The easiest way to track all your stats…

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The new version of Statzy makes it easier than ever to track the stats from your business. The flow is illustrated in the diagram and explained below.

Statzy V3 summary

  • Favourites page replaces the Home page

The traditional Home tab has been replaced by a more useful Favourites. This gives you immediate visibility of your favourites stats and how they’ve changed today and the last 7 and 30 days.

This provides you with a place where you can instantly see performance of your most vital stats, perhaps those representing your funnel or teams. You don’t need to put all the stats for a Source on to the Favourites screen because, to see all the stats for that Source you simply click on the stat.

(For those using Groups and Targets. The stats will be listed in Group order and the colour of the value will change depending on whether performance is above (green), below (red) or on (orange) target. An overall ‘Group’ score will also be displayed if there are targets.)

When you click on a stat you are taken to a screen that contains all the stats for that Source. You can expand one or all stats to see performance including a graph of the last 30 days performance.

From this screen – you can also click the cog icon in the top right hand corner to go to the Settings page for the Source. On this page, you can set targets and choose whether the stat is displayed on the favourites page by (de)selecting the Heart icon.

  • See all your stats on the Sources page

If you don’t show any stats for a particular source you can still track and see your performance from the Sources page.

Here, you will see each Source listed (in alphabetical order) with two icons.

The Graph icon takes you to the Source Detail screen where you can see all stats with the current value and change today and over the last 7 and 30 days with the accompanying graph – the same page you get to when you click on the card from the Favourites screen.

The Cog icon takes you to the Source Settings screen where you set targets and choose the stats that are displayed on the Favourites screen by (de)selecting the Heart. This is the same page that you get to by clicking the cog icon on the Source detail screen.

Everything else is still there; the ability to group stats to easily track your funnel or multiple businesses. You can also share stats with other members of your team but we have focused on improving the visibility of and access to your vital stats.

If you haven’t tried Statzy – then you can start your free 30 day trial by downloading the app from the AppStore or Google Play.

 

We think these changes makes it easier than ever to track your stats. What do you think? Let me know at andrew@statzyapp.com

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Three ways to get paid more quickly

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Cash flow has been in the news a lot lately. Xero published small business insights and highlighted that small businesses are paid on average after 41 days with larger companies (FTSE 250) taking 46 days AND most business run in the red.

In the UK at least there is legislation to, in theory, force people to pay you within 30 days but outside of that, and especially when you are dealing with larger companies the legislation is as much use as a chocolate tea pot.

In my experience, smaller companies generally don’t pay their invoices on time because they forget; are trying to manage cash flow or don’t have the cash. Larger companies generally do it just because they can get away with it and, often, payment coincides with their payment runs rather than your payment dates.

There is nothing more destructive to a business relationship than moving quickly to enforcement letters and lawyers to get money so, what can you do to improve your chances of getting paid?

#1. Reduce your payment terms.

Standard business terms are 30 days. However, your terms can request payment at any time; upon receipt (i.e. immediately), 7 days, 14 days etc. Some companies (mainly larger ones from my experience) will ignore any payment terms but many will respect your terms or, most importantly, begin a conversation about payment terms.

Importantly, beginning a conversation helps to build a strong relationship with your customer (or procurement/accounts section) and sets an expectation – both of which can affect when your payment is scheduled. Ultimately – this will help you to more accurately predict when payment will be made.

Lastly on this point, if you know a customer never pays you until 45 days, there is little point expecting payment after 30 days every month and repeating the same cycle month after month. YES – I know they should pay you after 30 days but sometimes accepting the longer payment term is a more pragmatic move. It can also help to keep you sane.

#2. Remind people before payment is due. 

The number of business owners who wait to chase until after payment is due never ceases to amaze me.  If you have started to establish a relationship through conversation and setting expectation (using #1), the next step is to remind people before payment is due. If you automate invoicing then many tools will automatically send reminder emails, however, actually making a call reminding your customer that payment is due and establishing that the payment will be made can be more productive. If it won’t be paid, you can at least ask when it will be?

