Xendoo // personalized bookkeeping for small businesses [UP074]

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Lillian Roberts 0:00
I use the experience to hone my sales skills. And here’s what I do. You get out there you take off all your jewelry look as scrubby as you can look. And basically a car would pull up and I would say to myself, I’m going to sell them red carnations, or I’m going to sell them yellow mums. And I did this for probably, I don’t know, maybe 10 times that I did these weekend sell flowers totally honed your skills.

Jay Clouse 0:24
The startup investment landscape is changing and world class companies are being built outside of Silicon Valley. We find them talk with them and discuss the upside of investing in them.

Jay Clouse 0:37
Welcome to Upside.

Eric Hornung 0:52
Hello, hello. Hello, and welcome to the Upside podcast. The first podcast finding upside outside of Silicon Valley im Eric Hornung and I’m accompanied by my co host, Mr. Community himself. Jay Clouse. Jay, what’s going on, man?

Jay Clouse 1:07
I am swimming in communities right now. Not a swimming community where I wouldn’t fit in because I can’t swim. But I am swimming in communities right now.

Eric Hornung 1:15
You, wait, you can’t swim? You grew up on a lake.

Jay Clouse 1:17
I grew up on a lake with a pond in my backyard and I can’t swim.

Eric Hornung 1:20
How, how’d that happen?

Jay Clouse 1:22
My parents can’t swim. So they couldn’t do that. The whole like throw you in and make you learn it thing because they would have been in trouble too.

Eric Hornung 1:29
You never had a friend with a pool or a friend who could swim who came over and pushed you into the pond.

Jay Clouse 1:34
I did. Lots of people tried to teach me to swim. I’ve taken swimming lessons. My childhood swimming instructor gave up on me. Anyone I’ve ever dated, has said I’m going to teach you how to swim and they have all failed.

Eric Hornung 1:46
Including Mal?

Jay Clouse 1:47
We haven’t really given it a shot. I don’t know. We haven’t really given it a shot. We haven’t been in that many bodies of water together.

Eric Hornung 1:54
Do you think that’s perhaps why you guys have lasted so long. She hasn’t forced you to swim.

Jay Clouse 2:00
Or she hasn’t seen that I can’t swim and given up on me and realize that this is a survival risk for future children.

Eric Hornung 2:04
I think that, like swimming is a pretty natural thing. I feel like how can what goes wrong when you swim.

Jay Clouse 2:14
I can locomote a little bit like I can move a little bit in the water now, but with my contacts, I can’t really open my eyes and see where I’m going because I don’t have good form. So I’m swimming blindly. And I also don’t breathe while I swim. So I have a very short distance, and I’m very uncoordinated. I’m kicking way too hard. So I just get really tired. All that means that I can I can basically jump off of a diving board and get to the side and then the survive and that’s about the extent of how far I can swim.

Eric Hornung 2:44
How do you feel about like floaties or like life? No, not not a floaties on your arm situation. Not like a little baby Jay running out with floaties on his arms but like a pool noodle or something you can just lounge in the water.

Jay Clouse 2:56
Love it. We went canoeing last week love canoeing. Anytime if I have a life vest. I am very comfortable in any amount of water can swim with a life vest life vest or like. It’s like It’s like this floating, lifesaving cloud.

Eric Hornung 3:10
Yeah. It’s nice. It helps you in a moment, which could be a bit chaotic, kind of step back and think about, oh, this is pretty nice.

Jay Clouse 3:18
Speaking of things that are chaotic, but can be kind of nice if you get them right. Today we’re talking with Lillian Roberts, the founder and CEO of Xendoo. Xendoo is a cloud based bookkeeping and accounting service focused on small business owners and Eric, as we know, accounting for small business can be pretty chaotic.

Eric Hornung 3:37
I imagine people like metaphorically floating down a river, like as startup founders or small business owners, and to them their version of swimming their version of the Jay Clouse version of swimming is doing the financial on accounting work. It’s just, it doesn’t come naturally.

Jay Clouse 3:54
By harnessing technology Xendoo gives their accounting teams more time to work directly with client In their individual business needs, they offer a low flat monthly rate with unprecedented service and response. Their monthly financials are prepared by the unheard of fifth day of the following month and are available on their website or in a mobile app. Eric, small businesses only get one shot to get it right. And you and I only have one life to live and our friends at Ethos Wealth Management will help people live that one life they have to live the best way they can.

Eric Hornung 4:28
And if you want to check out this year’s sponsor, you can go to upside.fm/ethos to learn more about Ethos Wealth Management.

Jay Clouse 4:37
Xendoo is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, our first Fort Lauderdale company, founded in 2016. They raised almost $5 million in funding to date.

Eric Hornung 4:46
Are you more of a golf side or Atlantic side of Florida guy?

Jay Clouse 4:50
No idea.

Eric Hornung 4:53
Well, this will be the first trip to the Atlantic side for us. We’ve been to Tampa Bay.

Jay Clouse 4:57
Right now. It seems like Florida is not where I want to be.

Eric Hornung 4:59
Yeah. So that was more of a global question, not a today question, Jay. Anyway, we’ve rambled on long enough about the Gulf and the Atlantic side of Florida. If you have a thought on this episode, you can reach out to us on Twitter @UpsideFM. Or if you have something a little longer, you can reach out to us at hello@upside.fm. We’ll get to that interview right after this.

Jay Clouse 5:23
Hey, listener, have you ever wanted to get a message in front of the Upside audience but weren’t sure how to sponsor the show or weren’t able to do a long term sponsorship? Well, now you can just go to upside.fm/classifieds. And let our audience know anything that’s going on in your world, whether it’s an event and application, a special coupon or deal, or just letting them know who you are, what your company does. All you have to do is go to upside.fm, slash classifieds. And you can place an ad on this show. That’s upside.FM/classifieds.

Lillian Roberts 6:03
So it’s a little bit different history than you probably hear. I grew up in South Florida born and raised. You know, most founders have some kind of tragedies in their background or grow poor and all that. So no different than any other founder, lost my dad when I was 10. And I was one of five kids. And fourth in line. I was the first one to live past 24. So I lost three older brothers had a lot of tragedy around my life. And I didn’t have the opportunity to go off to college, and I ended up doing a trade school. And when I graduated out of the trade school, I started installing ATM machines. So you guys are in Ohio, I spent some time in Ohio working for NCR that was our central Technical Education Center. And so my background was you know, just that survivor like to climb the highest mountain, you know, really likes to solve problems, all the all the typical stuff you see, and founders and I did my first business when I was 28 years old, prior to 28, I was in engineering at NCR and then I was in sales, and I think just great skill sets to bring to any company that you’re going to own. And then founded my first company, which was a systems integration business, changing desktop publishing, bringing desktop publishing systems and changing out old typesetting systems.

