Shrad Rao’s Approach to Driving Growth: The Impact of Focusing on Customer Love

Posted by Anant January 16, 2023

Shrad Rao, the founder and CEO of Wagepoint, created the company to simplify payroll for small business owners and improve their overall experience with this function.

Everyone talks about loving their customers, but Shrad actually does. In this episode he shows us how customer love leads to bottom line growth (even in boring industries)!


→ How customer love leads to bottom-line growth

→ He is the CEO of Wage Point, a payroll service for small and medium businesses

→ Wage Point simplifies the payroll process for small businesses by providing direct deposit and government remittance services

→ The company is specifically designed to target and serve the small and medium business market

→ Insights from customer development and market research

→ Own experience in the small business payroll space

→ Understanding of the specific pain points and needs of small businesses when it comes to payroll

→ Identifying the target audience and their behavior patterns

→ And a whole lot more


Shrad’s LinkedIn Profile




Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV. I’m Bronson Taylor and today I have Shred Rail with this charade. Thanks for coming on the program.

Shrad: Thank you for having me.

Bronson: Absolutely. Now, Fred, you are the CEO of Wage Point, which is the first multi-country payroll service for small and medium businesses. So let’s start by talking about wage point in your own words. What is wage point?

Shrad: Thank you. It’s a great introduction there. So, Bronson, which point is your software reimagined just for small businesses? So you can imagine payroll is very complex. Nobody really likes dealing with it. It’s not a very sexy topic to talk about all day. So that just happens to be my job and I love it. I mean, I think it’s a very cool, cool aspect that I get to to understand so much about how taxes work and stuff up there. Just a personal excitement thing. So we try to what we do is we help small businesses have the best experience that they’ll ever have when it comes to dealing with payroll.

Bronson: Mm hmm. Yeah.

Shrad: And yeah. So and that includes, like, things like direct deposits, you know, all remittances to all the governments in the U.S. and Canada. So because it’s so complex, we basically build a product that helps simplify it to a point where a small business owner can use it and move on to doing other things. Right.

Bronson: Yeah. It seems like you guys knew from the very beginning you were going after small and medium businesses, so you kind of built the toolset with your customer already in mind. Is that fair?

Shrad: It’s totally fair. Yeah, it’s absolutely fair.

Bronson: Do you think the product actually is better because you had such a laser focus on who this is for? It wasn’t just payroll for anybody. It was payroll for a certain size business.

Shrad: Yeah, 100%, I think. I could not imagine trying to build something for everybody and then scaling it down. I just cannot imagine we’d have the same success. You know that that I just want to use our software and we have to say, yeah, it’s really not built for you, you know, thank you. But it’s just not going to work for you. And that discipline is probably the biggest reason why it’s been successful today.

Bronson: Yeah.

Shrad: It’s very, very tempting to say yes. Rolls-Royce will say yes to you because Rolls-Royce is one.

Bronson: Of your calls.

Shrad: And we were like, it just, you know, we want to be honest and transparent very early on. We don’t want to waste anybody’s time. So we knew how to get the messaging and how to talk to our audience from the very first day that we started the business.

Bronson: How did you get those insights? How did you know how to talk to that audience? Was it customer development? Was it just her own experience in that space? Was it?

Shrad: No, it was a lot of customer development. So the first thing we did is we put up a website that said payroll services and it was totally correct in the back where there’s a person sitting and actually processing payroll for anybody that just happened to come our way. So we had about 400 small businesses that signed up while we were building our apps to to to this payroll service thing. We only ended up converting a small portion of them because most of them were looking for payroll software. But the ones that ended up saying, okay, you know what, even if it’s a service, we want to support you guys, those stuck around even after we ended up launching our product. But what was interesting is that we ended up talking to 400 businesses in the process. And what we what we realized is that we lost that target market in a lot of small businesses. It’s the people who are involved. The small businesses are the most relatable people that you will ever meet. You know, these are people who are like, you’re a small business contact. These are people that you can hang out with. You can grab a coffee with, you can drink beer with, you can curse with. Right. These are people who are generally not there for a purpose. They have their life’s mission that they’re working on and there’s nothing more inspiring than being around those people. So it’s not that we don’t like to talk to people in large corporations, it’s just that we prefer small businesses who we can just completely limit.

