Hemant Varshney – How to scale B2C E-commerce and SaaS.
If you’re starting or growing an Ecommerce or SaaS business, this episode is packed with a ton of great takeaways. My next guest has worked for previous companies including American Express and The Street with Jim Cramer. Today he runs an agency with over 20 employees that focus on scaling B2C brands. In this episode, we talk about minimum Facebook ad spend to achieve the best results, how to optimize Youtube ads, and what software platforms and systems he uses to build his own company. Please welcome Hemant Varshney.
Payback Time Podcast
Payback Time is a podcast for investors. The goal of this podcast is to help make investing approachable and easy to understand. We will interview beginner and experienced investors and ask them to share stories on how they got started, what challenges they faced, what mistakes they made, and what strategy works for them today. The overall objective is to provide you with a roadmap that helps you become a better investor.
- (00:51) – Show intro and background history
- (01:46) – Deeper into his background and business path
- (03:40) – Understanding his business model
- (06:03) – How he helps other businesses to grow
- (07:41) – Deeper into his business model
- (08:46) – How big is his team
- (10:40) – A bit about his clients and numbers
- (12:38) – What social media platforms does his business focus on?
- (15:44) – Deeper into his approach to video content
- (16:21) – How many seconds does an ad have to get user attention?
- (16:55) – What type of business and customers is your company focused on
- (18:42) – What’s it like working with Jim Cramer?
- (19:34) – Which of your products generates the most revenue?
- (21:06) – Deeper into how your business works and the client-focused philosophy
- (22:21) – How many clients does each team handle
- (23:56) – A key lesson learned in his journey
- (25:09) – The biggest wins he had
- (25:55) – Is his team based only in the US or overseas?
- (26:42) – What are the essential tools to run his business model
- (28:58) – What about his revenues
- (29:23) – Collaboration and transparency as foundations of the business
- (31:41) – A key takeaway from the guest!
- (32:40) – Rapid Fire round (personal questions)
- (34:09) – The worst advice he ever received
- (34:39) – The best advice he ever received
- (35:25) – Guest contacts
[00:00:01.900] – Intro
Hey, this is Sean Tepper, the host of Payback Time, an approachable and transparent podcast on business investing in finance. I like to bring our guests to hear authentic stories while giving you actionable takeaways you can use today. Let’s go. If you’re starting or growing an e-commerce or SaaS business, this episode is packed with a ton of great takeaways. My next guest has worked for previous companies, including American Express and The Street with Jim Kramer. Today, he runs an agency with over 40 employees that focuses on scaling B2C brands. In this episode, we talk about the minimum Facebook ad spend to achieve the best results, how to optimize YouTube ads, and what software platforms and systems he uses to build his own company. Please welcome Hemant Varshney. Hemant, welcome to the show.
[00:00:53.000] – Hemant
Thank you for having me. Very excited to be here.
[00:00:55.060] – Sean
Thank you very much. Well, why don’t you kick us off and tell us about your background?
[00:00:59.940] – Hemant
Sure. So I’ve been in digital and growth advertising for about 14 years. Prior to that, I tried to start a couple of businesses. Didn’t always work out well, but learned a lot. But I was a consultant at American Express about 10 years ago, left, went down to Wall Street, worked for Jim Kramer at the street. Com, ran marketing there. Everything was direct response. Jump ship, went to a startup where we ran We grew to about $100 million in Revit a year, of which the team I built out managed 60 million. And the team size, we grew to about 32 individuals. And after that, I decided to go into the consulting route and eventually ended up building out my business business, digital.
[00:01:46.520] – Sean
Awesome. All right. So I want to backtrack a little bit here. That startup, did you found that specific startup or did you join as an employee?
[00:01:54.340] – Hemant
I joined as an employee. I was head of partnerships at the start.
[00:01:58.860] – Sean
Yeah. Got it. And how many employees were at.
[00:02:00.580] – Hemant
[00:02:02.130] – Sean
- 45. Got it. Okay, so relatively small. You didn’t want to hang with it and watch it go to an IPO or exit situation?
