Ep. #1018 - Startup Growth Strategies
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, the Matts introduce new startup growth strategies to every podcast listener. It’s time to organize your plan of action for attracting more target customers and scaling your business.
Covered In This Episode
How can you grow your startup? What is the first step of a growth strategy? Why should you be fearless about pricing strategies and upselling your current clients?
Matt and Matt tackle all these things and more. The founder duo even discusses why you should focus on conversion rather than leads. And the real truth on why you should be a bit picky when it comes to customer retention is revealed.
Are you ready for another insightful conversation? Listen to this Startup Hustle episode now.
- Where does your startup growth strategy start? (02:29)
- Why should you develop a strong value proposition? (04:36)
- A crappy product-market fit can deficit you (05:44)
- Defining your value proposition (07:16)
- On selling your product (10:13)
- The importance of having a CEO who can run the business (14:07)
- Hire experts instead of beating yourself up (17:41)
- Experimenting with pricing strategies and upselling to existing clients (19:08)
- Why you need to be picky about customer retention (27:20)
- Onboarding new customers efficiently (31:06)
- Why do you need to focus on conversion rather than leads? (33:48)
- Read Traction to learn how to sell more (36:25)
You’re passionate about the product, and you like building it. Now, you know that I am so adamant and loud about this. Sometimes, you have to put the deck down, man, and sell something. For real, go sell something.– Matt DeCoursey
Back to the pricing thing, it’s a really important conversation because a lot of companies are scared to charge a lot for their service. But to some degree, it determines the type of customers they have and the type of customers they want.– Matt Watson
Don’t be afraid of the fact that you’re selling something. The number one reason salespeople don’t sell more is they don’t ask people to buy stuff. They don’t ask for a sale. Train yourself to ask for the sale.– Matt DeCoursey
You pick your customers to some degree. It’s really important.– Matt Watson
As the Matts mentioned, you need to hire experts to build your products. And if you need software developers, look no further than Full Scale. You can build your software development team quickly and affordably with their highly qualified developers, testers, and leaders. Get started on a successful product building now!
We have many Startup Hustle partners that provide additional services that your business may require today. Get to know them!
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 00:00
And we’re back! Back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here with Matt Watson. Hi, Matt.
Matt Watson 00:06
What’s going on, man?
Matt DeCoursey 00:08
Dude, my legs, my arms. Everything hurts. I’ve got growing pains, dude.
Matt Watson 00:13
No, I got it. I can give you some strategies on how to fix that.
Matt DeCoursey 00:17
Well, I’m looking for growth strategies for my startup. I never thought, at my age, that I would go through a growth spurt. So I’m actually seven foot eight now. It’s created a lot of awkwardness in my life. But yeah, I’ll get it figured out. But, yeah, man, how do we make a startup grow? That’s what I want to talk with you about today? You have some opinion on that at some point, right?
Matt Watson 00:40
I’ve got a lot of opinions. And I know where to get the miracle growth.
Matt DeCoursey 00:44
Well, that’s awesome. Should we let everyone know that today’s Startup Hustle episode is powered by FullScale.io? That’s our startup that grew really fast. Matt, we are on the Inc. 5000 list this year. And recently, on Deloitte Technology, Fast 500. So, definitely, we’ll be using some tips out of that playbook. But we make hiring developers not difficult. And Full Scale helps you do that through our software platform that helps you quickly and affordably find the people you need on your team. It takes two minutes to fill out the form on our hire-developers page. And our system will match you up with available developers, testers, and leaders—amazing, talented people that want to help you grow. And, you know, if you don’t have the product, you don’t have something to sell and have something to grow. And so many people are failing to find the right talent. Pretty good. So all right now, you have. You are an award-winning entrepreneur. You sold a company for like 150 million bucks. I think you’ve had three companies on the Inc 5000. This year, I could only help you with one of those.
Matt Watson 01:49
I think there are like three or four. Yeah, I mean, something I investigate.
Matt DeCoursey 01:56
All right, my guess. When you’re done finding your gold nuggets everywhere, let us know how many you have. But with that, you know, you’ve learned a few things about growth. I’ve done quite a few things. While at a lot of my past companies, I didn’t apply to be one. So I wasn’t on less. But I definitely know a couple things about growth and acceleration. And, you know, as we get started, you know, so many people. I mean, this is the key. This is the thing. Like everyone’s gonna want to get funded. I want to dig. I want to do this. I want to do that. You know, what makes that happen even faster is growth. So how do you get there? When you think about a growth strategy, Matt, where does it start for you?