Jay Clouse 7:20
What were your motivations? And maybe who were your role models growing up with so much tragedy and loss surrounding you at an early age? I can imagine it would have been easy to really get sucked into not wanting to do much of anything. So what were you looking towards to continue to build yourself up and and, you know, live the best life that you could?

Lillian Roberts 7:42
Thanks, Jay. It’s a great question. What I realized early on, and I realized from a teacher so my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Syrian, would tell stories in class about just about life and about family. And so what I recognized early on is that, hey, I wasn’t having the usual experience. And some other people had. So it informed me to say that there’s a different world. And then I just, you know, I think that I’m naturally a positive person. And so what happened was, we all tell ourselves a story to get through whatever we’re getting through, right? You know, whether the story is, hey, what you’re doing is right, or, hey, what you’re doing is this or that. And so my story was that I looked at the world as that a 30 year life is really, really good a 30 year life is really, really bad. And the 30 year life is so so. So when I was in a really bad stuff, I’m like, Okay, well, this is a plus, because I’m gonna get it out of the way. And there’s, you know, green pastures and blue ocean up ahead. And so I think that’s kind of what drove me through.

Eric Hornung 8:39
How long did it take you to get to that idea of that story and telling yourself that.

Lillian Roberts 8:43
Tragedy started when I was 10. And I would say, by the time I was 14, 15, you know, I was there. And so what I looked for was I looked for positive people that were happy go lucky. And I looked at what the traits were of them and how they move through the world, right? we all we all get up every single day we get to choose is it going to be a good day or a bad day. And you know, the last week was just horrible, we get to start over and today could be a really great day. And so I was attracted to those type of people. And the other thing that I was attracted to, is hard work. I saw a lot of people go more towards drugs through this type of tragedy and obstacles growing up in adversity. And I didn’t want to do that. So I never did the drug, the drug scene. Instead, I said, You know what, I’m just gonna work really hard.

Jay Clouse 9:33
What brought you to you said at age 28, you started your first business, and it was a systems integration business. How did you discover entrepreneurship and decided that that was something you wanted to do with your time?

Lillian Roberts 9:43
So do you know and you guys are entrepreneurs? So do we really discover entrepreneurship? I think for me, and for all entrepreneurs, I think it lives within us, and it wakes up at a certain point. And so what is that point that it wakes up, right. For me, it was a gentleman who became a mentor of mine, that and he used to call me kid, and I was selling these systems and he’s like, kid, why aren’t you doing it on your own? And I thought, hmm, why aren’t I doing it, you know? And then that’s it. You know, you jump off the cliff. I like to tell people I’m a ledge lalker, if they say, you know, who are you. Well, im a ledge walker, I love to walk the ledge, and I love to pop off. Right? I love danger. I love adrenaline. I love excitement. And I love speed. But I think it’s a common trait of all of us entrepreneurs, right?

Jay Clouse 10:35
Totally agree. I mean, I really relate to the idea of the entrepreneurial urge kind of waking up. For me growing up, I just didn’t have any analog to know that was an option. So once I did see someone else doing that, and I understood that as Oh, this person created something on their own, they’re not working for somebody else. That was kind of my wake up moment. And I think, you know, a lot of people grow up in their, their parents are their, their inspiration, their role models for entrepreneurship and you know, that wasn’t the case for me didn’t think it was the case for you.

Lillian Roberts 11:03
You know, when I was 27, I made $127,000. And so, you know, when you when you hear that, you may say, Well, that’s not such a big deal when I was 27 was in the 80s, right? So it’s like, I’m not college educated. If you think about it, I went to trade school, I was working for NCR, I was making good money for the time, then it was probably, you know, $35,000 – $40,000 and I jumped into sales. And the only reason why I jumped into sales, is that NCR was starting to make you do sales as a field engineer. And then I knew this guy that was like, you know, 22 and he was crushing it making 100 grand. And I’m like, I wouldn’t interviewed with him like he doesn’t have anything I don’t have, what he can do, I can do. And then that was it, I went into sales.

Jay Clouse 11:49
What have you I want to stick on this because sales is one of my favorite subjects. What made you good at sales or what makes you enjoy sales because a lot of people are just deathly afraid of even trying and it’s Probably the most transferable skill out there, in my opinion. So what made you draw to sales?

Lillian Roberts 12:06
Hundred percent that is most transferable skills skill out there. Two parts. First, I want to say this about sales. Everybody is a salesperson. If you want to see natural salespeople, just look at little kids, right? So every interaction that we have as human beings with somebody, they’re either going to sell us on their idea, or we’re going to sell them on our idea and we don’t even recognize that that’s happening like most people don’t recognize that’s happening. So I guess what what drew me to sales was a natural. I wasn’t drawn to sales, and then with NCR pushing you to do sales and then I look at the sky and I’m like, Okay, if I’m going to do sales, why don’t I go make the money because to me, the the industry or the not the industry, but the job that makes the most money out of anyone, right? More than CEOs more than anything is sales. There’s no ceiling. There’s no limit, right? But sales is kind of like what have you done for me lately, so You’re a life insurance or financial advisor, or in that industry, then you have to constantly be out doing the grind. So, what attracted me to it was that to me, it was really binary, right? It was either you’re going to sell something, or you’re not going to sell something. And then based on what you do, so you’re gonna, you’re gonna make the revenue and there’s no cap. And so once I was in sales, I read books, you know, and I honed my skills. And so, during the time that I was in sales, I started out selling copiers. And this is going, this is an unusual story for you. I bet you’ve never had a podcast person tell you that they’ve done this. So I used to buy flowers on the side of the road, on my way home on Fridays, because I just love to have flowers in the house. I like happiness, right? You guys can probably sense that. So I would I talk to anybody, right? So I’m talking to the guy that sells flowers on the side of the road, and they’re in these little, like five gallon paint things. And so I asked him, what’s the business model? And he tells me, and he says, Yeah, like Valentine’s, you know, so and so we make a lot of money. And yeah, there’s a guy over there on the delmark corner, Palmetto and military and he’s making 250,000 a year. And I’m like, Are you kidding me? 250,000 a year selling flowers.

Jay Clouse 14:10
Flowers?

Lillian Roberts 14:10
Yeah, selling flowers. And so I said, Hey, would you show me the ropes now? Ironically, right because I was selling copiers. I had like a minivan. I don’t. I’m more of a sports car person. I had a minivan for the copiers. So I said, Yeah, let’s go down to the free zone. And you know, go get a couple of good five gallon paint buckets at Home Depot. And I’ll take you to free zone. So I did I picked my corner. And you know what I did, guys, I use the experience to hone my skills, my sales skills. And here’s what I do. You get out there you take off all your jewelry look as scrubby as you can look. And basically a car would pull up and I would say to myself, I’m going to sell them red carnations, or I’m going to sell them yellow mums. And I did this for probably, I don’t know, maybe 10 times that that I did these weekend sell flowers. Totally honed your skills, because sales is about questions about present presentation.

