Tools For Entrepreneurs: Managing Software Development

By | Leadership, Productivity, Startups | No Comments

In 2001, I got a job I wasn’t qualified for.

I was hired by a big oil company to lead a new project with dozens of developers to build a product that would be used by every employee in the company.

No pressure, right?

On the first day, the hiring manager realized I was in way over my head and pulled me aside to tell me I had 2 weeks to “figure things out”.

Umm… ok?

I had no clue what that meant… but the stakes were clear, and I couldn’t lose this project.

I hadn’t worked in 2 months and if I failed, it meant moving back in with my parents. Read More

The 5-10 Principle for Creating High Converting SaaS Lead Magnets

By | Growth Engine, Marketing, Startups | One Comment

The other day I had an old highschool friend invite me to a private facebook group for their network marketing product.

When I scanned the posts in the group, they were ALL promotional and salesy.

Nothing added value to their customers lives.

It was all about them.

Unfriend.

I have a real problem with any company that doesn’t think of helping their customers BEFORE they ask for a sale.

It just seems backwards.

But how do you do that? Read More

The 3 Activities of the SaaS Sales Process

By | Sales, Startups, Strategy | No Comments

What would it feel like hiring 150 sales people for your company in 6 months?

That’s the question I asked Scot, the founder of Classy, a few months ago.

Their story is EPIC!

I’ll fast track his answer… essentially, he started out for many years being the primary salesperson, then hired around him, but remained inseparable from that process.

After years of hustling and grinding he eventually hired his first VP of Sales.

I still remember our first advisory board meeting and how excited I got about their new plans to scale sales.

How did he do it? Read More

The Emotions To Nail When Creating a SaaS Lead Magnet

By | Community, Marketing, Startups | No Comments

If you want a good laugh, watch this week’s video.

There may be some singing / rapping in it (if you want to call it that).

What’s important though, are the lyrics.

“Nurture – nurture – nurture that lead!”

Even more important…

… how many leads are you generating per month?

If that number is 0, or not growing, then the business isn’t growing.

Period.

The best way to capture a visitor who’s on your site is to offer them valuable content… Read More

5 Things That All GREAT Startups Have

By | Growth Engine, Startups, Strategy | No Comments

“This is totally a company you would create!”

That’s what people would say every time I showed them the prototype for Clarity.

My passion for connecting people to have a conversation was something I had been doing for years…

… first starting with Founder Dinners, and morphing over the years to my entrepreneurial events like Maple Summit, Idea to Exit, etc.

What I quickly realized is that most great companies were started by founders who had a passion for the problem way before they discovered the solution. Read More

The Audience Triangle – 5 Stages of Customer Intent

By | Marketing, Sales, Strategy | No Comments

If I grabbed 100 people, and asked them how many needed to buy a pair of jeans – only 3 would raise their hands…

… but 7% would be “In Market” (the 2nd stage of the Audience Triangle) and will be buying soon.

What about the other 90%?

How do you speak to them?

That’s what I cover in this week’s video where I define the 5 stages and the different “buying intents” of each.

If you do this right, you can create marketing content that will take care of the market until they’re ready to buy.

Here’s how it works. Read More

The 3 Inputs to a Great Product Roadmap

By | Marketing, Startups, Strategy | No Comments

When I first built Clarity.fm, it wasn’t a marketplace.

It was a call list app.

The concept was that I could add anyone to my list, with phone number and description, then it would robo call each person, reading to me the name of the person and reason for the call.

In short…

I was building a productivity tool, NOT a marketplace.

A strategic “face palm” that would greatly handicap the business’ potential for growth. (#2 on my list of inputs to build great product).

Even after I held a 300 person launch event in my hometown of Moncton, I refused to build search into the product.

What I did instead was build a page that listed all of the experts who were available for a call.

Stupid.

It wasn’t until after months of getting emails to our support team that I realized we needed to add a search feature.

What happened next was the beginning of what made Clarity a huge success. Read More

5 Reasons Customers Churn (a.k.a Fire You) And What To Do About It

By | Marketing, Metrics, Startups | No Comments

What’s your churn?

If you don’t know this number, get it.

Better yet, do you know why they’re churning?

When I was building my company Flowtown, we had a 12% monthly churn.

Not good.

That meant that after only 8.3 months we had lost ALL of the customers we had worked so hard to attract & convert?

Just so you know, that makes for a HORRIBLE business.

Your goal should be 8% PER YEAR (for B2B SaaS)!

So if you’re bleeding customers, what do you do? Read More

How To Create a Business Playbook™ (aka SOP’s: Standard Operating Procedures) for Your Startup

By | Productivity, Startups, Strategy | 7 Comments

Are you down with SOP’s?

Some call em’ Standard Operating Procedures, I call them Playbooks.

If you’re tired of putting out fires in your business, then you’ll need them to keep your sanity.

Recently I had the privilege of having dinner w/ the Godfather of system design for entrepreneurs, Michael Gerber (author of The E-Myth / 10M copies sold).

I shared my story of how his book transformed everything for me.

At 23 I was set on starting another company for the 3rd time (the first two failed), but I was deadset on doing it differently.

Listen to the full story on my Facebook page (10m21s).

Gerber’s book, taught me a new way to think about business. Read More

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