Bronson: Yeah. And you know, other companies might prefer big business or might prefer, you know, these solo entrepreneurs, but, you know, you found the one that you love, which means you can build a product with passion for that one slice of the world and you’ll be done right. So that’s awesome. So you guys launched in what year?

Shrad: So we launched last summer. Okay. So it was July, I believe, of 2013. Okay.

Bronson: So you’ve been going a little over a year now and you started in Canada and now you’re kind of expanding out of these other countries.

Shrad: Yeah. So payroll software is very nuanced. It’s very complex to build. And really there is no such thing as an MVP because, you know, you mess it up once and this game over.

Bronson: That’s a good insight, right? There are some things it’s not a minimum viable product. It’s a minimal sellable product.

Shrad: Yes, absolutely. Like if we were not able to actually do direct deposits, all the remittances of remittances are like basically the payments we make to all the agencies. Oh, yeah.

Bronson: If nobody does that.

Shrad: You do or you don’t.

Bronson: I do. I, yeah. Yeah.

Shrad: So we should talk after this.

Bronson: Yeah, like, yeah.

Shrad: But, but the the truth is that if you don’t build a product that does those things, you don’t have a payroll software. Yeah. So, you know, I mean it’s like a dose of the capitalist.

Bronson: Yeah.

Shrad: And so there are some very finite definitions of what payroll needs to be able to do. So you do live in a box from that perspective and finding out. So now you talk about Canada. In Canada, all the all of our money goes to the central government or the federal government and the federal government that distributes all the the that the taxes to the appropriate agencies. In the US there’s 13,000 tax codes and all the money goes to all the different agencies. So you as a small business owner have to figure out how to negotiate that that battle. And as a payroll software company, we have to say, well, our payroll software has to actually roll into each country.

Bronson: Almost go.

Shrad: Yeah. One by one. Right. Yeah. You can’t just be like, Oh, now we’re ready for the globe. We actually have to understand what the rules of a particular country are before we get there.

Bronson: Yeah. So how much have you guys grown since launching in July? I mean, anything you can disclose, you know? Yeah, those numbers are.

Shrad: No, we’re pretty transparent for the most part. So we have over 500 customers. Customers, all paying customers. We have a lot more users because we used to have a free plan, but then we killed it. And I’ll tell you.

Bronson: Why.

Shrad: If you’re interested. But we we actually found that people who were free users were always going to be free or thieves and people who were willing to pay for it always were going to pay for it right from the beginning. So we have three. So we have over 500 customers. We’ve moved over $120 million of zero eight and the 500 customers we pay 4000 employees on their behalf. So you’re responsible for a fair chunk of change, and it’s a lot of responsibility for small business, for a small startup. Another reason why MVP is don’t work for everything. So if we had an MVP that would handle a few hundred customers, we would have been in trouble really quickly. Mm hmm. So we have to figure out scale very early on.

Bronson: Yeah.

Shrad: That’s right. Yeah. Because moving that kind of money, you means you have to be able to track every last minute. And that’s probably the most important thing that we are we’re able to do.

Bronson: Yeah, that’s awesome. So what would you say is most responsible for your growth? You know, to have 500 customers, you know, in a little over a year, you know, you said you put up that landing page. You have 400 kind of sign ups and you converted some of those. I mean, where is this traffic coming from? Where are these customers coming from? Like, what’s the thing that actually makes this thing grow right now for you all?

Shrad: So from payroll software. Right. Not sexy. Like we don’t.

Bronson: Know what.

Shrad: We have always. Taken a position as to how we want to be perceived. We’ve always done that. So we’ve never been like sort of lukewarm, you know, in the middle vanilla type companies. There’s been either, like kind of extreme. So when we started off, we had like, you know, a robot on a dragon on the on the homepage, you know, because we were like, look, we get that the stuff is boring. We’ll never take it. We will always take it seriously. But we not going to take ourselves seriously because, you know, at the end of the day, small businesses are very much like consumers. Right. And when you’re using consumer apps, if it doesn’t give you some sort of entertainment factor, you switch it off. Right. And and so we approach small business software with the same kind of like, you know, little bit of quirk factor. We buried it back a little bit because we were testing to see how much we could get away with.