Eric Hornung 15:00
What’s the difference between selling flowers, selling copiers and selling equity to venture capitalists?

Lillian Roberts 15:06
There’s really there’s a lot of things that are the same, right? So skills and presentation is is one of the biggest factors that you must have with VC. You have to be authentic. Right. So the best salespeople are the people that are authentic and not thinking about what they’re going to make, but thinking about how do they bring value to the audience that they’re with? To me, there’s so many of them that are the same, right? The differences is that the product when you’re selling to VCs, the product is you. They’re investing in the horse, right? Or the jockey for the horse. When you’re selling flowers, they’re buying, they want your flowers to be fresh, right? Now, whether or not they’re going to tip you at the end and how many how many batches is going to be on sale skill. Right? And selling copiers is about need. You know, are you providing the need and are you getting that are you communicating it properly? So yeah, so I’d have to say, you know, it would be communication, presentation and authenticity.

Jay Clouse 16:07
And this is the first company Xendoo, the company you’re running now, this is the first company that you’ve taken on venture investment, correct?

Lillian Roberts 16:14
Yes.

Jay Clouse 16:15
So how did you think about or how did you talk yourself through the idea of, I’m going to sell ownership. And the idea of having a debt now to this person that I’m selling on the idea of my company, like, Did you have any struggle getting through that having so much success in business before this?

Lillian Roberts 16:32
No, I put it on my scorecard, actually, when I did this. So how I arrived at this business was through a scorecard exercise that I help other entrepreneurs through. And so I intentionally wanted to build the business and I wanted to have outside investors. And I’m somebody who’s generous of hearts, so I don’t look at it like I have to own the whole thing. I look at it as we all win. Money comes and goes. It’s really you know, what you build inside yourself. That is that is the measure of success.

Eric Hornung 17:02
What’s this scorecard process that you work through and you work through with others?

Lillian Roberts 17:07
So I’m an EOer. Are you guys familiar with EO?

Jay Clouse 17:10
Entrepreneur,

Lillian Roberts 17:11
Organization.

Jay Clouse 17:12
Organization? Oh EOer not EOS, you’re saying entrepreneur organization.

Lillian Roberts 17:17
Right. But EOS is the the guys who developed EOS took it really from Verne Harnish Rockefeller habits and converted it and their EOers out of Michigan. So EO is a global organization. It’s a volunteer member led, you know, you pay six grand eight grand a year, depending on your chapter, and you share what’s in your heart and in your head. And it’s just an amazing organization to learn and grow. So I love to be a lifelong learner. I applied for a program that they have through MIT, which is called EMP entrepreneurial master’s program. And I went through that for three, three years. And during that program, just smart from that he had, he’s the author of the book, The who right came in and talk to us about top grading and scorecards for hiring people. Basically what I did is I took that framework and I converted it to real life for humans that are trying to figure out what to do next. Right. And so, if you guys have two minutes I’ll take you through at a high level of it. So basically what it is, is that you take a legal pad and not digital you can’t you can’t do it on a computer must be a legal pad to kinetic, you know, transfer from your arm to your head. And the first page you write personal second page, you write family, then third is community. Fourth is financial. And fifth is business. And if you want to figure out what’s your next business to do, or if you’re in the right industry, you write you take these five pages, and at the top, you write those headings and then you write everything you do a brain dump of everything that you love, and you hate, right. So I don’t I don’t want to be around stupid people. There’s a difference between stupid ignorant right? You know, stupid is it you keep touching the stove when you know it’s hot ignorant is you just didn’t know, right. So I don’t like to be around people. So that would be something on my personal, my personal I love the sunshine, I love great music, you know, what are the things that make you happy? What are the things that make you unhappy? no judgement brain dump them down on each of the pages. Second level the exercises come back, prioritize them. Third Level of the exercises that you will now have a scorecard that you can throw any business, any friend, any relationship, anything your life against, and see how it aligns. But you can’t be thinking about any of those things when you do your scorecard.

Jay Clouse 19:32
Okay, and so at what point did you do this for yourself? Sounds like this was really kind of a starting point to Xendoo coming into existence for you. So talk about that moment.

Lillian Roberts 19:42
So in 2015, I sold the manufacturing business that I had, and all of my businesses prior to that guys had been happenstance. You know, it’s just an opportunity. It was either turnaround business, or Oh, hey, this is good opportunity do this or let’s see that business. And it wasn’t where I went into into it intentionally. And so when I say my last business in 2015. I said, You know what, let me make this next business very intentional. And so I did a personal scorecard because what happened is when you sell a business, a lot of people say, hey, do you want to invest? Do you want to, you know, come on into this business, be the CEO, and I’ll give you a little piece of the business and the nice salary, and all of those things. And I said, You know what, I have all these great opportunities. I think I had about 15 opportunities. And I said, before I do anything, let me listen to myself that I’ve helped other entrepreneurs with. Let me build out my scorecard. And on my scorecard, what was on my scorecard around what was the next business I wanted to do was, I wanted to help small business owners because I’m just violently passionate about small business. And so I want to help small business owners. I wanted to scale a business to 100 million or greater, right and not for the money like most entrepreneurs, we don’t we’re not focused on the money, right? Everyone thinks, oh, you own your own business because you’re focused on money. That’s a business owner. Entrepreneurs are focused on solving problems in creating something big right? So I wanted to create something that was gonna be 100 million or greater. I wanted to have the experience of VCs of outside investors. And I wanted to also start with technology, all my other businesses over time started with other things. And I had to add technology in it because the world was changing. And so I said, Let’s start with technology. Let’s find an analog industry. And let’s reshape the industry be one of the companies reshaping it, and that’s how I arrived at and then from there I went looking at what were all the problems I had lived in business. What were the big ideas, what were the big opportunities that could be for industries to be reshaped? So I went looking for DME industries for analog, right when I say DME, analog.

Eric Hornung 21:44
Tell me about the problem that Xendoo is solving.

