#268: Starting, Scaling & Selling Wavve, the SaaS Company for Sharing Podcast Audio Clips, with Founder Baird Hall
Today we’re interviewing Baird Hall, an entrepreneur who has successfully built a business from scratch and exited with a smile on his face. As a sales engineer selling data integration systems at a startup in Charleston, he was always looking for a creative outlet. Something where he could do his own thing. This longing led him to choose the path of entrepreneurship. In this episode, he offers lessons he’s learned along the way.
We’re going to be talking about how he started, scaled, and sold Wavve, a SaaS company built for sharing podcast audio clips. He talks about the right mindset and how to “stay in check” so you can stay true to yourself and do everything for the right reason - if you let your ego get in the way you will hit those anxiety periods - and you have to know how to course correct.
Software as a service (SaaS) is an increasingly popular sales and business model that has a unique ability to discover and solve issues in unserviced markets. On today’s show, we’re doing a deep dive into one SaaS industry entrepreneur’s journey—from bad investments to seven-figure deals—to show how it’s possible to do a lot of good while making money. Baird Hall shares his greatest success of selling Wavve to Calm Capital after only four years in business and how it allowed him to realign his long-term vision with his career by solving real issues in an intentional and self-aware way through entrepreneurship. Learn how his personal drivers kept him in check when he got off track and how he grew from zero to over 200,000 users and $1.5M in ARR in this episode
What You Will Learn
- Why it’s important to build your business off of your personality traits
- How Wavve scaled to 200,000 users and $1.5M in annual recurring revenue (ARR) within only a few years
- How to reflect on those anxiety pits that can surface when you are not in “the zone”
- Why failure can be a great thing, but you shouldn’t “fail fast”
- The difference between educating a market and listening to the market
- When Baird and his partner decided to start pulling money out of the business
- What methods Wavve used to maintain their growth
- How your personal drivers play a big part in your business—and what happens if you veer off course
- Why creativity and growth go hand in hand when scaling a SaaS business
- The importance of building social capital with different stakeholders
- How to plan out a successful scale by setting goals tied to target MRR
- The pros and cons to hiring a business broker to sell your business
- How Baird negotiated the sale of Wavve completely through Slack
- Understanding what your priorities are (what do you want from the business and why) in the exit is in the best interest of both parties
- How to identify some signs that it may be a good time to sell
- Listening to customers to help you grow—and how that’s different with B2C vs B2B
- Why failure helps you figure out what you want to learn
Baird Hall is a four-time SaaS founder with broad experience in the market. He has no trouble sharing his failures right alongside his successes because he knows the value of the lessons he’s learned from both. Baird now works to reduce churn through customizing and improving offboarding experiences through his company Churnkey.
10:07 - “But then it was just, we felt the pull. It’s hard to explain that if you haven’t felt that pull in your business before. People would just come to our website to ask, ‘How do I do this? How can I make this better? How do I do X, Y, and Z to my video?’ And you can just feel it.” - Baird Hall
14:13 - “When I’m focused on outcomes, it’s usually my ego that gets in the way and that always throws me off course.” - Baird Hall
15:07 - “[When I’ve had anxiety] it’s always been around trying to fit some model of success that I think other people have. Selling the business was definitely one of them. That was definitely a badge I thought I should get from an entrepreneurial standpoint. But looking back, I mean, nobody really cares. Looking back, I need to be focused on why I am doing things.” - Baird Hall
19:59 - “What’s the point of failing fast? The point of failing is to learn. If you can learn what doesn’t work and what is not a good fit for you, that’s going to help you. It’s easier to just cross things off the list than to pick the most optimum outcome.” - Baird Hall
30:41 - “It seems like, in B2B, you need to build up social equity.” - Baird Hall
57:12 - “There was a guy that was on my show years ago (I steal this quote all the time now), he goes, ‘Now as an entrepreneur, I’m professionally unemployable.” - Ryan Tansom
57:42 - “What do you personally want? What is it that you want out of life? And, I think, there are a lot of people that just don’t distill that down. They need to figure out and write that down. It’s hard to get a bunch of things out of life, but you can always get a couple.” - Baird Hall, on his definition of intentional
Links and Resources:
Reach out to me if you have questions about the boot camp!
You can also reach out to me via email at email@example.com, or on my LinkedIn.
Brought to you by Ryan Tansom of Intentional Growth