose of a CEO in the opinion of Calvin?
  • Why entrepreneurs should have a coach who understands them well
  • The importance of delegating
  • How Calvin made money to support his business when starting out
  • Importance of networking in business
  • Why entrepreneurs should enroll in online courses regularly
  • How Calvin got his first Simplero customers in various parts of the world
  • Strategies that Calvin used to get his venture to $30,000 MRR in 2013
  • Understanding traffic conversions
  • Why entrepreneurs should build a personal brand

In his Episode

Before starting Simplero, Calvin took some time to think about what he wanted to do as an entrepreneur. At some point, he realized that he harbored so much knowledge that he wanted to share with the world. Then, Calvin says that he was a programmer and a terrible entrepreneur. He decided to invest in research to understand more about entrepreneurship and carve a niche for his interests. Listen in as he shares his journey when starting the company and how it evolved. 

Calvin says he had always been in the software industry, seeing that his parents owned a software company. He grew up around computers and programs that somehow shaped his future. Calvin tells Geordie how he spent many years trying to figure out what he wanted. He kept trying many things all at once. At some point, Calvin had to consult professionals to help him identify his niche. 

Calvin mentions that he was shocked when one of the professionals admitted that after spending hours with him, he too did not know what Calvin wanted. According to Calvin, that statement was his wake up call. However, he did not define what he wanted to do until one day, all his ventures dried up. Calvin discusses how frustrating that moment was and how it took him away from his comfort zone. 

Amid that moment, Calvin took the time to consider his passion, childhood dreams, and subjects that he studied in school. He was committed to establishing what he wanted to do, and this is how the thought of entrepreneurship crossed his mind. Calvin explains the events that led to him connecting with his company. You will need to hear how passionately Calvin explains the term Love as a Service as well. 

Refresher courses are critical, and this is something that Calvin discovered at some point in his journey. He shares his experience after enrolling for an online marketing course and the impact it had on his business. Calvin says that until recently, he did not know the effect of traffic conversions on a business. 

Someone introduced him to traffic conversions, which is how he discovered how essential the concept is. Calvin would later come up with a course to explain traffic conversions to his customers. Listen to Calvin as he tells Geordie what the course is all about and how entrepreneurs can benefit from the same. According to Calvin, getting a customer to use a product is one of the ways of retaining them. 

Running challenges is a strategy that companies use to reach a wider audience and potential clients. Simplero runs challenges through its Facebook platform that facilitates engagement with its customers. Calvin mentions that the company representatives try to answer as many questions from their followers as possible. 

After being an entrepreneur for years, Calvin learned that some customers want to interact with a specific brand because of the person behind it. In a bid to retain as many customers as possible, Calvin and his team have started building his personal brand. 

The company is also committed to giving back to the community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have collaborated with experienced staff who can help people who have lost jobs learn new skills. 

Calvin’s mantra is “spreading love through software.” He also encourages everyone to go for what they are passionate about.  

Resources

Simplero.com

Calvin Correli

Calvin Correli Facebook

Calvin Correli Twitter

Calving Correli Instagram

Aug 04, 2020
How to improve your design and UI with Laura Elizabeth
43:40

Laura is a designer and entrepreneur who studied design. After completing her studies, she worked in an agency. She would later branch out from the agency to work as a freelancer. Laura worked from home for approximately eight years. In her quest to make design easy to understand, the idea of creating a course crossed her mind. 

Throughout her learning years, Laura had struggled with converting simple designs into attractive ones. She wanted a course that would help transform simple designs to make them professional and good looking. Listen to Laura as she tells Geordie how she created a portal for her clients. 

What You’ll Learn

  • What Laura disliked about working from home?
  • What problem did Laura’s portal help solve?
  • How Laura found out the impact of her portal
  • How Laura handled the minimum viable product (MVP) process
  • Navigating a WordPress hosted portal setup
  • How long do aspiring developers take to master Laura’s design course?
  • Importance of copywriting in design
  • Leveraging Google Docs to come up with a landing page
  • How to enhance your design skills
  • How to design a compelling website with minimal struggle
  • Why a minimal website is better than an eye-catching one
  • Where to get good quality designs, illustrations, and icons for your website
  • About design fundamentals
  • What to consider when hiring a designer

In This Episode

Today, customers want the best website experience, and service providers have no choice but to satisfy them. Often, knowing how to offer the best services can be challenging as Laura found out. While she knew her needs, she did not understand how to articulate it until she created a portal for her clients. 

At some point, Laura spoke at a conference where she discussed her client portal to fellow freelancers. Listen as she explains what happened after the conference. The feedback Laura received from the conference compelled her to launch her product immediately. She still pursued her dream of creating a design course. 

How was Design Academy established? Laura says that during her time as a freelancer, she interacted with many developers. They wanted to venture into development but did not know how to go about achieving their dream.

