004: How we Bootstrapped 3000% Growth in 3 Years with Clint Carlos
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“No venture is real until somebody sells something.” – Clint Carlos TWEET THAT
In the world of enterprise software, Clint Carlos is an anomaly. Unlike the majority of startups who take on funding, Clint has mastered the art of bootstrapping. In this episode, we discuss mentorship and 2 key lessons that have defined Clint’s approach to entrepreneurship. Then Clint also opens the doors to the enterprise SaaS solution Ampt, and shares the system he’s used to organically grow Ampt by 3000% in 3 years.
2 Key Mentor Lessons
1. No venture is real, until someone in it sells something. It’s never too early to try and start selling, whatever it is.
2. You just never know what you can actually get until you ask for it. You may be able to command a much higher value than originally assessed. Be bold, and take chances.
- If you look at sales simply as facilitating problem solving and engaging in value exchange to that end, it’ll never be a daunting and foreign thing to you.
- Funding Strategies:
- Getting customers into a 3 year subscription contract, and incentivizing customers to pay the balance in advance helps to stabilize cash flow and minimize churn. It allows the company’s sales to be the organic source of growth.
- Get creative with customers even if it is a convertible note.
- Two primary lead sources:
- The strategy of thought leadership and strategic content drives site traffic, from which enhancing conversion rates will spike growth.
- Networking – Many of our early customers came from the first 2 levels of our networks.
- Sales Funnel Strategies:
- Start with a BDR to give a basic demo.
- Closer comes in for a deeper dive and ROI conversation.
- Constantly find ways to speed up the funnel and sales process.
- Systems and Tools:
- CRM of choice – Hubspot.com
- “My focus has always been around the ‘science of people’, human mechanics and behavioral economics. The science of how we go about quantifying what our interactions and relationships mean to us… If someone recognizes you and calls you by name at a bank, how much more wallet share would they then have because of that relationship.”
- “Every business you start should begin simply as a sales pitch… No naming, logos, or articles of incorporation. Just the pitch.”
- “Everything, regardless of how great of a success or failure, has been a learning experience… Have patience in wanting to see traction in your concepts, but when the time is right, run like hell… You’ll always have only yourself to look at in the mirror and know how much of yourself you’ve given.”
Meet Our Guest
I’ve been through multiple failed startups and a few successful exits, so I’m a supporter and admirer of all entrepreneurs. Those ventures were financed through sweat (bootstrapping), angels, friends & family and venture capital. Grew up playing sports and starting businesses in Oregon and went to school at BYU.