Stefan Debois is the Founder and CEO of Pointerpro, an assessment software platform that helps professional services companies to automate their advisory processes. Stefan is passionate about the use of technology to build professional relationships with people, at scale.
Before founding Pointerpro, Stefan worked for 15 years in several consulting companies as a consultant, project manager, and account manager.
Stefan has contributed to Entrepreneur, Capterra, CrazyEgg…mainly in the areas of entrepreneurship and digital marketing. In addition, he founded the Facebook group “B2B Bloggers Boost Group”, where top-tier B2B bloggers help each other to create content and get mentioned.
What you will learn
- The journey that led Stefan into consulting
- The type of consulting Pointerpro offers as their main service
- How Stefan went from working in a big company to starting a software side hustle
- How Stefan’s curiosity playing with technology inspired him to create more software
- Stefan unpacks the marketing strategies for Pointerpro (some great tips here!)
- Discover effective strategies to reduce churn rate
- Learn the data collection challenges SaaS companies face
- Discover the universal business challenges all entrepreneurs face
- Find out exactly how many years it takes to become an overnight success
- Plus loads more!
00:00:01 - 00:01:41
Hi everyone and welcome to The Jeff Bullas Show. Today I have with me, Stefan Debois. Stefan is from a company called Pointerpro. Now, he's the Founder and CEO and they provide an assessment software platform that helps professional services companies to automate their advisory processes. Stefan is passionate about the use of technology to build professional relationships with people at scale.
Before founding Pointerpro, Stefan worked for 15 years in several consulting companies as a consultant, project manager, and account manager. Stefan has contributed to Entrepreneur, Capterra, CrazyEgg,… mainly in the areas of entrepreneurship and digital marketing. In addition, he founded the Facebook group “B2B Bloggers Boost Group”, where top-tier B2B bloggers help each other to create content and get mentioned.
Besides kitesurfing and cycling, Stefan is passionate about the use of technology to build professional relationships with people, at scale
He is married and has three kids. He lives in Antwerp, Belgium in Europe. Here are some of the highlights. He founded the Facebook group that you mentioned with 1.8k members. The other thing I'm very fascinated though is he climbed Mount Ventoux in 1 hour 30 minutes and we might talk a little bit more about that and I'm sure I've got the pronunciation a little bit incorrect and he enjoys kite surfing. In fact he's measured how far he can jump 7.7m and he loves cycling and guess what, I love cycling too.
Stefan, welcome to the show.
00:01:42 - 00:01:44
Thank you, Jeff.
00:01:45 - 00:01:55
So you climbed Mount Ventoux in 1 hour 30 minutes. Now, tell me how to pronounce that correctly. I'm completely stuffed it up, I'm sure.
00:01:56 - 00:02:06
It's called Mount Ventoux, it was not too far away from it, I think. So it's a mountain in France which is often part of the Tour de France.
00:02:05 - 00:02:50
Okay, well I'm just going to let you know that I've actually climbed on a bike with no electric motor or anything. It was bloody tough as I say in Australia. [Inaudible] on the Tour de France quite regularly and it's about 14 kilometers of switchbacks at about 11 to 12% gradient the entire way. So I was just absolutely buggered by the time I got to the top but it was a great experience though. So you love cycling and you love kitesurfing. Now, kitesurfing in Europe, wouldn't you have to leave Europe to go kitesurfing when it's nice and warm, frankly, it must be a bit cold sometimes.
00:02:51 - 00:03:20
Yeah, in summer it's okay. Winter, it's pretty cold but okay I mean there's quite some wind here in the North Sea in Belgium so we like doing it in summer and then of course if you can go to another country, so I recently went to Morocco, just south of Morocco, where really ideal conditions always winds sunny, like a nice nice sea so that's really perfect.
00:03:21 - 00:04:08
Yeah. I really get fascinated by people that love surfing in countries where it's really cold or going to places doing things like kitesurfing when it's freezing. We're very lucky in Australia, we actually have some very warm water and weather here, generally, even all year round so I'm grateful I'm not a surfer but I do love cycling.
So now Stefan, you worked as a consultant for companies. Now tell us a bit about it because there's a lot of people on the show listening because they already have skills and expertise and they want to share that with the world and get paid for those skills. So how did you get into consulting? How did that happen?
