Inviting First Users & Profitable Team Growth

Inviting First Users & Profitable Team Growth

 
 
00:00 / 00:42:21
 
1X
 

We ask ourselves a lot of questions during this episode. Jordan is looking at Carthook and seeing exciting changes but now he has to consider what comes next. Brian is still getting ProcessKit ready for users and has to ask himself who should the first group of users be? He also wants to step away from his sales role in Audience Ops but he is still trying to figure out how that will work.

Brian also has some speaking engagements coming up he wants to mention. He will be at WP Elevation in June and CaboPress in September. There is a lot of sound boarding in this episode, so it’s great for somebody who is dealing with company growth and team dynamics in general.

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Brian’s upcoming speaking engagements.
  • The video Brian created to promote ProcessKit.
  • ProcessKit is the new Ops Calendar.
  • Carthook’s profitability and what that means for the company.
  • A change in hiring strategy.
  • How to identify your company’s value proposition.
  • The issues growth can present to a team.
  • Brian’s future plans for Audience Ops.
  • Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about outgrowing your original role.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook

ProcessKit

Ops Calendar

2019 CaboPress

WP Elevation

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

The “Strings” Attached to VC

The “Strings” Attached to VC

 
 
00:00 / 00:41:51
 
1X
 

We have had some major decisions to make lately. Brian is working on ProcessKit and his self-imposed deadline is just around the corner. Now, he has to decide if he wants to launch a semi-ready product to his users. We discuss when is the appropriate time to release a product and if you can go back and build it afterward, really.

Jordan is exploring the world of financing. It has been an education, to say the least. He shares his discoveries and what perplexes him about the venture capital world. Jordan also talks about when to “play the CEO card” and get the projects you feel need to take priority higher on the list.

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Jordan’s frustrating morning and when to play the CEO card.
  • Brian’s update on ProcessKit.
  • When releasing a product to users, when is it really ready?
  • The pros and cons of the trial period pricing strategy.
  • The lessons from MicroConf that helped Jordan decide on an offer.
  • The concept of preferred shares, is this standard practice?
  • The pros and cons of the venture capital option.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook

MicroConf

Mixergy – Hiten Shah: How loss of focus and a lawsuit brought about the slow growth and loss of momentum of KISSmetrics

ProcessKit

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

Selling to Teams & Hiring an Assistant

Selling to Teams & Hiring an Assistant

 
 
00:00 / 00:53:22
 
1X
 

Hey! We are back from MicroConf and we’ve got some great takeaways from the experience. We discuss the speakers and the talks and how the experience changes for us year to year. We also have some updates for you.

Brian is still working on ProcessKit and is trying to connect with the right customer base. He shares how he is doing it and what he hopes to accomplish it. He is also thinking about marketing the product. We discuss the benefits of hiring a marketer but we also look at the trickiness of finding someone you can work with effectively. Plus, if you know any good technical writers, send them Brian’s way.

Jordan has some exciting milestones to share and a new way of thinking that he hopes will take things to a new level. The Carthook team has grown and the focus has shifted to on-boarding, We discuss the importance of onboarding and making sure your new hire is properly prepared for the job.

Jordan also opens the door to a conversation about hiring personal assistance. There are a lot of things to consider when hiring a personal assistant. Jordan shares the process he went through to find his assistant and why he felt it was a necessary investment for him and Carthook.

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Our MicroConf experience and takeaways.
  • What are Tick Tock projects?
  • Carthook’s Portland Mastermind
  • Brian’s update on ProcessKit.
  • The common stumbling blocks founders find when looking for customer feedback.
  • How Carthook is trying to improve its new hire onboarding process.
  • Deciding what is valuable in your product and charging accordingly.
  • Why Brian is considering hiring a marketing expert.
  • Jordan’s personal assistant and what she does for him and the company.
  • The hunt for a technical writer in Audience Ops.
  • How to sell your company to a potential hire and still be realistic.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Basecamp

Carthook

MicroConf

ProcessKit

Worldwide 101

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

When Customer Support Does & Doesn’t Pay

When Customer Support Does & Doesn’t Pay

 
 
00:00 / 00:39:32
 
1X
 

MicroConf is coming and we’re psyched! We take a glimpse at the schedule for this year’s event and we talk about what we’re looking forward too. Brian has an update on his pricing issue with ProcessKit and the conclusion he came too. Jordan is happy to announce that Carthook’s plateau is over!