[00:02:12.140] – Hemant
It’s not that I didn’t want to see all of that as I was employee number eight. And so there were stock options and whatnot. But basically what I wanted to do, I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to marry the world of content marketing with my experience in paid ads across a number of different channels and also web dev. I was finding a lot of the businesses we were working with, or at least a lot of the businesses we work with now, they’re all direct to consumer brands. The majority of them are venture backed, raise two million dollars pre Series B, or are doing at a minimum two million dollars plus a year if they’re a private company. The challenge in the landscape that I was seeing is that it’s expensive to hire a marketing team. You need to hire a head of growth, somebody to help with budgeting and planning, somebody to do your creative, somebody to help you with your site, and then go out and buy the paid media. If you’re hiring an agency or a consultant, the per headcount cost is like three to eight thousand dollars. You’re somewhere in the 20, 25K range.
[00:03:24.260] – Hemant
For a marketing team, that’s a lot. And so the opportunity area that I saw is, hey, have the skill set to do all of that, have the skill set to build out a team. And what I wanted to do was provide all of these services for a cost that’s just high value.
[00:03:39.600] – Sean
Right on. Okay. No, I appreciate that I had asked the startup question there if there’s an exit or something, but you definitely have the entrepreneurial spirit and want to do something out of your own. So I give you credit. So D2C or direct consumer is your area of specialty. So in our space here at Ticker, we’re definitely to see a business consumer, so very similar. So I’m really excited to hear some of the insights in today’s show. But why don’t you tell us about the business you’re building today? Is this like consulting business or service business or is it a SaaS?
[00:04:15.280] – Hemant
Sure. So got a couple of exciting pieces of information here. So we are a service business and we’re doing for the brands we’re working with, essentially help them with their budgeting and planning. We’re developing all the creativ es for them. We are helping them with their website, optimizing all of that. And everything we’re doing is more or less growth or direct response or acquisition marketing, however you know we want to call it. And our goal is to drive revenue at scale or profitability at scale for our businesses that our partners were working with.
[00:04:48.640] – Sean
Got it. And what does that mean when you phrase it that way? This is good for my audience to know is at scale.
[00:04:55.480] – Hemant
So sometimes we will have partners come to us with, say, a $20,000 media budget. And their acquisition targets for them to be profitable, it’s $100 per acquired customer through our digital channels. And sometimes they’re at $150 and they’re almost there. What we do is we’ll go in, we’ll audit their business, audit their marketing, and then come back and say, Hey, here is what we’re seeing works. Here’s the go to market strategy for working together. We’ll start running their media, optimizing across all of the different ad platforms, creativ es, headlines, your website, and then we’ll bring that cost down. So you go from that $150 CPA target down to, say, $100 or $80 or $70. And now the founder or the marketing team is like, Cool, we are at target, we are profitable. Let us start increasing scale. So for us, the first marker, if you’re at 20K, it’s to get you up to 50K, then 100, then 200 can spend while maintaining that efficiency.
[00:06:03.300] – Sean
That’s such a big part of building a business. And I’m going to drop a name here. I was listening to a YouTube video. I was treating it like a podcast. I got YouTube premium so I can just turn my phone off and just listen. But anyway, Jason Cohen was talking about you want to optimize your cost per lead and cost per click as low as possible and then optimize your business, you can put in a dollar and make two dollars or put in a dollar and make four dollars, and just dial that up and watch that meter go. When you can do that, you’ve got a smart business. So it sounds like that’s what you do. You help those businesses optimize their cost per lead or your cost per click, cost per lead, cost per customer, and probably your LTV or lifetime value as well.
[00:06:49.240] – Hemant
Yeah. And that’s exactly it on the back end of the businesses we’re working with. It’s like, okay, cool. We got our cost down to, say, 70 bucks. You’re making arbitrary example here, $200. How do we increase AOV or LTV? Is it adding in specific products as an upsell in your purchase flow, or is it cross selling products via email or helping with retention? Say it’s a SaaS platform, someone logs on, they might not entirely know how to use the platform. So all right, they’re on for a couple of months and then they log off. Well, an easy way to solve that is having an email nurture series of, Hey, this is our brand. Thank you for signing up. Here’s how to use the platform. Here’s support if you ever need it. And what that over time does is build your LTV.