00:04:09 - 00:05:19
So in consulting after my studies in engineering as educational backgrounds after my studies, I'd like to do something more broader than just like mechanical engineering. And yeah, consulting was good opportunity because it allowed me to be in contact with different clients, different projects, also to go approach if you're young, it's a nice opportunity I mean not you also so I'm kind of glad that I did it and yeah it's a combination of always a combination of of software or like digital tools and an automation that has fascinated me in consulting just large scale tools like SAP or Oracle that we had to implement in big companies and then afterwards with my own company. It's a smaller scale digital tool but which also has a great impact on the companies we work with.
00:05:20 - 00:05:33
So what exactly what sort of consulting were you offering, like how to grow businesses, how to be more efficient, what was the exact area of consultation that you offered as a service?
00:05:34 - 00:06:24
So when I was at those large companies like PWC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and some others, we did large scale ERP implementations like for example, SAP is the main player there and Oracle is the US competitor from SAP and we implemented those systems. There are also large multinational companies like Atlas Copco or Nestle and those were really multi year projects which often had teams of 10, sometimes hundreds of people, so large scale projects to really redo the full operations and back office systems from these companies. Quite complex undertakings.
00:06:25 - 00:06:50
So along the way you've got a little bit frustrated with the processes and you realize that you may be needed to change things. So when did you get the inspiration to go out on your own? You're like you're working for the big company, safe job, getting paid well, obviously. So did you start as a side hustle or you just went I'm just gonna be a consultant to start my own business?
00:06:51 - 00:07:57
Yeah, I started a side hustle. Not consulting but like to create software with my background in engineering. I had some of those skills although I had to refresh them because technology moves quite quickly. I decided to do a side hustle but then it was just like a quiz app and that was more like yeah non paying initiative just to get me familiar with the technology and to also put it on the market as a free tool. It was called Tablet Quiz because it was like for the iPads and tablets, it was like at the beginning when the ipads just launched. And it was pretty popular while the free version even companies in the US and larger players started to use it for HR events and stuff like that. And then it came the idea to further evolve towards surveys. So from quizzes to surveys and then also to assessments in a later stage.
00:07:58 - 00:08:21
So where did the inspiration for the idea to do the quiz initially come from? Was it over a few beers in Belgium? Where did the idea for the quiz come from? Did you see someone doing it and saying I can do it better? You see that the problem need to be solved. What was the inspiration for starting that quiz software as a side hustle?
00:08:22 - 00:10:05
The quiz software was just an application that I wanted to do just to get me familiar with technology. So the first application of the quiz was like a quiz on my daughter's birthday so nothing like not a major business ID but okay I mean it was like on the ipad with videos and audio and so really entertaining. And then we switched to more business-use like surveys but also made the surveys entertaining which back in the day most survey tools were more research based and data focused on data collection and not so much on the respondents experience. So we tried to enter or to include desertification interactivity and with the ultimate goal to collect more and better data, of course. So that was the initial goal and back then it was called serve any place and then afterwards we renamed it the point of all when we switched to the assessments. So the difference between the survey and the assessment is that the survey is just data collection and with assessments we use the data to give personalized advice. And then only then in fact the ID came to automate the advice process for consultants because that was really something that I had seen previously in my consulting career. That first there was a need and secondly there were no decent digital tools to cover that but that was only later, that was only the beginning of 2019 that we made that switch. Basically before it was just data collection with the surveys and now with assessments if you have to say it in two words, it's advice automation
00:10:06 - 00:10:26
Right. And there were some challenges along the way and one of them was time to get results. So in other words when you're a consultant you're basically saying this is what you should do and then the client gets frustrated because it takes time to get the results they need, isn't it? So there's a term for that which you use which I thought was rather good.
00:10:27 - 00:11:54
Yeah we call it the time to business value and that's the time between the moment that the consultant starts basically and the moment that the first business value is delivered. In general clients, complain or I think that this time is too long and anything that can shorten that time is of course beneficial. So visitization and then more specifically our tool can help by achieving that. The initial phase of a project in consulting the axis or the diagnostics or I mean you have different names for it but back when I was in consulting sometimes it took like months to check what the actual situation is, that the client himself doesn't have any benefits of that. So if you can put that in a questionnaire because it's always the same information that has to be retrieved, the questionnaire for the data collection but then also if you can give some of the basic advice already automatically in a report then everything can be automated until that's personalized advice reports and then the next step would then be a discussion with a consultant about that advice report and then the discussion can be about how to implement the advice and not just about what is the situation.