Matt Watson 02:35
Well, every company is totally different, right? And to me, it’s all about product marketing, identifying product market fit, figuring out your go-to-market strategy, and all that stuff, right. And I had lunch with a guy Wednesday, and he’s like, Hey, we had this idea, we built this product, we can’t sell it, nobody will buy it. We know, we try changing the product around and whatever. And the number one problem we see over and over is that people focus too much on building the product and the technology and not enough on the go-to-market strategy. How to grow this thing? How do we build a business out of it? And that is to me as an entrepreneur. Over 20 years now, it has become the most important thing, like, what is the go-to-market strategy? How do we get that flywheel turning? How do we grow this thing? How we sell it is way more important to me than the product? Because you and I both have seen a lot of really, really shitty products that people sell a lot of. And then some people build beautiful products, but they never sell any. Indeed, they’re often just super simple.
Matt DeCoursey 03:33
Let’s look at the link tree. Right, we’ve had their CTO on, and that has like, like, 10s of millions of users. It is a link widget, and you know I have one. You can actually, as a Gigabook.com user, get those for free. And make as many as you want, but they did a hell of a job with marketing and going to market all that. No, man, I agree with everything. You said that I think you left out one key ingredient, you have to develop a strong value proposition. Yeah, absolutely. And that and so without all the stuff that you mentioned, which by the way, it was a bullseye, Bullseye, Bullseye, but without the value proposition like because that’s going to shape your go-to-market strategy. It shapes the way that you build a product that shapes the way that your DNA will define your value proposition. Now, here’s the thing a lot of people like well, my customers and clients should be able to know what value they should find in the product. Why? Why would you assume that if you develop a strong value proposition, you’re good at defining that? And here’s the thing, remember people buy what you’re selling because of the benefits, not the features, man? Yeah, absolutely. Part of it. Like how do your users, buyers, customers, whatever it is that you have or sell, and how do they benefit from what you’re doing? That’s part of this value proposition? And sometimes these are intangible like one of the biggest things is like if you Okay, so how do you quantify peace of mind? Because peace of mind, in my opinion, is literally one of the most valuable benefits that your product can provide. Because it has infinite value. It’s not like, hey, you’re saving $3 a purchase. So there are a lot of things in there, and reminding people of that should be part of your go-to-market strategy. But yeah, and you know, the main thing is the crap, crappy product market fit. It’s game over. That’s the number one reason startups fail rather than running out of money. That’s why they run out of money.
Matt Watson 05:22
Well, so you hear me talk about product market fit all the time because I think it’s really important. And the really dangerous thing with this is you start a company, and you’ll get the first 10 clients, the first 20 clients, that’s hard. But it seems relatively easy because it’s people you know, and the problem is, there’s, there’s a group of the population that are early adopters, they will buy anything, they will try anything, they like cool new things, but like 99% of the people are not that way. And so it’s easy to think that you’re onto something just because you got those first 20 clients. It’s much, much more difficult to scale that. And, and even like, we take Full Scale for a minute, like when we first started the company, you know, we sold it to a lot of friends and people we knew in our network, right? But then it’s a whole nother challenge to figure out, hey, we already sold all those people. How do we sell to the next 100 people, right? That’s a whole different problem.
Matt DeCoursey 06:13
That’s also dangerous, though, because, without a small sample size, it’s easy to like going back and looking at Full Scale. Because we had what was like in our Angel Network, or evangelists or people that really knew or believed in us, it actually gave us bad data in some regards, because we took on some projects and clients that there’s no way we can touch now. Right? It’s part of the point, yeah, we have to continue the evolution and understand and be like, oh, man, this is a way bigger pain in the ass. And it’s worth it and I don’t even like doing it. So I don’t think we should take those kinds of clients. Right. And so your value proposition and your, your core focus, like it’s so much of it, you’ve read the book traction, because you were the one that recommended it to me. And he talks about that in the book, and I recommend you read it. Who has that vibe? Dot Wickman Gino Wickman. And, you know, the thing is, defining your value proposition also starts with, Why do we exist as a company? And like Full Scale, we exist to serve our clients, like that’s why we exist. And if we don’t do that, and then there’s a sub part of that if we exist to help our clients win. And if our clients win, however, that looks, then we win because they say clients, and that’s so defined that that’s part of the value proposition that backs up what you do. But yeah, but that but that early stage of defining that and understanding what you’re selling, I think in the beginning of a company, data is still like the lava phase like it out there, it hasn’t hardened or become concrete. It’s still flowing. And it’s hot and dangerous, but at the same time still hot and powerful, because it’s moving forward. But yeah, I feel like I’ve had conversations with people that formed that seven and they get stubborn about it. I’m positive, this is going to work really just why is it not working that?
