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Sept. 2, 2022

How Tracking Your Numbers Correctly Grows Your Business with Melissa Williams and Polly Sidoruk

How Tracking Your Numbers Correctly Grows Your Business with Melissa Williams and Polly Sidoruk

This episode features Melissa Williams and Polly Sidoruk. Melissa is the Head of Content at Synder, an automated accounting platform for businesses to manage their finances better, smarter, and faster. She used to manage her own content design and strategy business and now, as Synder's Head of Content, she aims to inform you about efficient business management, eCommerce and SaaS accounting automation, smart invoicing, instant analytics and reporting, and financial data improvements. Polly Sidoruk is the Product Manager at Synder. She has worked in the FinTech sphere for years, where she has helped companies automate their bookkeeping processes.

Polly gives an overview of Synder and why an eCommerce should use it.

Melissa shares how they have been able to find the system different from what most companies are doing with their numbers. She also shares a sneak peek of what they’re offering - a free report of the four key performance indicators that a company needs to track inside of an ecommerce company.

Listen to Polly as explains the term data-driven insights and how to use those insights to grow your business. She shares a piece of biasing in doing a better job at tracking numbers.

Discover what Melissa and Polly think about eCommerce changing in regard to tracking numbers and analytics in the next 12 - 18 months. 

Polly shares the difference between Synder from other accounting-type platforms.

Episode Action Items:

To find more information about Synder, go to synder.com/blog and synder.com

ABOUT THE HOST:

Andy Splichal - Make Each Click Count PodcastAndy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.

Transcript

Andy Splichal 0:00

Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast your host, Andy Splichal. We're happy to welcome this week's guest. And there are two of them to discuss today's topic, which is how tracking your numbers correctly grows your business how to track your numbers correctly grows your business. Our first guest is Melissa Williams. Melissa is the Head of Content at Synder, an automated accounting platform for businesses to manage their finances better, smarter, faster. She used to manage her own content design and stretch business and now that Synder's Head of Content she aims to inform you about how efficient business management ecommerce, SaaS accounting, automation, smart invoicing, instant analytics and reporting financial improvement. Hi, Melissa.

 

Melissa Williams 0:45

Hi. Thanks for having me.

 

Andy Splichal 0:47

Excited to have you. In addition, we have Polly Sidoruk. Polly is the product manager of Center. She has worked in the FinTech sphere for years where she has helped companies automate their bookkeeping process now. I'm not sure what Fintech is. But Hi, Polly.

 

Polly Sidoruk 1:05

Hi there. Glad to be here.

 

Andy Splichal 1:07

What is the FinTech?

 

Polly Sidoruk 1:12

Oh, what's FinTech. Well, that's financial technology sphere.

 

Andy Splichal 1:17

Okay, okay. It's jargon, jargon, financial technologies. Got it/ Yeah, my my first question revolves around Synder. As an all in one accounting solution. When I first read an overview of center, I thought I was it was a bookkeeping platform, like with books, and I thought, oh, no, this is going to be kind of a boring show. But after doing your website, I realized it's way more than that you're able to lead analytics and a bunch of cool other stuff. So I'm sure you all can describe it better night. So can you give me a quick overview of Synder and why ecommerce company shipments?

 

Polly Sidoruk 1:53

Yeah, sure. So basically, Synder went a long, long way to be at the point where it is now basically, we've started as just a solution to help businesses with automated bookkeeping, basically connecting sales platforms and sales channels, payment processors, with the books for automated that data import to their books. But then we kind of realized that started working with different industries, more focused, started to be more focused on Ecommerce for your ads targeted to listen to the pain points of E commerce businesses, and we kind of came up with our own accounting solution for Ecommerce is tailored specifically for E commerce fear. And then we also understood that, well, having a good analytics, on your sales on your business in general, you can manage your business much, you know, in a much better way. So we started to also analyze all of the data we're working with to provide business was these insights. So now Synder is like a very robust to listen for econ businesses.

 

Andy Splichal 3:03

So what data are you bringing in? What data are you bringing all together?

 

Polly Sidoruk 3:09

Basically, we're connecting it like all of the sales channels, the business has their books. And like we're working with like Amazon and Shopify, and Stripe and PayPal and square, and Etsy, and eBay, Walmart. So like Bigcommerce, WooCommerce, like a huge, huge number of processors, and sales channels. And kind of we're combining them all and analyzing the data across channels, giving you all them in one place.

