Blog Friday Q&A

Answering Your Questions About Entrepreneurship, Growth and More…

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We’ve gotten a lot of great questions from the community over the years. Now, we’re going to answer them.

Almost two years ago, I started this blog for a simple reason.

When I began my journey as an entrepreneur, I had nothing but questions.

No experience, connections or idea what to do. Just questions.

How do I know if my idea is a good one?

What do I do when nobody wants to fund me?

But what about contracts and legal stuff?

Where do I find people to hire?

How do I keep this whole thing from going up in flames?

I set out, with this blog, to answer many of those questions for others who were in my position. I wanted to do that through our own startup journey.

One thing I’ve learned is that every answer invites more questions.

Every time we post something, follow-up questions invariably come out of it via comments and email.

Posts about culture invite questions about hiring, posts about email marketing end up getting questions about landing pages, posts about customer development invite questions about product roadmapping, and so on…

I love that.

I love being a part of a community that always wants to know more, and always wants to get better. I love asking questions, and so I love to see all of the questions that people have for us on this blog.

I try to tackle as many questions that have short, quick answers in the comments as possible, and often we publish entire posts to answer bigger questions that come up.

But we also see a lot of questions where the answer would fall in between; too complex for a short comment, but not enough to carry an entire post.

We’ve had a lot of requests to do a “Q&A” type post. But as we compiled the list of frequently asked questions from our comments, I realized that that wouldn’t really begin to scratch the surface.

That’s why I’m really excited to announce a new, weekly addition to this blog:

The new Groove Friday Q&A

Every Friday (starting next week), we’ll pick a handful of community questions and do our best to answer them.

Here’s how it’ll work:

  1. Post your questions in the comments of this post (we’ll add a link to the header menu of the blog), or of any Friday Q&A post, or Tweet them to @Groove.
  2. They can be about literally anything related to startups, growth, entrepreneurship, marketing, blogging, Groove, me, the tech ecosystem, whatever. Nothing is off limits.
  3. Every Friday, we’ll pick as many of the best questions as we can and answer them on this blog.
  4. The Friday Q&A is reserved for answers too light to be their own long-form posts. We might pick some questions and do full posts on them.
  5. Everyone is invited to answer questions, and I’d love for folks to share their own experiences in the comments. Let’s all help each other out.
  6. We’ll also have guest Q&A segments from other entrepreneurs. I hope you’ll be as excited as I am when we announce who we’ve lined up :)

Of course, this doesn’t replace our weekly Thursday posts, where we'll continue to share lessons learned on our journey to $500,000 in MRR.

Here’s How The Friday Q&A Will Look

To kick things off, I’m going to include some examples of frequent questions we’ve parsed from the blog and emails I’ve gotten, and my answers.

In the future, we’ll include the name of the person asking the question, and a link to their comment or Tweet.

1) “How do you hire for a remote team?”

As a remote team, our employees are located all over the world, so we have some unique challenges when it comes to architecting a great place to work. For us, one most important lessons has been to hire people specifically for our culture. Just because someone is a great developer doesn’t mean they’ll be a great fit for our team.

The way we ensure that new employees are a “fit” is with the paid two-week trial that every new employee goes through. They join the team part-time for two weeks (based on their schedule – sometimes they’ll put in some time in the evening or on the weekend if they already have a full-time job), and we evaluate if Groove is a good fit for them.

There have been a couple of other pieces I’ve written that might be helpful here:

Hope that helps!

2) “What’s your morning routine?”

Groove is a fully distributed team, and I work from my home office, which means that my commute is about 20 feet long.

Most days, things are simple: wake up, shower, have a bowl of cereal, make a cup of coffee and head over to my desk.

There’s nothing particularly unique about my morning routine, but I do find that consistency is super important: when things get disrupted (for example, my phone rings and I wake up to an issue that needs me at the computer right away), it sets the tone for the whole day. My productivity and my mood both get worse.

So to that end, my biggest piece of advice is that it regardless of what you do, commit to doing it every single day. Starting your day with a sense of control over my life makes it a lot easier to stay calm and feel like I’m in control when things don’t go as planned later on.

3) “What are your favorite productivity hacks?”

I find that using a project management tool is critical to staying on top of the thousands of tasks we have to do. We actually use two: I prefer Pivotal Tracker’s functionality for our development team, and Trello for marketing and blogging. Really though, it doesn’t matter nearly as much what you use, as long as you pick something and use it consistently. It makes an insane workload much easier to tackle.

My other productivity strategy – I hesitate to call it a hack – is forcing myself to turn off. Sometimes that takes a glass of wine at the end of the day with dinner, but being able to step out of the office and stop thinking about work is massively important for staying productive when I am working. Otherwise I burn out, fast.

Your Turn: Ask Groove Anything

I’d love for this new weekly segment to be successful, and provide a valuable repository of answers from our entire community for entrepreneurs everywhere.

To do that, I need your help.

Here’s what you can do to get involved:

  1. Ask questions. Post them in the comments of this post, or Tweet them to us at @Groove.

  2. Answer questions. Every Friday, we’ll post a new Q&A segment. If you have anything to add or share regarding any of the questions asked, jump in! Many of you are far more qualified than I to speak on some of the topics that people ask me about.

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From “aha” to “oh shit”, we’re sharing everything on our journey to $10M in annual revenue. We’re learning a lot and so will you.

About the Author

Alex Turnbull is the CEO & Founder of Groove (simple helpdesk software for small businesses) who loves to build startups and surf.

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