Who doesn’t want to start his own business and get rid of the typical nine-to-five lifestyle? Meanwhile, everybody dreams about the entrepreneurial lifestyle, not many are willing to work for it.
Running a startup requires a lot of hard work, consistent dedication and the ability to dream big. Do you have what it takes to be one? John and Iain – the founders of Classbento do! Allow us to enlighten you with their success story so that you too can find the motivation you need in order to accomplish your dreams.
What is Classbento?
Classbento is a startup that aims to help bring out your creative side. They offer fun-filled local workshops that are easily accessible to Australians.
The founders of Classbento say, “Art doesn’t have to be closed off and exclusive, locked up in glass enclosures. It can be playful and something that everyone can experience, through our workshops.”
The startup empowers local artists from Australia and makes art accessible, affordable, and appealing for them. The founders take great pride in saying,
“Everyone deserves to have an artisan experience, via our Sydney workshops.”
How It All Started?
While covering the story of Classbento, the founders shared with us their startup journey.
John and Iain met whilst working together at The Iconic. It was an early-stage startup where they were incredibly educated on how to scale an e-commerce business effectively.
Classbento founders hold power over complementary skill sets. John’s skill set is impressive when it comes to creativity and business aspects, such as marketing and development. Whereas Iain is great with the operational aspects like tech, product, analytics etc.
After working together for a few months at The Iconic, they realized that they would make a killer team together. Thence, they collaborated and voila! Classbento was born.
From a Mere Idea to an Operational Business
Amongst the two, John came up with the idea of Classbento. He was looking forward to conducting woodworking and calligraphy classes himself. However, the resources available were inconvenient. Apart from being expensive, the classes would usually fall during work hours, far from where John lived and worked. Furthermore, the available courses were as long as a 10-week series.
John saw a huge number of exhausted employees at The Iconic. With his grandmother passing away due to dementia, he knew that offering “Creative Classes” would be a great way to improve his mental wellbeing.
“We knew that our idea would foster mindfulness alongside social engagement and so with this inspiration, we created Classbento.”, said Iain.
“We had other ideas as well. However, we didn’t get as much traction as we anticipated. One example was tiered pricing, where the price of a class would drop depending on the number of people.” said Iain.
Theoretically, this would encourage students to concentrate their enrolments into fewer classes which would end up being more time-efficient for the teacher. However, in practice, the owners of Classbento said that it was confusing and didn’t get much take-up.
“One nice skillset we acquired in our prior careers was product design and analytics. We tracked experimental features, and when we saw that they weren’t working, we iterated or pivoted to ensure that we continually improve our customer experience and build a competitively superior platform.”
“A few of our favorite tools that we work with are Algolia for search, Hotjar for analytics alongside Google Analytics and Slack for internal communications”, said Iain.
“An initial but a big challenge was finding a good CTO. Frankly, we simply were not able to find good engineering talent in Australia, and many talented developers had been burned by previous startups. They had put in huge amount of work to build the product, only for the sales side to give up and for the developers’ equity to be worth nothing.” said Iain.
He further mentioned, “I was familiar with programming with largely “offline” languages like C++ and Visual Basic, so I took the plunge and learned web languages in order to effectively build Classbento.”
The founders of Classbento proudly discussed their achievements. Iain said, “Our proudest achievement is the fact that our customers are very happy with our classes. We’ve had over 500 reviews till date and our average rating has been 4.9 out of 5 stars.”
He further mentioned, “One of the most rewarding reviews came from a lady whose close family member was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Our workshop helped her to get back on her feet, fight depression and feel alive again.”
Classbento’s Recipe of Success
Classbento’s success story is truly remarkable. When we asked them about their strategies they said, “To get the traction that we’ve had so far, following has been a few noteworthy strategies.
- Leveraging Existing Distribution Channels: This strategy is available in BlitzScaling – A book by Reid Hoffman. We highly recommended it.
- Designing Products around Customer Needs: This may sound obvious but it is as important as it is powerful. We handle all customer inquiries directly. In that manner, we deeply understand the pain points of our customers. It allows us to react quickly by adjusting the customer experience via tech and our class offerings. Resolving these problems and reaping greater revenue comes along with it. Specifically, we’ve designed new methods for our teachers to easily capture fees from students beyond just standard ticket sales, and this has become a significant revenue stream for us.
- SEO: Luckily, John is an SEO guru. We’ve been able to gain consistent and significant growth through organic search through our SEO strategy.
Final Words by The Founders – Tips for Success
All those individuals who have a spark of entrepreneurship within them can learn from the masters themselves. The founders of Classbento say, “Be passionate about what you’re building. Passion will help you see what others have missed, and to persevere when things get tough.” Indeed an excellent advice for those to-be entrepreneurs who are willing to start a startup of their own in the following year.
We hope you must have found Classbento’s success story inspiring. Want to read more stories of successful startups? Check out our ‘Startup in Spotlight‘ series.
Arsalan is a business graduate and digital marketer by profession. He works as a Startup Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves to create value for the Startup community. He is a big fan of cricket and does Netflix and chill in his free time.
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