In just three ye ars and a half, Lemlist has grown from 0 to over €10m in ARR. This was achieved while being bootstrapped for most of this period.
Although Guillaume Moubeche (CEO) has already shared a lot about his methods, he had never delved into the financial part.This article revisits the KPI tracking he set up from the start, which he agreed to share with us through 7 very concrete tips. This organization allowed him to manage his activity and generate more than 80% growth in 2022.
Tip #1: Equip Yourself with the Best Tools
To manage his activity, Guillaume quickly equipped himself with billing tools suited for SaaS, particularly Stripe Billing. To complete the billing part, he also recently implemented Pennylane to interact more effectively with his accountant.
Tip #2: Monitor 3 Essential KPIs
To reach €10m in ARR, he focused solely on 3 KPIs, which he tracked daily, and which were his only guides ('pure dopamine ina phase of hyper-growth', to use his words):
- Growth rate
- Churn rate
To move beyond this stage and accelerate his ARR growth while remaining profitable, Guillaume had to enrich his range of KPIs.
Tip #3: Segment Your Customer Base
To manage his activity 'by instruments' ratherthan 'by sight', he integrated into his weekly tracking an analyticalsegmentation of his MRR breaking down:
- Annual and monthly plans
- ARPA levels
Why? To quickly identify the segments generating the most growth and the drivers of this growth, with the aim of replicating them in other channels.
Tip #4: Closely Monitor Your CustomerAcquisition Cost (CAC)
He complemented this monitoring with an analysis of his Customer Acquisition Cost, with a focus by acquisition channel.
Why? To identify his minimum retention duration by channel and the most efficient channels to prioritize for optimizing his margin on direct costs. This strategy allowed him to invest in rapid and profitable growth.
Tip #5: Understand the Origin of Your Churn
To maximize his retention and be able to stacklayers of new customers (the beauty of the SaaS model), Guillaume set up monitoring of his churn by customer typology and plans. This analysis allowed him to identify the causes of his customer base erosion according to usage.
It also made it easier for him to interact with users who had churned to incorporate their feedback whenever possible.
Thanks to his efforts, his Net Revenue Retention grew due to the combined effect of reducing his churn and the expansion generated among satisfied customers (including more users per team).
Tip #6: Control Your Fixed Costs
Tracking revenue is of course not enough to create a lasting business. It is also essential to control your costs. Guillaume set up weekly monitoring of his fixed cost structure, especially the main categories comprising it:
- Server/ IT system costs
- Usual fixed charges (rent, admin fees, etc.)
- Exceptional expenses (seminars, trade shows, etc.)
This focus allowed him to quickly identify deviations in certain cost items and adjust course reactively.
Tip #7: Optimize Cash Management
Guillaume closely followed his cash generation to ensure:
- Sufficient runway level (before becoming profitable)
- High level of EBITDA conversion to cash
He particularly focused on monitoring his cash flows with an emphasis on:
- His capex (very limited)
- Changes in working capital requirement (WCR)
- Upcoming tax disbursements (including VAT)