Today we wanted to talk about production and what that can mean. The biggest challenge here is that the term “producer” is a bit of a catch-all. We could bore you with the various exploits that our team wrestles with everyday.
I hate to see employees leave our portfolio companies for many reasons, among them the loss of continuity and camaraderie and the knowledge of how hard everyone will have to work to replace them. Many people see churn of employees in and out of companies as a given and build a recruiting machine to deal with this reality. While building a recruiting machine is necessary in any case, I prefer to see our portfolio companies focus on building retention into their mission and culture and reducing churn as much as humanly possible.
There isn't one secret method to retain employees but there are a few things that make a big difference.
Lists of three are an old trick of effective persuasion. They distill any message into key takeaways. These lists work because most people can remember three things, and three of anything sufficiently provides proof of a pattern. Next time you need to deliver an important message, divide it into three parts. You can openly announce your three-part list, as in “There are three things we need to do to get our bottom line back into the black,” or they can be more subtle, as in “We have the best product on the market. We have the best team. Yet we did not make the sales target.”
Every SaaS business must to decide how to charge for the service. Pricing plans are some of the most difficult decisions to make. Equally important to the price is determining the point at which the customer pays – the conversion point.
There are a few different models that seem to work: up front payment, freemium, limited free trials, money back guarantee. Picking the right one depends on a number of different factors. Below is a table that summarizes what I’ve seen work at various companies.
Do you wonder where your co-workers picked up all the ridiculous things they say? From fresh-faced interns to top management, everyone drops one of these gems occasionally. We can only hope that you're not here to actually add these buzzwords to your vocabulary.
The most common technique of mastering how to talk about your business is called an elevator pitch. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, here’s where it basically comes from:
Imagine you were on vacation or downtown and you met a potential investor, client, business partner, etc. on an elevator ride. You’d only have a few floors (a matter of 30-60 seconds) to explain your company, make an impression, leave them with a call to action, and hand them a business card. In the business world, they teach you to always have an elevator pitch ready.
Pricing shouldn’t be used to extract the maximum value from every transaction. Customers can feel the squeeze from these practices and may even lash out. Instead, create shared value with customers by using the following pricing principles: Focus on relationships, not transactions. Use pricing to communicate that you value your customers as people, not as wallets. Put a premium on flexibility. Resist the urge to set rigid prices. There is no “right” price. Instead, design pricing so it can change in response to shifting consumer needs. Be fair. Make sure your prices meet customers’ expectations and that the pricing process is clear. Be transparent about the rationale behind your prices.
To win, you don’t have to be the first to market, just make the best product that meets the needs of your customers. Here are seven ways to stand out, whether you’re pre-launch or recently raised a Series A.
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