Hedge & Protect Your Business During Black Swan Events with Steven Benson

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Steve Benson

Hey, it’s Matt! Welcome back to our podcast. In this episode we have Steven Benson as our guest. Steve and I discuss how you can hedge and protect your business during a black swan event.

Steve is the founder and CEO of Badger Maps. After receiving his MBA from Stanford, Steve was Google Enterprise’s Top Sales Executive in 2009. In 2012, Steve founded Badger Maps, a software company that helps Field Sales People optimize their routes and schedules to save time and be on time so they can sell more. Steve is also the host of the Outside Sales Talk podcast where he interviews industry experts on their top sales tips.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Where he got his taste for entrepreneurship  [2:18]
  • Steve tells the story of his first business ventures as a young kid  [3:30]
  • How he got suspended in high school because of his business idea  [4:38]
  • Steve’s career path after studying in Stanford  [5:30]
  • What he learned from other companies he worked at and how he applied them at Google  [6:06]
  • The types of customers he was in charge of  at Google [7:55]
  • How Badger maps was born   [8:37]
  • Companies that benefit from using  Badger maps [10:35]
  • How Steve started Badger maps despite not having a coding ability and being bootstrapped  [11:23]
  • How he found the programmer for Badger maps [12:05]
  • The next steps after creating a product  [12:40]
  • How to ensure your first sale before launch [13:08]
  • Approaching customers about the product and how Steve communicated pricing  [14:23]
  • Issues he encountered when they launched and how they overcame them [16:01]
  • The point in the business when  he found out that Badger maps could be profitable  [17:26]
  • What Steve is doing to hedge his business against the unknowns during turbulent times  [18:58]
  • Handling debt and getting investments in a black swan event  [23:40]
  • Finding lenders/investors that are best for your business  [26:27]
  • Negotiating loan terms [29:35]
  • Amount of returns lenders are looking for [34:21]
  • Where to learn more about Steve and his product [35:34]

Quotable Quotes

  • If you’ve got that demand already, you’re going to sell it (product) a lot quicker.
  • Building software is messy and the stuff crashes all the time and goes down all the time early on, and that’s why people pay us.
  • A lot of things that would have made sense in good times, that don’t make sense now, you need to cut those.
  • Any type of loan is negotiable.

Links to sources and tools

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