00:11:55 - 00:12:30
So you're initially intrigued by the ability of technology to help you scale advice as a human, as in business advice. So what sort of frameworks are used because I suppose the biggest challenge as a consultant is discovery which you just mentioned in terms of where is the client, what's going on and that means you need to dig deeper. So you have a set procedure or a set number of questions that do that.
00:12:31 - 00:14:13
Yeah, exactly, of course. It depends on which domain you're in as a consultant will be different, for a cybersecurity consultant or for a financial consultant, for example. But the basic idea is to have like a model, a business model or maturity model of your client's business and if you are an experienced consultants but I always say you always have it, that model, you have it maybe implicitly in your head or you have it written down on paper or in a document electronically. It's a model where you say okay let's say cyber security, you're at level one. so you barely have antivirus on your PCs so to say, then you're at level five and that's the level where the most sophistication is present. And then your job as a consultant is to bring the client from level one to level five. I mean that's a bit simplified but it comes down to that and then when a new prospect comes on board and you can immediately with the questionnaire say okay you're level two and these are things that you have to do to go to the next level and here is how I can help you with that and then you can start the projects. So the first thing is to have a model and it's independent of our tool or any tool just having a model, having it on paper is better than having nothing. But then having a digital tool like ours is of course then the next step and then the digital tool can do the work or part of the work that you otherwise do manually.
00:14:14 - 00:15:03
Well that's very cool and I totally agree with you, like consultants have intrinsic skills which are in their brain. So what you're trying to do is get out of their brain into it and then the next step is in the paper. But of course, that's difficult. A lot of writers in the past, for example, used to write on paper. The trouble is to go and edit it is just as painful and slow and laborious.
So do you specialize in a particular industry or industries? Is that what the tool is set up for? Because like you said, cybersecurity versus something else could be completely different. So can the tool be applied across the board in terms of knowledge industries or companies or do you focus on just one industry?
00:15:04 - 00:16:40
No, it's a different industry. I mean it's always professional services even sometimes it's also like all the industries but then those companies like an HR H departments in a big financial services companies is like also an internal consultant. So mostly it's consultant and professional services can be in every domain, can be in cyber security in legal. In finance, for example, we have a very nice application which may be interesting for your listeners to look at. The website is freefinancialplan.com. It's a guy who was like a US guy who was an ex private banker. I don't know exactly which bank but he quit his job and he created a tool that is basically financial assessments where you have to enter your assets, your income and some more financial information. And then it gives you personalized financial reports about what you have to invest in and what you have to do. And then those links or those advice which is in the report links to different service providers that he's affiliated with. So that's the way also, which advice you have to give to which clients and in terms of financial advice. He has taken it out of his head and put it in a tool and now the tool can do the work for him which is of course beneficial.
00:16:41 - 00:16:51
So is that one of your affiliated companies? Is that what you're saying? Or is that just an example of getting something out of your head and creating a framework?
00:16:52 - 00:17:15
Yeah that's just an example. That's just one of our customers, normal customers. But he's using the affiliate model of course to get paid or to monetize the assessment because the links that goes with the advice in the advice reports are going to companies that he's affiliated with.
00:17:16 - 00:17:32
Right. So I'm just trying to understand that particular thing, in terms of, is he using your tool framework to create that, Is that what he did or?
00:17:33 - 00:17:46
Yeah, the assessment and reports that result from it is made with our tool but of course the expertise that he has put in like which questions to ask and which advice to give. That's coming from him, of course.
00:17:47 - 00:17:55
So you've got a range of different sort of tools from quizzes to servers. What are the different tools you have that you've created?