Matt Watson 08:02
Well. And sometimes that’s a huge failure. So back to my VinSolutions days, we had built a software that would print window stickers you put on the side of the car. And we got a partnership with this company, it was like a billion dollar company that was going to resell our software, because we would help them sell more stickers, we help them sell more paper. So we thought we were going to be millionaires with this partnership. And if that was the only thing we’d ever focused on for our go to market strategy and our growth business, we would have gone out of business because we remember buying anything good there. No, we just know we just wasted a lot of time. And so to your point, like if you get very stubborn and you put all of your eggs in one basket on your go to market strategy or growth strategy, it can really fail. You almost need a Plan A or Plan B, and you can’t get overly confident to your exact point.
Matt DeCoursey 08:48
Well, I’ll even expand on the fact that I ate lunch this week with a friend and client that told me that after 15 years, they have finally found that laser focus. Meaning like it’s never it’s never done. It’s like when I say fashion, it’s never finished, kind of like software.
Matt Watson 09:08
That’s one of my favorite quotes. FullScale.io.
Matt DeCoursey 09:12
If you never want to finish your software, we’re joking, but no, I mean, it’s never enough. These things are never done. Because that’s a very poor value proposition, people do not do that. But yeah, define that I think it’s important organizationally to understand like don’t be shy about it. You know, we talked about growth strategies and you know, you mentioned like the founders and the companies that are like product product product you’re passionate about the product and you like building it now you know that I am like so adamant and loud about this like you gotta sometimes you got to put the deck down man go sell something for real, no, sell something.
Matt Watson 09:55
Matt DeCoursey 09:56
That is not my quote. Rockstar told me that backstage after the last night of a tour ended, I was like, What are you looking forward to most? He’s like, man, sometimes you just gotta put the deck down. And I was like, Hey, I’m sorry if that offended you or if your kids are in the car, but it’s a great quote. So, Jake, Senator, I’m free to biggie. I give him all the credit for the fact that I have published that video at some point. That look, you’re never going to grow. Like if you want a strategy for growth and figure out how to sell stuff, figure it out how to reach more people, and get aggressive with it, like aggressive like, I get into this a lot with our own staff. I’m like, why are we acting like we don’t sell stuff? Like, like, I let her know that the most opened email that we sent ever in the history of our CRM was titled blatant sales pitch. That was the subject line. Whatever. point I said, I bet more people will open this than your cutesy, shitty title. People just know that okay, then they know you’re selling something. Yes. But people opened the blade and said, Dude, it was like a double though. That’s pretty funny. But that’s true, if that’s really how you want to do it. But like, don’t be afraid of the fact that you’re selling something. The number one reason that salespeople don’t sell more, as they don’t ask people to buy stuff. They don’t ask for the sale, train yourself to ask for the sale. Matt, would you like to buy something? Yeah. But you spent all this time talking to people about what you do at the end of it? So what do you think you want to move forward? Do you want to bring this up? When can I deliver it? How would you like to pay for this? You know, would you like me to load this in your car for you? These are all ways to ask for a sale that are hyper simple.
Matt Watson 11:40
And the next most important thing is the follow up of that, right? It’s like, yeah, we met a week ago, had lunch or whatever. Follow up, man, just follow up. I mean, that drives me crazy.
Matt DeCoursey 11:52
I’ve talked to so many salespeople, and they’ll be like, they’re like, oh, I want to sell more. I’m like, Well, tell me about your last interaction? And they’ll tell me I’d be like, dude, how did that person leave the store? Yeah, like, how did they not buy from you? Like, I mean, people are screaming, they’re almost like, take my money. Like, I don’t know, people are still asked, follow up.