#3. Invoice more money – less frequently.

#1 and #2 can work for everyone; this last one is a little more dependent upon your type of business but with a little thought you should be able to find a way of basically asking for more money less frequently. In some cases, you can remove the need for #1 and #2 by being paid in full before you deliver anything. Invoicing more, less frequently improves your cash and reduces administration effort.

For example, one business I have worked with ran workshops and classes and asked customers for deposits before subsequently asking for full payment prior to the class. We changed their approach and asked for full payment up front. This simple change had no impact on the number of bookings; improved their cash flow and reduced the effort required to administer courses.

If you work with larger organisations you may find they are happier to pay more money up-front. There are several ways to achieve this; re-positioning ‘services’ as products can help to change the customers’ mindset from one of paying after delivery ( service ) to one of being paid before delivery ( product ). If you can switch to a product mindset, it’s possible to switch to full payment up front sometimes a year in advance.

That’s it. 3 ways to help you get paid more quickly.

I hope you’ve found something here that will help. Simple they may be but small improvements across your business can improve business efficiency, cash flow and perhaps most importantly reduce those sleepless nights.

Let me know if these work for you in the comments below, or email me at andrew@ikooloo.com or on twitter @ikooloo_com.

You can read Xero’s small business insights here.
Read more about UK regulation on payment obligations here.

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You beta you beta you bet…

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Since I launched ikooloo on the App Store and Google Play I’ve had, oh, a handful of people ask me why I’ve done this so early and with an unproven product.

The reason for the question has varied wildly. I’ve had people asking out of idle curiosity, people asking because they are generally interested and people asking me with a sense of indignation/disgust, accusing me of breaking some unwritten rule about releasing software.

The truth, as is often the case, is simpler than it appears – I was blinded by the process rather than by what my customer would expect.

The idea of testing an app before you release it fully makes sense right? It’s absolutely the thing to do and you’d be mad to consider another route. This is the way we started but we quickly hit a roadblock. Then another. Then another.

In theory, the standard approach works well – especially with a tech-savvy crowd. Build your app, put it on testflight, get some people using it, iterate improvements build up your beta crowd and try to generate a buzz. Right? Nope.

The three roadblocks we hit were:

  1. Your app isn’t visible on the app store
  2. In the case of releasing for the iPhone anyone wanting to test your app has to download the Test Flight app.
  3. You can’t test payment.

I didn’t believe either of these issues would present the challenges they did and – as I said – the tech-savvy crowd didn’t have too many issues, but for others…

A lack of visibility equals less trust.

Because the app wasn’t listed, people who I knew less well, weren’t used to the process or just weren’t technicall inclinded didn’t appreciate the process and it impacted their level of trust.

Once I discussed this with a few people the lack of a visible listing caused confusion “What? You have an app but I can’t find it on the AppStore?!” but, more importantly, it appeared to put a doubt into some people’s mind as to the quality of the app (they assumed it would be very buggy) and my commitment to the app/business.

Trust is a huge factor when launching a new product and anything that reduces this, even slightly, just didn’t feel right.

An additional app overcomplicates the experience.

The download of the Test Flight app caused a bigger challenge. The conversation went something like…

[ chat and introduction to the app which led me to ask…]
Me: “Would you be willing to test the app?”
Potential tester: “Sure, what do I need to do”
Me: “It’s pretty simple – you give me your email address, I add you to a list, you get an email from Apple telling you to download an app called TestFlight, you download the app and then enter your ‘redeem’ code, which, if it recognises, will result in ikooloo being available. You then download ikooloo and then you have to connect to Twitter or Facebook to actually use ikooloo.”

Most people fell asleep about the time I said ‘download an app called’. I know this because they either said “What? That sounds really complicated” and I ended up doing it with them on their phone or, more likely, they said “That’s fine” and then actually didn’t bother downloading ikooloo or I had to go through it with them on the phone (which is WAY more complex than doing it in person) because it didn’t make any sense to them.

You can’t fully test until people can pay.

