In this episode, Steli and Hiten talk about how to go from 100 customers to 1000—how to focus, what to zero-in on, and how to intelligently approach the next phase of scale and growth. Listen as they highlight the power of grouping and segmentation, and why clearing 100 customers means it’s time to earn an intimate understanding of customer acquisition cost.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
- 00:30 – Steli introducing today’s topic and why they’re covering it
- 00:54 – Steli and Hiten had 2 previous episodes that touched on a similar topic before today’s episode
- 00:59 – Knowing how to increase your customer numbers is important because it demonstrates how your business will scale in the future
- 01:10 – You have to start measuring your metrics, KPIs, and start deeply understanding your user base from the metric standpoint
- 02:22 – This is high-volume SaaS
- 02:40 – Measuring the metrics isn’t really meaningful until you cross the 100 customer milestone
- 03:05 – Once you’re in the 100 to 1000 mark, start segmenting, or creating cohorts (groups of customers)
- 03:30 – Grouping your customers can help you get a better idea of what type of customers you are getting from specific channels
- 04:04 – Knowing the numbers helps you determine where to focus to reach the thousands
- 05:00 – Segmentation is also about knowing what is relevant to your product and business
- 05:39 – Segmentation includes the size of the customers, buying percentage, and geography
- 06:40 – Advanced level segmentations are where the customers are using the product more, what features of the product they are using, and how much they’re using the product
- 08:33 – There are a lot of KPIs that you can track
- 09:34 – ProfitWell as an online tool for getting your SaaS business understood
- 10:12 – Some SaaS business that are crossing the 100 customer mark are using Stripe, Braintree, and other paid online tool
- 10:30 – ProfitWell integrates with a lot of systems and gives you data off the shelf. It is also free
- 10:50 – The key metrics are still the same
- 10:54 – Average revenue per user, churn rate, MRR, and how MRR is broken down on a monthly basis
- 11:30 – Having a tool is basic and critical
- 12:16 – “You need to do the right thing at the right time”
- 12:34 – “Once you cross the 100 mark, that is the right time to look at the numbers”
- 14:10 – Having that 100 customer mark may lead you to get more people in marketing and sales
- 15:41 – At the point of 100 customers, ask yourself; what have I done to get these 100 customers?
- 16:10 – Most people focus on marketing channels selection and implementation without actually verifying if that channel will work or not
- 16:58 – Marketing generalists are more difficult to find than marketing specialists
- 17:20 – Find new channels and start experimenting
- 17:26 – Ask professionals for advice or get courses online like DigitalMarketer which is inexpensive
- 17:48 – “Look at what you’re doing , break it down, and understand your process”
- 17:56 – The process of blogging
- 18:33 – Force yourself to calculate and understand your customer acquisition cost
- 18:52 – If you hit the right level of marketing fitness, your churn will be relatively low and you’ll ready to scale to a thousand customers
- 20:18 – You can’t just assign blog posting to someone without knowing what drives people to your blog
- 21:36 – Sales in the first 100 customers
- 22:05 – Blog post on different hiring stages of a startup
- 22:45 – The people you won’t want to take in are senior sales people like a VP of sales
- 23:46 – Get more fire-power to run an experiment and include yourself as the founder
- 25:05 – As a founder, you need to involve yourself in every aspect of the company until you hit the 100 customer mark
- 27:00 – Hiten talks to every single one of his 100 customers as a CEO and founder
- 27:15 – “Your first 100 customers matter more than anything else because they will help you figure out how you will get to the other 900 customers”
- 27:24 – “Be tactical”
- 28:37 – “Stay focused on what really matters. Take things one day at a time”
3 Key Points:
- Knowing how to increase customers volume is key because it determines how your business will scale in the future.
- Look at what you’re doing—break it down into components and understand the process.
- Your first 100 customers matter more than anything.
- ProfitWell – Manage your SaaS metrics for free
- The ultimate sales hiring guide for B2B startup founders! – Steli’s blog post that is mentioned
- DigitalMarketer – Get online courses at an affordable fee
Steli Efti: Hey, this is Steli Efti.
Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.
Steli Efti: And in today’s episode we’re gonna talk about how to go from 100 customers to 1,000 and even more importantly, the most important things you need to focus on and zero in on when you’re – when you just broken out of the 100 customer milestone, right? What is the next phase of scale of growth? What do you need to focus on? Let’s talk about that.
Hiten Shah: Awesome, yeah. It’s one of the most important parts in a company. I know the early phases we already talked about from – what is it? Zero to ten, and then ten to 100?
Steli Efti: Yes, we have two episodes on that, zero to ten, and ten to 100.
Hiten Shah: Yeah, so now we’re talking about 100 to 1,000 and it’s one of the most important parts because it really sets the foundation and establishes how your business scales in the future and what are all your levers? So, on that note I’m gonna kick it off if you don’t mind, Steli?
Steli Efti: Yeah.
Hiten Shah: The big thesis that we have on this stage is that you have to start measuring your metrics, your KPIs, and start really understanding deeply kind of what’s going on with the user base from a data metrics standpoint. So, these are your SAS metrics from turn, lifetime value. If you have – if you’re doing paid acquisition, or even if you’re not doing paid acquisition, understanding your customer acquisition costs and then do that – do those things by channel, as well as by any other piece of data that you have about your customers. Whether it’s company size that’s important to you or specific customer types, like product people, or marketing people, or sales people that might be using your product.
Steli Efti: Yeah, I love that. So, what we’re saying is you break through the first 100 customers, you hit that milestone. Up until that point, I think of course you wanna keep track of some basic numbers where you wanna know your monthly return revenue. You wanna monitor something of these numbers, but they’re gonna be probably pretty erratic. Up until you get to 100, your sample size is so mall and you’ve been probably around for fairly short period of time, unless you are in the enterprise sales base, which then everything we’re saying is irrelevant pretty much for you.
Hiten Shah: Yeah, pretty much. This is more a high volume SAS I was talking about.
Steli Efti: Yes, exactly. But, if you’re in that space, up until you get to 100 you’ve been around for a very short period of time, you have a very small sample size, so these numbers are not going to be meaningful until you cross the 100 mark. But, once you cross the 100 mark, now’s the time to start investing in these things and really looking into them. And the – I think – so, that’s the first thing, is start looking at your KPIs and numbers, try to understand them really well and have them guide in what needs to happen next for the next phase of your growth.
But, the other thing you said that I wanna highlight because it’s so I think profound and easy to overlook, is that once you get – once you’re in the 100 to 1,000 phase it’s time to start, not just looking at your number holistically, but start segmenting or creating cohorts, right? So, start looking at groups of customers either based on buying persona, based on industry, based on size of customer, based on country. There’s many ways to slice and dice the data, but you wanna group these together so that you don’t get an average of your KPIs and numbers, but you get a better idea of what different types of customers that you acquired from different types of channels, what the unit economics are for building your business around these type of customers types, or segments, or groupings of customers, right?
Hiten Shah: Yeah, and it’s – this is really critical. You might say I only have 100 customers, averages will work for me and that’s incorrect. Basically, even if you have two customers in a certain segment, just knowing what their unit economics look like from a – how many of them do you have? How much average revenue per customer are you getting per month? What’s the church on that customer base? If it is a little more than two, obviously. Can really help you determine what – where you focus your efforts to get to those 1,000 customers because you’re gonna wanna know that – if there’s a segment of customers, for example, in a certain geography, like let’s say Canada. And revenue per user is higher there, then that already informs what you need to do.
Which is, you probably wanna market to more companies in Canada of that sort of profile and that’s probably gonna help you scale your revenue, as well as scale to 1,000 customers much faster because you’re focused on customers and segments that are relay attractive for your business, from a business metrics standpoint. And this is one of the most critical things you can do. And the segmentation as Steli was saying, isn’t just geography or just company size. It’s really about what’s relevant to your product and your business.
