103. Finding Product Market Fit Week 2 – Identifying Customer Needs

 
 
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Looking forward to hearing an update about the exciting things happening inside Bean Ninjas?

In Part 2 of this 5-part working series of the Bean Ninjas Podcast, Anfernee Chansamooth and Michael Wark share the mic to talk about their big wins, challenges, key lessons, and goals that they had for the past and coming week.

They share updates on the progress of their goals for the week and what they’re currently working on. It’s definitely a good example and reminder for all of us that all businesses and teams experience the same kind of things in different ways.

In this episode, we discuss:

[01:25] Updates on Mike’s objectives for the past week.
[02:13] Anf’s updates on his objectives for the past week.
[03:32] Mike’s wins for the week.
[04:18] Anf’s big wins for the week.
[05:52] Mike shares the roadblocks he went through.
[06:44] Anf’s biggest challenges.
[08:04] Key lessons for Mike.
[08:45] Actions Mike took to find his current partners.
[09:21] Anf’s key learnings.
[12:44] Mike’s goals for the next week.
[13:39] Goals for Anf in the following week.

 

Transcription

Finding Product Market Fit Week 2 – Identifying Customer Needs

Announcer Welcome to the Bean Ninjas Podcast, where you get an all-access pass to see what happens behind the closed doors of a fast-growing global bookkeeping and financial reporting business.

Anfernee Chansamooth:

We’re back on Episode 2 of the Working in Public Series with Michael Wark and myself, Anfernee Chansamooth. And we’re just going to sort of jump in from where we left off last week. How are you doing, Mike?

Michael Wark:

Very good mate. Very good. Yeah, great to be here. 

Anfernee Chansamooth:

Now, you’re calling in from somewhere else. Where are you?

Michael Wark:

I’m overseas in Indonesia at the moment on a trip. So just so happened that this trip was lined up for months and months and months before we kicked off this podcast session. So yeah, I’m calling in from Indonesia. On a bit of a surf trip over here. So internet is a little bit bad. But it should be, hopefully, we can get through this chat.

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Yeah. Amazing things we’re learning already like there’s a bit of a behind-the-scenes look. We’re actually recording this through WhatsApp because of the internet situation. So if you’re wondering how this is happening, thank you, WhatsApp.

Okay. So, Mike, let’s just run through what were your job objectives for last week and how did you track against them?

Michael Wark:

So Anf, I had a few objectives for last week. I didn’t tick as many goals as I’d like to be honest with you. So I flew away for work trip Wednesday last week and that was a two days transit and then getting out here whether it’s not too bad. So I landed over safely but that landing page, there was a hitch and that is not right yet. So I need to edit some video just to get it up. 

My certification is almost there, but then again, with the net slow here, I couldn’t finish off the last two modules, but I did deliver the implementation. So out of the four objectives, I achieved two but also didn’t achieve two. 

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

That’s still a good week and we’re going to share some of the lessons from that in a moment.

Michael Wark:

Yeah. What about you?

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

So for me, I had finalized a three-part video series and get the pages for that up; so that was done. I wanted to work on a Drip sequence and tested that and have that ready; so that was completed as well. And then, the final one I had was to send a re-engagement email campaign to some past clients and leads and let them know about this upcoming course.

And that was delayed for me as I was waiting on some of our sales team to clean up some of the database and we’re still working through what is the appropriate message to send to re-engage past clients and leads. We want to make sure that if we are re-engaging them; you know, it might have been some time since we last did some work with them or they were in contact with us. 

So we want to make sure that it’s not just a straight, “Hey, buy something from me,” kind of message and it’s more value than that. So we’re exploring what’s the appropriate path for that. 

Michael Wark:

Great work, mate. So is that two out of three?

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Yeah, that’s two out of three. And yeah, all in all, a good week. And then, there’s some other challenges, which I’ll talk about in a moment. So what would your wins for the week be, Mike?

Michael Wark:

I guess making it over here safely is the big one. I’m flying in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic so that was a bit nerve-wracking. But I got here safely and healthy, which is good. And in terms of the work wins, I’ve had seven blueprint sessions lined up for when I’m back, which is a result of direct outreach. 

So that’s direct one-on-one sales calls with business owners about their business and I’m really looking forward to those and I’m glad I booked them because I’m going to try and uphold their offering based on these calls and try and listen to these business owners’ problems and make sure that we’re solving them. 

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Good.

Michael Wark:

So those are probably my two big wins for this week. And what about yourself, Anf?

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

That’s awesome, mate. For me, so a couple of wins here. The first one was getting that three-part video sequence up and that’s live. We also had a webinar recorded with one of our partners and they’re going to use that as an Evergreen webinar to sell our course as an affiliate. 