Matt Watson 12:12
Follow up is the number one thing you just got to follow up? Yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 12:17
And ask for the sale and follow up. Yeah. But don’t wait a week to do it. If someone’s like, like hot to buy something, email the next day. And look, if you’re struggling for a reason to make that contact, it’s really simple. clarification. It’s the clarification follow up, you follow it? Hey, hey, Matt. Hey, thanks for spending all that time. Talk to me yesterday about what Full Scale does? You know, we talked about a whole lot of stuff. I just wanted to follow up. Is there anything that I can clarify or anything that I can do to help you understand the value we provide? Or are you, you know, helping you get closer to getting started with this clarification? It’s a number. It’s very, very low. It’s a very non aggressive way to be aggressive.
Matt Watson 13:01
And keeping the conversation going, right? It’s all about just continuing the conversation and figure out where it goes and stay in front of them. Oh, dude, it’s broken my heart.
Matt DeCoursey 13:09
I’ve seen it a couple of times when I haven’t done a good job of this. And I’ll see some of that inquired about what we do at Full Scale. I see him like a year later. And I’m like, Hey, man, he’s still looking for developers like, oh, well, we hired this other company. And they’re basically indicating I forgot about you. Now, I’m forgettable.
Matt Watson 13:29
So you mentioned the book, traction channel traction earlier. Yeah. And, you know, in the topic today of growth strategies, I think that’s an important book, to talk more about.
Matt DeCoursey 13:42
Rocket Fuel right as one of your growth strategy books, that’s another one too.
Matt Watson 13:45
And so rocket fuel is a little more about the relationship between like the CEO and the operations and having the CEO be more of a visionary kind of person and having them work with somebody that’s more operational, that can run the business.
Matt DeCoursey 14:02
That’s an important part of growth. Because if your growth crushes you, then it’s an honor.
Matt Watson 14:07
And honestly, I know people today, where the CEO is the problem, the CEO needs to work with that, that operations person and let them run the business. But the CEO will not get out of the way. And the company would grow way faster if the CEO would get out of the way.
Matt DeCoursey 14:27
And so my dream as a CEO is to be out of the way of all that stuff. Like you know me, people ask, What do you want to do? And you know what I’m gonna say, Matt, who do I want to become Mickey Mouse? Because Mickey Mouse stands out in front of the magical kingdom and waves tell everyone to come in and come on in.
Matt Watson 14:41
Tell him about the magic.
Matt DeCoursey 14:43
He also is not in the gift shop; he’s not emptying trash cans. He’s not operating rides he’s doing you actually don’t see a whole lot if this is true. If you bet you’ve been to Disneyland a bunch. It’s kind of hard to find that guy inside the park here, right here. Everywhere. But Mickey’s not a whole lot harder to find, man. Because he’s out there right out front waving people into the Magic Kingdom. Come give us your money.
Matt Watson 15:10
But you’re absolutely right. I really recommend that book, Rocket Fuel. And it was actually recommended to me in my last startup by our Chief Operating Officer. He’s like, Matt, I know you don’t like to read books, you hate reading books. But you need to read this one.
Matt DeCoursey 15:23
I’m like, read any book. Only the pages about me. I know what kind of a batch.
Matt Watson 15:32
So. So kudos to Craig for recommending it too. And I felt like I was being reprimanded in some way. He’s like, Matt, you need to read this book. And it spoke to me because I was more of that visionary CEO kind of person. They weren’t.
Matt DeCoursey 15:44
Like, as 10 pages into it. Were telling me to read it.
Matt Watson 15:48
Yeah, I was like, Dude, this was like slapping me in the face. I really needed to read this. So it’s great, it’s a great book for startup founders.
Matt DeCoursey 15:55
Can you recreate what it was like to slap yourself in the face? Oh, nice. He really did it, people. That was not that was not a sound effect. And wait, hang on. I think I got something that’s all right, thank you. There we go. Every time you slap yourself in the face, I’ll activate. Okay, there we go. Yeah, that’s good. I don’t want you to beat yourself up anymore. Now, if you’re beating yourself up about trying to find the right people at your company, I want to remind you that finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io where you can build a software team quickly and fluidly. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs, and see what available developers, testers, and leaders are ready to join your team. FullScale.io It takes you two minutes, if you can fill out the form to get matched up with highly qualified vetted people, less than two minutes did some people get it like 30 seconds, just need a few questions. So we know who to match up with and have an amazing portal, you’re gonna be able to see what people do and how they do it. And who we recommend. It’s really cool. I actually want to talk about that, because we’re talking about rocket fuel and the roles that go in, you know, you talk about getting the say work, you end up working in the business and not on it. Right? Five to 10 years ago it was really not like a consultant, hiring that kind of person. I love that angle now, right? If you’re stuck solving a problem, or you don’t have the bandwidth, or you’re worried about the long term expense nature of it, hire an expert on a short term basis, a lot of these people are going to come in and the thing is, is you can you need to be focused on growth, not on putting out fires all day.