So, oftentimes if you look at let’s say a project management app like Basecamp or even something like a sauna, you’ll basically quickly see that it’s a product that lots of users in a company should be using and it’s likely that segment of customers that have more employees using the product or more employees in their company are likely to have higher average revenue per user and thus they might be ones you wanna spend a little extra time on and try to find more like that.
Efti: Yeah, so let’s run through them real quick to make sure that we talk about the – well, let’s talk about the segmentation real quick, so there’s obviously size of the customer. There is buying persona, who will use it? Which department, which team, which person bought this and is using it, use case? There is obviously geography, like countries. Where in the world are these people? You could probably – if you’ve experimented heavily or if you’ve tried very distinct channels to cross the 100 customer mark, you could even look at channeling. Like, which customer came through paid advertising versus content marketing? Or some other thing that you’ve done if you have enough control over the data.
Is there any other – cohort is another one. In which month did we win these customers might be something, but if you’re at 100 – assuming that you’ve not been around for years, that might also be a bit premature. Any other ways – any other ways that people should think about bucking up and segmenting and looking at their data?
Hiten Shah: Yeah, there is one, but I would say it comes a little bit later and the one I really like to look at would be – and this is trickier. It’s not like an off the shelf, you can do it in analytics product or do it right in your – using any kind of data that’s the easiest to get to. But, the more advanced versions of this look more like – based on what they used the product for because oftentimes you’ve built – with just 100 customers, it’s not like you spent years building your product. You spent a few months usually building your product, got to 100 customers, and not everyone’s gonna be using every part of the product.
And so, if you can slice by feature adoption, so like what features are they using the most? The is a very interesting slice that actually can inform, not just kind of your marketing or your sales, but it can also inform your product development. Especially when you take those slices against like the highly retained customers or the customers who are paying you the most. So, the segmentation doesn’t just have to be these sort of, what I would call basic things that you mentioned. The next level of it would be much more advanced things that are much more behavioral about what they’re using the product for, what features they’re using in the product, how much they’re using the product, which is another segment.
Which is – we’ve found in a lot of the businesses we’ve analyzed that some customers use it daily, some customers use it weekly, and some customers use it monthly, and other customers don’t use it at all. And depending on that, those are segments in themselves, right? If they’re logging in every day, you would – you could hypothesize that they’re getting a ton of value from it or they’re having a lot of trouble with your product, right? But, if you don’t know those slices either, then what happens is all the other ones end up being how you inform your decisions on sales and marketing oftentimes. But, then what do you do about your product? How do you inform decisions there?
So, that’s another slice that I would say is definitely the next level because it’s not as easy to get as geography, which you can look at in most analytics tools.
Steli Efti: Yeah, love that. Let’s step back on the KPIs that we need to look at, right? Obviously, there’s a million different KPIs we could be tracking and a lot of times I think it’s easy to get lost in that data. Not for everybody, some people are really good at cutting through the noise and know what to look at or how to uncover the meaning of or cerate context around these numbers. But for bare bones, for somebody that’s like yeah okay we have 105 customers and we kinda hustle our ass off and we got a little lucky here and we don’t quite yet have really a handle on a lot of things, especially on our data. We don’t have like all the metrics ready and we wanna start investing in looking at the core KPIs.
How do I get started? What are the first few things I should being? Do I do this just buy acquiring our database? Do I sue kind of a tool? Do I use a spreadsheet? Do I use a dashboard software? Do I track everything and study it? Or do I just track the core five things? What would you – what kind of advice would you give to a founder that’s at that stage where we have a bunch of customer s and we have a bunch of data, but we’ve never really like spent too much time looking into it and we wanna get started. But, it feels a little – it can feel a little overwhelming to know where to get started, what to focus on.
Hiten Shah: Great question, one that I’m sure both of us get pretty often at this stage of a business. So, I’m gonna do a rare thing and actually give a tool recommendation today just because it’s free. I love free. Many people know that. And so there’s a tool called ProfitWell and the reason I would recommend ProfitWell for getting your SAS metrics understood and kinda in line – and these are metrics like your average revenue per user, your life to – they also have things like lifetime value, your churn rate, which is a really important one. The number of people that upgrade, the number of people that downgrade, the number of new customers coming in, how much they’re paying.
