Jobs to be done to sell your business

In this week’s Exit Your Way Roundtable, our guest speaker was Mark Scrimenti. Mark is the COO of Mettle Sports and the COO of Sirch.  Mark has also studied the jobs to be done theory extensively and implemented it's use in real world situations.

Today on the show our guest speaker talked about a very important theory if you want to learn more about your customers.

In this week’s Exit Your Way Roundtable, our guest speaker was Mark Scrimenti. Mark is the COO of Mettle Sports and the COO of Sirch.  Mark has also studied the jobs to be done theory extensively and implemented it’s use in real world situations.

The conversation started with Damon introducing the guest and then the question of the day. For this episode, all the guests talked about St. Patrick’s Day along with the question of the day. The question was that if you spend a day talking to any animal, what animal would you choose? And what would you hope to learn from that animal?

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At first, Troy took the stage. He said that his job is to make money meaningful for his clients. Answering the question, Tory choose the groundhog. After this, Pete took the stage. Peter said that he empowers people to handle challenging situations with grace.

The animal he chooses was an orca. This is because Pete said he wants to learn how they kill the great white shark. Moving on Khan introduced himself to the audience. He said that he is the owner of Fresh Biz solutions. He said he would talk to an eagle to see how the world looks from above.

After this Andrew answered saying he would choose a Kodiak grizzly bear just for the conversation. Cory also answered the question saying for him it is a bird because of the conversation. Furthermore, Bobby answered the question saying that he will talk to Elvis if he has the chance.

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Michael also joined the chat and said he would talk to his golden retrievers who passed away. Damon also mentioned that he would talk to his dog.

Furthermore, the conversation moved towards the guest. Mark shared some details about his work. He also answered the question and said that he would like to talk to monkeys.

Moving on Mark shared his screen and shared some details on a theory called, “jobs to be done.”  He said that in the book, “Competing against Luck” the author talks about this concept.  He further explained this theory in detail with the help of this book.

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Mark further said that the jobs to be done theory is basically a framework for identifying and developing innovation opportunities. Moreover, according to the jobs to be done theory, a job is progress a person makes in a particular circumstance.

By the end of the conversation, mark also answered some questions.

The conversation ended with Damon thanking the guest for his presence.

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customers, job, milkshake, people, question, awesome, product, hire, christiansen, buy, talk, great, animal, day, good, innovation, big, business, dog, company, Business broker, Business value builder, M&A consultant.


Brad Smith, Michael Gidlewski, Damon Pistulka, Andrew Cross


Damon Pistulka  00:00

Up here, sometimes we gotta click him on. He’s on screen. You’re gonna have to turn on your camera and Mike, Mark.



Just a question of the day. Are you hung over?









Yeah. All right, guys. Why?



If you were wearing green yesterday, you probably might be a little slow today.



Yeah. Yep. Well,


Damon Pistulka  00:24

we’re gonna go live on LinkedIn here. And then then, soon as that we’ll get started on remote. So you can play the little intro on LinkedIn here.



Right. Everyone



said he had to go. But yeah,


Damon Pistulka  00:41

Ron had to go. That’s awesome. Thanks, everyone, once again for joining us on the eggs your way round table for our Thursday event. So great. If you can attend with us here on Remo, we were having some awesome conversations this morning. I heard about gardening, I heard about technology. I heard about a whole bunch of different things and marketing and Oh, man. And of course, the infamous yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. So y’all have to talk about St. Patrick’s Day. But if you’re joining us on LinkedIn, they’re just say, Hello, let us know where you’re coming from.

If you got questions throughout the presentation, we can address those and we’ll be hitting the hitting the chat on LinkedIn as well. But I am really excited today, because Mark just dropped off the screen. But he was on the screen just a second ago. I’m excited today, to get marks Clemente is going to be talking about jobs to be done the jobs to be done theory and Mark and I talked about this a while ago and and when I started researching it more, this is really cool.

And that the nice thing about this is Mark actually use this in a business to help better identify what their customers really wanted. And I thought that it’s so cool when we get somebody that actually took a theory applied it in real life, and we’re gonna see what they learn from it. So I’m excited to get going there and get going on that. So Mark, welcome.



Thank you.


Damon Pistulka  02:12

Well, we don’t have to start yet, Mark. Okay, sorry. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s gonna be a great presentation. But we have to let people we have to let people go around and do our introduction, but just Welcome. Welcome today.



Answering the door in the buff, right.






I’m so eager to get started. I


Damon Pistulka  02:31

know. It’s gonna be awesome. So all right, yeah, we’re gonna do the rounds rounds. We’re gonna let everyone introduce themselves like we do. And then you can answer the question today. So Troy, great to have you here today.



Tell us how you’re helping me. See everyone, I’m with alliancebernstein. My job is to make money meaningful. And so we work with, with wealthy clients, families, individuals, and I focus my practice working with entrepreneurs and business owners, helping them get the most out of the transaction, letting you know, having them think through what the transaction looks like, and, you know, comparing deal terms back forth, and what are they missing from a transaction? How do they find strategies to reduce taxes and put buckets of money where they needed to go? That’s what I do.


Damon Pistulka  03:25

All right.



On a bigger bucket, so I can put more money in.



It’s good to see I love this. This is my favorite part of the week.


Damon Pistulka  03:35

Good. Good. Good. Awesome. Troy. Thanks for being here. Well, we got we got a we forgot the question of the day with Troy though. Oh, we can come back to him for the question of the day if we have to. Well, if we have time, I’m sure we will. But what is the question? Repeat? Awesome.



You don’t know what the question is.


Damon Pistulka  03:58

Okay. Now, Troy, this is a question of the day now. This is a weird one. If you



spend a


Damon Pistulka  04:04

day talking to any animal, what animal would you choose? And what would you hope to learn from that animal?



I get stuck with this question. Bear on bear because of the bear market. What animal um Oh, it would be the



what’s the animal act to make? Sure.



winter’s coming?


Damon Pistulka  04:35

Brown dog Yeah. Yeah, I



would be they would be that groundhog. You know, is this is stuff really work. hanger winter, maybe maybe that thing I do because it’d be great to understand that what a waste of a of a tradition. Would it be if it’s true?



That’s awesome. That’s awesome.



Oh, come on. Yes.



Thank you. Yes,



it’s got to be true.


Damon Pistulka  05:00

Yeah, yeah, yeah, that, but that will be something to learn whether he really knows if it’s gonna be or just like as the warm day or



not. Exactly,


Damon Pistulka  05:08

yeah. Awesome, awesome answer Troy. Great. Oh, Pete, tell us about yourself. So everyone knows and then you can answer the question. Sure.



That’s a really interesting one, Damon and good morning, gentlemen.



So I’m Professor Pete Alexander, I



empower working professionals to go from mentally and emotionally overwhelmed to better protecting their health and handling challenging situations with grace.



I think it’s a



tough one, but I would probably say an orca. And two reasons why I think they’re very graceful. But I when I was a kid, I read all about how orcas can take on full size, great white sharks. And so I would probably want to ask the Orca. You know, what does he What does he or she think about going against a great white shark? And have they ever killed a great white shark? So that would be my that’s a good one.


Damon Pistulka  06:06

That’s a good one.



Awesome. Awesome.


Damon Pistulka  06:09

That’s something that would be interesting to know. What are they feeling when they do that?


Andrew Cross  06:15

Like? Yeah, yeah.


Damon Pistulka  06:18

Awesome. Thanks so much for being here today. Thanks, guys. All right, Khan. Good to see you, my friend. Morning. Good



morning, guys. Good morning to everybody.


Damon Pistulka  06:27

You guys got a bit of snow there in the in the Colorado area last week? Correct?



Yeah, on the way out winter dumped about three feet of snow in my backyard. So yeah, that was fun. Yeah. But you know, the beautiful thing is, once I got out and shoveled that thing a little bit, and was able to look at the blue skies above. It’s nice. Good, good.



Good, good.


Damon Pistulka  06:48

Well, tell us a little bit about what you do. And then you can answer the question. Okay, what



do I do, I am the owner of fresh biz solutions. It’s a talent management and consulting practice. And what I do is I help I help organizations and individuals achieve their goals get their best out of themselves. I’m a change leadership and performance improvement expert. And I typically engage with organizations, either to do custom workshops and sessions with them training programs or meetings, either do executive coaching with them, and or I can also consult on their talent management system. So every dollar that they spend is $1 well spent on their people. That’s kind of what I do.

Awesome. Now, as far as an animal, it’s an interesting question. I think you know what, I’m going to go a little different. I’m going to I’d love to talk to a, an eagle and see what does the world look like from that quiet space up high when you’re looking down, and you get that whole picture? Right in front of you. And you look at the futility of us running around scrambling, trying to figure things out on a day to day basis. And you can just peruse and look at the big picture from there. So that’s what I would ask.


Damon Pistulka  08:02

Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. And actually is one of them. I thought about when I was doing it. Great. Great having you here today, Khan. Thanks. Jacob. Warren, good to see you. Yes, sir.



Good to see you all this wonderful morning.


Damon Pistulka  08:19

Awesome. So tell us a little bit the beard procedure. You just make sure it’s out there. Andrew? Yep. Yeah.



Oh, man. Yeah. So Well, anyways. Yeah, no, I DO IT services for businesses helping simplify technology, but not losing the capabilities of doing so. The animal that I think I would choose would actually be a Kodiak grizzly bear. And it would be just what is the conversation? Because I mean, the question is what conversation I would ask, what is it scared of? And learn, learn how it overcomes whatever? Because I mean, if they can overcome that, then I mean, dang, you’re a Kodiak Grizzly. Yeah. You wouldn’t think there’d be much to be scared of. plus. Yeah, plus, I’d like to see how my beard bigger. There


Damon Pistulka  09:31

you go. There you go. Awesome. Jacob. great having you here today. Thanks for being here. Great, Cory. Wonderful seeing you again, sir.



Good morning, guys. So I’m having a wonderful year so far, and let’s see what so Cory Hanson 100 business and I partner with a select few businesses on accelerating mainly you know, equity, revenue and equity. And get get my latest one that’s looks like they’ll make the Inc 500 after starting up three years ago, so


Damon Pistulka  10:09




Yeah, yeah, we’re



having fun as far as an animal. You know, I used to like Tigers when I was a kid, but as far as if I chose to be an animal right now, I think I’d pick a bird. And you know, honestly, I don’t think I’d want to talk about anything. I just want to fly around.


Damon Pistulka  10:32

There you go. Good. Good. It’d be an interesting viewpoint. That’s for sure. Yeah. That’s for sure. Good stuff. Cory. Thanks for being here today. Awesome. Brad Smith. Good. How are you today?


Brad Smith  10:45

I’m good. Well, almost almost good. still recovering from vaccine. But there we are.



So you didn’t have to shovel any snow?


Brad Smith  10:55

I was really pleased to hear that. I didn’t, you know, good. Two or three feet is no they got up there. No, no, thank you. Yeah, that’s why I’m here. So my, what I do I carry a question in the back of my mind with for all of my clients, which is what is possible? Where are you at right now? And where do you want to go? And what’s possible beyond that? And what’s it going to take to get you there as soon as we can? Those are the questions I asked. Always. And my goal is always you know, like, okay, you think you can get through 100% growth. Good. What’s gonna take you the add another zero or two? So that’s the fun part.





Brad Smith  11:39

let’s see, my first thought wasn’t Orca. My second thought was a bald eagles like okay, fine, good. What I really searched out through kind of a whole list. The animal I would want to talk to, is an hour to see how they do with wisdom. And if they actually are, they’re just really selective in the words they say.


Damon Pistulka  12:05

Yeah, yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome, Brad. Well, thanks for being here today. pleasure as always, Bobby,



great to see you here. First


Damon Pistulka  12:15

time visitor, fellow great listener. If you look out his his the in the back there. It looks like a beautiful forest. Like we have so much of up here. And we’ve got we’ve actually had sunny skies up here. So tell us a little bit about what you what you do help people with Bobby and then we’ll we’ll have you answer the question of the day.



The thing. Thanks for allowing me to be on there today, Damon? And I’m glad that Kirk hook us up.


Damon Pistulka  12:43

Yeah. Awesome.



I just I just shared with the group. I don’t know there might have been a few that weren’t on but work with companies in helping them save money on their shipping and freight. Whether it be ocean air freight, small packages, truckload less than truckload, we make no decisions for them. They make all their decisions. We just give them the data and the information to make those decisions. And so many people try to put us in a box like, you know what, you’re a three PL or you’re a logistics company, or you’re this you’re that?

No, we’re strictly a freight management company that provides information to a client. And they’re on a month a month retainer would do a free study for him upfront. at no charge. So nice. Anyway, think about to think about the, the animal, I think about the animal that’s in my daughter and son in law’s home. And it’s a seven over seven elk. And you know, this big ol big ol elk and my, my daughter’s friend said, Jennifer, why in the world?

Do you put that let Michael put that big elk kid mounted in your in your living room? She said, it’s Michael’s house also, just mine. But I’d like to talk to and I think that elk, Elvis, I’d like to talk to Elvis and ask him. What if you were a little bit faster, and Michael had not shot you? Where would you? Where would you be today? What would your life look like today? If you hadn’t, and living in living in my son in law’s house?


Damon Pistulka  14:15

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, thanks, Bobby. And great to have you here today.



Thanks, Bobby. Bobby.


Damon Pistulka  14:22

Andrew. awesome to see you again.



You too. You too. It answer the st. St. Patty’s Day I don’t wear green on St. Patty’s Day anymore cuz you just see my head floating.



Yeah. Yeah. Green Screen world. So


Brad Smith  14:35

it’s just a head bobbing around the screen. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, in business. Our goal is to teach company’s strategy first, how to really build their marketing and sales as a company and convert every touch into voracious advocates for their brand. And in terms of animal if I was going to talk to an animal, I’d be asking my dog What the hell he’s barking at when I’m trying to record a podcast? Or if they’re bluffing to see whether or not I can turn this stimulus check into more money.


Damon Pistulka  15:11

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, if people didn’t know, Andrew is our resident and video wizard. And if you if you need he’s got an online course that I’ve taken that is really good and shows you how to do this stuff. So yeah, yeah, it’s good. Thank you so much for being here this morning, Andrew. Awesome. Always awesome. Alon my friend. awesome to see this morning. Oh, we’re not hearing you for some reason. Yeah. No, still not here.



One booth. Oh, yeah.


Damon Pistulka  15:58

Now I got it. Now. I got it. Yeah, can you hear me now? Yes, we can. Yes, we can.



Yeah. So good to see you guys. Really. I’m so happy to be here. So happy that I could make it and Andrew. How you doing man?


Damon Pistulka  16:16

Now I entered I Andrews on mute. Now Andrew is on mute.


Andrew Cross  16:22

Thank you doing doing well. Good to see. David, how



are you man? Good.



Good. Forget



about everybody else for a second man. How



are you? Yeah, no,



it’s good. Yeah.



Oh, yeah. Good.






You feel that I’m sending you right now? Yes, I do. Alright, awesome. Good. So I came in a little late, I heard something about animals and business. So


Damon Pistulka  16:51

yeah. So you tell us about what you do? And then I’ll read the question. And you can answer it because I know you’re going to answer it well,



Oh, thank you. Um, what I do is I work with companies that have long sales cycle, sophisticated solutions that require higher level of relationship trust and openness with their customers. And I just worked with them on how to do that, from the human element side of things through a methodology that I developed called emotional relevance.

In five days, it’s going to be exactly a year since I left corporate world, I was pushed out of the corporate world. Thank God I was, wasn’t the travel industry for those who don’t know the story, but and I’m happy to report Damon that one of the reasons that I haven’t been showing up on an ongoing basis because I’m freaking busy with paying customers, and that’s amazing.



That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Yeah.



That’s awesome.


Damon Pistulka  17:50

That’s awesome. It’s great to have you here today. Alon. And the question of the day is, if you could spend a day talking to an animal, what animal would you choose? And what would you like to learn? Oh, very



cool. Wow.



Okay, so I didn’t have too much time to think about it. But my instinct goes with a lion. And the reason is, because a Are you really that scary? Like, what’s inside? And too is you’re a cat after all, you love to be cuddled, you love to be, you know, all that stuff. So I would love you know, for that site as well. So I would just kind of, I think it would be cool to hang out with a lion for a day and talk to him.



Yeah, yeah, that’s


Damon Pistulka  18:33

awesome. Good choice. Good






Yeah. Are we tied to the male line or the female line?



Well, good morning, Mr. Ira Bowman, how are you sir?



Good. Where’s my hug, bro?



Dude, I miss you, man.



It’s good to see. You male



mainline? Definitely may lion. Definitely.



I don’t think that I don’t think they’re I don’t think they’re their approaches need to be yet. I mean, I’d love to talk to them. They got the they got the big the big Jacob Warren beard going on. They



don’t. Yeah.


Andrew Cross  19:08

They’re offended by being named after an NFL franchise.



Never wins. Right. I mean, they were. They were


Andrew Cross  19:18

especially Detroit.



But what fascinates me is everybody’s scared of you. Everybody’s terrified by you. You know? What are you really that? You know, like, what do you? Yeah, try in faith. So



So what’s in your heart? Right.



Exactly, exactly. Hi, Mark.






How are you? Good.



I feel it.



I hope you do, man. I feel your guitar over there Gently Weeps.



There it is.


Damon Pistulka  19:52

lira. Eric Clapton going on there. All right. Thanks a lot. Great to have you today. So awesome. In the lion boom. Choice nice choice. So is that are we are we finished up there Andrew with people doing introductions awesome so let’s let’s start with we’ll start with you and then we’ll go to IRA and then then I’ll go on then Marco go last then he could start his presentation so


Andrew Cross  20:17

go ahead Mr. Come in a little late there Mike.