Matt Watson 17:44
You hire Patrick Mahomes to come in and win for you.
Matt DeCoursey 17:47
Pretty sure he’s under contract. Right? I just say it’s available, be available on the FullScale.io portal, go to our hire developers, and see if number 15 is available. It’s possible. He’s from Kansas City, just like us, you’re never going to know if you don’t fill out the form.
Matt Watson 18:07
But I think your point, like when you have problems in your business, sometimes that’s what you need that third party expert to come in and help you. And see it’s worth the money. It’s worth the money.
Matt DeCoursey 18:18
You know, one of the things they’re going to tell you right away, and they’re going to ask right away is what are you doing to grow your existing accounts? So much easier to keep a customer you already have rather than find a new one. But, man, so people have asked a lot and I knew you had there was at one point, do you remember, we’re like nine months into Full Scale? And you I mean, dude, you’ve clearly been involved with some rapidly growing business for about nine months. We hired our 100th employee and I said, Dude, I have never been involved with something that grew this fast. Have you? And you’re like, No, right? But with that, you know, like there a lot of other stuff can, can fall apart on the side. And now we’re trying so we’ve at times stopped taking new customers so we can support the existing ones we have. Because part of what made us grow so fast is we had an amazing value proposition and we proved it to our clients. So that’s come in and start with one person. And six months later they have seven people right or 10 or some of them have 20 people. We have some people that are coming up on their fifth straight year of working specifically for that same client and that’s not only retention, it’s like they add more people and more people. So like you might be sitting on top of you might be sitting on top of the key and the chest of the chest of gold you’re looking at when it comes to growth, just upselling your existing clients getting more revenue from them.
Matt Watson 19:43
And that was a big thing for us at stock fires. We would come in and sign up one team, like how do we expand to more people, more teams, more things? And that was a big part of our strategy as well.
Matt DeCoursey 19:58
So I asked my new boss, ChatGPT, the question of five strategies. And by the way, if you were in the Startup Hustle chat group, you may have seen that it’s on Facebook, by the way, come join us. There are 3300 people there. Watson wants to replace me with chat GPT working on it.
Matt Watson 20:22
I welcome Mickey Mouse, do a podcast.
Matt DeCoursey 20:27
It’s amazing. But anyway, so I asked for it, and it’s got actually, we’ve, we had already found, our notes that we created before this amazing tool came out, had a lot of this stuff on it. But one of the things that’s going on here that I really like is don’t be afraid to experiment with pricing. So testing different pricing strategies. And you did that at one point at sacrifice. Because you had all these like free or cheap users or something I didn’t you guys do something that kind of like, you raised your pricing, because you needed to, and you knew that was going to actually lower your user count, but it raised your revenue long term and did a lot of that you cool talking about that? A little bit?
Matt Watson 21:03
Yeah. So the last two companies I had we did this twice. And all right, both of them. So yeah, stack fi, we were charging, like more of like, we were charging per server. And we didn’t have a monthly like minimum. So we had some people that were paying $10 a month, $20 a month, $50 a month wasn’t a big deal. But we kind of looked at the pricing model and said, hey, there should be a minimum. And yeah, we started enforcing a $99 a month minimum, that changed the pricing model of it. And yeah, like 90 something percent of them continued as a customer. Yeah, we had a few cancellations. But the net net of that was like our revenue went up, like 10 20% 30%, whatever. It was a lot. And it was and then we shared all these low value accounts, which means less support for them, less overhead for them in various ways.
Matt DeCoursey 21:55
But that might mean you have to fire a couple clients or customers. Yeah. Yeah. And if you want to go faster, you have to look at the things that are holding you back or putting too much weight in the rocket. It’s just that simple. And, and that and that comes in a lot of shapes and forms like those single users, those like basic, basic basic accounts for everything I’ve ever been involved with or sold. And this is even before I own my own businesses, those are the worst accounts that stuck around, they had the most problems that took the most handholding. And usually when they’re in that look, I don’t want you to exclude all your single user low growth accounts. But you got to look, you can look at a lot of them ago, this ain’t going anywhere other than what it’s at right now. And well, and well, for some tech platforms like yoga books that’s at datastores $15 a month to us.