And we’ve also got a second, a live webinar happening tomorrow with another partner that I reached out to, which is a lesson in itself in terms of just staying in touch with somebody because we had worked together before. And I just made it an effort to continually reach out to this person every three months and then say, “Hey, I think it would be good for us to work together.” 

And we jumped on a call a couple of weeks ago and sort of, it all lined up. And she said, “Yup. I definitely want to have some kind of collaboration between us.” And then, that’s led to this webinar happening tomorrow for her audience, which is really cool. And then, the final one sort of wins is…

Michael Wark

That is cool.

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Yes. And the final one, just like I wanted to set up an automated webinar, which is now up and running and in promotion mode. So that’s going to be; the website is BeanNinjas.com/Masterclass

And if anyone wants to check that out, that’s basically an automated webinar that we’re using to educate people on how to set up their sort of Xero system and how that helps them to build financial freedom. And we’ve been getting already six signups for that. So I’m quite excited about that result.

Michael Wark:

Well done, mate. Congrats.

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Cheers. And so, Michael, you mentioned internet was definitely a challenge for you. But would you share a bit more about was there anything else that was a hitch for you? You talked about live or editing videos and things like that. What came up for you? 

Michael Wark:

I guess with the landing page; that was my big hitch, which is making sure I’ve got over the video and edited succinctly for our landing page instead of having old system manual update. And then of course, [Inaudible 00:06:20] the implementation.

And also, yeah, the internet, which has pivoted what I’m going to be doing whilst I’m on this trip. So I’m going to try and pivot into doing a little bit more stuff on, I brought a few books. So it’s going to be more of a personal development trip and working on myself a bit more rather than having to rely on internet, which we do a lot these days.

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

I mean, that’s a great direction for you, I think, and something that, us, being business owners and entrepreneurs, we come across these roadblocks along the way. And it is, like you say, how do you pivot to get with that, right? And how do you not try and struggle and try to force something to happen? 

And this is going to be one of the challenges that I face as well this week. So for me, basically, we have, based on the campaigns that we put together over the last month, we’ve currently got 102 leads in Drip for this course that we’re selling. But we haven’t generated any sales yet, right?

And so, I was starting to freak out a few days ago and just go, “Okay, what the hell is going on?” And it just came down to, well; you can’t force someone to buy something. You have to actually have conversations and understand what the challenges are and make sure that your solution meets those specific challenges, right? 

And so, it sort of reminded me to focus on that and that this is a learning process and it’s not about, “Hey. If you don’t get the result that you want that it’s a complete failure,” because it’s not.

Michael Wark:

No. Not at all, not at all. It’s a learning process. That’s why we’re recording this to document our learnings.

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

That’s right. So, Mike, what’s been a sort of a key lesson for you this week?

Michael Wark:

Well, it’s actually the power of partnerships. So I have a few potential blueprint sessions lined up but I haven’t answered yet because we haven’t deal but it will potentially lead to a whole bunch of new work for Profit First and for helping of someone’s client base with implementation. So that’s over 15 people at once.

So that’s something that’s really exciting if it goes through and I think that’s something that we’re going to try and leverage people moving forward, which is getting in touch with partners who have an audience that could really use our help.

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

That’s really cool. So maybe without sharing specific details, how did you find that partner? What was the action that you took to get there?

Michael Wark:

So I’ve been working together with Meryl on a bunch of our current clients who might be a good fit and we’ve been emailing them out. We’ve sent a little bit of background about the new business and also what it sells. And that was a result of our existing Bean Ninjas network, which is really cool, which is also a testament to why you and I have launched these with Meryl and with Bean Ninjas and Wayne. So it’s nice being a family. 

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Love it. Cool. Yeah, there is definitely a power in leveraging existing relationships and giving introductions that way. That’s really cool. 

So for me, my sort of key learning comes back to really a conversation I had with Meryl around product-market fit. And you can’t assume; we spoke about this in the last episode, but Bean Ninjas has spent, in the last five years, building that product-market fit and getting clear on what it does and who it serves.

And now, we’re launching two different products, what you’re working on and what I’m working on. And it’s almost like you’re starting that process again. Even though this is an established brand, what we’re doing with Bean Ninjas education is a little different in terms of what the product offering is and these courses, right? 

So based on some of the sales calls that Meryl has been having as well as conversations I’ve been having with potential partners, we’re seeing a bit of a disconnect between the title of the course that we’re selling. 

So we’re calling it How To Do Your Bookkeeping in Xero and the perception from different people and what that actually means. And so, we agree to being into what’s the actual pain point we’re solving with the course and how does it match what the audience is actually feeling? 

What we’re seeing or what we have observed so far is that the second course that we’re launching, which is coming up in June, which is Know Your Numbers seems to resonate far better with most people because it’s solving a specific pain point around them not knowing their numbers and one thing to know their numbers, right?

