In this episode, I talk with Megan Lohman, co-founder and CEO of Plan Forward, a platform that enables dentists to offer subscription plans to their uninsured patients. The role of Plan Forward is in managing the membership plans that are provided to the patients. When Plan Forward was creating it’s business plan, there were only 2 direct competitors at that time. However, when they launched in 2018, 3 other competitors launched as well. Megan shares the importance of good customer service, high-touch implementation, and the unique perspective that her and her co-founder have, as the driving force of their differentiation.
In the year leading up to the starting of Plan Forward, Megan ran a marathon, which she says gave her critical tools in running a small business, and for handling the tasks that she may not like to do, or may not excel at. She details her daily habits and routines, which have helped her be the most efficient.
Topics in this episode
Process of growing from 6 beta practices to now having 18 customers
Roles within the company looking to be filled after the next found of fundraising
Expected growth over the next 5 years
Opportunities in other verticals
Importance in being an early authoritative expert
Using your expertise as a referral source
Biggest lessons learned
Mike Kelly: Welcome to the Startup Competitors Podcast. Today I have Megan Lohman, who's the co-founder and CEO Plan Forward. Megan, welcome.
Megan Lohman: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Mike Kelly: Why don't we start with a quick pitch for a Plan Forward.
Megan Lohman: Wonderful. So Plan Forward is a software platform that enables dentists to offer subscription plans to their uninsured patients. So to give you a little context, there's a huge population in the United States that does not have dental insurance. Those same people are also not buying traditional insurance. And for dentists, their reimbursement rates from insurance companies are declining and they continue to decline. So to try to solve this in a creative way, dentists have started offering these subscription plans to uninsured patients, and now they need a management system to run those. So that's where Plan Forward comes in.
Mike Kelly: Nice. So Plan Forward, do you also do dental practice management or is it just the management of these membership systems?
Megan Lohman: Just the management...
Mike Kelly: Programs?
Megan Lohman: Yeah. Of the membership plan.
Mike Kelly: Okay, got it. Current status of the company, paint a picture for somebody who's listening. Are you still at three employees, 50 employees? Venture backed? Number of dental offices onboard? Anything you can share to kind of paint a picture for where you're at?
Megan Lohman: Yeah, so we launched our MVP last September with six beta practices and worked out the kinks, the bugs. And we had our soft sales launch in November of 2018, so we're not quite at a full year of selling. So we have 18 customers across four states. We have about 25,000 in ARR. We have secured the endorsement from the Indiana Dental Association. We were vetted against our competitors for this, and we came out on top for our membership plan administration. And we're currently in our first round of fundraising doing a friends and family and angel round. And once we close that, we're excited to add to the team. Right now it's myself full time and my co-founder plays an advisory role, but also obviously he's the dentist and so he's involved in all the dental communities. And so he's our big referral source. We have an intern and then our developer also is obviously operational. So, yeah, we're excited to add to that team.
Mike Kelly: Awesome. Talk to me a little bit about competition in the space. How many people are there that are direct competitors to what?
Megan Lohman: So that's a great question. Actually, when we first did the market research to put this business plan together and decide to launch it, there were only two direct competitors. And they were both launched in 2013. Ironically, that was the same year that my co-founder and I started his subscription plan in his practice. So that timing is coincidental, but three software platforms all launched last year.
Mike Kelly: Oh, wow.
Megan Lohman: Yeah. So they weren't on our radar when we put our business plan together to manage dental subscription plans. So it's exciting because it really does show us that this is a ready market, and people are excited about finding creative ways to provide healthcare and to provide quality service to patients in an affordable way. But at the same time they're competitors. So we're demoing against them and we're having those conversations. Constantly looking for that differentiator.
Mike Kelly: I was just going to ask, when you go into a dental office to make the pitch, how often are you being stacked up against other people in the same space versus just educating them on, hey, maybe this is something you should consider doing here and this is how it works and this is how our software enables?
Megan Lohman: If it's a referral, typically I'm not demoing against competitors. But interestingly in about the last six months, this is really our competitors, we all emerged in 2018 so we're all starting to get a little bit more traction and some brand awareness. So really in the last six months, it's like every time I talk with a practice they're like, oh, we've talked to three or four other companies.
Mike Kelly: The other companies, yep.
Megan Lohman: So it's becoming pretty common that they're stacking us up against them.
Mike Kelly: How do you think about differentiating your product?
Megan Lohman: Every time it has been a couple of things. Customer service, has been number one, which I pride myself on. And that's the way we're going to build the company to make sure that we do have great customer service. Also we have a higher touch implementation. So we help them, these are small businesses, and we help them through this couple week process of creating this plan if they don't have one.
Megan Lohman: And also our pricing structure is tiered so that it's a lower price point when they don't have a plan, and it increases as they add patients to their membership plan. So that's also attractive.
