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Ferdinand Kjærulff, CEO of GrowthBond Shares Journey as an Entrepreneur & Problem Solver

Everybody knows that a business that makes no sales is not business at all. Unfortunately, most businesses out there are making little to no sales. Many factors can cause this problem: poor management skills, low-quality offer, and of course, the fact that the product or service may not be getting adequate exposure – and that is where Mr. Ferdinand Kjærulff comes in.

In this exclusive interview, he shares his journey as an entrepreneur and problem solver. So meet Ferdinand Kjærulff, CEO and founder of GrowthBond.

So, Mr. Kjærulff, what is your company in 2–5 words?

SME funding for online advertising

Why is now the time for your company to exist?

The explosive growth in smartphone and Facebook penetration rates enable us to reach an underserved market of SMEs in desperate need of capital and skills to grow their companies. 

What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?

We’re a team of young freelancers from all around the world. We all have experience from working as online freelancers instead of working for a larger corporation. We believe our background as online freelancers gives us the skills and potential to solve a significant problem in the world. 

It is estimated that a staggering 450 million companies worldwide are unable to get a loan from the traditional banking system because they operate solely in cash, cannot prove their creditworthiness, do not have collateral or are unable to demonstrate a market opportunity.

It is extremely hard for traditional banks to serve these small businesses when it is nearly impossible to evaluate the risk/opportunity and offer them small loans with low margins, compared to larger loans.

Even the companies that can be approved for bank loan struggles with paperwork, meetings, and bureaucracy in a process that can take several months. The consequence is the loss of jobs, economic growth, and, ultimately, major movements of people towards areas with job opportunities.

If you weren’t building your startup, what would you be doing?

I would be running an NGO

At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your metrics?

We measure our success by the number of companies we fund and the number of successful repayments we can achieve.

In a few sentences, what do you offer? And to whom?

Growthbond provides funding to SMEs in emerging markets for online advertising on Facebook/ Google managed by internet marketing experts.

We review companies’ marketing and revenue data, monthly revenue, return on ad spend, and unit economics to automate the diligence process and make a funding decision in minutes, compared to months in the traditional banking system.

If a company’s Facebook/Google ads and Stripe/Paypal sales metrics are positive, GrowthBond issues credit for the companies to hire internet marketing experts and increase their Facebook and Google ad spent. If the company does not conduct online marketing or charges customers offline, we provide a smaller loan for a marketing expert to setup advertising and a payment gateway. Consequently, Growthbond gradually disburses, monitor, and control the capital going into Facebook/Google ads and the sales and revenue going back into the company to charge the repayment.

This gives small business owners an alternative to expensive bank loans and trying to raise venture capital, which is close to impossible in most emerging markets. It leverages low start-up costs and an established user base of Facebook and Google to reach a wider and increasingly international audience beyond their traditional local market. Today, millions of African and Asian online retailers, selling everything from shoes, clothing, and cars, run their entire business through Facebook.

 We normally approve the funding within 24 hours, and we do not require a personal guarantee or collateral, and we seek to invest in the company as it grows, so long as ad spend and unit economics remains positive.

Where do you think your growth will be next year?

In Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Rwanda

Tell us about your first paying customer and revenue expectations over the next year.

A small business in Kenya

What’s your biggest threat?

We’re depending on access to both the Facebook and Google advertising platform.

“What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now, and how are you making it happen?”

Optimizing and automating the entire flow for companies and internet marketing experts.

“What’s the hardest decision you’ve made so far?” (No right or wrong answers here. What you’re looking for is some level of self-awareness.

B  To invest everything I had into this venture. 

How close is the company to become profitable and what are the plans around that?

We’re currently testing different models and acquisition strategies. We expect it will take time before we’ll find a profitable and scalable model

What are the company plans around being cash flow positive?

We hope to be cash flow positive within a year.

How much capital does the company have and what are the projected burn rates?

We’re a flexible organization of freelancers and an online platform to keep the monthly burn-rate low. We have a runway of 12 months.

If the company is pre-revenue, what are the monetization plans and what are the KPIs the company is tracking that you believe will lead to revenue? And how are those KPIs trending?

We’re on track with our core revenue model, but we need to experiment further to find more revenue streams to consolidate the business.

How do you build and develop talent and elevate people to be at their very best? How does the company continue to invest and grow people to be at their very best?

We constantly update our procedures and keep everyone educated with an online academy.

What inspired you to start the company? It’s usually really insightful to learn about the founder’s story, especially if you can discover the “why.”

Small companies have been let down by a decaying and outmoded banking industry despite the trillions of tax dollars spent in their bailouts. I thought it was about time someone tried to build a different solution.

The main problem is the costly and inefficient methods of assessing, delivering, and charging repayments on loans. That’s why we built GrowthBond, a platform designed to automate the credit assessment process for small business owners, which cuts waiting times by weeks, reduces loan operating costs, slashes minimum loans from thousands to hundreds of dollars, and enables real-time tracking of the deployment and financial return of the funds.

 Instead of relying on a paper-based loan application, loan officers, and official meetings to review old school business documentation, we primarily rely on data from Facebook/Google and, secondarily, on revenue data from payment gateways, such as Stripe and Paypal.

What does culture mean to you and how do you ensure this culture is maintained with everyone at the company? Make sure that you’re joining a company where you’re excited about the culture.

We try to maintain culture through our online communications as most of the team is remote. But it is extremely hard compared to having a traditional office. 

What is the most critical initiative you are working on now and how do you plan on achieving it? This is a great question to get insight into their thought process.

Our goal is to standardize our process and advertising methodology. We have our best minds working on this challenge.

Can I get to know you?

Just follow me on Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram

What motivated you to start your company?