Damon Pistulka  20:20

Oh bring him up bring him up Mike. Okay Michael cool. Michaels coming to this grades I got April Kelly says she went on LinkedIn said she would want to be a butterfly, which I think that’s awesome. And then this is Bonnie talked about being a golden retriever. Because she said he’s got an he sees everything I’m doing and probably has an opinion on it all. And that’s that. That is so funny. Your golden



retriever wants to see you in skates on your next video.


Damon Pistulka  20:51

It skates There you go. Video.



She makes the videos about me. Yeah. She has


Damon Pistulka  20:58

a goal LEDs videos. If you haven’t seen him on on Tick Tock and LinkedIn everywhere else you need to watch him. So Michael, awesome to have you here today. Great to see you. And your library man, that library just keeps getting bigger. I think


Michael Gidlewski  21:13

it does.



He wants to be a worm. He’s a bookworm.


Michael Gidlewski  21:18

Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. Yeah, get over the piles around. So no one can see them coming. You know? Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  21:26

So tell us about yourself. How are you helping people? And then you can answer our question of the day. Yeah,


Michael Gidlewski  21:30

yeah, absolutely. Michael bluesky achievement Unlimited, I help people get real clarity around their vision, mission and purpose, help them create that be behind that big strategic plan, and then help them get the right people on the bus in the right seats to achieve those goals. And then actually help them you know, develop those leaders at every level so that everyone’s on the same page. And they learned, you know, they’re all they’re all playing from the same playbook. So they have a whole set of tools. And they can they can retrieve and learn to, you know, manage their people better and help all everybody reach their potential.


Damon Pistulka  22:12

Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s I it’s funny, you said that, because I was just reading something about the while I was reading Donald Miller’s brand story again. And yeah, and he talks about how important it is just to have a, you know, your single line tag, it’s not really a tagline. He talks about it, like movies have a single sentence that explains the movies, that’s how they pitch them. And yeah, talks about using that in your business and how important it is to have everyone in your entire business be able to recite that because it explains so much and gives people so much congruency on where they’re at. Yeah,



yeah. That’s very cool. Very cool. So


Damon Pistulka  22:51

if you if you spend a day talking to animal, what animal but would it be? And what would you hope to learn?


Michael Gidlewski  22:57

Oh, man, it would have to be my two chocolate Labrador Retrievers who have are now in heaven. But I want to know, how they stay. Laser being focused, and in the present moment, all the time. I mean, they’re not worried about the future or the past, they are in the present moment. And it just just blows me away, and also how they were did they learn how to be unconditionally lovable?

I mean, they just they, I mean, you could kick them across a football field, and they come back wagging their tail and like, you know, yeah, and, and then the third question I was asked is, where do they get the energy? We used to take them out to a creek and throw, you know, sticks in the creek date swim out, bring it back. And we’ll do that like 100 times your arm, my arm will be ready to fall off and they still and they’re like, they’re like they’re dying right now wagging their tail and just throw it again. Throw it again. Yeah. So energy being in the present moment and unconditional love. They’re the three questions I would want to know the answer to.





Damon Pistulka  24:08

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Andrew, I


Michael Gidlewski  24:11

should ask you those questions. You look like a monk tonight. Because



Yeah, that’s


Michael Gidlewski  24:18

right. That’s right. There you go. Yeah, a Trappist monk. A Benedictine. There you go.


Damon Pistulka  24:25

Thanks a lot for being here. Michael. That was awesome.



Good stuff.


Damon Pistulka  24:29

All right. So Andrew, our IRA you guys who wants to go next?



I think we’ll let age go before beauty. All right.


Andrew Cross  24:40

Oh, God. I would I you know, thought about that a little bit. But I’m, my wife did a lot of studies with the guy who’s an expert on Crow’s the in their motor. They’re very, very smart. It’s really interesting work. One of the smartest animals there is They’re scavengers and they’re, you know, they kind of survive around people and they know what’s going on and they have, the way they connect and everything I think be really interesting to sit down and chat with them a little bit about how their world works. But yeah, so that’s that’s where I’m at. Because


Damon Pistulka  25:19

we cool so IRA, what about you?



Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve been I’ve been kind of thinking about this is everybody gives her answer I think I would say dog but I don’t want to you know, we just had dog gives the answers. Yeah, I’m gonna I’m gonna go a whole different direction. I’m gonna go with a rat at rat and Google why would you want to talk to a rat you can learn a lot about people by what their what they throw away what they discard. You know, rats have access to everybody’s trash. Yeah. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Right.



Right there.


Damon Pistulka  26:02

That would be interesting.



It’d be a different conversation. I imagine they’d have a New York accent to me. Yeah. Alright, rat did not control me because they don’t have the hair pole. Yeah. Yeah.



Yeah. Awesome. Awesome.



That’s what it is.



All right, you Damon?


Damon Pistulka  26:25

Well, mine is mine is a dog, but it’s my dog. My dog guys, as my talked about my dog Casey that I had before. Before actually our little dog, she was a hunting dog and very specialized hunting dog in that game from a long line of, you know, one pheasant hunting championships her parents both did. And and it was interesting because she didn’t have much of a personality. But when you put her in that hunting situation, there was just that dog can find a bird that someone had hit that every other dog ran by, and I just just be so enthralled to understand what are how in the hell can you smell that thing because I took I would take her to trials.

And they would they would have a bird that was not not hurt or anything but they would tie up so it couldn’t fly, but it would run. And I took my dog to a trial one time and this dog, she ran out like she was going where we’re supposed to. And she took a big loop.

I’m not kidding. It was 300 yards and came back around behind me because she had lost the trail and got back on it again, right beside where they let it loose right beside us and found that bird, the completely different area from where she was before. It just always has blown my mind is how dogs can do this. I would love to see what the hell they were smelling. How they do that. It’s just fascinates me. And honestly, I didn’t think about it until now. And Michael said that I was like that’s the answer that I have to



wonder what smells bothered dogs? Like, I know,


Damon Pistulka  27:56

I just it just you know what, a million times better than us. What’s it like?



What is it might be bad? It might be really bad. Yeah,









love us. It might not be good. How good snow? Snow? Yes.


