Meet Robert Bergqvist, Co-Founder & CEO of RunMags

Our customers rock. We love to share their stories, and are thrilled to introduce you to the next customer in our customer spotlight series, Robert Bergqvist, Co-Founder and CEO of RunMags Inc (www.runmags.com) – RunMags is a cloud-based CRM & fulfillment software platform for progressive magazine publishers.

Thanks for so much for sharing your story Robert, Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your company? What does RunMags.com do, and what sets you apart?

I’m a Swedish guy with a wife and two young kids and we like to travel to experience different cultures. Last year we moved back from the United States but before we did, we spent a couple of months at a retreat in the jungle of Costa Rica.

When my co-founder and I started RunMags, we set out to transform the way modern magazine publishers do business. RunMags is a cloud-based software platform with a mission to make modern magazine publishing manageable and profitable. It’s an all-in-one, integrated solution for managing CRM, ad sales, subscribers, proposals, contracts, pagination, billing, reports and more. RunMags improves productivity by automating tedious tasks and improving collaboration within the team.

The company RunMags Inc. was registered in the State of Delaware and early on we decided to create an office-less company that would allow our team to work from anywhere in the world. So when registering the company, we made sure to have a mailing address with EarthClassMail in order to fit our mobile lifestyle.

How did you get started and why?

There are a quite a few software solutions in the market specialized in specific fields like CRM, accounting, project management and pagination, but we noticed that there was a need for an integrated solution at an affordable price. Running a publishing business is time consuming and the industry is very competitive; our software helps publishers run a profitable business and increase their sales by reducing tedious administrative work and improving productivity.

Do you have an incredible customer success story you can share?

Certainly! One of our oldest customers is a European magazine that doubled their revenue in the last year. While this is not solely due to using our software, RunMags did help them close more deals faster since great looking proposals can be generated from the system without the need to type up a document.

While growing, the company has been able to maintain a slim organization. Before starting with RunMags, they had several spreadsheets to keep track of customers and sales orders. Sometimes there was confusion about what had been agreed with customers and invoicing was a process that took two weeks of working time. Now each order is managed in RunMags, reminders are emailed automatically to customers and invoicing takes two minutes instead of two weeks.

What’s the best business decision you made in the last year?

In March of 2015, we announced a change to RunMags’ pricing structure to include unlimited free users. Up until that point RunMags had a very traditional pricing structure with a user-based component, in large because we were not sure how the cost of Amazon’s cloud hosting service would increase as we grew and onboarded customers.

Anyone that has implemented a CRM or ERP project knows that user adoption is key to success. The more people that get onboard, the more likely it is that using the new system becomes part of daily life. Once our customer base grew to a certain point, we were able to better predict our cost and concluded that we could give our customers unlimited free users to help them drive user adoption without feeling it necessary to limit the number of users due to increased cost.

The change was really well received by customers and I have heard from many of them that it was one of the reasons for opting for our solution as it removed a hurdle in the decision-making process. In the long term, I’m absolutely convinced that the improved user adoption will deliver great customer retention numbers for us.

Can you share a tip, trick, hack, tool or service with our readers that makes you better, or makes your days more effective?

At work I’m all about elimination of things that have little impact and automation of anything that can be done by a computer. Google Apps for Work is such a great platform used by many companies and my advice to other company owners and CEOs would be to make a serious effort to try out Chromebooks and let go of all Microsoft and Apple tools in favor of Google Apps and third party apps for the Google Apps Ecosystem like UberConference, Switch, HipChat and Trello.

Once you mentally break free, you will never want to go back to pesky software updates that suddenly reboot your computer or an IT staff and hardware infrastructure that cost a fortune and break down all the time. With Google Apps, there’s no .pst file that can get corrupted, making you loose all your email. If your Chromebook is stolen, you can have it replaced at a low cost and once you start up the new machine you have access to all the documents and files that you had on the stolen one.

Tell us how EarthClassMail makes you better at your job, or your company better at what it does?