Bronson: You remove the dragon and left the robot.

Shrad: Yeah, pretty much. What’s funny, though, is that because of that hardline in the way that we thought about our company, two things have happened. One, we’ve attracted the kind of customer that, again, we could we can love and they can love us right back. So we’ve we’ve gotten we’ve cultivated superfans from doing it, though, because we’ve picked the position, right? We’re not in the middle. People either love us or they look confused by us, but they never in the middle. Right. So they love or hate, but never in the middle. And that’s something that we were very passionate about from the first day that we got started.

Bronson: You know, I think let me jump in on that. That’s such an important point. You know, people think that like take like Amazon reviews, for instance, right. They think it’s important to have like a high average rating on stars. But that’s not what’s important. It’s important to have a bunch of five stars and a bunch of one stars because you want to polarize people. Because you know what? Three stars don’t buy. Three stars don’t subscribe. Three stars don’t stay customers year after year that five stars do and one stars leave and that’s okay. And so you want a product that polarizes a little bit or you’re not really making a statement enough to grow something.

Shrad: And you hit it right on the head. You said it a lot better than I did, but that’s exactly what it is. It said, you need you have to talk to the customer inside yourself. Right. So what kind of products would you buy and why do you buy that? Right. And then you need to test to see how many other people like you are out there. Yeah. And you know that there’s going to be a certain percentage of the population and then it’s a matter of reaching those types of people. So have you had customers that have been, you know, completely not at all in sync with our culture? Mm hmm. Yeah. But it’s a very few percentage because most of them know exactly what who they’re dealing with.

Bronson: And and so it’s interesting because I asked you a question about, you know, how have you guys grown? And the answer is, we love our customers. And so, yeah, you didn’t go to a traffic channel. You didn’t go to a tactic. It says you really feel like you resonate with your target audience. Do you feel like that is responsible for your growth, this resignation?

Shrad: Absolutely. People people need to know why to choose you, right? People need to know why they should give you your time and money and energies. Right. And if you can give them a compelling reason, the reason is not features. Usually it’s them do business with me because you’re going to you’re we’re going to actually be in sync.

Bronson: Yeah.

Shrad: You’re never going to tell me something and I’m going to be confused by it because we speak the same language that typically I think what? So we’re very inspired by companies like less accounting, you know.

Bronson: Than before. Yeah.

Shrad: Yeah. So we’re inspired by people like that. Inspired like Basecamp is a perfect example. They’ve always been very hard line, but how they behave and how they talk to their customer and we think that this is the reason why companies grow.

Bronson: Yeah. Now there’s a lot of great insights. Now you guys are expanding, you know, into these different countries are becoming international. How important is that for your growth every time you add a country, is that just a tremendous upswing on your grows or is it really kind of static for a long time and it doesn’t do much right away? How important is are international expansion?

Shrad: Okay. So it’s as important as going from 1 million small businesses in our target market in Canada to 9.1 million.

Bronson: So it just opens up the market big time.

Shrad: It’s ten times the size right now. The U.S. obviously is the most pervasive market for software, right. In general. So it’s the it’s the it’s the beacon right now. All startups are driven towards the US. If I could do do a do over what I start in the U.S. maybe. But I think we’ve sort of like tested in our home country where some friendlies were there that we could sort of.

Bronson: Yeah, you get that it’s kind of your test market.

Shrad: Yes, exactly. And so for us, because grow software, like I said, you need to launch markets before you can get into them. It’s not like building CRM, right? Like open it up in the world can use it. So for us, opening up in some markets is very important because it gives us the breadth. Having said that, though, I could pick theoretically New York, which which has over 200,000 small businesses and simply spend my life here and be a really good regional player. So the small. This market allows you to that kind of flexibility. Yeah. It all depends on the kind of company you are. There are some companies can do really well with like 500 customers that are all fortune, you know, a thousand Fortune 1000 customers or whatever. But for us, it’s not just about the depth. It’s also a little bit about the breadth.