Lillian Roberts 21:48
So Xendoo solves the problem of peace of mind for small business owners financial peace of mind for small business owners. So what is that problem? The problem is is that 93% of small business owners run the business from the books. Now when we talk about small business owners, guys, you know, a small businesses, a $50 million small business is considered a small business, right? That’s not the group we’re in. We’re in the small businesses that are, you know, if it’s ecom, it could be 15 million and below. If it is a brick and mortar business, then the average size is going to be say 2 million, 3 million, but could be as low as 300,000. So we’re solving problems for business owners that have 20 employees or less. 93% of them run their business from their bank account. What does that mean? They get up in the morning, they look in their bank account, they say, Yep, I’m gonna live another day, I’m gonna be able to pay my team, and they don’t do financials. And because they don’t do financials, they don’t have the opportunity to make timely decisions of maybe buying a discounted stock or stock meaning product, not stocks, stock market, or things that they could do in your business like investing in a new piece of equipment, that’s going to give them an ROI of fivefold in productivity, right. So that’s the problem we solve for small business owners, we allow them to spend more time on growing their business and focusing on the things they love to do. We give them the financial peace of mind. So they’re compliant with the government, they have their tax returns, and they have visibility on how to run their business more efficiently, and where they can make investment in the business.

Eric Hornung 23:18
There’s such a industry out there for like fractional CFOs. You mentioned that you want to start with technology, which is the opposite of a fractional CFO. I feel like how did you start with technology to create a solution for this problem?

Lillian Roberts 23:33
And your background is finance. Right? Right Eric?

Eric Hornung 23:35
Yeah, my background is finance working with small and medium sized businesses. So a lot of overlap here.

Lillian Roberts 23:40
Perfect. Sorry, your fractional CFO?

Eric Hornung 23:42
I’m not. Investment banker and we have a private equity arm.

Lillian Roberts 23:45
Very nice. Awesome. So yeah, look, it’s some of our some of our businesses do need fractional CFO and we’ll you know, connect them or work with their fractional CFO. So the difference is that bookkeeping is a very mundane job in that small business owner at the bookkeeping is not done right. They leave a lot of money on the table when it comes to tax, right? So as an example, say there’s a pizza pizza owner and say they’ve made $100,000 in profit at the end of the year, and they’re going to pay Uncle Sam 30% 30 grand, we’ll say in October, their pizza oven breaks, and they’re trying to decide should they repair the pizza oven? Or do they buy a new one for $50,000? Well, if they had tax ready financials all year long, then they would understand that that new pizza oven for 50 grand isn’t really 50 grand, they’re going to take $16,000 that they were going to have to pay Uncle Sam anyway. And they’re going to reinvest it in the business. So it’s the same money out it just went from one pocket to the other and the other pocket invested in the business. And that’s where the disconnect is for small business owners because they don’t understand their their monthly financials, they don’t track them, and they’re not ready tax ready, where the fractional CFOs come in, because they’re looking more at the business to say, Hey, this is where we believe that you could add this type of process. And where you can save a couple of points here. So we’re not doing that we’re doing more of the compliance attacks, giving them the visible picture for their finances. So they could go out and hire a fractional CFO that could help them figure out what they need to do to grow it. Of course, we offer them advice or CPA team offers advice and helps them and tell them we can tell them what the industry standards are for different areas. How do I apply technology to that? So it’s very much my background in manufacturing. So I was in print manufacturing, and the last business and that’s all about seconds of the day, right? So the seconds add up to the minutes of the hours. And so when I looked at this industry, the average bookkeeper can take care of 25 customers a month, whereas our platform, our bookkeepers can take care of 100 to 125 customers a month. So when you add in that technology piece, you can now bring the pricing down, you can make the pricing transparent, right because you’re gonna you can package it, and you can say to a smaller business owner, hey for $300 a month, we can do this, this, this and this. And you know, because you put a system process in, that’s built around technology. And then as we go forward with our technology, you know, we’ll have our ruling engines and things that will serve up predictive financial forecasting forum. But yeah, that’s it on the tech side, we build tech first.

Eric Hornung 23:45
What are the technical rails and you can get as nuanced and detailed as you want here that helped a bookkeeper go from 25 clients to 125 clients. That’s a huge jump.

Lillian Roberts 26:32
So at a high level, it is the workflow process, right? So the software that we built in if you guys were read a great article read by Sam Lesson, The Knowledge Work Cloud. So the easy way to describe what we built and we had already built this and then I saw his article, like two years after and I’m like, Oh, my God, finally, somebody that completely describes it. So what the knowledge work cloud is, is it’s about data driven prioritization, workflow, process, and then measurement burned down, right. And so our technology platform has that it’s not out there in the CPA like what we’ve built. We could license as an enterprise software to CPAs. But I don’t believe that the CPA industry has realized yet, what’s happened, you know, that they’re going to wake up, just like taxi drivers didn’t realize what happened when, you know, Uber technology. And we’re not comparing ourselves in any way to Uber. But that’s what happens to an industry when technology knocks on the door and changes and, and so the CPA industry is kind of like legal industry, where they don’t give people a set price. It’s also like the general contracting industry, right? It’s a black box, right? And so you never know what it’s really going to cost you. And so what does technology do? It brings transparency. So when Uber do Uber brought transparency to what your ride is going to cost and where your person is at. And so what our platform does is it brings transparency to our customers, they know when the bookkeeper has worked on their books. They know how How much it’s gonna cost them and what they’re going to get delivered. And then they have 24, seven access to all the things that they need in a mobile app or the desktop portal. Now, you can’t get that from a traditional CPA, because they’re doing everything manually, right? whereas our customers just, you know, go into the mobile app, and there’s a profit and loss statement, there’s a balance sheet, there’s our last year’s tax return, there’s a re n number, there’s all the things that they need, instead of reaching out to somebody that’s not going to talk to them for a week.

Jay Clouse 28:28
I want to tie this to what we spoke about a little bit ago, which is positioning and presentation when it comes to sales. I’ve worked with a lot of small business owners totally agree that most the people I see are operating out of their books. But I think that they would also have a hard time articulating what their problem is or what they’re looking for. They probably realized that Yeah, I could use some help on the tax side. But a lot of the stuff you’re talking about probably isn’t even in the realm of what they’re looking for. So how do you present this? What are people looking for when they find Xendoo? Or how do you convince than that Xendoo is a solution that they need for their business.

Lillian Roberts 29:03
Great way to look at it, typically they go for a loan and the loan officer says, Hey, you need your file, we need your last three months of financials and last year’s tax return, and they don’t have financials, and now they can’t get the loan, they need the time they need it. Or they just feel they’re off the grid because they don’t have their tax returns. So I think that there’s a bigger awareness of how to run your business properly is to have your financial metrics and your numbers. So I think that there’s kind of this awakening that’s going across the world about what’s proper business techniques. You know, the fact that entrepreneurship now is not looked on like, Oh, yeah, my kids, an entrepreneur and somebody barely whispering it right, that now it’s looked down, like, hey, it’s a good thing to be an entrepreneur, what do you need to do to be successful and to have the right things? So for us, we attract our customers. Most of our customers are looking for us. They come in through online, and we attracted because we’re solving the problem that they need emotionally. Would you guys agree that when people look to solve a problem, typically what they can identify with is the emotional feel.