[00:07:40.840] – Sean
Right. I love that. I was watching, again, another video of Gil from LEM List. He’s talking about how important it is to… You launch with your initial product, but then you have to create upsells and cross sell other products to sell to your current audience, provide them more value, and then you can keep them around longer. So do you help with that creative process a little bit with your customers? It’s like, hey, you’re selling this one thing. Have you thought about selling this other thing?
[00:08:11.780] – Hemant
Okay. So in that sense, if the customer is talking to us about, Hey, we have an idea, we wanted to see if it has legs, yes, we can help them bake out, okay, here’s the marketing strategy. But in terms of providing, I guess, that business level consulting, we’re not usually going back and saying, Hey, let’s build this other service, or Here’s how you can improve your platform. But if it’s like, Hey, we have this service we want to test. How do we test this and figure out if it has legs? We at DigiCom will come back to you with the point of, Hey, here’s how we can get it into market.
[00:08:46.180] – Sean
Got it. So Digi Com, how many employees are currently there?
[00:08:52.040] – Hemant
We’re at 16 right now.
[00:08:53.870] – Sean
Nice. And how long have you had the company?
[00:08:55.720] – Hemant
Three years. Three years.
[00:08:57.230] – Sean
Okay. And I assume I’m going to jump into your business model a little bit here. We’ve had a lot of entrepreneurs on this podcast that talk about building product businesses, but as well as service businesses. And a well run service business creates recurring revenue, like a SaaS business. So do you set up your pricing model like a monthly fee or do you do hourly or how does it work?
[00:09:19.150] – Hemant
Yeah. So our pricing model, our goal is to be our partner’s bolt on team. We don’t really all of cart anything we’re doing in our growth acceleration service. But if someone wants to help us, just only want to work with us to develop creativ is, we’ll all cart that out. But if it’s growth acceleration, we have to do all of it because it’s all connected. Our pricing model is the greater of a retainer or media spend. So as our partners grow, we grow with them. There is eventually an inflection point where if a client is spending, say, 300K a month, for us, that makes it to about 30K in fees because we’re on the media spend side, we would take 10 %. So at the inflection point of 25 to 30K, usually clients will start to build their own inhouse team because now at that point they’re large enough, their revenues large enough. So it’s like, Cool, let’s try to bring this in. But then the challenge is how do we get the right expertise? So that is one part of the business. But in terms of metrics that we’re looking at, we have growth targets, we have revenue targets by month, we have EBITDA targets that we want to hit so that there’s efficiency across the business because there are business fluctuations just like any other business.
[00:10:30.980] – Hemant
But a very good indicator, I think, of our business performance is our retention targets after three months. And last year, we sat at 82 %.
[00:10:40.950] – Sean
Wow. So in other words, 82 % of the customers that join you are staying? Yes. Right. And is that over the course of a year or multi year?
[00:10:50.760] – Hemant
Typically, our clients are staying with us for about a year and a half, like 1.2 years, like 14 months to 18 months.
[00:10:58.760] – Sean
Got it. And the average dollar size on the low end to the high end, what does that range look like?
[00:11:05.400] – Hemant
In terms of fees or media managed?
[00:11:07.520] – Sean
Let’s talk about both.
[00:11:08.680] – Hemant
Sure. In terms of media management, it’s usually the lowest we want to work with partners that are spending at least 10K a month. Just because of it’s less than that, it’s hard to get statistically significant data and provide that and optimize and grow. But then we’re working with clients that are spending all the way up to 300 something K a month. And then in terms of fees, that ranges as low as 5K, going all the way up to in the 30s.
[00:11:40.120] – Sean
Right on. Okay. Yeah, that’s really good to know. And thanks for setting the expectations there in the 10K minimum because we do run into other entrepreneurs in our space and they want to be playing with 1K or 2 K a month. And I’m like, That’s just not significant enough to really measure. You can’t get sufficient data.