Bronson: Yeah, no, those are great. All right. So let’s geek out a little bit about growth. Sure. So you’re into some of the specific growth things. I was reading your LinkedIn profile and it says that you’re obsessed with lowering acquisition cost through new media. So what does that mean and how have you done that for a wage point? How do you load your acquisition calls with new media?

Shrad: Oh, you know what? The truth is that we we look for ways to. We look for new things that that marketers haven’t exploited fully just yet. I just think most marketers we’re always looking for the next thing that is going to be big. So if you take if you take product hunt, for example. Right. So we are usually early in a lot of these things. Sometimes we’re just right, but many times early, sometimes really late. But really, when we talk about new media, when I first wrote that, I meant, you know, all the things related to digital marketing. Right. So our job as marketers and as even though I’m the CEO of the company, I very much a marketer myself. We look for the end of the funnel type channels. Right. Where can we find end of the funnel users? And so new marketing or new media is all of those things. It’s seem as you all that stuff but also looking for channels like that. Nobody’s exploratory. Just want to.

Bronson: Try to let me read between the lines a little bit. So you guys basically look at product on every day. Make a list of the small businesses that you think would fit with wage points and you reach out to them and see if you can get the conversation going, right?

Shrad: Yeah, that’s definitely we have tried those things. And you know what? In in in in as a polar opposite, we’ve also just tried picking up the phone and doing Google calls and just see what happens. Yeah. So, I mean, it’s all of our testing, as you know. Right. Like you had to optimize early on, just a little while ago. So I believe in testing. And so for us, it’s when we hear of something, can we can we take advantage of that? Can we exploit it in a way that is not opportunistic, but yet brings us closer to our customer base or our target base? Yeah. And and just to clarify. People are a product and are usually early adopters themselves of difference. So understanding of demographics of the new media are probably the most important thing. There’s a lot of mom and pop shops that still use directories. Yeah. Or search. And so like we’ve even tried like really awful things like or I guess we think it’s old school but like, you know, 411. k just putting up a direct listing just to see what happens.

Bronson: Yeah, right. Right.

Shrad: So that’s what I mean. Like the whole thing is saying, okay, well, how do we get us from, you know, a certain cost of acquisition to obviously, you know, Laura and the best one obviously is word of mouth.

Bronson: Yeah.

Shrad: And so we try to build a we actually building in a referral engine in our software where every time you run a payroll and you make a referral, it discounts the base price. So we just so eventually hopefully you don’t pay anything.

Bronson: Yeah. But it also says on the LinkedIn profile that you are focused on making decisions based on metrics and analytics. So I want to dig into that a little bit. What tools are you guys using with wage point to track your metrics? Is there software you’re using? Is it in-house stuff you built? How do you track what’s going on in the back in there?

Shrad: Excellent combination. So we do have some in-house stuff because it’s payroll. So there are some metrics that are very specific to that. But we you know, we use the same stuff that most people do. I think we use Google Analytics or KISSmetrics, we use Intercom. So understanding the trigger points in the customer activation cycle. So once you get someone to convert, so we have conversion and activation, right? So conversions are when someone signs up, activations are when they actually trigger the run on the first payroll. Mm hmm. So understanding that journey from a customer to conversion activation is probably the single most important thing that I think all SaaS businesses have to do. Yeah. So I’ll give you an example of that. In our system, users have to add their phone number, their business summer. When they add that, we know they’re getting another form.

Bronson: Okay.

Shrad: Then they add the first employee. Now, this started to get really interesting. Then they add their background information and it’s pretty much game over. Then they’re hot. Yeah. People will think about, like, the whole, you know, suspects to prospects to whatever funnel before that become, before they even get converted or they show interest or whatever. But we look at it asker. So we say, what are all the triggers within the system that actually tells us that they’re getting hotter? So we start to focus more on. So now when you add the back information number like one close quote source says experience.

Bronson: So are you going? So now you kind of looked at the funnel after the fact and said, okay, the fan means they’re a little bit warm and the first employee means that are hotter. So you kind of found those trigger points. Then do you go to Intercom and say, okay, what can we send them after they put the API in to push them along to add their first employee? And then you go back to the intercom, what can I add after they had their first employee to get their bank account? And so basically, like, walk them along using stuff like Intercom, right.