Matt Watson 22:47
Let me ask you this, Matt, you go to dinner tonight, you go to McDonald’s. If a cheeseburger meal is $8, or $10, is going to make a big difference. Like if it’s $10, you’d be like, nevermind, I’m going across the street. Are you just gonna pay for it? No. And it’s the same if your products $800 A month or $1,000 a month, and then the day?
Matt DeCoursey 23:07
If it’s not that big of a difference. It’s like gas prices. People bitch about gas prices. Do you ever? Like are you ever driving down the street? You’re like, oh, no, it’s cheaper. And they do a u turn. I don’t even know how much gas costs? Well, actually I don’t anymore because I bought a Tesla. But prior to that. I definitely know how much is gaspereau?
Matt Watson 23:26
I don’t know. 67?
Matt DeCoursey 23:29
The President does not control the price of gas. People on social media quit thinking that’s the case. So open the market. That’s probably controlled by a very small number of people. Probably trading, not making it. Yeah, but no pricing. It’s big. And you also like the unique thing you know, you mentioned I mentioned getting to Tesla’s so a year ago, the full self driving was half the cost of what it is now. It’s like 15 grand now. That did not slow me down because I wanted it. Did you try it? Yeah, it’s been driving me around and driving me everywhere.
Matt Watson 24:00
Okay, you gotta come pick me up like the full fall. Yeah, I want to see this.
Matt DeCoursey 24:04
Oh, dude. It’s great. It’s been great. Like, yeah, it’s I mean, it’s, I still don’t understand why I have to keep my hands on the wheel the whole time. That’s the only thing I don’t like, is this. No, your hand is there. And I’m like, you’re driving. Yeah. Okay. So that part is day long. But Elon, if you’re listening, and I know you are because you listen to all the episodes.
Matt Watson 24:27
So back to the pricing thing. It’s a really important conversation, because a lot of companies are scared to charge a lot for their service. But to some degree, it really determines the type of customers that they have and the type of customers they want. There are people that will pay a premium, and they’re, like me, I could find a guy who would mow my grass for $30 A month or $30 or $75 or whatever all over. And to some degree like he’s smarter if he only finds the ones willing to pay 75 and ignores all the 30 ones total. It gets the best business you Right, and it’s a more profitable business, let somebody else come do the $30 ones, I only want the $75 ones.
Matt DeCoursey 25:05
So if you get on a call with me, or you’re talking to me about Full Scale, because you know, all of our employees are in the Philippines we make selling and building an offshore team quick and affordable. I literally think that’s like one of them, you’ve been there, it’s like that almost one of the first things I say I just want to be upfront, we’re a premium services provider, if you’re trying to find the absolute cheapest people, you’re gonna get what you pay for. That’s not a slight like it, we were that company that hires one and 35 people looking for that all star. And that’s expensive, it’s a lot more expensive than I can have, I can hire a shit ton of people really quickly and have the wrong people and not be supporting them, our value is what our mission is to help you build a team of elite people. And that means we got to talk to a lot of people. Not look, only 3% of people can be on the top 3% That’s how that shit works.
Matt Watson 25:58
Well, and to some degree, like, when you do that you’re choosing the type of customers you want to deal with as well, right? Like you’re choosing to have a premium product you can choose to do the right thing. The clients don’t give a shit.
Matt DeCoursey 26:09
It’s kind of like your McDonald’s example. They want the best of the needs there, and they feel that it’s not going to be a headache, peace of mind. Yes, they’ll be able to like, someone asked me like a month ago, or about a month and a half ago. And I was actually like, kind of in a weird mood. And they were like, dude, what do you sell it Full Scale? And I was just like peace of mind. And I and then like later that night? You know, I was sitting back on my bear skin rug counting all my money? Because that’s what entrepreneurs do, right?
Matt Watson 26:40
Yes. With the money again,
Matt DeCoursey 26:43
I was actually out still working at fucking midnight. Not on the bearskin rug, or any of that, but no, I’m sitting there. And I was like, wow, I started thinking about and I was like, that’s a really great point. Because you own half the company, we do sell peace of mind, we make it easy for you to not get a train wreck of a developer on your team, right? Or to not get three months, dude, how many people do we talk to the three months down the road are like, Oh, my God, this is terrible, then you have to start all over. And not only do you lose the timeline, you lose a lot of opportunity. And you usually have to go back and fix all the things that fucked up.