[00:11:58.960] – Hemant
Yeah. And if you just break it down. Say you run one campaign which has three ad groups in it and five creatives each, that’s 15 different creatives with the types of audiences. You’re spending $1,000 a month on a $200 product, you’re not going to get a statistically significant results on the ad that works, the creative that works, maybe the audience that works if it’s just the one audience that is out performing. So it’s important to set expectations, align that you want to be in the 10K a month range before working with us or other agencies, I would say.
[00:12:37.070] – Sean
Sure. Right on. And do you focus specifically on Facebook ads or do you also do YouTube and Google?
[00:12:44.400] – Hemant
Yeah. So we run across a number of different platforms. So paid social includes Meta, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat. For the paid search areas of the world, we’re on Bing, we’re on Google, of course, we’re running shopping search, display, YouTube. We work with native advertising platforms as well. Think like Taboola, Outbrain. It really ranges the gamut.
[00:13:11.980] – Sean
Right on. Let’s take a quick commercial break. If someone tells you to buy a stock, the last thing you should do is buy that stock. The first thing you should do is ask why. Unfortunately, a lot of influencers on YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit, and really the list goes on are giving really bad stock recommendations and investment advice. The question is, how do you determine if what these people say is good advice or bad advice? That’s where Ticker can help. Ticker can quickly and easily determine if a stock is a good or bad investment, and it helps you manage your investments with confidence. But don’t take our word for it. Check out our Trust Pilot reviews to see what people are really saying. Go ahead and get started with a free trial. Visit ticker. Com. That’s TYKR. Com. Again, tickr. Com. All right, back to the show. I have to ask, this is more of a personal driven question. We have done an optimized campaign with Facebook ads where we’ll be turning that on when we launch the iOS and Android apps with Ticker. But we do get a lot of leads from YouTube, which tells us we should probably lean into YouTube ads.
[00:14:22.200] – Sean
Do you have any tips, tricks, lessons learned with YouTube ads you could share?
[00:14:27.200] – Hemant
Yeah. So I think when you’re creating video content, because for a lot of brands that want to run video content, it’s different than taking different images and then running ads because those are easy to stitch together or develop assets to run advertising. When you’re doing video content, an easy, very easy way to have a lot of different video creativs, which is very important to test through and understand what’s working, what’s not is create the main asset first. Say the video is one minute long. We start the main part of the video where you’re talking about who you are, the product, the service, which maybe starts at 10 seconds. So you have 10 seconds all the way through a minute. That’s the main part of your video. Create that first and then create six different hooks that are from the zero seconds to 10 seconds. So hook one, hook two, hook three, hook four, hook five. And then what you can do is stitch the hooks with the main video. And now you effectively have six pieces of content over just one piece of content. And then when you’re running these ads, you’ll, over time, as you see performance come in, understand, hey, is it hook one that works, hook two, hook three?
[00:15:41.800] – Hemant
And then you can build and iterate off of that.
[00:15:44.020] – Sean
That’s brilliant. And just to reframe what you’re talking about, we could write and shoot a main video, but then write and shoot six different intros to that video that are about 10 seconds each.
[00:15:57.940] – Hemant
And then you have six pieces of content versus, hey, I have one piece of content and this content is not working.
[00:16:05.260] – Sean
Right. That makes total sense because I know with Facebook ads, you want to be testing different ads against each other. You can use different images which are easy to swap out in this case. You’re using that same strategy, but with a different snippet of video at the beginning. Exactly. I want to go a little deeper there. I’ve been told that you’ve got to catch people’s attention with the YouTube ads within three or five seconds. Is that accurate or can you go the full 10 seconds?
[00:16:33.940] – Hemant
Ideally within five seconds, because if you run a non skipable ad, it lasts three seconds and then someone can skip out of it. So if your hook or your intro isn’t strong enough in those three seconds, someone can easily just jump out. And so you want to capture that user’s attention in the first five seconds.
[00:16:55.200] – Sean
Right on. Can you share with us what type of businesses do you focus on specific industries? I know you’re mostly direct to consumer, but is there specific industries within you serve most?