Jay Clouse 30:07
Definitely how they first realized that there is a problem, you know, you definitely like feel the pull of anxiety or, you know, almost like something is missing. So it sounds like if they’re coming in inbound, it’s coming from them needing, let me just ask us in the way that I’m actually thinking about it. In the world of finance and accounting, a lot of business owners will automatically go to Okay, tax I’ll do like TurboTax. And to get to that point, I’ll work with QuickBooks and maybe I’ll even have an accountant sync up with my QuickBooks. How do you drive a wedge in that existing awareness of those tools to say we actually do something different and we think it’s better than those solutions.

Lillian Roberts 30:47
So actually, it’s not driving a wedge, but it’s more like Judo which the customers that feel that know that they need to do their books there. They’re going to be the easier better customers, right to join us because they understand the importance of doing the book. So it’s more like, you know, pulling them in the same direction. So we don’t replace QuickBooks, we don’t replace Xero, actually, we wrap our technology around Xero. And by next quarter, we’ll also wrap around QuickBooks. What we do that’s different is that first, the customer feels the emotional side of it, they have anxiety, they have worry, are they compliant, they feel behind, they feel that they’re lacking in that area. So the first thing we do is we understand those emotions, and we talk to them in those terms. And then the second part of what we do is that we speak small business, right? So most of our conversations with customers aren’t around their books. It’s more around their business. Like, you know, I’m thinking about doing this with my business or I’m having challenges with marketing. What do you hear as best practices? It’s amazing that it’s not really around the action of accounting or their, you know, they don’t want to get on and say, Hey, what did I spend in my car and cell phones? They don’t care about that. They want to know, can I spend money in marketing? Do you see that I’ll be able to spend money in marketing in my business and be able to meet all of my obligations financially.

Jay Clouse 32:12
I think something that was kind of implicit that we didn’t explicitly say that I want to make even more explicit when you mentioned that the Xendoo team can handle 125 customers versus maybe the 20 or 25 that a regular CPA can handle. I think I glossed over the fact that you are getting personal support through the Xendoo product. It sounds like can you walk us through how the product actually manifests and how I interact with it?

Lillian Roberts 32:36
Yeah, absolutely. And and also for clarity, you know, we’ve proven that a bookkeeper can handle 125 customers, we don’t have them handle 125 we actually have them. You know, the VCs want to know that you can handle 125 right? But we actually keep them about 60, 65 right now, and the customer doesn’t feel like they’re one of 65 and here’s why. We let the technology do the most mundane And wrote of the activities, and we have our bookkeepers doing the higher level thinking that you don’t want to replace with the computers, that and also the communication to, to their, their customers to our customers together. So how does that work? So their books are being maintained when we touch the books once a week, right? So we’re keeping up with their books. And when we see things that aren’t making sense, or you know, I can’t tell you how many times our bookkeepers have reached out and said, Hey, this is a different charge than you normally have. And you know what, it’s been fraud on their credit cards, and we’re catching it faster than them. Now, that’s not something we’re going to say that we always can do. But that’s a byproduct of us paying attention to their books and touching them every single week. So the team is reaching out in the customers preferred method. So some customers want a phone call. Some customers want an email, and some customers are text. And so we so how many CPA companies do you know that will text with their customers right or that will even respond like say, you know, the government can send an IRS notice just for any reason, right for no reason, really is why they send them. So they send you an IRS. Notice here, here’s how that happens when they send an IRS notice you as a business owner, you open up the mail you get an IRS notice first of all you before you even open it, you see IRS and all of a sudden you know you tense up, right you go, this system would be good. You opened it up and now at some letter that you have no clue of understanding why they sent this and what it means. And now you go and you reach out to your CPA, and two days go by and it’s still on your to do list you haven’t heard back, you reach out again, another couple of days go by your stress and you’re thinking there’s some kind of problem, you don’t know what it is. And then you finally get a hold of your CPA A week later, we can half later you’ve had amount of you know, an unusual amount of stress that you didn’t need to have and the CPA goes Oh, no, that’s not a big deal. Just you know what, mail it off to me or fax it over to me or or scan it, email it to me unnecessarily after a week and a half is passed by that’s that’s those things that cause me to do this business that we’re doing. I can’t take I’ve lived that as an entrepreneur, our business, our business owner opens up the mail, they take a picture with our mobile app that goes immediately to their team. And within 48 hours, we’ve answered it to the IRS, and it’s off their hands.

Eric Hornung 35:14
You’ve mentioned our bookkeepers a lot. And it seems like they are critical, then that team is critical to the success of the business. How do you think about identifying an onboarding talent and continuity of like relationships with clients?

Lillian Roberts 35:29
So do you want the skill set I think the onboard are needs or you know, define when you say the onboarding.

Eric Hornung 35:36
So in order to bring on a new bookkeeper? What traits are you looking for to say this person is going to fit well in our system and do a good job? And then what is the onboarding process to get them to actually do a good enough job to be client facing and then what if they want to leave? What does that mean for the relationships that they’ve built with their client base.

Lillian Roberts 35:59
Lots of great questions. Okay, so let’s unpack it a little bit. I’ll take it in little chunks, tech savvy. So we look for people who are tech savvy. So you may think, Oh, is that mean that you’re only going to bring on young people? No, somebody could be 50 years old, be tech savvy, right? They just naturally pick it up. So we want people who are tech savvy, we want great communicators, right? That they have to have mentally speaking skills, but they have to have writing skills. I don’t do the hiring anymore. But I can tell you that I always look for people that grew up around small business so that their aunts or uncles or parents or small business owners, because I think then they come with a natural empathy for our customers, right? So we look for those kinds of traits. All of our people have degrees in accounting, all of our bookkeepers have degrees, and we have people that are bookkeepers that are better licensed CPAs but haven’t practiced as a CPA yet. So very highly skilled on the bookkeeping side, then how do we you know, how do we quality assure quality control? So our data warehouse datalake provides amazing insights into all of the transactions and allows us to be able to review in a way and to control quality through that. So we get reports, you know, 5am and 5pm from our data warehouse, which is essential. And then to answer the last part, what happens when a bookkeeper may leave? So how do we manage those relationships is that all of our customers have a team, they don’t have just a bookkeeper, you know, they’re paying 250, 300 some customers, depending on the package they choose can pay, you know, 500 a month, but they have a team that that takes care of them, not not just one person. They were on boarded by one of our onboarding specialists who’s not a bookkeeper to connect their banks and credit cards and make sure everything’s in order for the team. They have their bookkeeper that that they have, they have a supervisor that’s also involved with them in the name of a CPA, so they have a full blown team for 300 a month right guys. Is that ridiculous?