Shrad: Exactly. Hit it right on the head. That’s exactly what we do. And the motivation is different to get to the next step. So it has to be custom to that step.

Bronson: Mm hmm. Yeah, I like that a lot. You know, there’s something about I mean, that’s what I’m learning a lot. You know, we had the guys on the name of it, I can’t remember right now, but they do the whole thing where you sign up on the email list and then if you refer friends, you get in quicker than anything. But the way they do it is by using email to drag you along this path. And so every time you refer somebody, they send you a new email telling you, Oh, now you only need this many more referrals and you get this. And there’s something about pinging them at the right time with the right information that can really lubricate that funnel and help people move through it a lot with less friction.

Shrad: Absolutely. And you know, the other thing, too, is they’re cultural differences between countries that are very interesting to do as we as we just we just launched in the U.S.. Right. So we’re starting to notice this stuff. So Americans, when they get on the phone or or if they send us emails, they’re so well informed of the choices. It’s crazy. Like, they know things that we don’t know about our competitors, you know what I mean? And and so it becomes really important then to be able to speak very specifically to differences between us and other and other companies in our space. So my point is that it’s some of these things are also cultural and you have to bake those into your assumptions. In Canada, it’s not that people don’t know. They just trust the relationship really quickly.

Bronson: When we’re trusting. Yeah.

Shrad: So a really simple example of trust is in the in Canada, we’ve, we’ve have hundreds of customers and we’ve had no instances of fraud at all. So nobody’s trying to pretend like their customer in the U.S. We hit our ten customer mark and we we immediately had a fraudulent.

Bronson: Yeah.

Shrad: So, I mean, it’s just difference in.

Bronson: That you’re so much nicer. But we all know that. We all know they’re to be nice.

Shrad: Yeah, but. But also, you know, less aggressive from I mean, there’s pros and cons, right? So my point is that you have to bake all those things into your inner core message. You have to say, this guy is from Canada. This is what I think he values. And so it’s not just about like, you know, trying to do one size fits all. You have to add some filters that actually make sense for those people.

Bronson: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally. I like that. Now, what metric has surprised you? You know, as you build wage point, is there any metric that really matters that you didn’t know to even track initially or anything like that?

Shrad: Yeah. So. So one thing that came up was we we used to think that when people sign up, they’ll act a bit like really quick because who’s going to look for payroll software unless you absolutely need it? So what is it for? For nobody. Maybe me, but nobody else. Yeah. And. And what we found out was that just by implementing KISSmetrics, because the keyword analysis actually told us that our activation rates are ridiculously good. Mm hmm. For for SAS metrics in general, like, I think it’s gendered at 50%.

Bronson: Mm hmm.

Shrad: Which is crazy. So that was last year. But as our as our numbers have grown, of course, to us, that has started to decline, sadly. But it’s but it’s not at the, you know, three or four standards kind of thing. Is it still in the tens or 25% or whatever, which is still very excellent. But what happened is the only way we discovered that is because we actually did cohort analysis and we saw those people who were signing up in July were only activating actually in November, because what happened is that people would say, you know what, this payroll thing is going to be really complex. I should really get to it. Just let me get set up, you know, figure it out. And then so we had customers that would call us. They would say, Oh, yeah, I don’t need to do this until next month. But I thought this was going to be a lot more complex. But we’re pretty much done here. And this would be like, you know, 15 minutes, hopefully despite the ups. So those are. Those are things. I think that just the education about how people end up trending in terms of how they can work versus Activision, I think those are that’s probably one of the biggest, most surprising things we’ve seen.

Bronson: Yeah. You know, it’s so interesting, this entire interview so far, everything is so much about the customer. It’s about, you know, how to reach that market. It’s about how to build a product for them. It’s about understanding the country they’re from. It’s about communicating in ways that they can understand and do things. I mean, it’s just it seems like it’s hard to fail if you’re that obsessed with the customer, right?

Shrad: Yeah, absolutely. So a really good example is that 85% of our support tickets are closed within an hour.

Bronson: Wow.