One of the biggest mistakes I think startups make is confusing people who say they will pay for people who actually do pay. In the early stages, it’s easy to find people who will tell you what a great idea you have and say “I’d definitely pay for that”. It’s only when you ask people for money that intent becomes action.

We partly hit this roadblock because of the decisions to a) go mobile-only, b) provide a free download and c) handle payments using in-app purchases via Apple or Google.

When testing, both Apple and Google ‘test’ subscriptions using no or very small amounts of money and the subscription lasts hours. I found that people were committing but I couldn’t be convinced it was a real or lasting commitment or belief in the product. It also added more confusion, especially to the less technical.

We could, like many (most if not all) SaaS companies, have built and taken payment via the website. The reason for that is probably another blog and, with these choices made, the ONLY way of asking people for REAL money was to launch the app.

So what?

I think if we’d have hit one of these challenges we probably could have overcome it. But, after going through the same process with the same questions, conerns and conversation about 20 times it dawned on me that I didn’t have to do it like this. Why not just release/list ikooloo fully?

And, although it’s very very early ( I literally listed 10 days ago and have hardly told anyone or done any marketing ) I am already seeing the benefits.

It’s an easier conversation.

Now – I just give people a link (here’s one for the App Store and here’s one for Google Play) to download the app. The conversations about ‘trust’ have almost gone away. I still have the gap that every startup has but I’m not adding to it unnecessarily.

It’s an easier conversion.

Giving people the link to the App Store or Google Play means that I can test the experience as it really is. It’s the same on both platforms and the feedback is based on the real experience, not a false one so helps me to understand how I need to improve the on-boarding.

It’s more difficult conversion.

It’s only now that I am starting to have real, informed conversations about what people will and – more importantly – will not pay for. Almost every conversation I had before this was ‘false data’.

It’s true to my customer. 

I started with the standard process simply because ‘that’s the way it is’ but, in all of this, I forgot who my primary customer was/is. I became (slightly) obsessed with the process, what ‘product’ did I have? Alpha, beta or MVP as each dictates the process – the reality it is doesn’t matter.

I now have a version of the app that is raw, a long way from where I want it to be (against my ‘vision’ for ikooloo) and, yes, I am slightly embarrassed by it but that’s the whole point. But, perhaps most importantly it’s there and I can test the first/alpha/beta/mvp version in the real world.

So whenever you’re faced with a process that you are familiar with, don’t be led blindly – what’s most important is who your customer is and what are they expecting.

So, am I betting on my beta? You bet I am… What are you betting on?

How did you release your app? Did you follow the standard process or tweak it to your own benefits. Tell me what you did.

And, why not try ikooloo. It’s the easiest way to track your social media and other business metrics and it’s free to download. Download from the App Store or Google Play.

  

Thank you and please get in touch if you have any questions or thoughts!
Andrew
andrew@ikooloo.com

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You beta, you beta, you bet…

The Who released ‘You Better You Bet’ (see what I did with the title there 🙂 on 1981 on their Face Dances album and it instantly came to mind when I was writing this blog. Why not watch this Youtube video of them performing the song a couple of years ago from their Hyde Park concert…

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Hallelujah

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WOOHOO – ikooloo is LIVE.

It’s the first version, a little raw, sort of not designed and we have a long long way to go but this is a huge step.

The premise of the app is pretty simple. Connect to the apps you use every day to run your business and see metrics anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

The first version enables you to connect to Facebook, Google Analytics, Instagram, LinkedIn, MailChimp, Twitter and YouTube for free and you can pay a small subscription to connect to Delighted, Insightly, Salesforce, Stripe, Xero.

Once connected to your apps, you simply choose the metrics you want to see. You can set targets and even choose the emoji that’s displayed (yes – we have unicorns and poo). We promise we won’t confuse you with having to build dashboards and we’re a mobile only app so you can find out how your business is doing anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

So why are you still reading this? It’s free to download – you should be heading to the App Store or Google Play store NOW to download it. Here’s a button to click.

