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Grow A Small Business Podcast

Feb 2, 2020

Above a little cafe in Hobart in 2015 James and one of his brothers spent a year testing and arguing about business ideas to pursue. Biteable was one of the first they thought of but being analytical, they wanted to exhaust the list before circling back and getting serious. Six months into it they brought on the third co-founder, a good friend, and raised $1.1m investment.

A genuine SaaS (Software as a Service) business, Biteable allows people to create videos for ads, presentations and training on websites. Using a Freemium subscription model, paid plans start at $29 USD a month.

This cast covers:

  • From 10,000 customers to now 5 million in 5 years;
  • Doubled customers every year;
  • Have raised $3.4m AUD investment to date, all from Australia and now talking with US investors;
  • James worked for and BigCommerce, where he learnt will need capital to grow something large;
  • Went with their hunch in 2015 that video was going to grow massively, tested many ideas and models before settling on Biteable;
  • As the business grows roles change, need to keep ego in-check (yours and your co-founders);
  • Org structure and job descriptions are super-important in fast-growth;
  • Moved the three founders at the top of the org chart sharing day-to-day responsibility, to James being CEO and solely responsible to the Board for the performance of the business;
  • Fundraising has been interesting, get honest feedback from potential investors then go back and fix those parts of the business for 6 months and back;
  • Worked with a good mentor for two years who co-founded BigCommerce, he was able to help James change his perspective on what he can do;
  • Had to work most on leadership and people stuff, but also had the most impact;
  • Habit he recommends building as the leader is giving candid, direct feedback early and often;
  • Most people don’t want to give feedback because it may hurt the receivers’ feelings, but most people want feedback and are very receptive;
  • Hardest thing in business is navigating the uncertainty. Need to get comfortable with that and let go of opportunities a lot sooner;
  • Number one tool to grow your business is Google AdWords. Set up first ad, went to bed and had 200 sales the next morning; and
  • Would tell himself on day one is - all you are doing is solving a customers’ problems, so the only thing that matters is the customer.

Music from "Cold Funk" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (