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S2E12: Behind the Scenes of Juxta Communications (Exclusive Content #2)

In this episode of the Candid Conversations small business podcast, your co-hosts Dan and Sagan share a behind-the-scenes look at how their business, Juxta Communications, has grown over the last 10 months. Dan and Sagan chat about shifting directions in business, tips on managing bookkeeping, what it’s like to have an intern, the importance of recognizing your own strengths and weaknesses, and the hard truth if you’re struggling with quitting your 9 to 5 job.

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Show Notes

00:00 Introduction to the podcast

00:40 What to expect in this episode

01:30 Background of us sharing about our business

02:00 Things are moving quickly with Juxta Communications!

“Your business plan should be a living, organic document that you use to steer the ship of your business, and it’s okay to change it. On a monthly basis, we’re going in there and making little adjustments to it.” – Sagan

“One of the biggest shifts for us is that before we were focusing on clients, and things were progressing well with that — but the issue was time, and a little bit about money. In order for us to scale our business quickly, I would have had to quit my 9 to 5 job.” – Dan

04:50 What to keep in mind if you’re looking to quit your 9 to 5 job

“In order to quit your 9 to 5 job, there are sacrifices that need to be made.” – Dan

“We shifted our business plan to fit more with my schedule of working at a 9 to 5 job, as well as to fit more of what we want to do, which is online courses. While we could scale our business quickly with clients, it didn’t quite fit for us… We want to provide you, the listener, with free tools and tips.” – Dan

6:10 Shifting from clients to courses

“It’s always been in the back of our mind to shift our primary focus to online courses. Part of that is because we have so much knowledge to share that we’ve learned over the years, and we love teaching; we like passing that on and helping other people. We’ve got to this point in our business where we want to focus a lot more on that, rather than too much on the client side of things.” – Sagan

“That allows me to focus more on evenings and weekends with my time… We’re still having our regularly weekly meetings which is great, but it allows me to shift my mindset so I don’t have to work directly with clients. It allows me to focus my knowledge on writing. There’s less stress on me during the work hours.” – Dan

“We can focus more on the long-term strategy for our business rather than the day-to-day minute details, so that’s been awesome.” – Sagan

“It’s fantastic that we’re making this shift, but granted, it doesn’t allow us to scale our business as quickly because we’re limited on the courses we already have. It’s going to be a longer-term strategy, but that’s always been part of the business plan.” – Dan

9:05 Handling taxes, payroll, and bookkeeping

“There is so much involved in bookkeeping now that we’re a corporation, so it requires a lot more time.” – Sagan

“There are different nuances required for bookkeeping in Canada… and Quickbooks is a steep learning curve too.” – Dan

11:15 Quick tips about bookkeeping

“Everything needs to be itemized. I need to know exactly what we spent and what the taxes are.” – Dan

“Because we’re limiting our number of clients and working on building up our courses, Juxta isn’t bringing in a huge amount of income. So it’s an interesting balance, especially being in the early stages of all of this.” – Sagan

15:00 Bringing on an intern

“This fits into our entire business plan and mandate for Juxta Communications, because we really want to focus on, again, this teaching piece, this mentorship piece; training people and sharing knowledge.” – Sagan

17:45 Documenting our progress as a business

“Every month in the Small Business Case Study, I write up what we did that month, the things we learned, obstacles we faced, etc. That’s a nice resource for you if you’re interested in learning a lot more about building a business.” – Sagan

18:45 Rebranding Juxta Communications

“We’re taking everything and putting a visual identity to it… We’re slowly changing all the designs.” – Dan

19:50 Updating and changing the logo

Final version:

20:15 Issues we’ve had in our business partnership: communication problems

candid podcast episode 12

“When you have a business partner, communication is a must! If you have a business partner, definitely make sure you always communicate what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. We’re not a big company that requires a lot of process; when you’re getting off the ground, you want to do the best you can for your business.” – Dan 

“I’m a very demanding person. I have a lot of things I want done, and I have high expectations and demands.” – Sagan

“The reason why you’re in a partnership like this is that your business partner ideally complements you in some aspect that you can’t achieve on your own. I’m not great with communication, so I’m getting to learn a bit more about my processes… I’m learning a lot about things I never thought I’d learn about.” – Dan