00:17:56 - 00:19:45
It's always three components. First, the questionnaire, so to ask like the data and to ask a question that's comparable to other survey tools for example in financial assessment, this could be like a simple question like do you want to take a lot of risk or not? A lot of risks with your investment? Okay. Then you have the calculation engine, it takes the answers to the questions and it calculates like an index or categorization for example, it's a financial question that could be a risk index for example, zero, if you want to take no risk. And one of those, if you want to take a lot of risk for example. And then the third component is the report building. It takes the result of the calculation and converts it into personalized advice. For example, you could say if the risk is between 0 and 50 then you have to invest or you have to give the advice to invest in bond markets. And if the advice is between 50 and then you advise to invest in the stock market because that's higher risk. I mean that's very simple but can be more complex but as the report builder is also, of course, it's not only the report building report for the advice. So the report also contains advice but it can also be branded according to the customer logo and colors and stuff like that.
00:19:46 - 00:20:00
Right, Okay. I'm just looking at a website here a little bit, in terms of, so you've got assessment software survey maker, quiz maker, test maker.
00:20:01 - 00:20:41
Yeah, all these things like I mean that's perhaps also useful for your audience. We made landing pages for every possible use case because we want to have organic traffic. And like use cases like for quiz maker or maturity assessments or different other use cases. We make dedicated pages for those so that when people hit maturity assessment in Google, we can rank high for that term because that's a typical application of our tool and that is proven to be very very beneficial for us.
00:20:42 - 00:20:45
Okay, you use artificial intelligence and machine learning as part of what you're doing as well?
00:20:46 - 00:21:56
Not yet. Not yet because we say we want to first be a champion or be the best in like transferring human intelligence. So no artificial intelligence. Just plain old fashioned human intelligence to put it easily in our tool. So that a human without technical knowledge can put his or her intelligence easily in our tool and that's already a big challenge to be solved that we have to solve first before we are going to artificial intelligence I think. And there's like a lot of work to do there already, even without artificial intelligence, I'm not saying that artificial intelligence school could not be beneficial in the future. But first, I mean there's still a lot of intelligence or like human expertise in the heads of consultants and other professionals that can be put in a digital tool and having to have the digits to do part of the work basically.
00:21:57 - 00:22:25
So you started this business from an idea you just wanted to learn about technology because you think it was being underutilized in the professional services consulting area and you did that for your daughter's birthday I think you said originally. And then you said well this could be applied to business. So it really more started about you being quite curious, is that correct?
00:22:26 - 00:22:29
Yeah, correct. I was just exploring different possibilities.
00:22:30 - 00:22:59
Yeah. So then you acted on that curiosity and started playing with technology and seeing where that took you which is great. In other words, you learned from doing, you weren't a technology specialist, you weren't a software developer. So how did you learn about this? In other words, did you work with someone else as a co-founder? How did you learn, did you get someone else to help you?
00:23:00 - 00:24:20
Yeah, for the technology parts, I have a background in engineering so that helps. I had to refresh my knowledge, of course, because it evolves in all these years. But that went pretty well because there's a lot of online information available. There's a lot of open source resources that are really free and that are easily accessible. So that's pretty easy would not say easy to do, but you just have to invest the time, of course. But it's certainly very possible to do. And then on the other hand, we had the more the commercial part of the marketing part. So the marketing part I started to learn myself because I'm interested in that and there's also in digital marketing, there's a lot of overlap between technology and the actual marketing and more commercial sites. I was attracted to co-founder Mark very early like a couple of months after we started. And then yeah he and I are a good complementary team where he is doing like sales, customer service and then I'm doing marketing and products so that's good.
00:24:21 - 00:24:33
Okay so number one, you continue to develop technology. In other words, you are trying to continue to invest in the technology itself, is that correct?
00:24:34 - 00:24:34
00:24:35 - 00:24:45
Okay. So it gets better and smarter and helps you scale. So how do you what's your strategies for marketing? How do you do that?