The reason I suggest that is these days most SAS businesses that are that the stage we’re talking about, 100 customers or so, they’re using [inaudible] [00:10:48] or they’re using Braintree, or they’re using some of these billing systems that have made it really easy to just pick it up and within a day or less start charging people. And so ProfitWell integrates with a lot of those systems and just gives you this data off the shelf. And there are other tools out there like ChartMogul or Baremetrics, but those tools aren’t free. So, at this stage you probably don’t have a lot of capital and you probably want to use a free tool. So, I would recommend ProfitWell just to hack the whole process, instead of having to dig through your database and all that.
But, the key metrics are still the same, right? You want to know your average revenue per user. You wanna know your monthly churn rate. You wanna know your MRR and you wanna know how your MRR is broken down on a monthly basis by upgrades, so people who already bought who are buying more, downgrades who – which would be people who are buying that are buying less, cancelations which is people how have bought that have stopped paying you, and then obviously new customers who have bought. Those are the four things that make up your MRR and a took like ProfitWell basically gives you that out of the box on top of your billing system.
So, this is a critical piece. This is basic. Most people when they’re at 100 customers, they actually don’t have a tool like this yet because they’ve been scrambling so hard just to get to those 100 customer tooth and nail, right? Do whatever you can on marketing, do whatever you can on sales and just get to 100 customers. Because once you have 100 customers, you do have enough to start doing all of the analysis and getting your metrics in line, like we’ve been discussing.
Steli Efti: Yeah, if somebody listens to this and thinks, well we do have all these numbers in place. We have 20 screens with massive dashboards in our office, but we don’t have 100 customers, that could also point to who – like the priorities – not have been the right ones at the beginning, right? And we’ve talked about this many, many times in other episodes. So, I don’t wanna harp on it, but you need to do the right thing at the right time. You try to plant some trees in December when it’s snowing somewhere. It doesn’t matter how well you are planting these seeds, nothing might grow depending on what you’re trying to grow. You have to do the right thing at the right time.
So, once you cross the 100, what we’re saying is now is the time to start looking at the data, investing in making – understanding the data better and then trying to segment the data and understand where are the opportunities for us to go from 100 to 1,000. beyond? Now, let’s talk about – you – let’s say you use a tool like ProfitWell and you have a good understanding of kind of the core metrics. You start digging a little bit into the data in terms of segmenting your customer base and understand the unique economics of different groups. What do you do then?
You can prioritize. Use a model to prioritize where you see the most opportunity, where you get the most traction, where you think you should double down and triple down on in terms of growth. But, how do you go about it? Usually – obviously, there’s a long list – once you hit 100 customers, there’s a lot of things you know you wanna do with the product. It’s very unusual that product development wise, you don’t already have a very long list of things people are telling you they need and want, and that you wanna do and get to, right? There’s usually a lot of clarity, a lot of – a long laundry list of things that you wanna invest in when it comes to the product.
Obviously, relating that laundry list to the customer segments, you really wanna double down on is a very smart idea and aligning product and marketing in sales is a very smart idea. But, for you to get from 100 to 1,000 you’re probably gonna invest heavily or start doubling and tripling down on marketing and sales. So, how do you think about doing that? Maybe you touch on marketing and I’ll touch on sales. For me, one thing that comes to mind for both things is that you – the 100 customer mark probably, in many cases, will lead to you having to start bringing in some more people in marketing and sales. Maybe up to 100 customers, it was just the founders doing everything or maybe you had one person kind of as a “growth marketer” or marketer – a generalist marketer and you had one of the founders or one or two people doing sales.
You had a very, very tiny team is what I’m saying for both sales and marketing. And from 100 to 1,000 you probably gonna wanna maybe grow that team or invest in those areas a bit ore. How do you think about that? What do we do – let’s start maybe with marketing. As we’ve discovered these things, so let’s say we prioritize them and we say we know which buckets and segments we really wanna double down on for the next 12 to 24 months. What does it usually mean for the marketing side of things? What are the things that teams typically have to do to be able to that? Maybe if there’s some obvious mistakes or things that you’ve seen people get wrong, maybe we’ll highlight those as well.