Matt Watson 27:17
Well, to this point, not really to keep talking about Full Scale, but the same thing, like we’re picky about some of our customers, like some customers come to us. And we’re like, this is not like a great fit. Like we want it to work both ways. Yeah, I mean, it’s your pick of your customers to some degree, it’s really important. And like I’m advising another company, and he had a lot of issues with customer retention, while the customers are canceling. And they would cancel because there was a certain feature they wouldn’t use. Well, he finally changed and he’s like, I require this. Now if somebody signs up, they have to do this. Or otherwise, I don’t want them as a customer because there’s a huge percentage that they will fail. And that’s kind of the point of like, sometimes you control those things. But you’re being stubborn, like as an entrepreneur, like well, I want everybody to sign up. Yeah. But if you spend all this effort, and a lot of them fail and cancel later, you’re not doing your work the right way, requiring certain specific things that you know won’t be successful.
Matt DeCoursey 28:10
You were when we did that Gigabook, remember when I went because the thing was like that mentality is like, we want everyone to sign up and be able to see what’s under the hood. Yeah, but they weren’t sitting there Shut up. They were skipping on us. And we went back and looked at it like we were enabling their failure because they didn’t and nothing was the way they wanted it. So they’re like, how does this even do anything? Or blah, blah, blah. So, you know, it was Ed Yes, it slowed the rate of free trials down noticeably. But the number of people that converted went up exponentially. And it also dropped the support requests by like 95%, immediately, immediately, because we got all bogged down trying to help people set up a $15 a month account.
Matt Watson 28:53
So you mentioned something about Gigabook, I think it’s also really important to talk about. So if you have a SaaS product that people can go and sign up for and get a free trial and go use it. That experience that they have is either really important to you or it’s death to you have like a good book was a good example of this, like people would sign up, but they struggled to configure it and get value out of it and all that when people sign up, you’ve got to get to them, get them to value and that like aha moment as fast as possible. And so having a Gigabook, you’d build some wizards and things like that, help them set up the account. I would do the same exact damn thing. This week, I signed up for a developer tool. I found their blog and everything about it sounds really cool. I was really excited about it. And I had to link it to my GitHub account, do this stuff and I was supposed to get some recording and stuff. And it didn’t work. Like an hour later. It still didn’t work. I went because now I’m frustrated. I’m like Screw this. I’m just gonna find another product. I downloaded a competitor’s product within like 60 seconds. It worked perfectly. It was beautiful. And I had that Aha moment. And I’m sold. Right and, and that right there is the difference like that first company, they’re dead, they’re screwed. That second company has a beautiful experience, and they will win so many more customers and people don’t think about this. But that first interaction you have with customers, if they’re signing up for some kind of free trial and some kind of thing you’ve got to have the world’s best experience is so important because the product is selling itself.
Matt DeCoursey 30:26
Well, you know, one of the So Twitter has been known for like the world’s fastest onboarding in the past, you know, because like, at one point, it was so simplistic that people were picking on it. And then all of a sudden, it was genius, because it was like, you could make a tweet and like, like a minute, you’d be set up and like, still note, like, have a couple followers be following a couple people that was like, Gigabook wasn’t that straightforward. But we created a thing we called SmartStart. The thing is, you can shorten and streamline onboarding processes by making certain assumptions. For example, one of the things was like a form will always make you fill out this long form and the US mailing address zip code is always the last entry. If you asked for the zip code. First, you can fill out a lot of forms, you can know the timezone, you know, the currency, you know, the city and state, you know, a lot of things, make it faster. And so it took me a while to figure it out, it was actually like a bunch of note cards, a couple joints, and maybe a little bit of trying to finally figure it out. But I was shuffling these things all around, finally came to realize it actually shaped the way I thought about building software. And it had a profound effect with Full Scale as well. I keep telling everyone to go there. If you ask a few simple questions up front, you can usually shape that process. So like with Gigabook, you either sell services, you sell classes or group things, or maybe both. Well, so many things make you go through these steps to like, unnecessarily. Right. So you just asked a couple simple questions like Do you provide services, where you’re at? or other places? Do you want to link to a calendar? Do you take credit cards? Are you the only person that works there, and then you get those and we were able to create a smart train, line it in boom, and it didn’t take them through a bunch of steps they didn’t need, we also asked what their zip code was, and it fills out a bunch of stuff. So rather than making them fill it out again, we’re like, hey, is this where you’re at? You know, click Yes to confirm or click here to make a change in Edit. And it just made it so fast and so easy. And like I mean to do what we did that years ago that was now onboarding come up, come up along ways. But yeah, I used to be a real pain in the ass. But dude, if you want to grow, you need to remove the roadblocks that exist on the way to getting the people. And now that also goes with your sales department too, though, like, you gotta look at that. Like, if you are if you’re in the act of selling things like why is it hard to buy from you? Right? Oh, dude, I go through this a lot, man. Like, just recently, I literally didn’t buy something recently, because I was like, this is a real pain in the ass. I was like, fuck, I gotta do something else. It’s actually really Yeah, it’s I don’t want to get too far. And it just annoys wheat. Well, we talked about people down to give him my money.