What does Laura’s design course entail? She reiterates that she hardly teaches her students how to master the course. Instead, she strives to ensure that learners can move from novice level to a complete attractive website. Laura shares the strategy she uses to teach her students with Geordie Wardman in this discussion. 

According to Laura, developers can enhance their design skills through research and viewing other websites. She says the best way to gain experience is by saving sites that you like. Often, remembering sites you have encountered can be a difficult task. That is why developers should leverage tools that help them save sites for future reference. 

Minimal and simple website design works best, especially for beginners. Laura says developers can always change websites in the future. What about drawing? According to Laura, drawing can be challenging, and many novice developers may not be in a position to do it on their own. However, they can solve this by using an illustration set. Laura explains how to go about it in-depth in this podcast. She also talks about using icons and combining them with colors. 

What colors work best for a website? Listen in to find out how colors can transform the appearance of your site. Laura explains that at some point, you may need to hire a designer to handle your development needs professionally. However, she explains that there are various factors to consider before collaborating with any designer. 

One of the main things she recommends is taking a look at the designer’s website. You can be sure that a designer won’t outsource their website development as they would their portfolio. Listen to Laura as she explains to Geordie why you need a designer that can match their website development to copywriting. 

What approach does Laura use on a personal level when choosing a developer? Does she prefer developers from a specific region? What is the importance of hiring an all-rounded developer? Laura talks about all this comprehensively in this podcast. 

Laura discusses the importance of working with professional developers and designers. She also reiterates that she spends a lot of her time teaching on design academy than she does on her client portal. 

Resources

How Laura built it

Design Academy

Laura Elizabeth

Laura Elizabeth Twitter

Design Fundamentals

Client Portal

Jul 29, 2020
How Geoff Atkinson of Huckabuy built an SEO SaaS for enterprise & startups and grew to $1.3M ARR
43:03

Huckabuy is an SEO software as a service (SaaS) company that helps consumers handle the structured data element of their SEO approach. The company understands that many businesses struggle with getting their SEO needs right. They are committed to solving any Technical SEO conversations between a site and Google. 

Generally, humans spend a lot of time and money on UIUX. Huckabuy handles the user experience design (UX) and user interface design (UI) for Google to give website users the ideal crawl experience. This approach allows users to understand the website with ease. 

Huckabuy deals with a wide range of customers from different sectors spread across eCommerce, travel, and enterprise. Huckabuy’s biggest customers are companies that specialize in software. Join Geordie Wardman and Geoff Atkinson as they discuss Huckabuy and what it has to offer. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Started on SEO, the importance of structured data and how Geoff  
  • Understanding structured data and its impact on a website 
  • How structured data helps website owners and internet users 
  • Can website owners handle structured data manually? 
  • The establishment of Huckabuy 
  • How much did Huckabuy make from their first customer after being licensed as a software company?
  • Investing in product development is crucial. However, you should be able to sell the product
  • Importance of product pivot
  • How the Huckabuy moved from their first customer to the next level
  • When did Huckabuy land SAP?
  • Importance of collaborating with other professionals to build your business
  • What challenges did Huckabuy face along the way?
  • Tools that Huckabuy uses to help consumers monitor progress on their websites
  • What is the importance of a chief technology officer?
  • Importance of networking in business

In this Episode

As an entrepreneur, you understand the importance of owning a website. Launching a website for your business is not enough to propel it to your desired heights. You need to understand the evolving world of SEO and how current advancements affect your business. 

In this episode, Huckabuy’s Geoff tells George Wardman about structured data in SEO. Join the conversation and figure out what you are doing wrong in your business and what you need to change to get things right. 

Before establishing Huckabuy, Geoff was Overstock’s Senior Vice President of Analytics and Marketing. He played a role in developing proficiency in SEO and handled content generation and pricing algorithms. Geoff gained tremendous experience at Overstock that was instrumental in launching and driving Huckabuy to where it is today. 

Huckabuy started as a business to customer (B2C) affiliate website that was similar to the Overstock model. Then, Google was opposing affiliate marketing websites. However, Geoff and his team had already developed good SEO software. Geoff would later change the business into a software company. At that time, he focused on generating revenue without realizing how critical software was. Huckabuy got some deals before finally licensing the software company. 

Geoff tells Geordie that their first customer was not structured data related. Listen to find out how a simple post on Instagram got Huckabuy their first customer. Like any other start-up business, Huckabuy faced various challenges before stabilizing. Geoff says their biggest test was being unable to show their consumers the actual product. What other difficulties did the company face? Listen in as Geoff shares with Geordie. 

Geoff also discusses the company’s transition from having one technical personnel to a team of in-house technical employees led by a chief technical officer (CTO). Find out why you need a team of experienced technical staff for your business. At some point, Geoff opined that Huckabuy needed extra cash, and this is where the idea of partnering with an investor came in. 