00:24:46 - 00:27:07
Yeah. So marketing in the very beginning, you rely on your network to have to collect some larger logos that you can use to go for other customers. But I think I would advise to start with your network for sure. But then try to go beyond your network pretty soon because real satisfaction still comes when you have a customer from, for example, the other side of the world that doesn't know you but just buys your product because of the product. And it's also very much more scalable, of course. And to achieve that we invested in like inbound marketing. So in the beginning it was SEO and search engine optimization and marketing. But the golden marketing was really a function of the SEO like landing pages that I mentioned. So we did that and and also in combination with blogging and link building like Facebook group where we exchange content. So you write a blog for me, I read a blog for you. You mentioned me but of course in a natural way not in a spammy way. So that is given a boost or organic traffic. And then when we started with the assessments in 2019, we also added page traffic to Google ads and also some others like being it's expensive but you have to try it and if it works then yeah it can be beneficial in terms of unit economics. So you get more money out and then you put in. But for us it's also not very scalable. I mean there's also so many search queries for assessment software and some similar search terms per month in the world. And yeah, if you go beyond you get and you have suboptimal search terms and you have bad return on investment. So it's not really scalable but it I mean it is what it is and it's good to have it if you can make it profitable basically the adwords.
00:27:08 - 00:27:26
So you've created essentially software and you are now selling it as software as a service because I noticed that you've got an essential Pointerpro and you've got professional Pointerpro and that's what we call software as a SaaS product, is that correct?
00:27:27 - 00:28:09
Yeah it's a software service product. So if you look at the pricing page, you have the sell service plans. That means that people can sign up and like a 7-day free trial and then afterwards if they like it, they can pay the subscription with just credit cards and that's a recurring subscription. And then you also have the self serving, the self service plans report and enterprise or reporters with your automatic advisory reports and then you have to first contact the sales team. They will give them more and then it's similar, so you can have a 7-day free trial and then you can decide whether or not you buy the product.
00:28:10 - 00:28:20
Right. So one of the challenges with the subscription services is churn. In other words, you need to make sure that people remain loyal. What are some of your strategies to stop people churning?
00:28:21 - 00:29:37
Yeah, we first have like the customer success person so we have also made the onboarding for the report of plan for the flagship products we make many that is done by the customer success person and then the customer success person reaches out on a regular basis to check how it's going, whether basically you you want to ensure that the benefits, the intended benefits are chiefs with our tool, that the tool is actually actively used. And that's the task of this customer success person, so that's a very important strategy. And on the other hand, we also like the product itself. We tried to make it more user friendly. Let's say we recently introduced a dragon drop report builder instead of the old report building which was less user friendly. So we constantly evolve the product. So that stickiness is improved and people will like the thresholds become less high to use it. And it's also something that is beneficial for lowering the churn.
00:29:38 - 00:29:47
Right. And I would say that part of the reason you started a Facebook group is to basically create loyalty through creating community. Is that correct?
00:29:48 - 00:30:46
Yeah. But the facebook group is not so much about our customers who are in the Facebook group. That is something that we don't have yet. The Facebook group is really a Facebook group of content marketers who write about various B2B things and that's okay that you write a blog about 10 ways to generate leads on your website. And I have an assessment tool and the assessment tool can also be one possibility and ID to get more leads on the website, to put an assessment on your website with an email capture behind it. That could be then one of the one of the contributions that I give to your article and next time I write an article and you give a contribution to me and so on. So that's how the Facebook group works.
00:30:47 - 00:31:22
So one of the most important things with the digital business and online business is you need to be able to work out what works and what doesn't, in other words, you need essentially like a dashboard to tell you what's how many impressions that I get from organic. How many leads did I get? How many people signed up and how many sales did I get? And then what's the lifetime value? So in other words, how do you find that challenge of getting the data? You need to make the right decisions on what you're investing in your marketing.
00:31:23 - 00:33:46
Yeah. We use a combination of tools there. We think it's important to have the end to end visibility of which channel that customer used to get in touch with us. So we use a combination of Google Analytics and then also Hubspot. And we have also profit well for the more financial metrics we try. There's also a manual, some manual, there's a Google Sheet in between also where we just list all the prospects, so it's not like 100% automated, I would say. But it does the job and we can see for each customer and also prospects that finally do not become a customer. We can see especially the channel whether it came by organic or Google Adwords like which campaign and also especially the cost of elite for certain campaigns, if it becomes too high, we have to stop the campaign or to optimize it. And that is very important because Google actually spends around 25k per month. And if you make some issue, for example, for some keywords, you make it to both and it I mean you immediately have 5-10k extra per month, I mean, so it's very important to keep an eye on it for the organic traffic is a bit more difficult to measure. Well, it gets often attributed to the homepage also, whether when it's probably not the homepage or people have come from another device and then it comes like an organic chart or branded search to the homepage is always something that means that the original search or the original touch point was somewhere else that you cannot track. So it's a bit more difficult. But it's not because it's difficult that you don't have to invest in it. I think then you have to take the aggregated data and look at it and see if it's like a positive return on investment and I think you have to continue to invest in it.