EarthClassMail has really been an enabler for the nomadic lifestyle that we want to lead. There are plenty of software tools and gadgets that allow you to travel and still go about business, but there is also the need for a physical address that government agencies, your bank and others need for you to have.

As we were in Costa Rica, I received an important parcel at EarthClassMail. After seeing the scanned document I had the parcel forwarded to the InterContinental hotel in San Francisco where we were going to stay for a few days on our route to Sweden. A few weeks later, I could pick up the parcel as we checked into the hotel.

What feature can we add or improvement can we make that would make you say, “shut the front door, I need that!”

I’m eagerly waiting to be able to sign in with Google into our EarthClassMail account and to assign user access through Google Admin, thereby making it even easier to use the service. Also, in the name of automation, I would welcome the ability to have EarthClassMail PDF invoices be emailed straight into our cloud based accounting system Xero, using the custom email address we’ve received from Xero.

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today, any parting words or advice for our readers?

If your line of business allows for a nomadic lifestyle, make sure to sign up for an account with EarthClassMail – then travel the world!

Meet Avery Dorland – Accountant

We love our customers at Earth Class Mail, and are especially excited to start a new blog series to highlight them and their success. With that, we’d love to introduce you to Avery Dorland – accountant, tax professional, and Xero specialist.

Thanks for joining us today Avery – tell us about yourself and how you got started in accounting

Sure! It’s actually a great story. I grew up in Canada and moved to Wisconsin after college to work for the Forestry Division of the Department of Natural Resources. While working for the state of Wisconsin I was asked to help manage the books. I found that I really enjoyed working with the numbers, and pretty soon I was promoted to manage the budget for the entire Division. I managed $50 million in operating funds and $10 million in capital development. I would say that this is when things really clicked for me, and I realized that I could go out on my own. I had started using Xero early on, and when they made a push to enter the US market they were looking for partners to help promote the product. I signed up for their partner program and six months later, everything took off.

How have things changed since you started working on your own?

Working on my own and with other business owners has let me learn modern and developing business systems. A new business with 10 employees or fewer can really embrace a digital, no paper, mobile office workflow whereas a 300 employee government agency with 50 years of history is a slow ship to turn and can’t just abandon its old ways. The tools available today to businesses that are just starting to build their administrative and accounting processes let them almost leapfrog ahead of bigger, but slower competitors.

How do you help businesses grow?

I grow businesses by upgrading their data. A business’s financial, tax and sales data usually exists at different stages:

  • Bank Balances: “We know the money’s there and that’s all”
  • Spreadsheets: “We have some data in spreadsheets that are becoming overwhelming to update”
  • Accounting: “We use an accounting system like Xero, but it’s not up to date”
  • Current: “We have all of our taxes filed, a good set of financial data but want to plan for the future”
  • Forecasting: “We have good financial data that we use to feed into our budgets that let us set our course for the future”

I strive to move clients up that continuum as each move up the ladder seems to reduce stress, free up owner time and reduce surprises such as large unforeseen tax bills, lost customer orders or out of control expenses.

What products do you depend on to run your business?

I use Xero or Quickbooks online as the anchor for each client and my own financials. Its the hub and then other software feeds data into or out of those systems. Bill.com collects invoices and pays bills, Earth Class Mail digitizes paper mail and deposits checks, Receipt Bank and Hubdoc collect electronic receipts, Zen Payroll simplifies wages, and Habitrpg is a fun way to keep myself on task.

Any closing thoughts for our readers?

Its harder to rewind established business systems once a business grows, so think ahead to if what you do today will still work if your order numbers grow ten times, or if your business moves. Last, in terms of mail, the IRS and many other tax agencies will only send you physical mail. Are those the things that you want at the top or bottom of your inbox?

Thanks!

In closing – Avery’s had great success optimizing his accounting workflow with Earth Class Mail. Our favorite quote from the interview:

“If a client isn’t using Earth Class Mail, I feel like I’m taking a giant step backwards.”

If you’d like to take your accounting practice to the next level like Avery, sign up for an Earth Class Mail account today.