Eric Hornung 38:01
That’s not bad Upside could afford that.

Lillian Roberts 38:05
I love it.

Eric Hornung 38:06
What types of bookkeeping or companies does Xendoo do not do as good of a job with.

Lillian Roberts 38:13
So we’re not going to be good with an attorney that does a lot of trust work right escrowing in and out and all of that because that is subledger work. We’re not going to be good with a contractor who wants to job cost by house they’re building because you need somebody internal. So any company that is doing a tremendous amount of subledger work is not going to be a fit for us. You know, but of the companies that are a fit for us there’s there’s 30 million of them and they fall in six categories. The six categories are ecom, professional services, brick and mortar product. So you walk in walk out, you bought something brick and mortar service like dry cleaners, you know, you break I fix any dermatologists medical outliers, small offices like that gyms, that that would be a brick and mortar service type industry, hospitality and their franchise groups. We have a lot of franchise groups.

Eric Hornung 39:10
What percentage of that 30 million is on Xero?

Lillian Roberts 39:14
So 93% of that 30 million has no Xero or QuickBooks at all, which is shocking. I see you smiling Eric.

Eric Hornung 39:24
It’s not It’s not that shocking.

Lillian Roberts 39:24
Yes, so 93% of them are on nothing. You know, QuickBooks has a couple million customers, but that’s including enterprise, QuickBooks desktop and online. So on the small out of the 30 million under 20 employees, because the 30 million center 20 employees, there’s probably a million that are on QuickBooks, and there’s probably 200,000 of them that are on Xero, right? And then you have Freshbooks and Wave and NetSuite and a few others. We didn’t want to build out. We didn’t want to re engineer a GL profit or loss. So we built around the existing tools, because they’re just tools, that means somebody using them right with that. And so our platform is really the technology side of the knowledge workflow.

Jay Clouse 40:11
I’m looking at your your pricing page here and you have five different plans for different stages someone might be in their business, what is the real sweet spot for Xendoo? across those five plans? Are you working with a ton of people at the hustle it and that really, you know, are pretty early on in their business or you’re somewhere in the middle? Are you always top of the spectrum with people that are doing says more than $100,000 in monthly expenses?

Lillian Roberts 40:35
So in that in next, we just came off that pricing in March it prior it was three plans. So based on you know what we’ve learned over the couple of years, and where we’ve been at this, you know, we launched in November of 17. So really we’re, you know, coming up on our third year of having customers, we find that most of the people are in the 295 and 395 plan is where the sweet spot is for them. We have one one company that that moves $60 million through the business. That’s substantial, right? It’s it’s a professional service business, and I won’t identify which one. But you know, you guys, you guys love business, right? So you would absolutely love this business, because you see all the business models like to give to give your listeners a taste of some crazy crazy businesses that are out there. We have a customer that they sell over a million dollars of just pocket squares that you buy on Amazon. We have another company that buys books by the truckload, and they pay three cents a pound for these books, and then they throw away the ones that they don’t want. And then they sell them on Amazon, right? We have a customer that their whole business is they’re the broker of these really cool exotics and antiques that go in movies. Like what a great business right? So besides your regular everyday businesses, we see some of the most amazing we have. And he’s posted on a testimonial. I don’t know if you guys remember a TV show called Cheaters.com, or it wasn’t .com that became digital but Cheaters, right. Cary Grant’s great grandson was was in that show. That’s a customer.

Jay Clouse 42:16
Want to hear about business models like that? It’s so simultaneously empowering and frustrating to hear how some people make money, and often, like way more money than I’m making.

Lillian Roberts 42:25
And it’s crazy, right? It shows everything’s possible that all things are possible out there. I know that we’re going to wrap up sooner. We didn’t talk much about VC fundraising. I don’t know if that’s an area that you guys wanted to hit on for people that are listening to, you know, how to find the right VC?

Jay Clouse 42:40
Well, one question I had about that was, you know, on its surface, a VC might look at Xendoo. And the way that you are pricing this as kind of a services company, how did you position this as a technology play with, you know, a human element to it versus people looking at this and saying, that’s it. That’s something a services company that probably can’t scale to what we want to invest in.

Lillian Roberts 43:04
So, with VCs, they want to see a path to a billion dollar company. And so out of the, the group of us that are changing the way that this that the the accounting industry, you know, there is room to site, you know, Salesforce isn’t the only one that does Salesforce, right, or Pardo or any marketing automation. So, you know, I believe that easily seven of us could become billion dollar companies. And so to do that, you know, you need 100 million in ARR. So, there’s a new category that so you guys are familiar SAS right software as a service. There’s a new category, and it’s service as software. And so basically, it’s tech enabled. And so we’re a tech enabled platform. That’s scalable. Yeah, because it comes down to systems and processes to make it scalable.

Eric Hornung 43:54
How often are people churning off of Xendoo.

Lillian Roberts 43:57
Just for breathing just for small business? As owners, this segment of SMBs just for breathing, two and a half percent will churn them on. So you will get 30% churn just that’s them going in business selling their business going out of business naturally. And we’re right in line with that we’re a little bit above that, partly because we we haven’t dialed into our ICP yet.

Eric Hornung 44:18
Right? And then how do you said most people find you kind of organically online? Are you doing anything in terms of paid acquisition or a referral program or anything like that to drive? More?

Lillian Roberts 44:30
Hundred percent so we so mostly it’s been through paid search right through Google. We’ve been super fortunate. We have a lot of articles if you look at in the press, you know, Steve Case is an investor from Rise of the Rest Jason Calacanis is an investor from SF so you know, Forbes and Inc, Entrepreneur Weekly, different podcasts like that in articles. So we’ve been super fortunate with all of that. customers find this organically we have affiliates. So if you guys would like to be an affiliate which I would love for you guys to Be an affiliate. We offer $250 affiliate fee when the customer pays the first month. So we have that. How else are customers finding us? You know, we were just getting ready to launch radio when COVID hit. We were four, we’d already had all the ads ready, and we were four days away from launching radio. And we shut it down with COVID.

Jay Clouse 45:20
If 10 years from now we look back and Xendoo didn’t work for some reason. What do you think would be the most likely reason that it didn’t work?

Lillian Roberts 45:29
We had a competitor that went out two weeks ago, guys. And if you look at scale factor, they raised $90 million last year, and they shut down to two weeks ago, they announced that they were shutting down. And the reason being is from from the CEOs letter to the team, they had 103 employees. It was that they couldn’t keep the customers. So you know if if we don’t make it and I don’t believe that at all, I mean, you know, obviously we get up every day fight and fight and fortune forward. And, you know, to scale, right? If, if five years, 10 years from now we look back, and we didn’t, it would be because we didn’t take care of our customers. At the end of the day, if you take care of your customers, and you bring on the right customers, then you’re going to succeed, and you got to have the right tech, right. But if you try to have the perfect tech, and you don’t take care of your customers, I don’t care what you know, people say, oh, technology businesses, you know, means that you don’t have to have humans know, every technology business has have a human because at the end of the day, when you have a problem, you want to talk to a human.