00:33:45 - 00:34:13
And because if you know what the lifetime value of the customer is and let's say it's you know $1000 and it costs you $200 to acquire that customer and then you have to look at churn on top of that as well to make sure that. So lifetime value is basically they're gonna spend $1000 with you over time. So if you spend more than $1,000 to acquire a customer of course then you're losing money, aren't you?
00:34:14 - 00:34:56
Yeah because it's more like for the higher level plants, it's more like in the range of $6000 lifetime value. But the acquisition costs are also much higher. The lead cost is like about 300. But then the acquisition cost is like 2000 or 3000. So we're still figuring it out that that's for the pay traffic for the organic traffic. It's a bit more difficult to calculate or you have more. I mean you have to take down everything that you spend in content, marketing and divide by the number of leads. So it's a bit more difficult. But yeah I mean overall we get like a positive return on investment.
00:34:57 - 00:35:19
So that raises the next question. So what are your target customers? Because you've got a few, haven't you? You've got different landing pages. So can you summarize what is your best or ideal customer or customers?
00:35:20 - 00:36:15
Yeah, the best customers midsize professional service companies like between 50 and 500 employees and that have one specialization that ideally already have a business model or even an assessment that are doing it with suboptimal IT tools. So we often call it duck tape IT. Because they do, for example, the user Google forms or survey tool to collect the data then they export it into Excel to calculate some things and then the result of the accelerator. But in a Word file that they have been saved to pdf. And that's in the reports. I mean it's like a semi automatic process and they have many transactions that this process begins to be very time consuming. And they're looking for something more professional and that's the ideal client basically.
00:36:16 - 00:36:19
In other words, the services company that operates in a vertical.
00:36:20 - 00:37:06
Yeah. Yeah in long verticals and again we don't really have a preference for vertical. It's all kinds of domains but it's important that they already like certain digital maturity and they already like this business model if you have to convince them to create a business model and then of course they are further ahead. I mean we also have to do it. I mean like writing articles on how you convert the expertise into a business model, we also have that. But the ideal customer is really someone who is a little bit further who has already automated some of the things with suboptimal tools and is now looking at professionalizing further and using a decent software tool to even become more professional.
00:37:07 - 00:37:31
Very interesting. So in terms of, what are some of the biggest challenges you've had since you started Pointerpro, what are some of the biggest challenges you had that you may be lost sleep at night that create a bit of stress. What are some of those business challenges as an entrepreneur that you've come up against?
00:37:32 - 00:40:43
In the beginning when we just started out, I mean, when you come from a big company, basically in a big company, don't underestimate the brand power from like a PWW or these kind of companies and then you start out nobody knows you so really getting the word out, getting prospects, getting customers. That was in the beginning a big challenge. Especially in the beginning you have the network but then you have to go beyond the network because otherwise you cannot scale your business. So that's a really big challenge. Then afterwards, like with the survey before we had the assessments, we were not really differentiated enough versus the other hand survey tools. And it's a code of space. So our codes were really slow. And then the challenge was to find a niche to go quicker like a smaller niche but something that would make us more unique. And it took us quite some time. We sometimes had some issues that we thought that were good niches. But then after a while we found out it was just a dead end. So we lost some time. So it took us until 2019 then to find the right niche with these personalized assessment reports which was also not like a bright idea. So it just came from our customers who asked over and over to have these reports and then we developed it using all the tools and connecting connectors like a savior. But then if you have done it a couple of times then you see that there is a need in the market and we said like why not do it on, why not create a tool for that, which we did and then we actually product market fit. And then it starts to go faster and now the main challenges, as I said, we have like the inbound marketing but like the lead generation is plateauing a bit and we have to find new channels to go further and one important new channel is like this top of funnel marketing planning, we want to be less dependent on Google. We want both organic and paid advertising, we wanted our target audience and know us before they need us basically. So which is easier said than done, but which can be achieved with thought leadership, content, marketing, but not about the products, but about higher level subjects like digitalization of professional service, scaling of professional services. We have to be a really top leader in that space. And then people afterwards at certain points, they come to realize that they need to like ours and we will be first on the list.