Shrad: Yeah. So we’re like, literally will wake up to solve the problem because we’re always mission critical. I like this. I can’t say, Oh, I will take care of this tomorrow. I envy those businesses. You know.

Bronson: It’s nice, right? Yeah.

Shrad: Exactly. Yeah. But in our. In our case, it’s just not possible. Yeah. So, yeah. Customer, it’s, you know, like when you go to somebody, like just have been to people’s soup shops and they’ve been running payroll. Just when we walked in there, it’s like it’s like a high, you know, it feels so good. And so you can tell them, I like the people that we do business with. So obviously I’m going to try to do as much as I can for them.

Bronson: Yeah. Now, that’s great. Now, you also have an interest in really just product UI, UX, branding, all those things. Yeah. How important are those things to growth? Because so far we’ve talked about funnels. We’ve talked about understanding your customer. We talked about, you know, all those kind of, you know, ways to get sign ups. How important is the other software stuff, the UI, the U.S., the branding? How does that fit into the to the growth story for you guys?

Shrad: It’s huge. I mean, it’s the only thing the customer sees. It goes back to that like they don’t care how you’re doing it. They just want it done.

Bronson: Hmm. Sorry about that. It’s okay.

Shrad: That’s all.

Bronson: Yeah.

Shrad: Yeah. So they don’t really care about anything outside of us. The U.S. UI. You know, it’s only tech people that really think that there’s something magic happening that everyone should know about behind the scenes. Nobody cares. Yeah. Especially a customer. They just want to know that you are people who are going to quarterback this payroll thing right to the end. That’s all in it to know.

Bronson: It reminds me of like the 37 signals, the way they approach product. They say you design it first and then you engineer it. But the reason is because the design is the only thing the customer sees. Yeah, they don’t see the engineering. So you need to get the design right and then let the engineers build that design. And it just makes a lot more sense that way.

Shrad: Yeah. So we’ve never built a product that we didn’t completely spec out first. Now, I’m not saying that respect, unlike the what the account management feature was going to look like, but but all the main stuff. We’ve never built a product that we haven’t specked out. Yeah. Oh that is, this is such a waste of time to just keep re-engineering something. And so yeah, I mean the, the, what’s interesting and I don’t know if you find this interesting, but we’ve never tried to be the sexiest tech product out there because our user base, we’ve had, you know, six year old, six year old grandmothers that own the chocolate shop. Mm hmm. And so what we do want to do is use so much of bootstrap or angular or whatever that these guys are like, wow, this looks amazing. But it’s not for me. It’s for these young, cool people who know what technology is all about. But it’s not for me. Yeah. So we have said really early on, let’s make it pretty. Absolutely. Let’s make it beautiful as as much as we can. But let’s make it functional first, especially from the experience standpoint.

Bronson: Yeah. So that’s yeah. You know, when I was looking at your homepage, it’s something else I want to bring up. I noticed that the Wage Point homepage is very driven by copywriting. Was that intentional? And walk me through that a little bit.

Shrad: Yeah, it is. So Payroll has a lot of educational components to it, right. So you need to really know what you’re going to get when you buy this product. With most products, you see a lot of feature sets, right? But when you’re doing a direct deposit, it’s not necessarily a feature set. It’s it’s something that you must have if you just said a lot of them are nice to have, though. I see that with, you know, fully understanding that there are some features that are mandatory, but the payroll people need to understand it before they purchase it. So copywriting, what we found is that our conversions actually skyrocketed when we started putting more copy in there. Yeah. And people think that by making something pretty looking or whatever. Nice looking, but pretty designs. That’s good, right? And to be very frank with you, I’m so tired of like the picture, you know, the single parallax picture over the coffee shop.

Bronson: And.

Shrad: Coffee shop owner of it. We just wanted to be different. We want to be able to be very conversion focused and say, this is what you’re going to get. This is how you sign up for it. Because, believe it or not, people who are not in tech all the time still ask us. How do I sign up for this? Even though they see sign up everywhere, it’s still not enough.