Jay Clouse 46:40
You talk to a lot of business owners, what are you seeing in terms of the impact of COVID on some of these business owners that are in this category?

Lillian Roberts 46:49
You know, it’s great question, Jay. And I’m doing a lot of interviews right now in various magazines in regards to this. And what I’m seeing is that there’s two camps. Then it’s the same two camps in every stage of life. Those who can those who can’t, right. And so the business owners like I have restaurant owners that are taking this time, and they are redoing their menus, they are adding in the technology that they were missing, you know, changing their point service systems, putting on the websites. They’re revamping the restaurants, and they are forging forward and doing everything that they can in this pause time, to better their businesses. And then I have then you have the other group of business owners that are putting their head in the sand. And I think that yes, this is unprecedented times. Yes, this really sucks to be a business owner who wants to get up in the morning and be a business owner. This is the worst time you could possibly want to do that. Right? But you know what it is what it is. And so now find the solution. And there are solutions out there. And if you’re a restaurant owner and you want to just keep the same menu you’ve had for a long time, you’re not going to survive because being able to open at 50 percent means cut 50% of your ingredients, find a menu that has common ingredients that you can manage your cost of goods. And the people who do that are the people that are going to win at the end of the day. And as in any kind of economic downturn, for whatever reason. There’s a group of people that do way better. And what’s the common common thread of the group of people that do way better? It’s the attitude, and it’s the outlook.

Jay Clouse 48:25
Love that. Full circle to your attitude and outlook in the beginning of the interview. If people want to learn more about you and Xendoo after the show, where should they go?

Lillian Roberts 48:33
They would go to Xendoo.com and if they want to hook up with one of our salespeople, they can go to sales@Zendoo.com or info@Zendoo.com And I’m easy to get to if they want to chat with me. I’m Lil.Roberts@Zendoo.com

Jay Clouse 48:54
All right, Eric, we just spoke with Lil Roberts of Xendoo sometimes I say a Lil’s name and it sounds like a rapper.

Eric Hornung 49:01
Lil, Lil Jay, Little Clouse, Little Hornung, Little Roberts, big a trio.

Jay Clouse 49:08
You just list off like five names.

Eric Hornung 49:09
I also have three names. Well, I started with Little Jay and then I realized that doesn’t make any sense because it’s Lil is her first name. Clouse is your last name, not Jay. You’re not Clouse Jay. But I guess it’s we’re here. Why don’t we start with Lil and outline her as a founder? What were your kind of first takes?

Jay Clouse 49:26
I love Lil’s perspective on just about everything we talked about. That was one of the most fun aspects of this conversation was for me was just the way she thinks about things. She’s obviously gone through a lot of adversity in her life, especially when she was younger. But you know, she’s come out on the other side of that adversity saying, you know, a third of your life is going to be really good. A third is gonna be really bad. A third is going to be so so I got the really bad out of the way pretty quickly, that moved her towards a place of, you know, really trying to make the most out of her life and after a couple of successful businesses, which is great for the pedigree. She’s now on to Xendoo as something that fits her scorecard for how she wants to spend her time, I just think all the ways that she was thinking about how she spends her time really checked out with me and also aligned with what I would want in one of the founders in my portfolio.

Eric Hornung 50:17
I like the kind of concept of we asked her why are you raising money? Gee, why are you doing this venture back billion dollar rush. And to her it was kind of like she went back. She did the scorecard. And she said she wanted this life experience, essentially. I think that’s cool. She had a couple businesses before she probably had some cash flow. She probably could have bootstrapped this but she wanted to go for something that was more intense.

Jay Clouse 50:41
And along the way, she’s also investing right now actively, which to me, you know, if I’m an investor and I’m investing in a founder, nothing really builds empathy for both sides of the table as a founder who’s also investing so it seems like she understands you know, what she would want to receive as not received monetarily, but the way she would want to be treated as an investor. So I’m sure she will operate that way as a founder as well. So check the box,

Eric Hornung 51:08
Check the box.

Jay Clouse 51:09
Check the box, I like little as a founder. Okay.

Eric Hornung 51:13
That’s what we do here on the Upside debrief. We just check boxes and move forward.

Jay Clouse 51:18
We got our own little scorecard here. Yep, yep, yep.

Eric Hornung 51:21
And let’s look at the product. So this whole claim of being able to service significantly more, depending on what the actual numbers are, I mean, there’s this theoretical number that you can serve. And then there’s the practical number you can serve of clients per bookkeeper. We talked a little bit about the proprietary technology behind that. But to me, I would just want to see more how that works, because I can take her numbers at face value that it does work, but it’s like what is being as a client, what is being automated and what is being like, what are we still using human judgment for I guess.

Jay Clouse 51:59
Right.Because you would Assume you know, just the way that the world has evolved. Any CPA is using a lot of technology in their business. So if this is an order of magnitude more efficient, and you know, scalable than a typical CPA, I still didn’t quite understand why that is. But for the purposes of our deal memo here, I’m willing to take that on face value, certainly something I would want to explore more if we’re going down the route of actual investment here, I’d want to get my hands on the product and understand it a little bit more, but I’m with you that, you know, to me on his face and do looks kind of like a services business, which is a difficult proposition to raise venture capital for but here we are, you know, she’s raised almost $5 million of venture capital already. So there’s more to it. We just didn’t quite get there in this interview.

Eric Hornung 52:52
And I think if you think about it through the lens of a services business, whether it is or not, whether it’s tech enabled services or its service enabled tech or Whatever it is, then you have to think about it from your talent onboarding standpoint. And what does that pipeline look like? Because you can’t just have any bookkeeper come on, if you’re going to be a services business, you need to have great talent because services are about people.

Jay Clouse 53:15
Yeah. And even if you are serving an order of magnitude more people, 125 versus 25, you want those same people to be really adept at communicating with that many clients if you have someone who can’t communicate effectively, that’s a lot of clients that are having a bad time.

Eric Hornung 53:33
Yeah, it’s almost like your people in a tech enabled services business become more important than they would be in a traditional services business. Yeah. So what do you think about the opportunity here, Jay?