A passion for entrepreneurship

Thank you Mr. Kjærulff. And that’s that for Growthbond now. The company looks to break new grounds and reach out to a bigger clientele in Africa while helping thousands of businesses in the process. It will be interesting to see how they survive in this huge evolving market in the midst of fierce competition.

PS: This interview is brought to you by PR Parrots. 

case studies will help you make more money 11

Case Studies Will Help You Make More Money: Here’s How

NB: This article is a syndicated blog post from Switch Video

Case studies are a marketing staple. Businesses use them to show how their product or service has been implemented successfully by customers. Instead of simply talking about a product, case studies allow businesses to show how their product can be used.

We’ve also had a lot of success with them here at Switch Video. This case study about Inbenta, for example, allows us to demonstrate how an explainer video helped Inbenta increase conversion rates by 20%. It really helps our customers to envision how videos can help to explain what they do and increase conversions in the process.

Case studies will help you make more money:

Case studies will help you make more money: Tell business success stories

At this point, you may be wondering, “What makes case studies so successful, and how can I use them to generate more leads?” Let’s talk about that now.

#1: Case Studies Tell a Story

The first thing case studies do is tell a story. They illustrate how your product or service can be used. Without them, you’re stuck with explaining what you do and why it’s beneficial to customers. But there are only so many ways you can describe yourself.

A case study brings your product to life. It’s a picture that’s worth a thousand words—providing an illustration of what you do, not just an explanation. Stories are also known to be one of the best ways to activate people’s brains and to get them to remember what you’re saying (more about that here). If you find yourself at a loss for getting the explanation of what you do to stick, try telling a story with a case study.

#2: Case Studies Focus on the Customer

Case studies also focus on the customer’s perspective. Instead of talking more about yourself, you focus on how a customer used your product. You get to describe the process and the results of implementing your product from the customer’s perspective.

A lot of businesses make the mistake of talking about themselves too much, especially on their websites. Case studies are a great way to take the attention off of yourself and to focus on the experience of one of your customers. Future prospects will react well to this because they’ll want to get the same results as the case study example.

#3: Case Studies Demonstrate Success

Not only do case studies focus on customers, but they also demonstrate how your product has been used successfully. Prospective customers care more about seeing how your product has been implemented than they care about hearing you talk about what you can potentially do.

Slay objectives and demonstrate that your product works

Slay objectives and demonstrate that your product works

In this way, case studies demonstrate success. They prove that you’re able to accomplish what you say you can do, based on real results and real stories, not just theories. Case studies give your company more credibility. They show that people are using your product and having success doing so.

#4: Case Studies Leverage Your Customers’ Brands

Case studies also let you leverage the brand power of your customers. By showing the businesses that you’ve worked with, whether it’s FacebookHPIBMInbenta, or someone else, you get to show the companies that you’ve worked with that are willing to back you up and talk about what you do.

When it comes to marketing, customers care a lot more about what other people have to say about you than what you have to say about yourself. This rings true with case studies.

#5: Case Studies Are Inexpensive

Compared to explainer videos, case studies are inexpensive. You simply have to take the time it takes to write and design a good case study. This can take between 10 to 20 hours and can cost between $500 to $1500, depending on the writer you use and what needs to be included.

Image result for case studies"

Case studies will help you make more money: Writing the case study

Explainer videos are awesome and are the best way we’ve found to explain what you do online, but as has been mentioned, they can end up being expensive. They’re worth the investment, but not everyone can afford them and not everyone can afford more than one.

This is where case studies come in handy. You can convey a lot of useful information by sharing the success of one of your customers and illustrating how your product or service can be used. Explainer videos are still number one, but case studies are a super helpful number two.

#6: You’ll Learn Lot

A lesser known benefit of case studies is that they teach you a lot about your product and your customers. You’ll learn things about your product that you’ve never known before by getting a better idea about how your actual customers are reacting to what you do. Case studies end up being one part promotional material and two parts market research.

By learning more about your product and customers, you can improve your marketing communication because you’ll be more in touch with your product and more in tune with your customers. Instead of trying to sell based on what you think is important, you’ll learn to sell based on what customers appreciate and how they’re using what you sell.

Case studies will help you make more money

Case studies will help you make more money

Different Types of Case Studies

Now that you know the benefits of case studies, let’s talk about the different types of case studies you can consider:

  1. Blog posts : These are the easiest to publish if you already have a blog set up. Just write up the case study as a post, and then hit publish. If you’re short on time, this is the easiest way to create and share a case study.
  2. PDFs : The next way you can create a case study is as a PDF. This the most popular way to do them. The benefit of PDFs is that you can create something that looks very professional and presents the case study in an easy-to-read format that includes callouts and special informational sections. PDFs can also be e-mailed to prospective customers for easier viewing.
  3. Infographics : These may take a little bit more time to plan and design than your average case study, but they’ll present information in a visually appealing way that’s likely to be shared via social networks. Infographics are also great ways to convey information in an easy-to-understand format.
  4. Videos : Last but not least, videos are another possibility. Instead of writing up a case study, you can create a video that interviews customers and shows how they’ve used your product. This ends up being a rich, interactive experience for prospective clients.

Case Study Examples

Here are some case study examples from around the web to give you an idea of what you can produce:

  1. The Economist.com, Drupal [Blog Post]
  2. Turner Broadcasting, Drupal [Blog Post]
  3. The State Department’s Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund, SalesForce.com [PDF]
  4. Starbucks, KISSmetrics [Infographic]
  5. Ben & Jerry’s, Facebook [Video]
  6. Burberry, Salesforce.com [Video]

Case studies will help you make more money for your business. They help you to attract customers, get new leads, convert and finally generate revenue. We follow a seven-step process to create a compelling case study for your business. Just shoot an email to francis@expandgh.com and let’s get started.