Damon Pistulka  28:09

You walk by somebody with like, strong perfume. What’s that like to a dog with that much stronger? It’s like, Oh, girl, you know, just gave me a headache. But anyway, that’s enough of that mark, go ahead and tell us about what you do. And and then answer the question, and we will get into the presentation.



Awesome. Thank you. So I’m a fractional CEO, I live in Chicago. My background is in e commerce operations, product development, customer service, digital marketing. And I work with visionary CEOs to help grab a hold of their vision and then just run with it and execute on it. So I’ve got my first client, I’m looking for additional clients, anybody who’s got a vision, particularly a mission oriented company, who’s looking for somebody who can help clarify that vision, and then develop a strategy and then just execute on it.

That’s what I do. Awesome. So to answer the question, a lot of people took you know, my, my answers, I mean, I thought about the bald eagle, I thought about the dog, you know, what are they really feeling? But then I thought about a monkey, you know, monkeys are our closest to human beings on the evolutionary scale and, and their social, but it kind of want to know, like, what’s the level of dialogue between monkeys? You know, like, what, what are they actually talking about? Like, what’s it?

What makes them laugh? Like, what’s a monkey joke? What would make what would make a monkey laugh? And, you know, just to get a sense of how sensitive Are they really are, you know, is it just is it like slapstick humor, you know, is it a coconut over the head? So I think monkeys, you know, chimps are orangutans. Yeah. bonobos.


Damon Pistulka  29:46

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Dude. That’s such a good, such a good one. Oh, great. Monkees. Well, Mark. You know, that’s great to have you here today. And I think it’s really relevant in in the the age now. That we’ve we’ve all got thrust into the increasing our digital presence and having to sell digitally and all this kind of stuff. And then when we started talking about the jobs to be done theory, I did a little more research on it. And you said you use it before.

So I’m really excited for you to share this with us and kind of talk through the concept. So we can see it because I think it’s, it sounds like a really practical way to help understand your customers better, so you can provide them more value.



Yeah, thanks. I really think it is. And I’m excited about it, too. When I discovered this, it was like, a lightbulb went off for me, and I’ll talk about that. So I have a little presentation. I’ll bring it up if you don’t mind me sharing my slides.


Damon Pistulka  30:48

Yeah, yeah. And share your screen and then we’ll get it. We’ll get it broadcast out like we need to. Awesome. automatically. So we’re good. You can see that all right. Okay. Yes, we can. Cool.



There we go.



Pay in here. Let me get this arranged. What happens if I put this in? presentation mode?


Damon Pistulka  31:13

We will see.



Let me try that. Then I can’t see anything. Okay, so I’m just gonna leave it like that.



All right, cool.



And so I’m going to start by giving you an overview of the book. So it’s kind of an executive summary for the first 10 minutes or so bear with me if you’ve read it before. For those who haven’t, I think it’ll help you make sense of the real world examples I’m going to talk about later. And, you know, plus, you’re not gonna have to read the book after I do this. There we go. That’s enough coverage. So well. And then I’ll talk about my own example and then do some q&a q&a at the end. So here we go. So the screens a little messy here.



Alright, here we go.



So jobs to be done theory was first detailed in a book called competing against luck by Clayton Christensen is the story of innovation and customer choice in 2016. So Christiansen is this Harvard Business professor. He was author of the innovators dilemma, which was a classic work from 1997.

That book introduced the concept of disruptive innovation, which has been called the most influential idea of the 21st century. He came up with it, I’m sure you’re familiar with it. Okay. So the innovators dilemma Christiansen talks about focus on big companies are getting disrupted and what they can do in terms of their competitive response, and competing against luck. he explores the other side of the equation, the disruptive innovators who uses job and uses jobs theory to explain how and why successful innovation works.

The idea of competing against luck is that successful innovation is not just a matter of getting lucky through trial and error, you know, hitting on the right product at the right time, which is a common misconception. Instead, it’s about doing the hard work of talking to your customers, asking the right questions and letting them tell you what really matters to them. So jobs theory says you need to find out what causes your customers to make the choices they do. And if you can figure that out, you can predictably come up with what innovations your customers will not only want, but people will be willing to pay a premium for.

Alright, so what is jobs to be done theory. It’s basically a framework for identifying for developing innovation opportunities. According to jobs, theories, your customers that are not buying your products or services, they’re hiring them to get a job done. In doing so they’re implicitly firing something else, even if it’s non consumption. So the right question to ask is What did you hire that product to do? And you know, of course, this begs the question, what is a job? Alright, so, jobs theory defines a job is the progress a person’s trying to make in a particular circumstance.

There’s that old saying that customers don’t buy a quarter inch drill, they buy a quarter inch hole, and that that’s the job they’re hiring the drill to do. So understanding the job is to understand what consumers care about most in as they struggle to make progress. by discovering what jobs your customers are hiring you to do, you can then work to design products, services and marketing experiences that do the job better than any of the competition. Alright, so Christiansen calls the first time we buy a product, the big hire, and then each time we use the product after that or buy it again, it’s a little higher.

And in the book, he talks a lot about quantitative data, and how it can be misleading and this is a good example. So most quantitative Data Systems track the big hire, but they can’t or don’t track the little hires. For example, how many apps have you downloaded on your phone that you never use? If you’re so you made the big hire, but not the little hire. If you’re the App Maker, and you’re just tracking downloads, you may think your product is doing a great job. But only a consistent series of little hires, like daily usage can confirm that the product actually does the job.

I can only see you guys at the corner of my eyes, so it’s a little weird. Alright, so what are the components of a job? They’re multi layered and complex. They have functional social and emotional dimensions. And here are a few examples. You know, is it easy to use what my friends think if I bought this? You know, can I trust my kids with this person? If you’re hiring, hiring, childcare, that’s an emotional job. The job circumstance, it involves all the interrogatives the who, what, where, when, why, as well as the decision making timeline process and influencing factors.

Progress is always relative to the specific circumstance or context in which it arises. And the circumstances more important than any buyer characteristics. So in jobs theory, success comes from making the job rather than the product or the customer the primary unit of analysis. Successful infinite innovation, the promise of jobs theory is that can make innovation a reliable engine for growth, by showing you where and how to find real innovation opportunities based on a clear understanding of causality, versus simply casting seeds and hope of one day harvesting fruit.


Damon Pistulka  36:45

Okay, so when we talk about this, I got a couple questions here. And I don’t mean to interrupt, but I my brain works is I had to ask why would be far off? Otherwise, I will forget. So please do the? Well, you’re really in this. You’re saying that innovation comes from trying to figure out what they want to account what your customer wants to accomplish with your product or service is that we’re kind of saying, right,



and why and why they’re choosing your product over another product. Okay, that’s the key. Okay. And that comes through qualitative research from talking to people. Yeah. Which I will get to. Alright. Does that. Does that answer your question?


Damon Pistulka  37:33

Yeah, I did. It did. Okay.



If there any other questions, please just jump in anytime. Yeah. All right, I’m always through this slides part. And then I’ll just cut over to invivo. So, successful innovation, identifying the job is just the first step. After that, you have to Oh, sorry, there’s next slide here. After that, you have to design a solution.

And ideally, you’re not just creating a product or service, but engineering and delivering a whole set of experiences that address all the dimensions of the job, and then integrating those experiences into the company’s processes. Steps two and three are critical to creating competitive advantage, because it’s easy to copy products, but it’s much harder to copy experiences that are well integrated into your company’s progress. I’m sorry, processes. Does that make sense?






All right. So what job would I hire a milkshake to do? Now this is a famous example from the book. It’s the first job that Christiansen describes. So in the mid 90s, a colleague of his was hired as a marketing consultant for McDonald’s or, or you know, some company we don’t know who it is a fast food customer to sell more milkshakes. And until that point, all the restaurants efforts had been focused on the product itself, which is a very conventional way of looking at innovation. So they tried different flavors, you know, making it chunkier, making it chewier making it more chocolatey.

They changed the price. But, you know, they tried everything, but nothing moves the needle at all. So then Krishna Sena, his friend decided to try this different approach by asking, you know, what job arises in people’s lives that causes them to come to this fast food restaurant and hire a milkshake. The first day they stood there in the restaurant for like, 18 hours and just watched people and took note of everything. You know, what time did they come in? What were they wearing? Were they alone? Did they buy food with their shake? Did they drink it in the store or leave?

And what they noticed is that there was a big spike of people who came in before 9am alone, they bought the shake and nothing else. And then they drove away with it in their car. So the next morning, they came back and they started asking these people a ton of questions about why they were buying milkshakes. And pretty soon they realized that all these early morning customers had the same job to do So they all they all had, they all had a long and boring drive to work. And they just wanted to make the commute a little bit more fun, keep themselves occupied and stay awake. So it’s they weren’t hungry yet, but they knew they would be hungry in about an hour.

And the shake was enough to stave off their hunger until lunch. You know, it takes a long time to sip a thick shake through a thin straw. So it gave them something to do during their commute. It’s not the healthiest thing, but it’s not a Snickers bar either. So they didn’t have to feel too guilty about it. And you know, it fits right there in the cupholder. So it just does the job. And then the researchers asked him, you know what other competitors they tried, and they talked about bananas, you know, but they’re gone too quickly.

They weren’t filling enough doughnuts, they’re too crumbly and sticky, you know, gets all over the stealing steering wheel. bagels, you know, there to dry. People have to drive with their knees while spreading the cream cheese and so forth. So none of the competitors did the job as well as the milkshake. Therefore, these consumers hired the milkshake instead. And this, this illustrate illustrates one of the key implications of jobs theory is that it changes your understanding of who your competitors are, and what your product category really is.

So now, that’s not it. That’s not an that’s not all. There was a second job that milkshakes were doing in the afternoon. Believe it or not, in the afternoon, people were hiring milkshakes to do a different job. It was mostly parents trying to connect with their kids to take them out for a special after school treat, you know, something they could say yes to after a long week of saying no to their kids about everything. And the author’s describe this job is placating your kids, you know, connecting with them and feeling like a good mom or dad.

So in this case, hiring a milkshake was competing against stopping at the toy store, or finding time to play, catch or shoot shoot hoops with your kid. So the innovation implications for the milkshake jobs were first milk shapes for hire milk shapes, milkshakes were hired for two very different jobs in two different circumstances. So one size fits all approach wouldn’t work. And then here are some possible innovations, the researchers inferred from the discovery of these two jobs, the screw on top ideas mind because I you know if that if that shake ever spills in the car once, I’m probably not gonna do that again. Yeah.



All right. So jobs are covered, I discovered through customer interviews, and there’s no one right way to do it. So that might be disappointing for some people who are looking for an algorithm or just like a script they can use. It’s more art than science. It can be very meandering, slow and painstaking. It’s very much a conversation, you’re going deep with each customer to build a timeline of their decision making process and get a detailed narrative of their struggle for progress, sort of like a storyboard. And what you end up with is rich and complex. It’s it’s a huge number of data points from a small sample size.

It’s more like a story than a set of statistics. And you know, sometimes customers are unable to articulate what they want. And even when they do articulate it. their, their actions often tell a different story. So you have to be able to hear what the customer isn’t saying. And that’s part of the interview process. It also helps to have a beginner’s mindset when you go into this to avoid making assumptions as you walk the customer through the whole process.

And Christiansen says, Only by constructing this story, can we innovate in ways that change the ending. So that’s the thinking there. Finally, analyzing the interviews, when that’s all done, you have to put all the interviews together and analyze them. So you’re searching for patterns. And when you hit upon a job, it’s like a flash of insight that feels true, it just tends to make intuitive sense. And often the solution of the job seems obvious in retrospect as well. So this is where I’ll hop off and do stop the share. And just kind of talk from my own experience.



Yeah, cuz that’s,


Damon Pistulka  44:24

it’s it’s super interesting when you looked at the milkshake like that, and you go down into the and think of it as a job rather than a product. Right? And you start right. Oh, okay. What is it doing? Right, rather than what is it?



Right, exactly. And what is it doing for this specific set of customers in this circumstance? Yeah. So it can be different for different circumstances. Yeah. So. So how am I doing my time here?


