Will coronavirus force the work-from-home movement? Today, we're hearing from remote work expert Marie Prokopets. We also have Paddle Co-Founder, Harrison Rose, here—to help you expand internationally. Plus, lessons in expansion revenue from one of the fastest growing SaaS companies on the map.
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Podium rolls out payments to amp up customer interactivity
Podium, a Utah-based SaaS company focused on small business customer interactions, added payments technology to its product suite this week—ultimately allowing its users (the companies leveraging its software) to collect payments. This gives Podium users the ability to charge buyers for goods and services in a way that’s integrated into the rest of the software company’s service.
Podium’s platform works in conjunction with Stripe’s processing tech to be used with the kinds of businesses Podium works with—namely businesses that operate from a physical location. And according to Crunchbase, Podium is one of SaaS’ fastest growing companies. They reached $60 million in ARR in 2017 and held sight of $100 million in ARR for 2019.
This growth is insane. And that’s all before Podium’s decision to add payments, to open up new revenue that users would never have seen prior. For Podium (and, in turn, its users) this is big.
Because we know growth in SaaS doesn't come from acquisition, it comes from existing customers. Expansion revenue is the lifeblood of a successful subscription business, particularly when it comes to looking at growth. As they grow, you grow. As you grow, they grow.
As companies improve, more revenue comes in through the expansion of current customers. Podium clearly knows that SaaS is about value, and that value needs to constantly expand. This is why expansion revenue works so well, and why the bigger you get, the more important it becomes.
Acquisition naturally dries up, but if you continue to provide great value to your existing customers and they continue to grow, then you can take part in the growth of every single one.
We have plenty of resources on expansion revenue, particularly on how much of your revenue should come from it. Here's a list if you're interested in reading on:
- Expansion revenue: How much do you need to be successful?
- 30%+ of your revenue should be expansion revenue
- Unlocking growth with expansion revenue
- How do you increase expansion revenue quickly?
"Whether you think you're an international company or not, you are."
The team members over at Paddle, the subscription billing system for scaling SaaS, are no strangers to international expansion. Because they know when you’re selling globally, you can hyper localize—your language, your currencies, your opportunities.
And there are stats that back the effectiveness of expanding to new geographies. So I sat down with Harrison Rose, Co-Founder of Paddle, to chat through the nuances of international expansion, specifically pointing to Paddle’s International Expansion Guide devoted to this. I’ll link to it in your subscriber newsletter.
Thanks for hanging with us today, Harrison. Could you give us a quick rundown of your team's expertise?
“We take on all the operational burden of billing, so SaaS companies don’t have to. We handle everything from checkout, fraud, payments, indemnify them against tax liabilities—all of these things that are burdens around your billing—so that software companies can focus on their products, they can sell where they want, however they want, to whoever they want, without having to constantly build and iterate on this billing infrastructure that becomes a product within their own company to some extent. And they can focus on the things that matter.”
Why is international expansion something your team is focused on right now?
“We facilitate software companies going international. All of our sellers are international and all the sellers using Paddle are international. And I think when you start selling software you have this naive view that because there is no physicality or logistics, you can be this international player from day one, all of these barriers are knocked down, and you’re going to take over the world. When, in reality, selling internationally is getting increasingly complex and difficult from a compliance and operational perspective. That also can be done well or poorly.
You guys do a great job at talking about things like true localization to improve performance in some regions, and we ensure people are able to sell in those currencies, in a compliant way from day one without having to bother to set up entities, bank accounts, and merchant accounts in all these different regions, for example. So we literally facilitate people to be able to sell internationally, from day one, without having to build out that core infrastructure themselves—so they can have the widest possible market and be as successful as they can be.”
And you mentioned there are challenges to this. What are roadblocks to actually implementing this type of expansion?
“A lot of this depends on whether you’re a product-led company or going the enterprise route. Because I think a lot of the challenges you’d have would differ, and depending on which of those approaches you take, in the end we see the biggest companies normally do both of those things concurrently. But those challenges will differ.
To keep it high level and how these things would manifest themselves would be different depending on your go-to-market position—it’s things like localization in both price and language, and supporting things like currencies and efforts and ensuring you’re compliant in terms of taxes.
I think the thing that captures people out is that they see international as a certainty market they can go and succeed in. And they think a lot about how they can build a product and get product-market fit in that region, but maybe don’t consider enough the operational consequences of doing so.”
Do you think there are companies that this might not be a fit for? Or do you encourage all companies to go international at some point?
“It’s a great question. I think if you’re a product-led company with your self-serve checkout, we see a lot of folks who do that, say that they’re not focusing on international and they’re focusing on their homogenous market…
Now, the thing that we tell most folks is, ‘Whether you think you’re an international company or not, you are.’ You have customers hitting your website from all over the world. They’re probably signing up on their own, and they’re using your product. You might not be optimizing for that right now, but you have those customers.
And here are some of our own resources on localization:
- The 11%+ reason you need to localize your SaaS pricing
- Localization benchmarks
- How to localize your pricing
Will coronavirus force the WFH movement?
Marie Prokopets over at FYI can attest: remote work is a challenge. Although her journey of going 100% remote wasn't a cruise, she now says it’s her superpower. And amid the uptick in coronavirus cases globally, the idea of remote work is now top of mind for many.
As coronavirus spreads, the CDC urges sick workers to stay home. But what if you don’t get paid sick leave? That’s where working remotely can save a lot of folks. And the virus could, in some regard, force the work-from-home movement and ultimately prove its efficiency.
Of course there have been everlasting conflicting opinions on the matter, but despite the health issues, remote work’s popularity has grown immensely over the years. According to a study conducted by Upwork, 69% of younger generation managers have team members who are allowed to work remotely and among those that approve remote work options, 74% reported having team members who spend a significant portion of their time conducting their jobs remotely.
FYI, the document navigation platform, surveyed 486 people about remote work and learned that people absolutely love it.
Marie then compiled a guide on how to stop struggling with it, based on hundreds of tips and survey responses from remote workers. Because she knows there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for people with different work styles, different times at which they work, varying locations, and time zones across the map.
To further explore the power of remote, we have an episode of our show called the ProfitWell Report that looks at 3,000 subscription and SaaS companies, resulting in the type of study we may lose friends over.
We also have an episode of our show Tradeoffs to answer: Does remote work slow company growth?
Check those out and let us know what you think.
That’s it for your March 4 episode of Recur Now. If you're not signed up to receive daily episodes of the show, head to recurnow.com.
Check back here tomorrow for more, and remember—this show is for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have news you want to spread or input on any topic we cover.
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