Hiten Shah: Yeah, I do agree that you have invest in those things somehow. I don’t necessarily agree that you have to hire people. I know sales might be a little different. In marketing I actually would suggest trying not to hire somebody. Just – and for one, very specific reason at this stage, and the reason is this it’s likely that whoever’s on your team is the one that’s been doing all the marketing to acquire customers and it’s also likely they’ve been doing a lot of things that aren’t necessarily creating processes or system to enable you to actually scale. So, at the point of 100 customers, the one question I would ask is what are – what have you done to get those customers? And I would then break down all the things that you’ve done to get those customers and figure out what actually has worked.
One of the mistakes people make is they don’t do that exercise and they just think they can just either keep doing more of what they’ve been doing, which is generally okay actually and I’m a big believer in doing more of what you’re already doing even if you think it doesn’t scale. But, the most common scenario I see is oh we’re gonna do these five or these ten channels and there’s like a list of them. PR, SEO, paid acquisition, Pinterest ads, whatever it is. There’s a long list and then you’re just drowning in just basically what I call a marketing shit list and it’s just a ton of these things that you think you can do, but you haven’t validated any of those are working and – or will work for you.
So, one approach is you would start experimenting with new channels. And if you truly believe that whatever you’re doing today isn’t gonna scale or you can’t do more of it, which is rarely the case. But, if you truly believe that, then you’d wanna start running small experiments in those other areas and ideally you’d have the person that’s already been doing it, start doing that, whether they’re a founder or somebody like that. And the reason for that is marketing generalists are much hard to find than marketing specialists. And so, if you decide there’s a few channels that you wanna experiment with, start running the experiments yourself. Start really getting up to speed on how those channels are because this isn’t rocket science at all and these days it takes literally a day to get up to speed on any channel. And if someone’s already been doing marketing, they can spend that day and figure that out.
So, that’s the scenario where you need to find new channels and you start experimenting with them. I would not suggest hiring someone, but you can always ask people for advice, or talk to people, or pay for a course some’re like the courses on digitalmarketer.com are pretty inexpensive and the can be helpful in helping you get up to speed with Facebook ads or Google ads or something like that if you know nothing and they’re very good at that. And then, but the thing I prefer before going that route – although, that route is a good tool for you to have, is to actually look at what you’ve been doing and really break it down and try to understand your processes. And what I mean by that is that let’s say you have bene blogging a lot and you’re spending all of your time doing it.
Start calculating how much time you’re spending and what the process actually looks like for you because it’s likely that if customers are coming to you because of blogging and you’ve to 100 from doing something like that, then you can probably get close to 1,000 just by doing more of that as long as you make it more efficient over time and you create a process around it. And it’s likely that you don’t even know your customer acquisition cost yet because you haven’t been using pay channels, which are much easier to get the customer acquisition costs of than if a founder is writing blog posts because you can’t really calculate a founder’s time necessarily.
But, I would force yourself to calculate it and really understand what that customer acquisition cost is right now and what the process is for it because then you can start either spending money to help you do it and do more of it, or really know much you wanna dedicate to it and just do more of it. One of the things that I’ve found is that whoever’s been doing marketing is also doing other things in the company, but if you’ve hit some level of product market fit, your churn’s relatively low, and you’re ready to scale the business to 1,000 customers, it’s very likely that person should spend all of their time on marketing because they have all the knowledge. They’ve been doing it and you should get them to create some processes, some systems to be able to do marketing before you go hire someone to do it.
Steli Efti: Yeah, this is so important and one thing that I’ll add to that before I jump in and focus a little bit on the sales side of things is that as you take the – as you go from doing everything yourself and not necessarily constantly sell analyzing what you did and what the effect was and the cost was and all that, and what the process was – as you start going from alright, I’ve done – let’s say I’ve blogged 1,000 times – 100 times to get us to 100 customers. Let’s now – I don’t know, let’s bring in people to get more blog posts. Let’s have other people write blog posts. Let’s get some – let’s whatever, grow the amount of whatever content marketing we do. Either growing what you’ve already been doing or you say let’s experiment with something we’ve never done.