 

Andy Splichal 3:39

So how much you're making and how much you're spending? Is there web data as well?

 

Polly Sidoruk 3:46

Not a web data, we're right now kind of on a way to figure out what's the best way to I mean, what else can we give, like ecommerce owners? On top of their, like sales in their analytics? So many, like, in many cases, what people want to see is their robots and their versions. So yeah, we're kind of underweight.

 

Andy Splichal 4:08

So when dealing with numbers, it's a it's a great point. But there's an age old adage says garbage in garbage out. With your system, you're bringing in all those different sales from all the different channels you might have. Have you been if you found that this is different than what most companies are doing with their numbers? And how does tracking these numbers help a company grow?

 

Polly Sidoruk 4:30

Well, that's basically yeah, Melissa, go ahead.

 

Melissa Williams 4:33

Oh, okay. I was just gonna say one thing, that's very different about the way we work than how a lot of companies, you know, a lot of companies right now are tracking their numbers in like spreadsheets and then uploading that to some, you know, their QuickBooks or Xero. The problem is, if you're doing that, what if there's an error in that spreadsheet, like maybe you transposed a number or you know something of that nature and then you don't realize it until the end of the month when you get to your reconciliation or you know, worst case scenario at the end of the year when you're getting all your paperwork together for taxes and haven't really looked at it. So, the nice thing about Synder is it grabs the numbers directly from each platform. So there's like, there's no, you know, no person is typing anything, and it's literally coming directly from so if you made $150, on Amazon, that number is coming right into your books, you don't have to, you know, double check it, you don't need to type it out anywhere, it'll also pull out the fees, everything kind of categorized. So it just makes that process a lot easier.

 

Andy Splichal 5:31

What are other companies who don't need Synder doing? Are they having somebody who's charged with these reports? Put it in manually into QuickBooks?

 

Polly Sidoruk 5:43

There are different scenarios, I would say. I mean, well, each business is unique, I would say, in average, it depends on the size of the business. I mean, obviously, the smaller the business is, the more you know, day to day activity rests on the shoulder, on the on the shoulders of the business owner, right. And, you know, he or her, you know, they're the people who kind of gather all the data and analyze them and kind of go through composing numbers, understanding how their business is doing, you know, making the decisions. But the bigger the company gets, the more you know, roles start to be separated. And you know, the bigger company gets the more additional, you know, specialist company has so like CFOs, and, like accountants who are actually kind of helping this owner to analyze their businesses, their business, like numbers, understand them, and make better decisions.

 

Andy Splichal 6:53

I also I saw your website, where you're offering a free report on the four KPIs that a company needs to track inside of an Ecommerce company, can you give us a sneak peek of those four key performance indicators and let listeners know how they could download that report?

 

Melissa Williams 7:10

Yeah, so the four KPIs, two of them, we say, you know, sales, you want to track your gross profits, I'll let listeners go and download the report to get all four of them. But the report can be found right now, if you go to our blog, at the bottom of any of our blog articles, you can see there's a there's a banner there that will let you download the report. The great thing about this report, it'll tell you what the KPIs are, how you can track them. And then the reason you should and like what kind of changes you can make in your business as you you know, look at these numbers like what exactly what increases? Can you expect what, what ways can you use these numbers in these KPIs to make positive changes for your ecommerce business

 

Andy Splichal 7:54

What's the URL of your blog?

 

Melissa Williams 7:57

it's synder.com/blog, and then just click on any of the articles in there. And it'll be right at the bottom, it's a yellow banner to get that report.

 

Andy Splichal 8:08

We'll get that into the show notes as well. Now, I also read on your website that you use the term data driven insights a lot. Can you elaborate on what those data driven insights are? And how, how a company can use those insights to grow their business?

