Path to 100 Customers – Month 6

Guess what? It’s month number 6 on our journey together, and it was a doozy!!

For those one or two people that have been following along, can you believe we’ve been doing this thing for half a year!?

Even during this crazy pandemic-time-warp thing, time certainly does fly.

Ok – let’s get down to business.

Panda Copy has been quite the passion project – and I call it that because it’s still not yet a full-time job for me. I do work quite a bit on it each and every day, and I’ve been fortunate enough to keep all of the revenue and profits in the business and let the company accelerate its growth.

The good news?

I have zero doubts we’ll hit 100 customers fast.

The bad news?

It’s a lot of work and we keep hitting major inflection points in our operations.

Jumping into stats right off the bat:

Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
# of New Customers 18 21 10 14 25 46
# of Tickets 159 307 267 385 691 728
# of Pandas 4 7 5 7 13 16

Currently, the Panda Copy team has 74 active customers!  As you can see in February, we really hit our stride, and growth sort of exploded.

Reasons for this growth?

Ad spend was heavy, and despite being a shorter month than normal, we found some wins on both Facebook and LinkedIn and organically.

The month was so successful in fact, that we actually pulled down spend so we could catch up and beef up our operations.

Absolutely no entrepreneur wants this, but I’ll get into my reasoning a bit later.

In February we had some major wins:

  • Firstly, we launched our new customized user dashboard. This was a major investment for us, and I’m glad we did it.
  • People Operations:
    • We hired quite a few new writers
    • We hired an additional part-time editor
    • We sourced (and hired)  an additional full-time editor starting in March
    • We created a new process for our application to get us qualified writers and editors

And in February we had some major losses:

  • We found the breaking point of our scheduling process
  • We (I) found the breaking point of internal / client communication
  • We lost a few writers both voluntarily and involuntarily. As we grow we need to keep the “home” feeling
  • Our affiliate recruiting agency is not scaling as fast as I hoped

Overall, super successful month!

Financially speaking, despite all the capital outlays with software development, affiliate outreach, and media spend, we (barely) managed to stay in the black.

So what’s this about slowing growth? 

Yeah, you read that right, I’ve essentially paused ad spend right now. I have some minor retargeting campaigns running on Facebook, and some on Linkedin to feed the retargeting campaigns :).

The goal of hitting 100 customers is just that – a goal to test a business concept. Guess what? I know we have something special here. I know we’ll hit that goal, but what’s next after crossing that 100 customer mark?

This is why we invested early in improving the customer experience, and I’m focused on that right now to wow every customer that gives us their credit card digits.

I am focused on improving:

  • Our internal communication and onboarding process – this is the behind-the-scenes stuff customers don’t see that happens
  • Our customer onboarding experience – ensuring set expectations out of the gate for customers (People assuming we’re robots able to churn through 3,000 words per day for $500/mo.)
  • Our overall customer experience – adding  live chat functionality
  • Our writing and quality standards

I truly believe that if we ensure our customer and writer experience is great, our customers will renew.

In March we’ll turn the media spend back on to continue our growth, but we need to catch our breath 🙂

Thank you for joining me on this journey. It’s been incredible, and I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months have in store.

-Zach

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