Yesterday, Mark Forrester stopped by ManageWP to answer some questions in their weekly AMA. Forrester is the co-founder of WooThemes and is now working for Automattic after the acquisition. He received many questions about eCommerce, WooThemes, and his new baby.
Here are five takeaways:
Perseverance Is The Key To Success.
There are many things needed to grow a business, but perseverance is essential. It took WooCommerce four years to build and nurture a trustworthy brand in the WordPress community. One way Woo did this was with a freemium model.
Once you have the customers, you need to make sure you keep them happy. For Forrester, that is new customer retention.
“There’s no quick fixes to sustained growth,” Forrester said.
Involve The Community In Your Business.
Forrester was asked for advice on starting a WordPress company, and he said a huge thing is getting the community involved.
“Understand and interact with the WordPress community,” Forrester said. “Rally them behind your business idea/product/service. Then provide the best possible customer service and support.”
If you start out your company with users already interested, you’ll have a leg up on anyone else.
Communication Is Crucial.
Not everyone is lucky enough to click with the people they work with, but Forrester and the other founders at WooThemes really found each other.
“We were lucky to find each other, in opposite corners of the world,” Forrester said. “We shared a passion for WordPress and commercial theming and had a really healthy work and play relationship.”
A huge part of really understanding your coworkers is communication. That’s especially how you unite a team of people with different skills.
“Communication is oxygen. Do it regularly and articulate it well,” Forrester said.
Life At Automattic Is Good.
Many people were curious about what it’s like to join the Automattic team. For Forrester, moving from the owner of a company to the leader of a team within a bigger company was an adjustment.
“I’m enjoying the learnings, the experience, and the network Automattic provides,” Forrester said. “It’s also quite liberating — not having to now worry about every operational aspect of the company, having more experienced teams available to us (e.g. Distributed HR, Finance, Law).”
It took a lot of work to find a strategy for the acquisition, and setting up a strong leadership team has allowed Forrester to spend more time with his family and toy poodle.
Forrester Won’t Be Attending WooConf.
Forrester has a good reason for not attending WooConf. He is expecting the birth of his second son. That doesn’t mean Forrester won’t be thinking about the conference.
“There’s something special about IRL interactions with your customers,” Forrester said. “It’s validation on a whole different level — what we do is impacting so many around the world!”
Check back every other Wednesday for another AMA with a WordPress influencer!