25:00 Importance of recognizing your weaknesses in business

“A big important thing with a business partnership is you have to know each other’s weaknesses, and you have to figure out your own way of dealing with it, and you have to help that person through their weaknesses. It’s really important to know each other’s strengths and to play off each other’s strengths, but to also step up, when they have a weakness: you might have to do more in that area.” – Sagan

“Talk to your business partner if you have one. If you don’t have one, just know your strengths and weaknesses. You can always supplement it by finding someone who could help in those specific areas.” – Dan

“It’s really about knowing your strengths and weaknesses. And checking in with yourself on a regular basis, and being super, brutally honest with yourself. And asking yourself the tough questions if you need to — if something’s not getting done or if you’re not prioritizing something. You need to really get to the root of, why is this not happening, why am I not doing this. Taking ownership of that and carrying on.” – Sagan

27:30 Dan’s struggles with taking his business off the ground

“I didn’t have the drive for my own business. Could I realistically quit and do it on my own? No. I could not. And the reason why was because I didn’t have the backup and help to get me through it. And that’s where Juxta comes in, because Sagan and I work so well together, and there’s a lot of trust and encouragement, which is something I know I need… Our regular weekly meetings keep me on track and keep me motivated, especially when working 9 to 5.” – Dan

“Having that positive reinforcement is really important.” – Sagan

29:40 Importance of getting to the root of why YOU haven’t quit your day job yet

“This is an important point around understanding WHY it is that you’re not quitting your day job and starting your own business. Getting to the root of that is so, so important. And you might discover, when asking yourself these tough questions, that being a business owner isn’t something you’re cut out for. Or you might realize, as you’re going through this process, that you can have your own business but you really need to have a stable 9 to 5 job as well. Or you might realize, as Dan did, that you need to have a business partner and you jsut don’t want to do it by yourself. It’s so important that you ask those questions, because if you find that you’re dragging your feet with something and years are going by without making progress, then there’s probably something going on there that you really need to address.

There’s absolutely no reason, if you actually want to leave your 9 to 5 behind and have your own business, there’s no reason why that should take you years and years to do. I teach you how to do it in 3 — 6 months with our Goodbye 9 to 5 masterclass! But if it takes you more than a couple years and you’re not making any real progress towards making that transition, and you THINK you want to make the transition, then what is going on there? You have to ask yourself the tough questions to figure it out. And it’s okay to have it as a side hustle! And not everyone has to have their own business, not everyone has to go it alone, not everyone has to leave their 9 to 5 behind. But if you want any of those things, then you really need to figure out, why aren’t you doing it?” – Sagan 

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32:15 Saying “no” in business

“Saying ‘no’ in business is a huge thing for business owners. It’s a big hurdle.” – Dan

“There’s definitely a fine balance. It’s important to say ‘yes’ to as many opportunities as possible when you’re just starting out. I’m a strong believer in that! However, we are now 10 months into our business. We’ve had a lot of different growing pains, we’ve been testing out a lot of things, and we’ve now gotten to the point with Juxta Communications where we can actually afford to say ‘no’ to things that aren’t a good fit. When it comes to saying ‘no’ to things in business, it’s about being strategic! It’s not about saying ‘no’ willy-nilly. It’s about actually deciding, ‘this is what we’re going to say “no” to, because XYZ.’” – Sagan

“What’s really important to keep in mind is that when you’re saying ‘no’ to one thing in business, that really means you’re saying ‘yes’ to something else. It’s giving you an opportunity to focus your energies more intensely on some other thing in your business. That’s a good way to look at it if you’re the type of person who has a tough time saying ‘no.’ Also, just because you’re saying ‘no’ right now, doesn’t mean you can’t say ‘yes’ later on.” – Sagan

37:40 Get in touch with us!

Got questions or comments? Reach out at sagan@juxtacommunications.ca

38:40 Thanks for listening!

39:10 Outtake 🙂

Awesome resources + people mentioned in this episode:

DON’T BE A STRANGER!

Hang out with us! We’d love to chat with you.

For example, you could…

  1. Tweet at us (@JuxtaComms) to let us know what you thought about this podcast
  2. Email us (hello@candidpodcast.ca) with any small business questions you’d love for us to answer
  3. Review this episode on iTunes and share it with your friends so that even MORE people can benefit from the amazing guests we feature!

Pssst… want to grab Dan and Sagan for an interview on YOUR podcast or blog? We’d be honoured! Shoot us an email and let’s chat.

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