From $250k+ Salary, to 4 years making nothing, to $30m+ Payday in SMB World with Jay Bean

Jay Bean The Top Entrepreneurs Episode 148

In Episode #148, Nathan speaks with Jay Bean, the founder and CEO of Fresh Lime. Jay was also the founder and president of until its acquisition by Marchex in 2003. He also founded Orange Soda which was acquired by Deluxe. Listen as Nathan and Jay talk about the importance of perseverance in startups and Jay’s current activity with Fresh Lime.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book?— Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek
  • What CEO do you follow?— Jeff Bezos
  • What is your favorite online tool?— To Do
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— Have confidence in yourself but be able to utilize others and mentors to help you build your business. Take advantage of your relationships and connections. Network.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:00 – Nathan’s introduction to today’s show
  • 01:56 – Jay joins the show
  • 02:28 – was one of the early pay-per click search companies.
  • 03:10 – The business merged with Marchex, and the overall return for ah-ha’s investors was roughly 15x.
  • 04:49 –Businesses with a service component takes a big hit on fees compared to software reliant businesses.
  • 05:53 – Jay moved his family to Europe after ah-ha’s acquisition by Marchex, there he founded his company Orange Soda.
  • 06:16 – Orange Soda was created with the goal being enabling businesses to get off Yellow Pages and onto the internet (back in the day).
  • 07:28 – Orange Soda had about 10,000 small businesses paying 200$ a month for their services.
  • 08:12 – Deluxe acquired Orange Soda for about 28-30 million.
  • 09:36 – Jay knows it’s difficult to get into a start-up mindset when working for a company with a good salary/benefits. He argues that it’s rewarding enough to be worth it.
  • 12:44 – Before Jay left his job to start Ah-ha he was making 43K a year in 1999.
  • 13:36 – Jay talks about perseverance when starting a company and having faith in oneself.
  • 14:09 – Jay had 6 weeks of expenses saved when he left his job for Ah-ha. He had to make financial sacrifices for the good of the new company in the long run.
  • 16:23 – Fresh Lime helps small business attribute their marketing dollars to transactions. They also provide services like a business dashboard and an automating engagement tool.
  • 17:43 – The engagement tool lets the company reach out to customers instead of the other way around – it generates revenue quickly.
  • 19:32 – The average customer pays about 225$ a month. There’s a one-time implementation fee. Fresh Lime has a high retention rate because they’re able to show benefits early.
  • 23:10 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. As a founder of a startup, perseverance is key alongside financial sacrifices for the long haul.
  2. Being able to demonstrate the benefits of your business’s services earlier leads to a higher retention rate.
  3. Have confidence in yourself but be able to utilize others and mentors to help you build your business.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Growth Geeks – The way Nathan hires growth hackers on a per project basis for things like info graphics, blog posts, and other growth projects
  • Jay Bean – Jay’s website
  • @jayrbean – Jay’s Twitter
  • Facebook – Fresh Lime’s Facebook
  • Orange Soda – One of Jay’s previous startups
  • Leaders Eat Last– Book Jay stands by
  • Jeff Bezos – CEO Jay keeps up with
  • To Do – Jay’s favorite online tool

Jay Bean is a focused and innovative entrepreneur with decades of online marketing and digital experience. He was the founder and president of until its acquisition by Marchex in 2003. Later he moved on to found local online marketing in 2006, shepherding the company in various positions, including as CEO, through its significant growth trajectory, until its acquisition by Deluxe Corp. Jay has a passion for building solutions for SMBs, solving pain points with forward-thinking technology.

Jay lives in Utah with his beautiful wife and four children (3 boys and 1 girl). He enjoys traveling, motorcycling, skiing, camping, and attending his kids sporting events.



Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives