Where it all started
A few years ago I was running a business where every day felt like I was putting out fires. I kept answering the same questions and kept solving the same problems. It just didn’t make sense.
Eventually, I took a step back to think about the real challenge at hand. The challenge was that we were scaling but couldn’t keep team members scaling at the same pace.
Every time someone new was onboarded we left it to a current team member to bring them up to scratch.
I knew there was a more effective solution and it began with the question of how to get everyone on board in real-time AND operating efficiently. I.e. how could I stop answering the same questions and instead focus my time and energy on the growth of the business?
Process was the answer. In other words, if we could document how to do things simply, meaningfully, and in an engaging manner and have it shared with every team member in real-time, we could save time and optimize efficiency.
And that’s the story of how I, ironically, exited that business to start Whale — a knowledge-sharing and training platform.
But this isn’t a product pitch.
So we built the product but something else happened.
We found that the product wasn’t the problem
Anyone who runs a SaaS business will know that it’s a challenging model.
You need to keep the product relevant to both purchasers and users. You have to keep users engaged. Then there’s the problem of churn.
According to Cobloom, the average SaaS churn rate in 2020 was 5–10% and has most likely increased. This means that for every 100 customers you have, 5–10 of them will cancel their subscription each month.
I knew that people would churn and they did. So we interviewed customers when they onboarded and if they decided to churn.
The result blew my mind!
They told me the product was great and that they loved it!
I was confused.
So what was the issue?
As our customers comprised mostly of entrepreneurs with businesses of +10 team members, they just didn’t have time to get the processes done. They could see the value of doing them — especially as we provided an ROI calculator to see the amount of time they’d save by implementing processes.
But still, it was too much of a mental block. It wasn’t the product that was the problem, it was the mindset with which it was being approached.
Entrepreneurs had a problem with getting process done
I quickly realized that if we REALLY wanted to help entrepreneurs unlock the next level of growth in their businesses, we’d have to help them get over the mindset of process taking too much time and being impossible.
Entrepreneurs need a ‘process’ to get processes done
I knew it was entirely possible in just two weeks!
So we launched a 14-day process challenge!
I wanted to show entrepreneurs that it was entirely possible to document that 20% of company documentation that produced 80% of the results in just two weeks!
A funny thing happened. As we started to solve the real challenge people faced, the product started to sell itself. It was a no-brainer.
Solving real problems
The two potential takeaways from reading this are two-fold;
- What is the ACTUAL problem you need to solve for your customers? (Hint — the product may not be it) You may want to check out my recent podcast on why nobody cares about your idea.
2. If you’re one of those entrepreneurs putting out fires every day I invite you to join me for two weeks and get your processes done! It’s for everyone, whether you choose to continue with the product or not.
Here’s to contributing value and solving real problems!