Brian tries to help him pinpoint the cause but the answer seems to be a combination of things. We also talk about customer service and when is it best to just redirect a customer to another service or product? What’s the best way to save everyone some time and manpower?

Here are today’s conversation points:

Pricing Per User or…?

Pricing Per User or…?

 
 
00:00 / 00:57:47
 
1X
 

MicroConf is just around the corner and we are ready for it! We share our excitement about the conference and encourage you the listeners to say hi if you plan to attend this year. Brian has an update about ProcessKit and he actually has a launch date! He also wants to bounce around some questions about pricing. If you have a suggestion for him let him know at MicroConf..

Jordan is reaching a new phase in Carthook. The team has started experimenting in customer account relations and vetting their customers for better quality in customer service and retention. He shares what they have learned from the process and what it means for current and future Carthook clients.

Here are today’s conversation points:

Hiring (or not?)

Hiring (or not?)

 
 
00:00 / 00:42:11
 
1X
 

We cover a subject that affects all bootstrappers today. Should you hire or not? This topic comes up because we both are looking to hire some new team members. Jordan has seven job openings and Brian is looking for a new writer for Audience Ops. We discuss how we go about hiring for these positions and why it isn’t always a smooth process.

Brian also has some updates on ProcessKit and Productize. For the whole month of March, Productize will be open to new customers. Brian shares what he learned from last year’s open sessions and why he is doing it differently this year.


Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Personal updates and upcoming plans.
  • Brian is getting back into ProcessKit.
  • Productize will be open all March!
  • Brian’s process for finding a new writer for Audience Ops.
  • Jordan’s hiring needs and why it is complicated.
  • Jordan’s approach to hiring new team members.
  • Why some people interview well but are hard to work with.
  • The levers of business and how to use them in the hiring process.
  • The benefits of being a solo founder.
  • Hire to achieve goals, not vanity.
  • Investing time vs. investing money
  • Coping with distractions and getting back on track.
  • The 4 lessons Jordan learned from a potential acquisition.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook

Productize

ProcessKit

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a review in iTunes.

Who Is Selling the Product?

Who Is Selling the Product?

 
 
00:00 / 00:47:09
 
1X
 

MicroConf is right around the corner! We are excited and really looking forward to this year’s event.

Brian is jumping back into ProcessKit but he’s struggling to get back into the groove. We discuss why that happens and how we try to keep momentum during a project. We also discuss the role of salespeople and what is a fair incentive in a small team?

Carthook is dealing with customers expectations and Jordan made some mistakes during the meeting. He reflects on those mistakes and shares what he decided moving forward when dealing with customer feedback.


Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Looking forward to MicroConf!
  • Brian’s efforts to pick up ProcessKit.
  • How to get back into a project when you’ve been away from it.
  • The 3 mistakes Jordan made during a “What Our Customers are Saying” meeting.
  • What he learned from those mistakes.
  • How to balance quality control with customer expectations.
  • Brian’s bad sales experience.
  • Are salespeople worth the commission?
  • Are shared commissions a good idea?
  • Responding to Derrick Reimer’s tweet.
  • Why you should consult with a customer and not demo.

Resources Mentioned Today:

AudienceOps

Carthook

Derrick Reimer’s tweet

MicroConf

ProcessKit

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

Sales to Onboarding Process / Profitable Side Projects

Sales to Onboarding Process / Profitable Side Projects

 
 
00:00 / 00:38:24
 
1X
 

This week, Jordan has been very focused on sales. He and his company are considering hiring their first salespeople. Jordan shares he believes that they’ve gotten complacent and are starting to look at things in the wrong way – in aggregate instead of in detail.