Matt Watson 33:08
Well, today we’re talking about growth strategies. And it’s a complicated subject. Because there’s like multiple facets to it. It’s like, it’s one thing. It’s like, hey, we need more leads. We need to close more leads. We need to upsell existing customers, like all of those are growth, like they are all growth. Right? And like we’re talking about, we talked earlier about upselling. And how important that is, like nurturing the customers you have and growing them and not having them cancel is just important. Right? Yeah. And then we talked about, you know, the product needs to sell itself, it’s like that’s conversion, it doesn’t matter if we get 100 leads or 1000 leads or 10,000 leads, if none of them convert, it doesn’t matter. You have to focus like conversion is critical, too.
Matt DeCoursey 33:48
And that’s like he talked about the sales guy genuine sales science as the harder you make it to buy the exponentially less you sell like, yeah, should not if you okay, we use McDonald’s and McDonald’s made me climb through an obstacle course to pay $10 Rather than eight, I might think more about it.
Matt Watson 34:04
My kids might like it. Yeah, I get that. But all but all of these, the point is like all of these things are intertwined, and they’re all part of growth. And part of the challenge of an entrepreneur is you can actually spend a lot of time tinkering with all of these different things. And you’ve, you know, you have to figure how much time you invest in all these different pieces and which one is your problem? Right? That’s the thing is you have to figure out which one of these is your problems like overdriving a lot of people to sign up for free trial, but nobody converts. Okay, focus on it.
Matt DeCoursey 34:35
Look at who’s converting and go try to figure out who that is. And then turn on the afterburners.
Matt Watson 34:40
Yeah, boom, boom.
Matt DeCoursey 34:44
You have to track your conversion, mass metrics, and stuff like that because you look at your ads better. Oh my god, I’m getting so many clicks on this. Yeah. How many tournaments? How many turn into something we were just talking about before? Because of mountain, I have a lot of conversations about what we do at Full Scale with people, and then it doesn’t always turn into them moving forward and exploring the opportunity. And we’re just like, hey, we got to figure out how to do a better job at this and so much. It really just comes down to asking. Yeah, getting him in the funnel? And they answer a couple questions. You know, Matt, we’re running out of time here. And another episode, I don’t even know if I need to do a third as read because I think we talked enough about Full Scale and what we do there, like as we end our episode here today, I mean, like where we kind of add, I mean, I think we kind of arrived at like, define the value proposition. Don’t just focus on your product.
Matt Watson 35:38
Ask for the sale. You got what your problem is, right?
Matt DeCoursey 35:41
Our favorite move is the pivot, right?
Matt Watson 35:45
Figure out what the problem is. The changes are always evolving. The other thing we didn’t spend a lot of time on was that book traction. I’m a huge fan because I’m focusing on figuring out what traction channel works for you, and you can’t do all of them. You have to pick one or two of them. And I’m a huge fan of that book for people.
Matt DeCoursey 36:00
In that book, he talks about the EOS, an entrepreneur operating system. And look, the thing is, this information in the book is actually pretty well known across the world of business, and people just use so many different terms and stuff like that. We’re using it at Full Scale right now just to have everybody speaking the same language. Yeah, just basic understanding. Dude, I’m fired up, man. I want to go sell something. So I’m gonna leave.
Matt Watson 36:24
I’ll see you there.