Damon Pistulka  44:53

Oh, great. We’re great. Yeah, yeah.



So I became a jobs. Jobs theory shortly after book was published in 2016. I was the head of operations for 100 million plus dollar ecommerce company that sold music Gear Online. And we had over a million customers and over 15 years of behavioral transactional data in our data warehouse that we could analyze, I mean, we hoarded this stuff. Yeah, of course, we only fret, we only analyze the fraction of that. Yet, outside of the call center, we never really talk to any customers. Despite the fact like so many companies, we pay lip service to being customer focused, which I think is a common thing.

So personally, I was dying to talk to customers, because one, I knew we would learn a lot from them, too. I really believe that everyone in the company should talk be talking to customers on a regular basis in order to serve them better. And three, I really wanted to break the habit of mere conjecture and highest paid person’s opinion, when it comes to deciding what we should work on to keep our growth going to work on next. So the process was, I interviewed dozens of customers face to face for an hour each recorded their recorded the sessions with their permission and transcribed the recordings.

Then they pored through a mountain of transcripts, looking for patterns, noting insights coming up with new hypotheses. Then I sat down on a conference room with anyone else in the company who was willing to read the book and the transcripts to compare notes. That was the only requirement. So you know, I’m sure that I’m sure not everybody read the 400 plus pages of transcripts. So I had some leniency there, as long as they, you know, made a good effort, you know, showed a reasonable effort. Yeah, but we all sat down together, it was important to get everybody involved, and came to consensus eventually about the main patterns or themes that we were finding.

And so the results confirmed a lot of things that we suspected, but it also yielded a number of counterintuitive insights yielded a ton of insight and forming strategy and tactics pretty much on every level, the overall business marketing, product development, Product Management, advertising placement, a lot about advertising, advertising, placement, targeting format, content, customer experience, customer service, internal messaging, yeah, pretty, pretty much everything. And some of the insights were tangential to the job itself, but still very critical to acquiring new customers optimizing for sales, conversion, and improving profit profitability.

So I’ll give you a few examples in a minute. So what job were our customers hiring us to do? A lot of our sales growth was coming from offering no interest payment plans, no interest ever. So the one job we were doing consistently for the vast majority of our customers was helping accelerate their musical development and or fulfill their goals as a musician, by making the best gear affordable to them in ways that minimize financial risk, felt fiscally responsible to them, and made it easier to justify their expensive hobby to themselves and or their significant others.

So, you know, we figured out these were important social, and emotional components of the job. So I’ll give you a couple examples. So one was the developing musician, I loved talking to people. So one thing that came out of the research was this idea of a virtuous cycle for the young developing musician. So, you know, you pay that you pay the 12 $100, to get the Gibson Les Paul, that you always wanted, because you want to sound like slash or whatever. Yeah. And that’s 12 $100 that you may never otherwise have at one time, because you can afford $100 a month for 12 months, which is what the payment plans made possible.

And then you love the guitar so much that you that you practice more, and you get better faster. Plus, you start discovering all these sounds you didn’t know you could make with a guitar. And then it increases your musical palette, as well as your thirst explore other new gear in the virtuous cycle continues. So it was great for us because they couldn’t get this offer anywhere else. And people routinely said, you know, as long as you guys have what I’m looking for, why would I shop anywhere else. So our word of mouth and loyalty was off the hook. Now, here’s another example of a person I talked to is the collector. And this is another common customer.

We’re doing the same job but but a little bit different have a different emphasis. This guy had I taught this guy at 35 guitars, and he probably wasn’t a very good guitarist, but but he fit a common pattern. He played in a band when he was in high school, then life happened. So he got married, got a job, got promoted, moved around, had a family maybe had a divorce. And then 25 years later, in his mid 40s. He emerges and finds itself with some disposable income and time on his hands. So he wants to go back to playing his first love, mostly just to relax on weekends when he isn’t working. And he wants to play some of his favorite music from back in the day when he was still a player.



But it would be sacrilege to play Dave Mustaine of Megadeth songs on anything but a Jackson guitar because that’s what Mustaine played. So he asked to buy the 20 $400 Jackson for that. And then when he’s in a Metallica mood, you know, which is like once a month, he has to play the same ESP model that James Hetfield played or whatever. So he has to buy that as well. And that’s how you end up with 35 guitars and counting. And this guy was making decent money, you know, six figure income, he was like the regional manager of a Costco or something. So we didn’t exactly need the payment plan, but it was like why not, you know, it’s a smart thing to do.

Plus his girlfriend or wife really appreciated it, because it stretches dollar never put cash flow at risk. And as long as you could take her out to dinner once a week, she was okay with the collection. So that, you know, that factored into the decision making as well. Just a couple examples, that the practical implications for us. You know, we do our payment plans were a big driver. But we learned a number of things from the jobs through research that helped us optimize our offers, and refine our marketing to do a better job of reaching our customers, getting them to convert and optimizing for profitability. So I’ll give a few examples. I want to leave time for questions and answers.



Yeah, so



maybe just a couple minutes here, run through these. So one is kind of tangential, you know, we realize everybody’s doing their customer research on YouTube shouldn’t be a big surprise. But it didn’t matter how good the content was on our site, they were going to YouTube anyway. So why not divert some of our expensive content resources to creating pre roll ads on YouTube, and partnering with or sponsoring YouTube influencers in the music gear space, instead of you know, putting another video on our product page that nobody’s going to watch.

So that was a diversion of resources. Another one was, you know, customers wanted to know how soon their payment plans would be paid off, and how much more they would be eligible for once they paid it off. Usually at an existing starting starter plan for low credit risk or high credit risk customers. And others want to be able to pay off pay off their plants sooner or change the date, the due date without having to talk to somebody because that’s embarrassing, or make a double payment because they had a good month.

So and they prefer not to have debt hanging over their head. So those had all sorts of implications for user account interface changes, you know, email sequence, transactional email sequences, you know, where we put some of that information and marketing content in the transactional email like, hey, you’re almost done, you know, and in three weeks, you’ll be eligible for this much more.

