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Monthly Update – September ’20

Introduction

Anton Cherkasov

Anton Cherkasov

Anton is a founder of Focus, which is a team management platform. He is also a writer in HackerNoon, The Startup, Good Audience, and other media. Previously Anton has worked in Wildberries (#1 eCommerce store in Russia). He is falling in love with growth hacking, product management, and football.


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Founder's Journey

Monthly Update – September ’20

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It is the first update of our journey. I share what is going on in Focus. Good news! We got the first customer last month. 

Few words about the journey. I set the goal to achieve $100k ARR in a year. We have 0 customers in August. Here are the main insights of the month. 

Let’s go.

Highlights

  • We got our first customer. It is inspiring to move forward even if it is not a high volume ticket. 
  • Got request from large distributor to promote Focus to their audience
  • Talked with 11 experts in our space. No short-term benefits, but I see the potential for building long-term relationships.
  • Tried cold outreach. It doesn’t work pretty well right now. I sent 500 messages and got only 2 requests for a demo. 

Metrics

  • $24 MRR
  • 1 customer
  • 195 workspaces 
  • 229 users
  • 138 check-ins answers 
  • 84 OKRs 

Challenges

  • Conversion rate. Traffic has increased for the last several months. However, our conversion rate was dropped. 1.45% from visitor-to-demo request conversion rate is not good. One of the ways to increase it is to make self-registration mode. The negative side of this decision is the lack of feedback from users.
  • Value proposition. It looks that our value proportions are not so important for companies and conversion rate proves it. I need to talk more with people from an ideal customer profile (ICP) and make better the value proposition.
  • Sales 🙂 Last month, I focused on cold outreach on LinkedIn. It hasn’t given good outcomes. The first customer came from my network. It’s time to change the approach and to try new things.  

Plans for October

  • Improve the value proposition. The goal for the next month is to make our value proposition better by talking with potential customers. I see the demand for this type of product, but we should find a way to deliver more value for ICP.
  • Partnership. Signing out the agreement with the partner will give us an additional audience. It has pros and cons. However, I think we should move forward in this direction to increase brand awareness.
  • Create self-signup onboarding. The partner will boost our website traffic and we will not be able to handle all demo requests. It seems that we should make a self-registration workflow to make onboarding easier.
  • Improve the product. The development process will never end. So many things I want to ship. We will deliver several new features in Focus in October.

I publish updates at the end of a month. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest news about our journey. Also, connect with me on Twitter.

Anton Cherkasov

Anton Cherkasov

https://usefocus.co/

Anton is a founder of Focus, which is a team management platform. He is also a writer in HackerNoon, The Startup, Good Audience, and other media. Previously Anton has worked in Wildberries (#1 eCommerce store in Russia). He is falling in love with growth hacking, product management, and football.

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