Geoff tells Geordie how they sailed through finding the right partner and the company’s position at present. Listen to Geoff explain how networking helped them find the right partner. Geoff is a firm believer in helping others without expecting anything in return because it comes back at some point when you need assistance. This belief is why he always strives to assist whenever he can. 

What is Geoff’s mantra? He says that some of the most successful partnerships begin with friendship. Helping and connecting with people has made a difference for both Huckabuy and Geoff. Often, you will never know who will help you, and many times the people you help will come back to help you willingly. 

Geoff concludes by explaining the importance of running a podcast. Should you embrace podcasting? Can it make a difference in your business? Listen in to find out. 

Resources

About Geoff Atkinson

Huckabuy.com

Geoff Atkinson Linkedin

Geoff Atkinson Twitter

Geoff Atkinson Crunchbase

Jul 22, 2020
How Patrick Stiles created a video analytics company and found his 0 to $52,000 MRR in 3 years
39:03

Patrick Stiles is the founder of Vidalytics. He prides himself in having 11 years of experience in the entrepreneurship world. Vidalytics is a video hosting, analytics, and marketing platform. 

The platform specializes in hosting videos that customers post on their personal websites for marketing purposes. The ideal Vidalytics customer is a small business owner who owns a website and direct response marketers. 

Entrepreneurs who are interested in boosting engagement on their platforms will benefit from working with Vidalytics. 

In this Episode

Marketing can be challenging and it takes time before you can convert website hits into sales. Patrick Stiles founded Vidalytics in 2016 to help its customers monitor activity on their websites and improve their conversion rates. 

As an entrepreneur, Patrick operated many businesses, some of which are still running and profitable. At some point, he decided that he needed to put all his energy into one business. He used money from one of his companies to start Vidalytics. Unfortunately, the business did not do quite well and this saw Patrick sink deep in debt. 

After deliberations with his team, he decided that placing it in the public market was a good idea. Still, the company (Vidalytics) did not perform according to Patrick’s expectations and this is where he knew he needed to do something. Listen in to find out what happened next and hear Patrick as he discusses the components of a good video. What differentiates one video from the other? How long should the ideal video be? 

Patrick also shares what success in the marketing realm means from his perspective. He says, there are different ways of defining success in the marketing industry especially in terms of ads. He reiterates that increased ads on your website are an indication that your venture is doing well. 

Is there a defined method of making videos that convert? Patrick is certain that you only need to learn your audience and understand what they need. Once you collect this information you can customize videos that your audience wants to see repeatedly. Hear all about it as Geordie Wardman extracts valuable information from Patrick. 

Will your business venture pick up immediately? Patrick discusses how he struggled to finally bring Vidalytics to its feet. From trying webinars that bore little fruit to allowing people to sign up for free which later on turned to be a disaster. Listen in to find out how the situation went from zero sign-ups to many people registering for accounts. 

You will learn how to create videos that convince your customers to want to buy from you. Patrick says people tend to buy emotionally rather than logically. As a video creator, you want to speak to your customers' emotions in order to convert their clicks into sales and scale your business. 

What Sets Vidalytics Apart from their Competitors?

Vidalytics performs case studies with their customers. This has been instrumental in helping them understand what their customers should do to improve the performance of marketing strategies. Patrick says that Vidalytics provides tools their customers need to figure out which part of their marketing videos is converting customers. 

This is a proper way of letting the customer establish areas they need to improve on to meet customer expectations. The platform allows customers to monitor how the platform works before they can invest with them. Vidalytics has no plans of expanding in the near future. Instead, they want to focus on growing their audience at the moment in a bid to scale the platform further. 

Jul 15, 2020
How Chris Gimmer launched and grew Snappa.com using only SEO & content marketing to $20k MRR in 12 months
41:35

Chris Gimmer is the co-founder and CEO of Snappa.com. The company specializes in creating easy to use graphic designs. Snappa.com targets people with no experience in graphic design. 

Their main customers are social media managers, marketers, small business owners, and anybody else who is interested in creating graphics easily and fast. If you lack enough resources to either outsource or even hire professional graphic designers, then the Snappa.com tool is designed for you. 

Chris is a finance and accounting expert. The idea of creating online marketing graphics came up to him while he was on vacation. Listen in to understand how Chris met his co-founder and the journey behind the establishment of Snappa.com.

In This Episode

What do you need to build your online venture from scratch, to scale it, and finally succeed? This episode takes you through the hassle that the Snappa.com tool went through. Chris Gimmer realized way earlier that he was not meant for the public service even though he had worked for the government for more than five years. 

In his quest to do something different, he started researching about online business. He would later meet his co-founder Mark who had also been a government employee but had taken up programming on the side. 

