Startups

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 | 6 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

3 Basic Steps To Sell Anything

By | Growth Engine, Sales, Startups | 2 Comments

When I started in business I couldn’t sell to save my life.

After two failed companies I decided to fix that.

My solution?

Driving around nights & weekends in my silver, 94’ Volkswagen Jetta listening to every sales audio book I could get my hands-on.

Some nights, I had Ziglar riding shotgun.

On other nights, it was Carnegie, Tracy or Hill.

And after dozens of books, I’ve distilled it down to 3 key areas: Read More

How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle and Avoid Wasting Time

By | Sales, Startups, Strategy | 3 Comments

If I asked you to name a credit card company that rhymes with latex…”

Could you guess who I’m talking about?

Yes? Got it?

Good, so now you’ll understand the size of the company I was trying to sell to.

The challenge with big companies is that they have all the time, resources and money in the world, so wasting your company’s time isn’t a big deal.

For a small company, this imbalance of resources can mean death.

So to even the playing field, I developed a technique I call the Commitment Fee™. Read More

How to Run a Remote Team – 5 Strategies To Keep Them Productive

By | Community, Leadership, Startups | No Comments

Did you know that Slideshare.net built their product in India?

Automattic (creators of WordPress) – 2,000 people in a distributed team.

Even GitHub (raised $250M+ in funding) has a global team of remote workers.

The future of teams are distributed.

Over my past 3 companies (Spheric, Flowtown, Clarity) and everything in between, I’ve always had world class team members work from wherever they lived.

In many cases we had an office, but not everyone worked from there – and truth was – we just used it to get together and meet with partners.

Now, over the years I’ve learned A LOT about building and managing distributed teams without sacrificing our culture. Read More

Why Companies Fail & How To Prevent It

By | Financial, Leadership, Startups | 8 Comments

Are you running out of money?

Do you have something people want to buy?

Do you have a cost effective marketing plan?

Do you have the skills to lead your team?

Are you able to hire great people?

Have you built a system that outlines how you deliver value to your customers in a repeatable way?

Feeling overwhelmed by this avalanche of questions, and wishing you could get back to your regularly-scheduled programming of being “fake busy” and avoiding the hard sh*t? Read More

5 Steps That Will Take The Fear Out of Talking With a Mentor

By | Community, Education, Startups | No Comments

After failing twice in business I decided I needed help from a mentor.

The first person I identified was named Larry and he lived 1500 miles away.

After sitting on it for weeks, I finally hit send on the email asking him to meet.

Within 30 minutes he replied and agreed with a recommendation for a spot.

I lied about being in his city in a few weeks assuming that if he agreed that I could buy a flight…

… so that’s what I did.

It was on a Monday at 6:30pm and he was late.

We met in an old seafood restaurant off the highway and I was nervous.

What if he didn’t show up?

What if I say something stupid?

What if he sends someone else in his spot? Read More

Build Your Startup Team With These 6 Characteristics To Filter Out The Duds

By | Community, Leadership, Startups | 18 Comments

Over the years I’ve been involved in hiring 100’s of people for my companies.

In the early days when I started a new project I would just grab whoever was nearby and free.

There was ZERO process.

That’s why I struggled to succeed.

I’d say between the ages of 18 – 24 I worked with dozens of different people and most fell extremely short of my expectations.

I hired a bunch of duds.

Why? Read More

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