In your own words, what does your company do?
Barn2 is a bootstrapped tech company selling plugins that add extra features to WordPress websites. We specialize in creating innovative add-ons for the WooCommerce platform, which is a WordPress extension that powers more than 44% of e-commerce sites worldwide. To give you an idea of what we do, our best-selling plugins are:
📈 Monthly revenue: $120,000
📈 ~% Churn: Unknown
📈 ~% Net profit: We share revenue figures but not profit
📈 Funding: None
📈 Initial cost/investment to start the company: None, or maybe a few hundred dollars!
📈 Number of team members: 16
📈 Number of founders: 2
📈 Started 2013, July, the company was founded as a web design agency in, and has been selling plugins since 2016, March
How does the company make money?
💰 Selling software plugins on our website.
💰 Annual renewals on our plugins (about 50% of our revenue is currently from renewals).
3 strategies that have worked to attract and retain customers?
✅ Content marketing: Our plugins offer solutions to people using Google to search for how to achieve specific tasks on their WordPress websites. As a result, content marketing works well for us because we publish lots of SEO-friendly content about these topics, positioning our products as the solution.
✅ Affiliate marketing: We have a well-established affiliate program with some committed affiliates who regularly publish long-form articles about our products. When new affiliate sees that our plugins sell and earn them a 30% commission, it creates a self-perpetuating link as they publish more and more content about our products, thus further growing their commissions.
✅ Paid ads: We advertise on Facebook and Google, and constantly make improvements to ensure that our ads are profitable and deliver good ROI. To ensure profitability, we only retarget ads on Facebook because these target customers who have expressed an active interest in our products. On Google, we only bid for high purchase-intent keywords which are directly relevant to our products.
3 things that you’ve learned about hiring and retaining great talent?
✅ Have you ever noticed that the skills needed to create a good job application are often different from the skills that are required for the job (e.g. being able to express yourself effectively in writing or at an interview)? I’ve learned to tailor the application form to each job, for example asking software developers for examples of code they have written. I also set challenges to shortlisted candidates prior to the interview, such as asking potential designers to create some graphics to assess how well they would work with our brand.
✅ Hiring can be an overwhelming and draining process. Every time we advertise for a role, there are more applications than the previous time. Recently, it has become quite ridiculous: 467 applications for a recent Content Writer role, and a mind-boggling 1,107 for a Designer role! I’ve learned to be super-strict and look for clues that weed out unsuitable candidates in a few seconds – for example, the tone and attention to detail of their cover letter, and whether they took the time to match their skills to the role description.
✅ The Barn2 team is 100% remote, so I’ve had to learn how to build a strong team dynamic despite everyone being distributed across multiple continents and time zones. We communicate via Slack and have various channels for work-related chat and informal topics. There are regular sub-team meetings, such as the support and marketing teams. Where possible, we meet in person at industry conferences. All of this helps with team bonding.