Jay Clouse 53:45
Well, she mentioned that there are about 30 million small businesses that fall into their target market. And if you look at the industry verticals, she mentioned ecommerce services, brick and mortar services, hospitality. franchise groups. I don’t have personally a lot of experience looking at the books of businesses like this, but I do have a fair amount of experience working with small business owners, and can confirm that bookkeeping and financials typically aren’t the highest priority item that get a lot of attention and get a lot of love. So I imagine that a lot of these companies, especially at a time like now, where they’re really trying to figure out what’s going on, I don’t know, you know, how closely Xendoo has been working with small business owners on things like the pbp loans that are happening right now. But it’s just a mess. Nobody understands how to report it properly, how to move forward, how to understand how much cash they have to play with. So 30 million businesses, and she says most of their customers are on the 295 or 395 per month plan. So if you look at the average of that $350 per month That’s $4,200 a year per customer, on average, we’re gonna be doing math, Eric.

Eric Hornung 55:07
I know this is incredible. It’s not even like you’re using a calculator, I don’t see your arms moving at all typing that in.

Jay Clouse 55:12
Total market size would be something like $126 billion. It’s pretty big.

Eric Hornung 55:19
That’s pretty big. You have to remember that when we look at market size that assumes that everybody uses an accountant currently, or that they would use Xendoo at this price point.

Jay Clouse 55:28
Right. That’s a total that’s a total size, right.

Eric Hornung 55:30
We’re probably something like 80% of businesses, small businesses to fit that 30 that are in that 30 million bucket, don’t maybe they use a QuickBooks or something like it, but they probably aren’t using a professional accounting solution.

Jay Clouse 55:46
Okay, well, if we take 20%, that’s a little over 25 billion.

Eric Hornung 55:50
And I think that goes to Lil’s point that there can be two to three winners in this space because it is big enough.

Jay Clouse 55:55
And you know, even if this is people intensive, she mentioned one Xendoo CPA could work with 125 clients?

Eric Hornung 56:02
That scales to a point?

Jay Clouse 56:05
So it’s a big it’s a big opportunity. And I see that but it does seem fairly competitive to me, you know, even with, she says they work with QuickBooks, they work with ero. And I believe that to be true. To me, the biggest question is just a marketing question which I brought up, because if, as you’re pointing out, if only 20% of companies are going to use a software or a service like this, are they going to understand the nuance between Xendoo versus QuickBooks or versus Xero and why they need it? How are they going to find send you? Those are some of the questions that are kind of follow ups that we talked about, but didn’t get as much insight as I would have liked. I’m sure a lot of that can be attacked with paid acquisition, but we didn’t talk about cost per lead or lifetime value. So on its face, big market, big opportunity, what’s the customer acquisition look like?

Eric Hornung 56:57
And I think the other side of that which would be the thing I want to look at 6-18 months is churn. So she mentioned it’s a high churn industry just in general. But when I think about accounting and accountants, specifically, locally, so much of it is anchored in relationships, so in my full time job, we’ll have someone who’s used the same local accountant that has an office and they’re in the front of their house for 30 years, just because you know, it was their neighbor from down the street, and they signed up with them originally, now they have a relationship. So when you have Xendoo, how do they recreate that localized relationship to the point that you’re not going to have that high churn? Because it’s just a transactional relationship? You can break those off very quickly. You can go with whatever. But if you can, have that client relationship be stronger somehow, while still having 120 or 60 relationships per bookkeeper. I think that that’s kind of the magic is how do you create some

Jay Clouse 57:55
Relational stickiness?

Eric Hornung 57:57
Relational stickiness is such a better phrase than talents, which is why I was going to use which felt very strong. But yeah, that’s my 6-18 months is what are they doing to incentivize or to de incentivize churn?

Jay Clouse 58:12
What about for you, I would want to look at a progression of month over month, you’re talking about churn, you’re talking to retention, I want to just look at acquisition and what the trend looks like. Because similarly, you don’t want people to churn out but it sounds like a big part of their acquisition business model is an affiliate model. And so if people are happy, if they’re sticking around, if they’re referring it, I would assume that their growth would be fairly exponential. And I would want to look and see if if that is true or not. And ultimately, you know, how far is acquisition outstripping churn?

Eric Hornung 58:32
And I think, sorry, I have one point on that. A lot of times small business owners are friends with other small business owners. So there’s probably some sort of NPS score that you could look at, on the acquisition side of things to see How much is coming through word of mouth? How much is Jay owns a barber shop and he told Eric, who owns the coffee shop next door about using Xendoo and how amazing it’s been for their business?

Jay Clouse 59:12
Well, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode. You can tweet at us @upsideFM and let us know or email us Hello@upside.FM. If you want to check out Xendoo there’s a link to check them out in our show notes and on our website as well. Otherwise, we’ll talk to you next week. That’s all for this week. Thanks for listening. We’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s guests. So shoot us an email at hello@upside.fm or find us on Twitter @upsideFM. We’ll be back here next week at the same time talking to another founder and our quest to find upside outside of Silicon Valley. If you or someone you know would make a good guest for our show, please email us or find us on Twitter and let us know. And if you love our show, please leave us a review on iTunes. It goes a long way in helping us spread the word and continue to help bring high quality guests to the show. Eric and I decided there are a couple things we wanted to share with you at the end of the podcast. And so here we go. Eric Hornung and Jay Clouse are the founding parties of the upside podcast. At the time of this recording, we do not own equity or other financial interest in the companies which appear on this show. All opinions expressed by podcast participants are solely their own opinion and do not reflect the opinions of Duffin Phelps LLC and its affiliates on your collective LLC and its affiliates or any entity which employ us. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. We have not considered your specific financial situation nor provided any investment advice on the show. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.

Interview begins: 6:03
Debrief: 48:54

Lillian (Lil) Roberts is the founder and CEO of Xendoo.

Xendoo is a cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting service focused on small business owners. By harnessing technology we give our accounting teams more time to work directly with clients and their individual business needs. Xendoo offers a low, flat monthly rate with unprecedented service and response.

Xendoo was founded in 2016 and based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Key Points:

  • Discovering entrepreneurship 9:33
  • Getting interested to sales 12:06
  • Selling ownership and scorecards 16:15
  • Xendoo’s beginnings 19:32
  • What Xendoo can do 21:44
  • Xendoo as a solution 28:28
  • Interacting with technology 32:12
  • Qualifications to work at Xendoo 35:36
  • Xendoo’s demographics 38:06
  • Covid on businesses 46:40

Follow Lillian Roberts: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chetan-parekh/
Website: https://www.xendoo.com/

This episode of upside is also sponsored by Ethos Wealth Management. Managing wealth with an eye toward the future demands vigilance and skill in today’s global economy. Over the years, Ethos Wealth Management has worked with clients and their other professional advisors – including attorneys and accountants – to create comprehensive wealth management plans designed to make the best use of their wealth today and help ensure its endurance for future generations.

They can do the same for you.

Visit upside.fm/ethos to learn more.


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