Chris and Mark developed a connection and later founded various companies together while still working for the government before finally settling on Snappa. Without any experience in online marketing or SEO, Chris and Mark launched their first business, a student’s online dating website. 

Listen as Chris tells Geordie the strategies they used to operate the website and how it faired on. Chris agrees that while the business was growing they had no way of making money from it. This forced them to rethink their operations and in the process, they ventured into research with their main focus on SEO. 

In a bid to strategize, the two CEOs launched another website which became a market place for templates. Hear the ongoing discussion as Chris tells Geordie how much revenue they made from the website, the expenses they had to deal with and how much profit they eventually made. 

After lengthy deliberations, Chris and Mark decided to venture into another online business that would enable them to increase their earnings. Listen to how conducting surveys helped them along the way, how Chris and Mark managed to oversee the operations of their business while still employed. 

How did they navigate through the challenges they faced? Listen to Chris as he shares the story behind their app. With time, Chris mastered the power of keywords in enhancing performance. Listen to him explain how they leveraged keywords to reach a wider audience and boost the performance of their business. 

Chris explains how the business broke even and the point at which they managed to hire additional staff. He also discusses the content generation strategy they had in place to reach a wider audience and improve their ranking. Chris and Mark are preparing to launch a new bigger and better product soon.

Jul 08, 2020
How Sachin Monga went from Prototype to Y Combinator to a $3M VC-Backed Social Space Application Founder
49:17

Sachin Monga is the co-founder and CEO of Cocoon, an app that provides a secure and private space to keep up with your closest friends and family members. 

Before co-founding Cocoon, Sachin worked at Facebook for seven years, holding various positions. Now, his goal is to bring new technology into the world that augments natural social behavior and makes us better humans.

In this episode…

In our modern world, even the closest of friends and family members often live in different locations around the globe. And despite advancements in technology, it can be a real challenge to stay connected in a personal and private way. With occasional phone or video calls, texts, and posts on oversaturated social networks, there is still a lack of a digital safe space to call your own. 

However, Sachin Monga is trying to change all that. After working at Facebook for seven years, Sachin realized that he didn’t have an intimate digital space to connect with his family, who lived far away. This led him to co-found Cocoon, a private social “space” that brings close friends and family members under one digital roof, no matter where in the world they currently live. 

In this episode of the Big Break Software Podcast, Geordie Wardman takes a stroll down memory lane with Sachin Monga, the co-founder and CEO of Cocoon. Sachin discusses leaving Facebook to design a more personal social space, the challenges he faced when building the Cocoon MVP, and all the other exciting milestones of becoming a software entrepreneur. Stay tuned.

Jul 02, 2020
How Kelsey Recht Self-funded Her MVP to Fix The Broken Events Booking Space and Went on to Raise $10m in VC Funding
39:20

Kelsey Recht is an online media entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of VenueBook, an event venue booking platform that makes it faster and easier to book events. 

Kelsey has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management. She founded VenueBook in 2010 and has since raised $10 million in Venture Capital funding.

In this episode…

The event industry had been facing a significant problem: the lack of real-time availability data to enable reliable online venue booking. Online media entrepreneur, Kelsey Recht, saw this problem ten years ago, and she decided to found her venue management software, VenueBook, to solve it. 

From a self-funded $10,000 MVP to managing over 2200 venues and raising $10 million in VC funding, Kelsey has only continued to grow and develop her platform, and she isn’t planning to stop anytime soon. 

In this episode of The Big Break Software Podcast, Geordie Wardman interviews Kelsey Recht about the success of her event venue booking platform, VenueBook. She breaks down how she built her MVP to its software big break, the important lessons she learned along the way, and her strategies for making it through the COVID-19 setbacks.

Jun 25, 2020
Why Chris Ronzio Pivoted from a $200,000 MRR Agency to a $4,000 MRR SaaS in just 30 Days
42:48

Chris Ronzio is the founder and CEO of Trainual, an SaaS platform that allows companies to create online training manuals for employees, contractors, salespeople, interns, or vendors with just the click of a button. 

Chris is obsessed with helping small and growing businesses get organized and achieve success -- so much so that he wrote the book 100 Hacks to Improve Your Business. He is also a columnist for Inc. Magazine and the host of the Process Makes Perfect podcast. 

In this episode…

From serving a few clients and hitting seven-figures in consulting revenues, to taking a massive pay cut and creating a product that would help hundreds of entrepreneurs grow their businesses, Chris Ronzio was never one to back down from a challenge. 

With his training software, Trainual, Chris is now helping thousands of small and growing companies around the world design their own business playbooks.

In this episode of the Big Break Software Podcast, Geordie Wardman interviews Chris Ronzio about leaving a stable consulting business to create Trainual. They discuss Chris’ first business endeavor in high school, the importance of Facebook Ads for marketing his MVP, and how he got to $30,000 in MRR. Stay tuned.

Jun 18, 2020