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From Zero to a Million : Becoming a Company Marketing And Growth Hacking

Last week was one full of firsts for Hardbacon. We issued our first shares, opened our first bank account, and adopted our first project management tool. Its exciting to see something grow that was only an idea in June, but the result is that we must add a layer of management to something that was, until now, mainly propelled by passion.

Since our first cheque from Wealthsimple should be arriving soon, I wanted to ensure I could deposit it into Hardbacons bank account. I therefore incorporated the business under the name of Technologies Hardbacon in Quebec in order to comply with the provinces French language requirements.

The company was officially incorporated on August 28, but I still had to sign the paperwork involved in creating my business. This is when I learned that Hardbacon would issue me 10,000 shares at 1 cent each. My lawyer at Lavery explained that this would provide me with more flexibility to offer shares than if we had issued 100 shares at $1 each. I thought this was a wise suggestion, and I was especially happy because of all the zeros after the 1.

With the certificate of incorporation, I was then able to open an electronic business account with RBC, which is completely freewhen you dont use it. Nonetheless, I left the branch after my appointment with a few free cheques and two promotional pens. The banks seldom give gifts anymore, so you should take advantage of it when it happens.

Hardbacon is no longer just an idea. And its no longer just my idea, since there are now six of us working here full-time. We must now take care of mundane tasks like accounting, but moreover, adopt certain processes. Most members of the Hardbacon team told me that they would like more clarity regarding the distribution of tasks and their deadlines.

This is all normal in any start-up that is becoming a company, and its only the beginning for Hardbacon. That said, its a little scary because it also means that if I make poor choices, we run the risk of turning into a slow, dysfunctional organization incapable of innovation, like an immeasurable number of mature companies have become.

I believe that management processes are a tax on organizational obesity. In a group of two or three people, theyre simply not necessary, which allows for things to move along more quickly. However, while six people can sit around a table, discussing things in person is no longer the best way to coordinate our efforts. We therefore decided to use Trello to manage distribution of our weekly tasks as well as the more long-term projects.

There are many more sophisticated project management tools, but the goal was simply to adopt the simplest tool possible. It would be a mistake to try to adopt processes that are more relevant to a 600-person organization. On the other hand, the structure we implemented will probably be obsolete in a few months or even a few weeks, but thats OK.

Maintaining a moderate organizational structure will enable us to stay agile longer. This way, we can continue listening to our customers and be completely transparent and innovative than we otherwise could within a more plump structure.

Fortunately, this is something I can put on the backburner for the time being, but I will not take it lightly. I wouldnt want to wake up one day and discover that Hardbacon has the same flaws that others allege against the finance industry.

Major Accomplishments:

Launched the credit card comparator

Partnered with Jitneytrade

Recruited a Marketing Directors and an Analyst

Opened a bank account with RBC

Signed incorporation paperwork with Lavery

Growth Metrics:

Revenues: $150 (total: $1400, growth: 12%)

New newsletter subscribers: 92 (total: 2447, weekly growth: 4%)

New Snapchat subscribers: 5 (total 124, weekly growth: 4%)

New Instagram subscribers: 73 (total: 504, weekly growth: 17%)

My previous From Zero to a Million posts, in which I reveal every week how Im building and growing Hardbacon with no money:

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