Bronson: Well, you know, I like one of the things you did with the sign up, which is kind of a clever little thing. There’s a sign up on the right of the site that you scroll past, but as soon as you scroll past it, another sign, a box, just like it drops in from the top of the site. And it’s static. You know, it stays there, persistent. And so kind of wherever you’re at, scrolling on the page, you’re really close to a sign up box. Yeah.

Shrad: Yeah. There’s just a different way that we have a process and people saw us because how do we sign?

Bronson: You still can’t make it easy enough.

Shrad: That’s the thing. So my point is that you know all these and again, it’s not that we just want to be different, but we. We emphasize the journey before we emphasize the design.

Bronson: Mm hmm.

Shrad: And so the.

Bronson: Journey before we emphasize the design. Yeah.

Shrad: So, I mean, for us, copywriting has always been effective. It conveys not only what we do, but also how we do it. They’re always a little cheeky. Mm hmm. And that tends to like there are some people who love it. Like, people are like, I love you guys because you’re so cheeky. Mm hmm. And that’s the same thing if you ask. I’m sure if you ask Ellen Branch from accounting what you should totally have on the program, because he’s awesome.

Bronson: Yeah, we should.

Shrad: Yeah, he. He’s the kind of guy that, you know, he believes this stuff, and it’s actually worked for him.

Bronson: Mm hmm. Now, this has been awesome. I mean, we’ve learned so much just about how to really think about the customer and so much else besides that. I have two last questions to close this out. First, what’s in the future for growing wage point? What’s on the roadmap? Where are you going to try next to to get the numbers up?

Shrad: You mean like Bitcoin?

Bronson: Yeah. Other than that, I mean, maybe that’s it. I mean, you know, you guys recently, you know, started paying employees in Bitcoin and people choose to do stuff like that. You’re going to try to just keep being innovative.

Shrad: Yeah. So I mean, you know, like, when’s the last time someone has actually innovated and how you get paid?

Bronson: Mm hmm. Never.

Shrad: Yeah, it’s always in cash, right? And it’s always in. And some people maybe wanted in in Bitcoin. Maybe they wanted in. I don’t know. Maybe they wanted a gold.

Bronson: It was all right. It was fun, right? I mean, if nothing else.

Shrad: And so the Bitcoin thing was just sort of like keep a small piece aside, you know, with your pay and and convert into Bitcoin. But it turned out and this was another one of those metrics that surprised us, that 80% of the people that turned on that feature took 100% of the net Bitcoin.

Bronson: That’s crazy. I know.

Shrad: So you based this this Bitcoin feature was totally part of a hackathon, an internal hackathon that we did because people are kind of looking for something fun to do. And it was only 20 hours that we put to the project, so it wasn’t like a huge departure from our roadmap or whatever. And we said, Well, we’re working something that’s really fun to get paid with or something that’s interesting. And we all like Bitcoin, you know, integrates. So, so we did it purely just for as a side project, just for a little bit of fun and to work on something we get excited about and stop talking about payrolls for 5 minutes. Mm hmm. And and so we process first customer. Our first employee took $2,000 in Bitcoin in January.

Bronson: Mm hmm.

Shrad: And as of last month, it was 75,000.

Bronson: Well, that’s great. All right, so so last question. And this is a question to ask to everybody, you know, to to end the show. What’s the best advice you have for any startup that’s trying to grow?

Shrad: The best advice I can have is that you got to find your own voice and you have to have personality. Don’t be middle of the road. It is not worth it. You’re simply left a corporate job where people always try to make you middle of the road and create another company that was middle of the road. Just be awesome at something. Even if your even if your ideas, if you if you’re the only one who loves your ideas, I guarantee you that when you actually put yourself out there and get a little vulnerable, you’re going to find other people that feel the same way about it. So yeah, that would be. I think that people think about advice usually for this kind of stuff and they tell you, you know, focus on on better hacks, focus on better marketing. But I’m just saying, like, be really the kind of person you want to be and make sure your company represents and reflects that because you always have the most amount of success doing that.

Bronson: Yeah, well, tread, that is a perfect advice to end on. So thank you again for coming on Growth After TV.

Shrad: Yeah, thank you very much. That was totally a blast. And I’m going to sign up. And if you’re watching, you should do.

Bronson: That’s all right. Thank you.

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