Brian went to Colorado last week with one big question: What is Sunrise KPI? Is it a side hustle? Is it a full-time business? Keep working on it or give it up? After assessing the numbers, he’s decided to wrap up his work on Sunrise KPI and focus on ProcessKit. He’s not shutting down Sunrise, just stepping back from adding on to it.


Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Big Snow Tiny Conf
  • Hiring sales people in Jordan’s company
  • Mapping out the existing hiring process
  • The sales roles within Jordan’s company
  • The problem with too many signups
  • What Jordan learned this week from two customer interactions
  • Unhealthy tension vs. healthy tension
  • Defining top-of-funnel rules
  • Future plans for Sunrise KPI
  • Update on current Sunrise KPI numbers
  • Shifting Sunrise KPI to a side project
  • Valuing side projects
  • Update on ProcessKit
  • Recording customer calls
  • What to ask customers about
  • WOCAS Lunches

Resources Mentioned Today:

Big Snow Tiny Conf

Sunrise KPI

ProcessKit

From Bubble to Bubble

Gumroad

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

Churn and Onboarding. Onboarding and Churn.

Churn and Onboarding. Onboarding and Churn.

 
 

00:00 / 00:56:09
 

1X

 

Today we talk about something that affects all businesses, churn. No matter how successful your business is, everyone deals with customer churn. Jordan has decided to tackle Carthook’s churn problem head-on. He shares with Brian how he and his team have gone “on the offensive” to keep churn low and still bring new customers into the business. In return, Jordan helps Brian sort out what exactly is going with Sunrise KPI.

Brian has been surprised by the response to Sunrise KPI. He is actively looking for feedback on the app and, he is trying to decide how far to take the development. He also gives the audience an update on ProcessKit and swears he will get back to it. And you Big Snow Tiny Conf fans will hear about how the Vermont session went.

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Big Snow Tiny Conf.
  • Jordan’s move to “offensively” preventing churn in Carthook.
  • The lessons Jordan has learned about business strategy.
  • The new process he and his team came up to put those lessons into practice.
  • The current state of SunriseKPI.
  • A ProcessKit update.
  • The meeting that changed Jordan’s view on churn.
  • Always work to make processes and systems the best they can be.
  • How we calculate our churn numbers.
  • The way Jordan identified the right candidates for his new churn approach.
  • The 2 types of customers he is targeting for this new process.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Big Snow Tiny Conf

Carthook

ProcessKit

Sunrise KPI

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

 

Speaking Our Minds in 2019 / How Not to Increase Prices

Speaking Our Minds in 2019 / How Not to Increase Prices

 
 

00:00 / 00:50:30
 

1X

 

Welcome to 2019! This is our first episode of the year and we have a lot to say! Brian is planning a lot of travel these few months. That means that some of his projects are on the back burner. He gives an update on both ProcessKit and Sunrise KPI and explains his tentative plans for this year.

Jordan is getting ready to visit the team in Slovenia and help them move offices. He also discusses some of the goals he has for 2019. These goals include being more transparent with his audience. We debate the pros and cons of that goal as well.

Finally, we address the elephant in the room (or on Twitter.) The Drip controversy is fresh in our minds. For those outside of the situation, Drip has announced a price increase and it blew up in their face. We give our opinion on the situation and talk about what Drip did wrong and what their competitors did right.

Here’s to an awesome 2019!

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Brian’s travel plans for the next few months.
  • The audience’s response to Sunrise KPI.
  • A ProcessKit update and plans for 2019.
  • Jordan’s upcoming trip to Slovenia.
  • The culture challenges the Carthook team is dealing with right now.
  • Jordan’s goal to be more honest and open with his audience.
  • Carthook’s end of the year numbers.
  • The lesson Drip can teach software startups.
  • The price increase and the poor handling of the announcement.
  • How Twitter blew up and sparked a debate about the announcement.
  • Our thoughts on the backlash and mob response.
  • How Drip’s competitors took advantage of the mob response.
  • Our comparison of the competitors’ offers and tools.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Big Snow Tiny Conf

Carthook

MicroConf

ProcessKit

ReCharge NY

Sunrise KPI

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.