And by the way, here’s some things that you might like. So that was another thing. Yeah, I think messaging all around, we were underselling the value of the payment plans. And we were talking about them the wrong way. we’d spent a lot of time trying to explain the difference between this and a house credit card. But people already got that, like, that’s not what they needed to hear. They wanted. They needed decision, reinforcement messaging, and as well as information regarding their future purchase potential. Yeah.

And they also wanted greater flexibility on the payment plans, so they could make sure to pay them off and keep this thing going. So that that had other implications, too, in terms of, like how we, if they didn’t want longer plans, either, which was an assumption that we had made them they some people wanted shorter plans, because they didn’t, like did the burden, you know, of having the anxiety of having debt hanging over them. So that implications for like, how we show the plans and price stories, and then check out and so forth. Anyway, a lot more I could say, but I’ll leave it at Well, it’s



good. It’s good stuff, though,


Damon Pistulka  53:40

because it looks I mean, the conversations that you had with customers showed you what they were trying to do and what you just described, think about what we all this, what you described was not about the products themselves. So what about was was about experiential, you know, you’re allowing them to follow your passion and play the same guitar that your heroes played, you’re allowing him to be able to be a better guitarist faster, because of this plan.

And you make it you make it affordable, make it you know, cash friendly for the people and stuff. It’s not about the product. And that’s the thing that I really, I really have come to learn in the past few years is that we talk about our products, but it’s generally not what our customers care about. It’s about what that experience creates or what it solves is not the product they don’t give a shit about the product.

Right? They don’t care that you can change the tire on your car in 35 seconds they just say hey, my tire is fixed and I can keep driving. Right? And watch and how to market it just like your market and that is really about the fact that we minimize your interruption with a flat tire because it can 35 seconds you can be back on the road. going again. That’s all they care. Right. And but it’s it’s interesting. So people have questions, go ahead and drop them in the chat. I think this is this is pretty interesting stuff. Anything come to mind with you, Andrew IRA?



there’s a there’s a ton there. Oh, no, yeah, no,


Andrew Cross  55:23

I think this is great. Because you know that I think it’s really fundamental listening to the customer is really what I’m, you know, it’s, you know, it seems like that that’s exactly you know, we should be doing that all the time. I mean, but it just doesn’t happen. That’s my experiences. You may be listening, but you’re not listening. You’re not



aiming for I dropped off, you know, the milkshake thing, for example, right. It could have been anything. Yeah, it could have been a crowd of things. It was, I think, you know, a good observation that they figured out, they’re all from the same place. And then you know, what I mean?

So there’s, there’s a lot, there was a lot of factors in there. And when you’re a business, and you’re trying to figure out other products or other other ways to, to scale, it’s not always obvious things. You don’t mean, and you don’t have to do the same stuff, just because it’s we’ve always done it. There could be complementary products, or, you know, anyways, a lot of different, a lot of different variables there. And we have we have someone like Mark is looking into it for you. That can be a game changer. So yeah.



What was the process? For sure?



Yeah, yeah. It’s


Damon Pistulka  56:34

cool. That’s cool. That’s why when I started reading about, I was like, This is interesting. And then when he showed the milkshake example, I realized how little I knew about it. And I do need to read the book. Reading what the what the company, Cory asked, what was the company response to the to the project?



Yeah, that’s, that’s a great question. I kind of anticipated that. And unlikely that anybody would be watching this, but um, it was mixed, I would say, you know, I would say, I had the buy in of the, the CFO, from the parent company, who was a Harvard Business grad himself. So he had had Christianson as a professor. So he was interested in this research.

But, um, I think, um, you know, we came up with a ton of insight. And, and yet, it felt a little bit like a lip service in the end, because a lot of the resources that we needed to actually make these things happen, were diverted to something else, they were committed to another project that actually was not a moneymaker.

And so that was extremely frustrating for me, because, you know, long story short, you know, moving into a b2b platform, you know, leveraging the success of the the e commerce operation to build this other business and like, you know, and then all the resources were going into that, it’s like, hey, look, we have all this insight, all these ways that we can improve the experience for our customers, and do a better job.

And there isn’t, you know, I got some resources, but not enough. Yeah. So you need it, you need like a permanent champion, who’s going to advocate for this stuff continuously, and you need buy in throughout the organization, especially at the very top, if the CEO is just kind of, you know, here’s something it’s interesting, but, you know, it’s one of many interesting things. It’s not gonna work like you really have to commit to it.



Yeah. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  58:24

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, thank you so much mark, for explaining the jobs to be done theory, I, man, this is interesting as heck, and I’m gonna go back and think about how we can use it, our clients can use it, because it does give you different perspective and knowledge about what your clients really are paying you money for. Right? Right. And knowing that is is a really solid information because like you said, at the beginning you can make you can make a much more compelling and more valuable offer to them.



Right. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  59:04

Good stuff. Good stuff. Well, we’re we’re at nine o’clock and and awesome presentation. Andrew. take us away, man.


Andrew Cross  59:15

Yeah, no good stuff. Mark. apreciated. Yeah. Yeah, I think we have a live stream coming on later this afternoon. We’re going to talk about, you know, the buyers of companies. Yeah. You know, and that makes me think, too, is why am I talking about that? Let’s, let’s bring on one. Because, you know, it’s, it’s a classic case of where, you know, you’re not listening to the customer. You know, if you want to learn how to sell your business, listen to the customer talk to the buyers,



what they’re looking for what they want. So, you know,



I was thinking about you guys. So I think you have a really good job defined though. I you know, this idea of helping business owners sell their business and exit their way like that’s a pretty good job. definition.



Yeah. Yep. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Thanks. Thanks,


Andrew Cross  1:00:05

that it’s fun too. So anyway, so we’re running out of time. And we’re doing okay, one minute over. Not bad. That was great. We’re gonna round going back to the tables as we usually do. So if anyone wants to hang out and chat a little bit, it’d be great. Great to see all.



Yeah, we’ll see you again next week. Next week, everyone.


Damon Pistulka  1:00:26

Thanks so much. Thanks for those listening on LinkedIn. We’re going to drop off the live there, but we’re going to the remote tables to talk a bit more. Thanks everyone did to do about your drop.



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