00:40:44 - 00:40:53
So your biggest challenge, tell me if I'm right or wrong on this, but the biggest challenge is actually working out where the best niche for you was.
00:40:54 - 00:40:55
00:40:56 - 00:41:11
So let me ask the next question then that raises a very important challenge and how long did it take you to be an overnight success?
00:41:12 - 00:42:13
Between finding the niche, between starting and finding a niche for seven years. So it's pretty long. It's too long. But I would give as advice there is, I mean if you know it on beforehand, like what was ultimately going to be the perfect niche then of course you could have shortened the time, but you never know. So the thing to do there is if I would start again, is to like to evaluate faster whether something is worth pursuing or not because sometimes it took us six months or eight months to see that we are like in a dead end and that this is not the thing that will be product market fit and give us the goals we want. So I would do that faster, you know, by iterating faster by testing faster and that's something that I would do differently if I would do it again.
00:42:14 - 00:42:22
So what you're saying is iterate faster but also make sure you're measuring well. So you know what works and what doesn't faster, is that correct?
00:42:23 - 00:42:37
Yeah and based yourself on the numbers and not too much on emotion because sometimes you have invested a lot of time and money in something so that you don't want to stop it but if it doesn't work you better stop it sooner than later.
00:42:38 - 00:42:40
Okay so basically better data. Better decisions.
00:42:41 - 00:42:42
00:42:43 - 00:43:17
Okay. Just to wrap it up then, Stefan. Thank you. I think that's really really insightful, especially in a digital world that we live in is getting the right data to help you make fast decisions on what works, what doesn't because otherwise you're gonna be flying blind.
So what are a few top tips to other entrepreneurs that want to start a side hustle where they got their main job or they're starting out, what are some of the top tips that my viewers, entrepreneurs, people want to start a side hustle, need to know that you've learned along the way?
00:43:18 - 00:45:29
I would say the cycles of it with Tablet Quiz, it's important to get it out as soon as possible even if the product is not perfect. So I was an engineer and the product was far from perfect when I put the website online but it worked. And then from that moment you start to get feedback which you can use to improve the product again, so focus on marketing and on getting the word out on receiving feedback. And then not too much on the technology for, especially if you're an engineer you can be yeah, attempted to focus too much on what you know. And that's not good because it delays again it delays the feedback and then it's results, I mean in there like the time between your starting and finding product market fit that time will be bigger than yeah. So yeah for the rest, we'll always see that you enjoy what you're doing is maybe straightforward. But I think I enjoyed the fact that thanks to digital communication and all the possibilities that exist now that we can be in touch in the morning with someone of Australia and in the afternoon or in evening with someone from the US or Canada. And then during the day like everything in between. That is something that I enjoy very much even and in times that it went the code was not so good. And so then I took those things to get me those are the things that get me wait every day and motivated me to keep on going basically.
00:45:30 - 00:46:04
Well, it's it's been fascinating and I think what I've learned a lot from listening to you is in other words you gotta play the long game, you've got to make decisions that are based more on data than, on your gut and keep trying things, keep iterating to see what works and what doesn't because ideas are great, but acting on them is really the only way you find out where they work. And also the other thing you mentioned too, which I thought was really good, was getting customer feedback. So, you know what works and what doesn't as well from them.
00:46:05 - 00:46:17
Yeah, exactly. And the idea of the personalized advice reports, wish to say it was like a genius master plan, but it just came from customers.
00:46:18 - 00:46:38
There you go. I think that's absolutely fantastic insight. And thank you very much for sharing your wisdom and experience, Stefan. It's been an absolute delight to have you. I've learned so much just by listening to you and your stories. And I look forward to hearing more about the evolution of Pointerpro as it continues to grow. Thank you very much, Stefan.
00:46:39 - 00:46:54
Thank you, Jeff, for having me. It was really a pleasure. And if people are interested in following me on LinkedIn, I'm mostly active on LinkedIn and not so much on the other social networks. You can just hit me up and connect. No problem at all.
00:46:53 - 00:46:56
Thank you very much.
00:46:57 - 00:46:58
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