The best businesses in the world are built to solve a problem or fill a gap in the marketplace.
Peter Ord founded GUIDEcx in 2017 because he saw the need for an onboarding process that was organized, efficient and delivered results. In his previous role, he experienced the frustration of customers as they went through an onboarding process that was disorganized and lacked transparency. So, he searched for a product that would solve that problem and answer these three questions:
- When will the product or service be delivered?
- Who is responsible for each task?
- What did I buy?
His search came up empty so he decided to start his own company.
Peter was a guest on the SaaS Podcast with Omer Khan and shared the backstory about founding GUIDEcx and building it into a full-fledged business.
Key Takeaways from this Episode
How Peter Leveraged LinkedIn to Find His First Paying Customers
Peter searched his second-level contacts on LinkedIn for people who had implementation in their titles. He found 116 people and then proceeded to ask them the same 16 questions about how they delivered their service or product. “That helped me understand that most people were solving this problem with generic project management and they all had a common complaint of the inability to have a purpose-built product to provide a transparent view into,” said Peter.
About half of the 116 people agreed to speak with Peter on the phone and from that group, 14 agreed to a pilot program. Nine people from the pilot program went on to become paying customers. “Four of those customers are still on our product, which is really cool five years later,” added Peter.
Peter’s Strategy for Signing Early Pilot Agreements
Peter took a strategic approach to structuring his pilot program. He didn’t charge them for the program but asked them to sign an agreement that said in June of 2018 he would tell them how much the product would cost.
He had a usable product ready in March of 2018 for the participants to evaluate. He asked each member of the pilot program to commit 30 minutes a week to using and evaluating the product.
How Peter Navigated a Trademark Issue Right Before Christmas
The previous name of the company was Beynd. The reason he selected that spelling without the O is because Bed Bath & Beyond had the URL.
About a year in and it’s two days before Christmas when Peter gets a FedEx envelope from a company in Ohio called Beyond Software with a trademark cease and desist notice. Peter was able to track down the phone number of the CEO and spoke with him on the phone, explained that there wasn’t any malicious intent and asked for three months to rebrand.
So, Peter spent January, February and most of March 2019 working on rebranding the company. And on March 22, 2019 they officially became GUIDEcx.
The silver lining of this experience is that it forced Peter to run a robust messaging exercise. “We went through all kinds of more professional motions of how do you create, pick a company name, what’s your mission statement, what’s your brand essence,” explained Peter.
“It forced a lot of good behaviors.”
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