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SaaS Interviews with CEOs, Startups, Founders

What if you knew data behind the fastest growing SaaS companies today? Each morning join Nathan Latka as he spends 15 minutes interviewing SaaS founders. You'll learn how SaaS CEO's launched their startup and grew it into a business. SaaS Founders range from bootstrapped to funded, MVP to 10,000 customers, pre revenue to pre IPO.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jun 22, 2016

Warren Jolly, the CEO of Ad Quadrant, a social marketing agency that made $4 million in revenue in its first year. Warren’s an expert in leveraging social media and mobile marketing. Listen in to hear why you need to plan obsessively before you launch a business, why focus is the key to success, and how Warren aspires to scale massively...without becoming a SaaS business.

 

Famous 5:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Good to Great
  • What CEO do you follow? — Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Focus on one business; be great at one thing at a time

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:27 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:49 – Welcoming Warren to the show
  • 01:56 – Ad Quadrant was founded in 2014
  • 02:05 – It’s a managed services agency
  • 02:35 – Ad Quadrant works in the social marketing niche, including social media and mobile advertising
  • 03:12 – They make money by charging a percentage of the ad spend that they manage - if they meet their acquisition targets then the ad spend may be increased
  • 04:00 – “First year revenue was $4 million”
  • 04:23 – Spent a lot of time pre-planning and finding clients before they launched the business
  • 05:14 – “It was a painstaking process...we failed a lot and spent a lot of time working out our niche”
  • 05:25 – Revenue in 2015 was $15 million
  • 05:46 – 33 employees, based in California and New York
  • 06:01 – Take around 20% of ad spend on average
  • 06:14 – Will take more than that if they arbitrage a campaign - and will take less from high-volume clients
  • 07:02 – Have 35 active clients
  • 07:17 – Most revenue comes from percentage fees from ad spend - and some comes from a different model where they take a fixed price-per-action from customers
  • 08:24 – The metrics that are important to Warren’s team are new opportunities, growth, and churn and attrition
  • 08:55 – “If you’re not carefully focused on churn, you’re just filling a leaky bucket with more water”
  • 09:05 – “The two things you can control are flawless quality and fanatical customer service - those are what reduce churn”
  • 10:30 – Ad Quadrant’s aspirations are to develop and incubate consumer products
  • 11:05 – “If we can find verticals that are ripe for disruption and a good fit for social, then we want to use our expertise to get into that space”
  • 12:08 – Warren believes in bootstrapping - he’s more interested in investing in the business than paying himself a large salary
  • 13:16 – “Reach an inflection point and pay yourself a ratio”
  • 13:45 – Don’t try to run 5 businesses at once - find the one that you really want to focus on. Passive investment is an option as well
  • 14:50 – Warren’s generated his own wealth from prior exits
  • 08:16 – Connect with Warren on Linkedin or Twitter
  • 17:44 – The Famous Five

 

 

3 Key Points:

  • Focus on one thing at a time.
  • If you’re in a service industry, you’ve got to control churn. Have astonishingly good customer service - otherwise you’ll bleed clients instead of growing.
  • Plan. Plan painstakingly and obsessively before you try to launch your business.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

 

  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

 

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