And so now, we’re looking at how do we better position this particular course because you can’t, as you know, Mike, you can’t do the Know Your Numbers Course if you don’t have your system, your financial systems set up properly. And so, it’s almost like we have to sell the second course first but bring the first course in as a prerequisite in some way. Does that make sense?

Michael Wark:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And I think it has an audience and it’s very relevant. It’s just about what the name is and how you tell people what it sells for. Like definitely, I still think there’s a huge value in that first course. It’s just, yeah, you’ve got to crawl before you can walk. And I think it’s just a matter of educating that audience. But yeah, I think we’ll find it eventually. I guess it’s just exploring how we do that. 

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Yeah. I imagine you’re going through a similar experience with the blueprints and the Profit First. I mean, you’ve done well with our brand. That’s out there, the books are out there and these Profit First professional is being certified and all these sort of things. So when people hear the name, they kind of know what it is in some degree, but I think there’s still some education involved in what’s the actual product or service that you’re selling. Is that right?

Michael Wark:

Yeah. It’s definitely brand recognition. It’s a bestselling book and that’s part of the reason. I mean, we have clients asking for this, which is part of why we’re helping people with it. But back to your point, like I can’t really do a high-quality implementation for someone unless they have the basics, their Xero file up-to-date, which is the first course. 

So that is the first starting point with pretty much any work with this is having that stuff nailed. So yeah, that’s why I think it’s so massively important to get that first course out and help people with it because for me, I’ll do what I do and for the rest, if it starts to work, that’s really important that’s in place.

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

That’s interesting. Yeah. It’s like that whole you know what people need but it’s not what in their minds what they want, right? So we’re going to work out how do we breach the two. 

Michael Wark:

Exactly. Exactly.

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Alright. Cool. Well, let’s wrap this one up, Mike. What are you working on next week? What are one or two things that you’re, you mentioned, sort of personal development. So what are a couple of things you might be working on?

Michael Wark:

So my goals are, yeah, I’m going to finish the three books that I brought out here for sure. One is based on chief operating officer, one based on the chief financial officer and then a book around advisory. So I’ve got three useful books for me to get through in the next two weeks.

I want to create a series of videos for LinkedIn whilst I’m here, so try and leverage offline work. So I created content about some of the cool [Inaudible 00:13:18] and then put them on LinkedIn when I’m back. As well as continuing the partner outreach because I can still send emails occasionally. And improve the blueprint sessions that I’ll be delivering into a [Inaudible 00:13:22]. So try and make that a really high-quality product. 

What about yourself, mate?

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Very cool. Alright. So for me, I’m heads down sales, sales, sales mode. So a few things related to that, the first one is getting more people on to the webinar, which is an educational webinar and with an offer – really good offer, actually, at the end of that. 

The second one is to get more people to watch our three-part video series. It’s very high quality. We’ve put a lot of effort into creating those but it doesn’t really work if no one watches them. So that’s the second one. The third one is to do direct email offers to specific people that we know might be interested in the course. 

And the last one is we are working on getting an Evergreen webinar up and running and that’s something that we can give to our partners. And it’s an easier sell for partners because they don’t want to have; the feedback has been they don’t really want to have live webinars. They would prefer to just have something like Evergreen that they can send people to. So those are my four.

Michael Wark:

Sounds like you’ll be busy. 

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Absolutely. And the other thing is this week, I’m off for two days attending Superfast Business Live at a conference here in Sydney. So I have to line all these things up and make sure the engine is moving whilst I’m sitting in a conference room for two days and learning just like you. 

Michael Wark:

That would be awesome. I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes in the next podcast.

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

We’ll let you know. Alright. Well, that’s it. We’ll wrap it up here, guys. Make sure you tune in and subscribe if you want to learn more. If you have any tips for Mike or myself for any of the challenges that we’re facing, we’d love to hear it. But otherwise, I’m definitely enjoying this process. How about you, Michael?

Michael Wark:

It’s making me accountable and I’m also speaking to you because we’re on the same path. So yeah, I’m really enjoying it. 

Anfernee Chansamooth: 

Cool. Alright. Well, tune in next week and we’ll be back with Episode 3 of 5. I will see you then. Thanks, Michael. 

Michael Wark:

Thanks, mate. Bye. 

Meryl Johnston:

Thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of the Bean Ninjas Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to hit subscribe to receive notifications of upcoming episodes. 

Wayne Richard:

We also want to give you a little thank you gift for supporting us. You can grab our free Xero Toolkit for Small Businesses. This includes our step-by-step guide to get in your Xero file in order, a cash flow forecast template to help you plan for the ups and downs in your monthly cash flow and a bookkeeping timetable template to help you stay on top of your finances and get current report. 

Simply go to BeanNinjas.com/XeroToolkit, enter your email and we’ll send it over to you. That’s BeanNinjas.com/XeroToolkit to grab your free gift. 

Meryl Johnston:

Thanks again for listening. 

 

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