 

Polly Sidoruk 8:26

Yeah, yeah, sure. So basically, I I think I'll just go with an example. So once we were talking to business owners, and to like professionals in the sphere, who helped, you know, advising different econ businesses, like we started to understand, for example, like one of the common, you know, examples we hear is that, how to know which product to advertise? Because, well, that's a import, that's an important question for the business right to understand, you know, which products or products or bundle, they should, you know, invest more money to. So basically, what we hear a lot is that people advertise their new products or new collections, they kind of can see and go and advertise what's, you know, what's remaining in stock? So if I have something that's not selling, why don't I you know, start advertising it a bit more so that, you know, start selling, or, for example, just their best sellers, but what actually professional say, how it should be done. You want to advertise products based on your profitability of the of the SKU or the product or, you know, based on margins, because, you know, it's very important to understand not just which product you know, sells very often and very good. It's a question of what you earn selling this product. Some businesses do not. That will sound weird, because seems like Well, it's kind of logical to know Okay, A this like product a cost me five bucks to kind of create or salad or purchase it and then I you know, earn 10 bucks selling it. So I know that my profit here is $5 for each sale, but it's just because of the costs. Tracking is so complex because well it can incorporate. It's easier for some businesses for like people who just like to purchase things and sell them at a different price. Surely it's it's an easier question. But for construction businesses, for like for different models and businesses, and they may get really complex to track your costs and track your cogs properly. Which is why not every business understands what's their margins on the on the sales of skews, and which is why that basically leads them to, you know, to advertising products that are not really giving them profit, which at the end of the day reduces their their profit, kind of they may have a lot of sales. But is there really, I mean, is the business really profitable? Not every business can answer that question. Because when you start, you know, dig deeper, and then ask, you know, what's your cost for this product? Why started to advertise this product over that one?

 

Andy Splichal:

I would think that would be really useful for Amazon sellers where they have, you know, especially if it's FBA sellers where they have storage fees, and they then they have advertising fees, as opposed to like a Shopify site where you're selling on your own. Do you work with a lot of Amazon FBA sellers?

 

Polly Sidoruk:

Yeah, we do work with Amazon FBA sellers, we just unjust people who sell on the Amazon but ship their goods, you know, with, like, external providers. So yeah, we kind of tried to help both these audiences.

 

Andy Splichal:

Now, if a business owner came to you all, it said that they need to do a better job of tracking numbers. What would be like the first piece of actual biasing?

 

Polly Sidoruk:

For example, well, first of all, it would be just a basic understanding of what is it they're tracking now. So that we could you know, give them what's what's missing. But, like, in average, it's important to track your customers LTV and your average order value. Because once you grow LV every GA well you you'll start, well, you start selling more, you start earning more. And it's super important to understand your like unit economics. So understand, what are your costs per item? What are your costs per acquiring a new customer can you afford to raise a your marketing budget to kind of so these are the KPIs like LTV CAC, LTV to CAC ratio. And, like, I guess, margins, first cues, these are very, very important things that help you, you know, make better decisions on your business,

 

Andy Splichal:

you know, you touched on a great one, there's a lifetime customer value. When people look at their feet amortized, and a lot of times are located just if their initial role as the profitability of that one sale versus what they've spent, does your system then incorporate the lifetime value of a customer with the advertising costs?

 

Polly Sidoruk:

Right now, kind of as we just started to go into, like KPIs and metrics, like development, where we have a good understanding of what the market needs, but while it just takes time to introduce all as, like, we measured on the very beginning, we've started with just data synchronization app. And as Melissa mentioned, so what's special about us as though we work with you know, your real financial data? So just understand like seeing what what is it your actual sale that happens and how much money customer paid you for your let's say Shopify order paid via stripe, so we know exactly what was the amount paid. So like, we have this financial accuracy, I was talking about your numbers. So it's very, kind of that's, yeah, that's kind of a very important part. Here once we start talking about numbers, and now we have a lot of sales analytics, customers analytics, products analytics, we kind of start to add up marketing piece to e to show you like Ross versus like your sales so

 

Andy Splichal:

so you're adding stuff on for that, ya know, now, if you guys would see in a future 12 - 18 months, how do you see commerce change in that regard of eing able to track numbers and analytics.

 

Polly Sidoruk:

I think like, just the more education there is, the better. And we see that depending on the size of the business. These are KPI or metric can be ignored, well, we're actually should, the business shouldn't ignore it. So I think one of the ways I mean, where this whole thing is going is to kind of start is for the biz owners to ecommerce, like in E commerce here to better understand the numbers and why the numbers are needed.

 

Melissa Williams:

You and I think I'd add to that, too, just, you know, the next 1218 months, of course, there's been a lot of talk about, you know, the recession, and a lot of businesses are kind of concerned about this. And one thing that, you know, we're really trying to educate people on is that you can, you know, you need to know where you're at in order to, you know, stay in business and also grow your business. And so, I just personally would love to see, you know, we talk to e commerce businesses all the time. And it's like, they don't know their numbers, which comes with a lot of like anxiety, I think it just helping people to understand this is where I'm at this is, you know, they, if they do need to work on something, having clear steps of like, okay, this is where I need to, you know, improve, my costs are too high for this product, either I need to stop selling it or find a new supplier are really just empowering the E commerce business owners to make those good decisions and grow their businesses from a place of knowledge.

 

Andy Splichal:

Now, personally, are there any business books out there that you could recommend for business owners that are listening?

 

Melissa Williams:

Yeah, so from like, you know, branding marketing standpoint, I always recommend Simon Synnex you know, The Power of Why. I know a lot of people have probably read it by now. But it is just a really great book for understanding, you know, why you're in business in the first place, why you're saying what you're saying. And then another book that I really like for branding and story, like creating that brand story is Donald Miller's, the Storytelling Brand that he has are actually started building a story brand. And it just really helps solidify, like what you want to say to your market. Why are you saying it and building? Not just like, you know, here's what I'm selling by it. But like, here's the why behind it. And here's like the story behind it, and really making the brand something that people connect to.

 

Andy Splichal:

Those are both great books. Now, when did Synder start? And how I mean, he spoke about it a little bit, but how are you guys differentiating from other accounting type platforms you had mentioned? You're bringing in numbers? Is there anyone else doing that? Or I guess, what's the deal with that?

 

Polly Sidoruk:

Sure, I mean, a lot of apps that do like accounting, surely, I mean, we all know QuickBooks, Xero, etc. There are apps that do analytics, there are apps that do data synchronization. What's good about sender is that you can get all of this together. So Synder can become like a single source of truth for you, and source of truth. In our case, it's not just like, you know, a fancy word. It's like we really work with financial data, we really have not only access to the sales channels, so for example, for your Shopify or Amazon, we really have access to the payment gateway. So we know exactly, you know, how much was refunded how much was paid. So the data we're working with, as we started with bookkeeping sphere, so we were really tailored at reconciliation, which for you know, for accounting, that's kind of zero cent difference, you know, it should be like 100% accurate. So for us, it's like a very, very, you know, phrase that can really describe what center does is like, source of truth, because we based on financial data.

 

Andy Splichal:

I like that term source of truth. And how long has Synder been a source of truth? When did you guys start?

 

Polly Sidoruk:

Well, since 2018 I get are 17, I guess.

 

Andy Splichal:

Where are you located? I saw on the website, it looks like that beach picture something with your center team.

 

Polly Sidoruk:

That was one of our corporate bodies. Yeah. We're the headquarters in San Francisco. But we have like many departments across Europe, across America, because just because we're working worldwide, so we kind of support 24/7, like time zones. So that's why kind of quite widespread, which is really, also quite fun. I mean, in terms of our team, so we meet a lot of people from many countries.

 

Andy Splichal:

And do you have a success story of a client who came to Synder that you'd be able to share?

 

Polly Sidoruk:

Yeah, I guess, Melissa, maybe you can share one of the stories that I mean, one of the use cases that we've like worked on, I mean, I think they're really, really is remains hopeful.

 

Unknown Speaker:

Yeah. So I mean, we've had just recently I mean, we've got we've got lots of different use cases. Some of those can be found also in the blog as well if people want to Like dive a little bit deeper, but I think just kind of a general success story that we hear time and again is, you know, people come to us with, you know, their backdated two years of having not tracked any of their sales, they don't know what their fees are, you know, they're coming to us and it's like, can you help them we do, we can, we can go and do historical transaction sync and help people kind of get to, you know, today, get everything from the past situated and get them ready to move forward with categorizing, and getting everything situated today. So we just recently had a customer that we helped get all of this, you know, back data for it was literally I think about two years, help pull that into the books, and then you know, help them to categorize so they had some specific rules around, they needed to categorize you know, certain items they were selling in one way, and we've got a really cool, it's called our smart rules engine, it's based on like, If This Then That, you can really like tailor it to very, very specific. So if you need to track things like, you know, it's used a lot in like for like Canadian provinces for taxes, for you know, just labeling things, a very specific way for your books. And I think one of the kind of, I would say, like, overarching success stories, for our team is our customer success agents, they are amazing at just helping people do all of this. So it's not, you don't, you know, sign up for center, and then you're on your own, like you have somebody who's with you each step of the way. And they will help you categorize those rules, they will help you get those historical transactions situated in your books. And so yeah, timing again. I mean, we've got several and there's more in the works right now. But yeah, we do have those case studies on the blog, too. So please, check those out.

 

Andy Splichal:

And how does your how does the fee structure work? Does it? Is it a routine, like a straight monthly retainer for everybody is based on how many channels you're connecting to it? How does that work?

 

Melissa Williams:

Yeah, so it's based on the number of transactions. So we have, yeah, so we've got our Synder sync product, which is how many transactions you're syncing to your books. So you can integrate, you know, various channels in that. And then we also have our Synder insights, product, which this is that, you know, source of truth with, we've got a really cool dashboard, it shows you things like LTV, you know, new versus returning customers. And so, you know, there's those two products, but it is based on the number of transactions, that the client will be syncing. And then if they have historical transactions, those can actually be purchased as well. But so that because that's usually like a one time thing, and so it's based on what the number is that they have on a monthly basis.

 

Andy Splichal:

And I see you offer a seven day trial, but what are the tier like, what's the lowest tier and what's the highest?

 

Polly Sidoruk:

And the lowest one is nine bucks Anons for like, really beginning businesses for like nonprofits who don't really have a lot of, you know, transactions going on. And the highest one, I mean, the regular highest one is like, about $300. But well, the more they're like, you know, custom pricing, obviously, for businesses who have like 10,000 transaction demands, you know, like 20, 40 50,000 transactions, so can get really high. I mean, the number of transactions to perfect can get really high. And that's a good thing that well, Synder is ready to process this transaction.

 

Andy Splichal:

And we talked about it would be good for Amazon sellers for Shopify sellers, I mean, who do you find is the perfect client for for center.

 

Melissa Williams:

So our perfect client is an Ecommerce business, usually that has multiple, you know, channels that they're selling on. So we find a lot of our customers, you know, they might have their own store with like, you know, through Shopify, but then they're also selling on Amazon, they are probably taking payments in several different ways. So perhaps, you know, on, you know, they're accepting it, obviously, with Amazon, you've got Amazon pay, maybe they're doing something like after pay to give people a chance to, you know, pay on time, maybe they've got PayPal. So our ideal client is kind of in that sphere of, you know, having all these multiple channels. Typically, I mean, we love ecommerce businesses of any size, typically our clients are in that two to $5 million revenue range. But of course, we do have those plans for those newer businesses starting out, and then going even beyond that as well.

 

Andy Splichal:

Yeah, how can interested listener perfect or not find out more about working with Synder?

 

Unknown Speaker:

So I would recommend going to our website@Synder.com. From there you can there's we've got landing pages on each of the different features. But honestly, like I think one of the best ways to learn about Synder is to start that free trial. No credit card required. It's very simple to get started you can actually log in with if you have an intuitive cow, Google I mean, we make it very easy. Just clicking you're in. And then also, I highly recommend signing up for a demo. We have free demos running every week, where one of our Customer Success specialists will actually walk users through how to use Cinder and answer their questions. And it's usually a fun time where people can, you know, not only see the product, but like ask very specific questions that they might have about their specific use case. And so yeah,

 

Andy Splichal:

Well, this has been great. Is there anything else you would like to add before we wrap it up today?

 

Polly Sidoruk:

Maybe just like, yeah, keep, even though it sounds, you know, very serious. I mean, all those KPIs and metrics and accounting and reconciliation, blah, blah, a lot of, you know, difficult adult words, but Well, we still like to, you know, keep it fun. So we really want everything to be not easy. But once you integrate, it just works automatically. So we really like to help with automation and make everything I mean, all of this complex things a bit, you know, a bit easier and a bit more fun.

 

Andy Splichal:

All right, well, thank you once again for joining us today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave us an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding connecting with Melissa or Polly or Synder, you'll find links in the show notes below. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business, check out our all new podcasts Resource Center available the podcast on makeeachclickcount.com. We've compiled all of our different past guests by show topic and include each have their contact information in case you would like any more information in the service site discussed during previous episodes. That's it for today. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.