[00:17:08.010] – Hemant
Sure. We work with beauty brands, pet brands, consumer packaged good. We work across 12 different verticals. Subscription boxes, we’re working in food and beverage, health and wellness. Just a number of different brands, even SaaS platforms.
[00:17:26.800] – Sean
As well. Nice. Okay. What industry are these SaaS businesses in?
[00:17:32.800] – Hemant
They’re all consumer facing type of products where it’s more… When I say consumer facing, I’m saying in the sense of less B2B and more directly to the end user. So think something like that. Think Babel, think Rosetta Stone. Yes.
[00:17:53.260] – Sean
For context here, we are looking at what Duolingo has done for language learning, and we plan on doing the same thing within Ticker, but for financial education. These short, simple, gamified, these fun little modules to get people warmed up to investing education. It’d be a freemium product bolted onto the app so anybody can get in and start using these modules for free. But of course, you want the Ticker data, you got to subscribe.
[00:18:22.380] – Sean
We’ll use that model. So it sounds like Babel is similar to Duolingo. It’s that language learning, freemium type product.
[00:18:30.770] – Hemant
Yeah. I would also check out the street.
[00:18:33.220] – Sean
Yeah, I’m very familiar. Nice. Have you worked with them?
[00:18:37.590] – Hemant
Yeah. That’s earlier on in my career, I was running marketing at the street.
[00:18:42.970] – Sean
Com. Oh, the street. God, yes. You mentioned that you work with Jim Kramer.
[00:18:46.800] – Hemant
[00:18:47.680] – Sean
Quick segue here. How was he to work with?
[00:18:50.640] – Hemant
My interaction with him was limited, but in this sense of the amount of work he puts in and with his schedule, it’s unbelievable. And the thing is he really cares about the information he’s putting out there. So when we’re talking about specific deployments, that would be the time I would engage. And so it’s more like, Okay, well, is this the right angle or are we providing the right education? So it was nice overall.
[00:19:21.240] – Sean
That’s refreshing to hear. I’ve been reading his newsletters and watching his videos for years. And we’ve got a lot of retail investors here in our audience, so they, most of them know who Jim Kramer is, but no, that’s good to know. Let’s keep going with your company. Could you share with us, is there one of your services that really stands out over and above, it really moves the needle, generating significant revenue?
[00:19:48.160] – Hemant
Yeah. We help our… These are some of the ancillary services. We’ll help with building websites, and we’ll run influencer programs. But really, the crux of our business is growth acceleration, where we’re doing everything for you. And the reason why that’s important, it creates natural stick, because once our partners start working with us in this growth acceleration service, we’re doing so much for them that it almost becomes turnkey. Then we’re providing all of this data back, and that’s the bulk of our business. And then we’ll have the one off like, Hey, can you build our site? Or, Hey, can you develop our creativ es? Or, Can you jump in and consult for 10 hours? Or whatever those other services can look like. But the main part of our business is being our partners, both on team, coming on, understanding what they’re doing, where the pain points are, running through different exercises with them, and then going out and buying media.
[00:20:52.160] – Sean
Right on. Okay. So you got to figure out who are their customers, where are their customers, and really optimize your marketing campaign based on that information.
[00:21:04.430] – Hemant
Yes. Right on.
[00:21:06.190] – Sean
Okay. I know a service business, it can be high touch, it can be a lot of time. How are you… Well, this is not so much you, but your team. Do you assign an account executive or somebody that really owns the outcome of a specific customer?
[00:21:25.450] – Hemant
Yeah. So in terms of structure, there’s always two to three people on a team. That’s just important. And then I jump into the planning calls personally. I’m in every Slack channel with every client. I have just an understanding of what’s going on overall. We like to communicate with our clients directly in Slack, so you have access to us. Our clients email us, of course, they’re texting us. Our goal is really to provide excellent communication because that’s the most important part of our business. And then we’re in our clients weekly meetings where we’re going over reporting and performance on a weekly basis. But then it might be like other meetings as well, like, hey, we need to set up X, Y, and Z. We’re not sure how to do this. Do you guys know how to do this? So we’ll jump in, we’ll help out everywhere we can.
[00:22:14.180] – Sean
It’s all about that asking the question, where can we help you? Where do you need help most? What are your pain points? Stuff like that. No, that’s good to hear. You’ve got a dedicated team to each customer. Let’s drill into that a little further. Let’s say you got three people assigned to a customer, will those three people also be serving other customers or just that one?
[00:22:35.780] – Hemant
It depends on the client.
[00:22:38.880] – Hemant
Because if we’re working with smaller accounts, really the goal is to have each team member work with no more than four clients maximum. And the reason why, if you’re running a large program, a team member can maybe only work with three partners, maybe one’s large, one’s medium, one’s small. The reason why is because we’re running across multiple ad platforms. We’re advising across so many different things. Plus, we’re in constant communication with the client. And the moment that I’ve learned in this agency world, it’s if you cross four, it becomes very challenging. And then you lose out on performance. Clients then might not be happy. You lose business. It’s high turnover. So the way we limit all of that is three max four clients per.
[00:23:29.460] – Sean
Team member. Smart. And thanks for being a little transparent there on how many you can manage at a time because I’ve seen businesses where somebody’s trying to manage 6, 8, 10 at a time and they’re spread too thin. You lose quality per customer and then you run into churn, your customers are now leaving. You’re keeping customers on average a year and a half. They could be leaving you after six months. You don’t want that. Now, that’s good to know. Let’s dive a little bit more into your business here. I always like to learn. Any key lessons learned on your journey here building this company?
[00:24:07.480] – Hemant
It’s very important for every business owner to understand cash flow and have parameters in place for cash flow. Of course, a lot of venture back businesses, there’s a specific cash runway. I understand the grow at all cost mentality, but that’s going away right now with these high interest rates. For a lot of VCs, their unit economics are changing on every deal. That’s very important because there are upswings and down cycles in every business. It’s like, Cool, how do you capitalize on the upswing and how do you keep it going? Then on a downswing, how do you limit costs? Having that understanding, especially if you have historical data, maybe doesn’t line up every year with the COVID up swings that a lot of D2C businesses saw. But it is important to create like, Hey, if we don’t get paid on time, here’s where we are. If we do get paid on time, here’s where we are. Just understanding those economics is very important.
[00:25:07.840] – Sean
Smart, very smart. T hen can you share with us, what was one of the biggest wins you’ve had with this company?
[00:25:13.500] – Hemant
I have been very fortunate to work with very smart and dedicated people. I think that’s the biggest win because everybody cares about every… If you’re working with a partner, you really care. We’re talking to our partners every day. We are trying to drive the best performance we can every day. Then over time, you build this relationship with the partner. Some partners will jump around different companies and then bring us on. It’s a nice feeling when that has happened because it’s like, Hey, you trust us. I’ve been super fortunate to work with a dedicated team, hard working, very smart.
[00:25:53.800] – Sean
Great team. Do you have people who are all in the US? Because I know you’re based in New York. Is everybody in the US or do you have teams overseas?
[00:26:04.470] – Hemant
Yep. The majority of our team is in the US. We have two folks in India. We went to India, opened an office there last year. The primary reason for that is for a lot of technical support, which, PiXL set up, it helps with resource constraint and bandwidth issues because the technical support on certain set up might become a challenge on our side. But having team members there allows us to allow them to jump in to certain technical situations where we can iron a lot of these challenges or partners facing out pretty quickly.
[00:26:41.790] – Sean
Now, you mentioned you use Slack for communication, especially with customers, I assume Slack is a key tool for internal communication, keep everybody organized. But what else do you use to keep a sizable team organized and moving in the right direction?
[00:26:59.060] – Hemant
So we use Slack. We have Monday. Com. That helps a lot. We are building our own proprietary system where every team member that’s working with the client can submit their creative request and we can assign it to a team member similar to what Monday does, but more for creative and content creation. Sure, there are platforms out there that do some form of it, but it’s going to make it easier for us. And then over time, it’ll help us create a process where it’s an MVP that can be a business in its own for just creativ s. A consumer can go on sign up, and then we can develop creativists for them directly. So those are a couple of tools. But I think something else that’s very important, it’s transparency in our meetings, in our internal meetings. We have a few different meetings that we levered. One of them, we go over every account. Is it on target, is it not on target? And if it’s not on target, we as a team discuss, okay, what are the pain points? What can we do to help? Who on the team can jump in? You might be on a team that has nothing to do with that one respective account, but you might have an idea from a test you ran or something you learned.
[00:28:11.860] – Hemant
So it’s like a lot of collaboration. We have at the end of the week weekly creative meeting and test meeting where everybody talks about, Hey, we ran these tests this week. Here’s what’s going on. So there’s this constant learning that’s occurring. And then our monthly all hands, we call it state of the business. We go over all of the wins, we go over cash flows, revenue, expenses, all of that is displayed to the entire team so that everybody understands like, Hey, we’re going to go through a cycle of growth. Or, Hey, one large client churned, this is how it’s impacting revenue. Here’s the reality. Here’s how we’re going to work through it. But we need X, Y, and Z goals from everybody to ensure that we’re performing to the best of our ability.
[00:28:57.370] – Sean
I’m going to be excited to hear the response to this next question, but you are checking all the boxes. We’ll touch on the why. Let’s get to it. So revenues. What are your revenues at now?
[00:29:08.260] – Hemant
Last year, we did $1.2 million in fees, and the goal this year is to hit two million. We’ve doubled growth, more than doubled growth year over year. So we want to keep growing. In terms of media manage, last year, we managed 10 million.
[00:29:23.320] – Sean
There you go. Okay, so just to break this down, and I’ve talked to a lot of service professionals here, you are hitting it out of the park with collaboration, transparency with your team, communication. They say, even I had Brad Felt on the podcast, he was talking about the number one reason why businesses fail. And this is can also relate to why marriages fail. And that’s lack of communication or poor communication. You are excellent. I love the transparency, especially with the numbers, because that gets everybody pointed in the same direction. What are we going for? Another key take away too, I thought was great is that iterative process of lessons learned. There’s too many businesses that will talk about lessons learned on projects every six months, and that’s way too long. What you’re doing, it sounds like almost every week or every two weeks, like, okay, we learned this, this worked, but this didn’t.
[00:30:17.590] – Hemant
Especially in the business, there might be something that works great for one client and not great for another. But if there is a small portion of the budget to leverage for test and if it’s working great, well, let’s test it out. So yeah, it’s very iterative.
[00:30:33.370] – Sean
Awesome. This is a blueprint for those listeners out there. You want to create a service business, even a SaaS business. A lot of key great takeaways here. This is great. Before we jump to the rapid fire round, do you have one key take away, something our audience can do today if they’re an entrepreneur and they’re building their business?
[00:30:53.140] – Hemant
I think that if you’re an entrepreneur and you have a team already established, and if you don’t, focus on aligning your goals with the team and don’t be afraid to be transparent. The reason why it’s because if you have goals, growth goals, and there’s a marker for your team members to hit, and they’re like, a lot of them, not everybody, but the majority of your team, and hopefully all of them will go out and try to hit those goals with you. And then you are a team, you have alignment in what’s going on. And if something doesn’t work, talk about the it’s less… I think sometimes human nature is to fall into this trap like, Oh, it didn’t work. Man, throw that out the window and ask yourself, Why did it not work? Why? What was the reasoning? Did we not spend enough time here? Did we not set up a proper process? What is the root issue? If you focus on these two things that ultimately fall under communication and have alignment, it’s a lot easier to go out and hit the goal you want to hit.