Let’s start doing paid advertising. Let’s start doing PR, whatever it is. Either you do something new you’ve never done with and you run an experiment there or you think let’s just do a lot more of what we’ve already been doing and bring – and involve other people to do that. Both things are brand new experiments. A lot of times we think because I’ve written 100 blog posts, I can just give somebody else that task and that transition period is so crucial and there’s a lot of pitfalls that you can step into because you have never thought about the way that you’ve generated these posts, why they are successful. Which ones are successful and which aren’t? How much time it takes you, how you think about it, what the typical structure.
You have – you don’t understand why you were successful well enough a lot of times to be able to show somebody else or give somebody else the job in a way that allows them to replicate your success. And doing that is a new skillset and is something that you need to invest in and experiment with. A lot of people, they miss that step. They just go from I have done blog posts that were successful, let me just tell somebody else write blog posts like this. And then, by the time they look at the data again all the sudden the blog is not working anymore and the traffic has gone down. And they’re like, what the hell happened? Why isn’t this working? It was – it used to be working, why isn’t it working anymore?
It was this middle step of really analyzing what worked and how it worked and getting good at giving this to other s or doing this in a way that scales at the same quality. It’s that step in the middle that can be super tricky.
Hiten Shah: Yeah, I fully agree. So, sales – let’s say – I’m assuming this is a scenario where you would say founders have been selling, correct?
Steli Efti: Yes, typically first 100 customers you’ll have one of the founders or all of the founders hopefully been driving a lot of the efforts, even if it’s not exclusively – they’ve been doing it mostly. Yeah, once you passed 100 customers – I’ve written about this before. So, there’s a blog post we’ll link up in the show notes on how to – the different hiring stages of a startup. I think once you pass 100 – the 100 mark, if the way that you acquired customers is heavily salves focused, if it’s an outbound sale, or even if it’s heavily – if it’s inbound sales, but it’s high touch.
You’re calling all your trails. You have multiple demos. You have multiple follow ups. You spend a good amount of sales efforts. Its’ not super light touch. It’s not an enterprise touch, but you still – you spend a good amount on calls, let’s say, to close a deal and close a customer. You probably between 100 to 1,000 – you’re probably gonna have to bring in some people just so you’re able to increase the efforts, but the people that you wanna bring in at that point – at that phase, 100 to 1,000, a lot of times startups will wanna bring in senior sales leadership, like a VP of sales type, and have that person take over and build a team. And that’s typically a very, very bad idea.
It’s premature. You’re not there yet. That’s maybe after 1,000 customers. But, at the 100 to 1,000 customers stage, if you have a sales – if you are heavy on sales, what you wanna do is you wanna bring in a few junior people, junior talent, and you still – as a founder, you wanna basically transition over form being let’s say a shitty sales person because all of funders think they’re not great at sales, to now being a shitty sales manager, right? Which means, go from – it was just the founder selling, to you’re bringing two, three, four junior reps and all you’re trying to do again is you’re trying to do two things – 1.) Validate that you can teach somebody else to replicate the results you’ve been generating or similar results and get a little bit more fire power to run new experiments.
So, in sales, just like in marketing, you might wanna go out and try new experiments. You need to be in the middle of it as a founder. You need to get all the context of the data, all the context of the conversations. You can’t just hire people and have them report to you once a week of what’s going on sales. You have to be in the trenches. So, but you will probably need to bring in some more fire power because it is very labor and time intensive and its’ gonna not in many cases scale as beautifully as some of the marketing efforts might be. So, you’re gonna wanna bring in some junior talent, people that are – that have the hustle, the that have the sales talent, that have the competitiveness, that are culturally aligned. But, people that didn’t have a five to ten-year career in sales necessarily, so they are not like super sales pros.
They come in there; they have all the hunger, all the energy, all the passion. You lock them in a room with one of the founders or yourself and you show them what you’ve done and try to help them replicate the same results and you run new experiments yourself. And once you get some little bit of success within your experiment, you go ahead simply and try to see if you can get somebody else from those junior sales reps to do that as well.