     

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to say hello@ikooloo.com or tweet us @ikooloo_com

Thanks
Andrew

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Hallelujah was written by Leonard Cohen and has been covered by almost everyone in the entire world. My favorite version (and the best version obviously) is by Jeff Buckley. The song was on his Grace album (one of my top 10 of all time). Here’s a link to the official video

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Once (upon a time)…

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ikooloo is getting close. As I type I am waiting for Apple to review ikooloo so we can launch it on the App Store.

I’ll (obviously) be writing about this more but I keep being asked why I started ikooloo and, although I’ve documented it before, it wasn’t that accessible so now, in glorious technicolor is the ikooloo back story in a nice PDF… here it is…

The music…
‘Once’ is a track from Pearl Jam’s first album ‘Ten’ released in 1991. They’ve come a long way since then – here’s a link to a video of them singing it 25 years later (in 2016) and I hope I can do the software equivalent with ikooloo 🙂 … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Okq0Qly0y3s

 

 

 

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It’s been a long time…

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since, well, since I wrote a blog entry actually.

It’s not quite a year. I am sorry – I don’t have an excuse, but I will say that I don’t think I’m a great (even good) writer and I find it very difficult – I hope you’ll forgive me and give me another chance… Apparently, I just need to write more (a lot more).

In the last blog entry (on medium here) I was a few weeks away from exhibiting at TechCrunch disrupt in London. I have been keeping people up to date with what’s happening but I haven’t been writing about it.

So (drum roll please) in the last 11 or so months we’ve…

…soft launched at TechCrunch Disrupt
…got feedback which was bad
…got feedback which was (yes, you’ve guessed it) ugly
…BUT got lots of feedback which was good
…decided ikooloo was feasible – GO!
…tried to find a co-founder
…failed to find a co-founder
…thought about outsourcing
…decided against outsourcing
…tried again to find a co-founder
…woohoo – found a co-founder
…boohoo – failed to find a co-founder
…decided to stop finding a co-founder
…decided to hire a developer
…struggled to find a developer
…found a developer
…ikooloo doubles in size!
…start to re-build the product
…try to work out the unique ‘features’ of the Apple and Google stores
…apply (and rejected) for BizSpark
…test the product; show the test version to around 50 people
…get people using the product
…apply (accepted) for BizSpark
…functionally fine; design disaster, pricing confusion
…re-design the logo
…re-design the app
…code, code, code, add functionality (where is that MVP?)
…Learn that Apple’s TestFlight puts a huge barrier in experience for non-technical testers
…show the product again, another 50 people
…functionally fine; design disaster II
…consolidate functionality (MVP is close)
…re-design the app (again)
…show the app to anyone and everyone
…more pricing confusion
…alex (developer) goes on holiday

Which brings us up to date and (if I don’t have enough to do) it’s only now whilst writing this list that I’ve actually realised what a lot I could and should have written about. I’ll try and cover all of these topics in future but, for now, let’s concentrate on where we are now.

When Alex comes back from vacation (I’m not counting – it’s 6 days) we will be working hard to put the final touches the first (preview) release of ikooloo.

This should be ready and available to download on Apple and Google stores in the next few weeks.

So, if you haven’t signed up yet, please do so on www.ikooloo.com. Oh, did I mention we have unicorns?

p.s. ‘It’s been a long time’ is the opening line from “Rock and Roll”, released by Led Zeppelin in 1971 on Led Zeppelin IV (that’s 4 for you millennials). See them perform it live at Madison Square Garden on YouTube

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The story so far

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In case you wanted to read our previous blog entries; they are all on Medium… All entries from now on will be on the website too!

Day 1 – A new beginning

Day 5 – That’s just a fruit

Day 19 – It’s the wife’s fault

Day 27 – Business plan? Forget that, I’m Lean!

Day 48 – Now there, are 3 steps to heaven.

 

 

p.s. The Story So Far are an American punk band from California.  The rather melodic ‘Clairvoyant’ has over 5 million views on YouTube so that’s probably a surprise for those of you have never even heard of them. This link is to a live version that has slightly fewer viewers.

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