[00:31:57.340] – Sean
Right on. Let’s take a quick commercial break. Hey, this is Sean. I’d like to say thank you for taking the time to listen to this podcast. I know there’s a lot of other podcasts you could be listening to, so thanks for taking the time to listen to this one. I have a quick request. If you have a moment, could you please head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a five star review? The reason is the more ratings we get and the higher those ratings are, the more Apple will share us with the world. So thanks in advance for doing that. And then I have a quick comment. If there are any questions you want me to ask the guests, please head over to our ticker Facebook group. You can drop a question right there. I’ll go ahead and make a note and I’ll do my best to ask that question on the podcast. All right, back to the show. All right, well, let’s jump into the rapid fire round. This is the part of the episode where we get to find out who Hemanth really is. If you can, try to answer each question in 15 seconds or less.
[00:32:51.530] – Sean
[00:32:52.200] – Hemant
[00:32:52.510] – Sean
All right. What is your favorite podcast?
[00:32:55.680] – Hemant
Favorite podcast. I want to say Ecomm on tap. It’s about different things that are going on in e-commerce. Nice.
[00:33:04.590] – Sean
[00:33:05.150] – Hemant
[00:33:05.790] – Sean
What is a recent book you read and would recommend?
[00:33:10.860] – Hemant
Right now, I’m reading Homo Dias. It is from the author of Sapiens. I love the book Sapiens. That’s what I’m reading right now. What I would recommend is reading Ray Dalio’s Principles or the Lean Startup by Eric Reece.
[00:33:28.700] – Sean
Good choices. All right. What is your favorite movie?
[00:33:32.240] – Hemant
Lord of the Rings.
[00:33:34.420] – Sean
Nice call. Did you like the new series on Amazon?
[00:33:37.940] – Hemant
I started watching it. I haven’t gotten through… I watched the first episode. It was a little slower, and I know I need to dedicate time to get into the story, so I’m giving it a little time before I jump.
[00:33:52.680] – Sean
Fully in. I won’t totally nerd out here, but it is a slow build up, but for the true Lord of the Rings fans out there, it is worth it because it really… By that episode, I think it’s 10 episodes or something. By seven or eight, it’s like, okay, now we’re talking. Yeah, it’s good. All right, business questions. What is the worst advice you ever received?
[00:34:16.130] – Hemant
Worst advice… This one’s a little tough. And the reason why I say that, it’s like, you learn things. So I’m not like, Oh, it was bad advice. Cool. What did I learn from it? Did that pan out positively? That’s how I think of things.
[00:34:32.360] – Sean
That’s okay. I love that attitude, by the way, because you can always, even if it’s a negative, you can pull a positive from it.
[00:34:38.740] – Hemant
[00:34:39.540] – Sean
Point there. Fli p that, let’s talk about what is the best advice you ever received?
[00:34:45.300] – Hemant
I would say my dad always saying to me, Just put your head down and keep going.
[00:34:52.120] – Sean
Nice. Termination, fortitude, good traits. All right, last question here is the time machine question. If you could go back in time to give your younger self advice, what age would you visit and what would you say?
[00:35:05.780] – Hemant
I would say early 20s and I would echo the sentiment of the best advice I’ve received. There are going to be ups and downs that are coming your way. The best thing you can do for that is just see what you can learn, keep a positive attitude and just keep going. Awesome.
[00:35:23.500] – Sean
I totally agree. All right, where can the audience reach you?
[00:35:28.740] – Hemant
You can email me at hament@digicom. I o or come check out our website, digicom. I o. Happy to talk business. Just learn a little bit about your goals, provide some information as to how we can help you or what you could do as the next step to keep growing.
[00:35:46.080] – Sean
Awesome. Hey, Matt, this was awesome. Thank you so much for.
[00:35:48.740] – Hemant
Your time. Thank you for having me.
[00:35:52.100] – Sean
Hey, I’d like to say thank you for checking out this podcast. I know there’s a lot of other podcasts you could be listening to, so thanks for spending some time with me. Also, if you have a moment, could you please head over to Apple podcast and leave a review? The more reviews we get, the more Apple will share this podcast with the world. So thanks for doing that. And last thing, if you do hear any stocks mentioned on this podcast, please keep in mind this podcast is for entertainment purposes only. Please do not make a buy or sell decision based solely on what you hear. All right, thanks for your time. Talk to you later. See you.