Hiten Shah: Yeah, I love it. I really like what you said early on when you were talking and I can’t say it more or double down on it more, but you have to make sure that somebody that’s in the company, somebody who’s ideally a founder is still spending a lot of time on that. Almost all their time basically on sales just to make sure that it’s aligned with what the company’s doing and what I needs to be. It’s too easy think that you can hire someone and they’re gonna solve that sales problem for you. It’s not exactly how it works at all.
Steli Efti: Yeah, it’s funny. Yesterday I had a lunch with somebody and he had his three new kind of business development hires with him. He’s the founder and they launched a [inaudible] [00:26:54] product. They were in consumer space before and they got like I think five or ten customers really quickly through the person that worked and he was asking how to scale this and how to grow things. And a lot of – there was a noticeable moment where he looked at me and he realized based on the advice I gave, which is very similar to what I just said, that he’s – it’s not – he’s not – they are not ready yet for him to be removed from the sales process.
So, he looked at me with a little bit of a disappointment and went, oh so I’m probably gonna have to stay working with these guys day in, day out. It’s not – I can’t just have them report to me once a week on what’s going on, on the sales front. I’m like, yeah no. That’s – you’re not there yet. That’s not the right time for you to go and fuck around with other things and let these three new people alone with all the challenges on the sales side. And he was like, alright. This sobering feeling of this makes sense. Okay, dad. Alright, I’ll clean up my room.
Hiten Shah: That’s awesome.
Steli Efti: He had that disappointment, but still like yeah this is probably the right thing to do.
Hiten Shah: Alright, I got it. You’re right.
Steli Efti: I got it. Yeah. So, yeah. Alright, so I think it’s tip time. Do we have any other tip to wrap the episode up in terms of 100 to 1,000 customers? What’s the one thing you should do or absolutely shouldn’t do?
Hiten Shah: Yeah, absolutely. If – and I’m gonna give it – I don’t always give it this way, but I’m gonna give it this way which is if it were my company, I’d talk to every single one of those 100 customers myself as the Founder/CEO whatever and make sure I really understand why they’re using the product, what they like about it, and what they want next from us. Because it’s oftentimes easy to forget that they’re your customers. They have signed up. They’re paying you and they matter more than anybody else because they’re the ones that are gonna help you figure out what the next 900 customers look like.
Steli Efti: I love it. Alright, so my tip is gonna be less tactical, but here’s more like of a [inaudible] [00:28:56] emotional side of things. If you have crossed the 100 customer mark and you’re on your way to 1,000, that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment. It means that your chances of making this a – it’s not that you are successful. This is gonna be working forever, but your chances are really good for the first time in the company’s history that you’re on to something and that this might become a real business and really create value for the long haul.
You’re gonna have way too many things you want to do, way too many things your customers want you to do, way too many opportunities, way too many people reaching out, business partnerships, meet ups to host, things to sponsor, things to do. People are gonna start notice you. There’s gonna be an overwhelming amount of shit on your plate and – on yours and your team’s plate and it’s easy to get overwhelmed or at times discouraged because you just don’t have the resources. You just – way too few people or you still have way too little money in the bank probably to do all the things you’d like to do in a perfect scenario.
This is not a time to get overwhelmed. This is not a time to try to many things. Stay focused on what truly matters, which is your customers. Learn to deal with the noise and separate the noise and just tell yourself at times when you’re overwhelmed that you’re on track to do something great and just take it one day at a time. And don’t get frustrated or flustered or pulled in too many directions. Keep calm, keep going, keep the course and focus again on what matters, which is your customers. Focus on them, double down on that and you’re gonna be fine.
Hiten Shah: Yeah, what Steli said.
Steli Efti: Alright, with that we’re gonna end the episode. It’s not get better for me than Hiten saying what Steli said. And we’re hear you guys very, very soon.
Hiten Shah: Yeah, bye.
[End of Audio]
Duration: 31 minutes