Megan Lohman: And the software platform is very simple. You have all different levels, skill levels in the front office that are entering patients into these systems. So it has to be really simple so that anybody can work with it.
Mike Kelly: I'm thinking about the right way to ask this question. So when you think about growth over the next, let's go five years out because I'm sure growth over the next five years is...
Megan Lohman: Oh, you had to do five?
Mike Kelly: Yeah. Growth over the next five years is easy, right? Because you're just land more dental offices.
Megan Lohman: Right.
Mike Kelly: What I'm trying to get to, and maybe you can tell me what this timeframe is. When you look at the roadmap and you think, okay, here are the real inflection points for this business that could be in terms of how do we need to build out significantly new features in the product to enable, whether that's moving up market or whatever the case may be. Or even, I can imagine there are other types of healthcare practices that could potentially benefit from the same thing. It doesn't just have to be dentists. So I'd love your thoughts on at the point where it's not just start up hustle, scale the business, acquire, the core customer that you're trying to serve today. But when you reach that first inflection point, what do you think that looks like?
Megan Lohman: I know there are other opportunities within dentistry and within the platform to really almost serve as a full financing platform. So one of the biggest issues with patients going to the dentist is cost. So a lot of practices offer in house financing or they accept other types of financing plans. So there's been a lot of talk about especially in ortho. Right now, our model doesn't really support ortho because that's just treatment. It's not recurring preventive care. So expanding in other areas and other features and platforms that can support anything around that financing piece within dental care. But then also there are so many other verticals that are, they're healthcare related. They're parallel to dentistry where routine preventive care is recommended and highly encouraged. But a lot of people aren't going to do those things if they don't have some type of benefit plan to help either give them discounts or they're on a subscription plan to maintain that care.
Megan Lohman: So whether it's veterinary, vision, chiropractic care, dermatology, these are all very similar business models to dentistry and it sort of becomes this stepchild almost from major medical. So your medical care is one thing, but some of these other ancillary industries aren't always covered fully in those benefit plans. So the providers and the patients who find the need to create the subscription plan and can offer that to their patients, it benefits both of them perfectly. So we're really excited to dive in and put some resources into research on what markets are viable.
Mike Kelly: Nice. Talk to me a little bit about the process of as you built out the... If one of the strategic differentiators is customer service and you mentioned the kind of two week process that you might build out with somebody who walks through, which if that's secret sauce, you don't have to go into that, but I would love to know how you figured that out. Talk a little bit about that journey in terms of going through the beta clients and then bringing on the 18 practices that you have today. What was your process in figuring out, oh no, if we're going to be successful, this is really what we need to be doing, and how did you come to that?
Megan Lohman: I love that you ask this because it lends itself to the fact that I did this job. I have sat in their seat, my partner was my boss. We literally did this. I know exactly what they're going through, the conversations they're having with their patients, and I know the obstacles that are holding them back from launching these plans and understanding how to do it well so that it's profitable. So A, I know what they're going through. But we initially built our business to serve the customer profile that is my partner's office. So essentially they've already launched the plan. They already have over 50 patients on it and now they figured out, wow, this is an administrative nightmare. We need a software platform to manage it. But what's happened is we've become this resource for anyone, all these referral sources, these sales reps, these dental associations, these consultants, we're now their resource.
Megan Lohman: Oh you want to talk memberships, call Megan. And so now it's like we're actually really helping people from the ground up. So that process has evolved. Three of our beta clients, we did create the process from scratch. So we had six beta clients, total. Three had existing plans, three we created from scratch. So that process really started before we even launched our beta. So I helped with this kind of pricing calculator. We do a fee analysis and then really kind of dig into some details of their services and their patient population and what things they think are important. And then kind of go through a couple of phone calls, and we do a staff training and then we launch the plan.
Mike Kelly: An interesting thing that I'm thinking about. So I just finished an interview with Eric Baum, who's the managing partner at Solidea Capital. His episode will air just before this one. And what's super interesting and this is what's going through my mind as you're talking to Eric, basically when he thinks about the early stage companies that they invest in, he has a really great model that he articulates for the three types of companies that you can have in terms of what kind of market they're going after.
Mike Kelly: And the one that I'm kind of mapping you to based on that model is the one that he talks about, which is, I can't remember what he calls it, but it's basically where your go-to-market strategy is to educate the market. So, which is very much what you're doing, right? You're the referral source. oh, you're thinking about doing this, talk to Megan. And what that does is that allows you to become the early authoritative expert, form that relationship, walk them down the path that you've architected to do that. So as you think about scaling going forward, particularly if you're bringing in early stage capital to help you build the team around you, what does that free you up to do to become more authoritative? What do you think that looks like?
Megan Lohman: That's another great question. I just had a call with a dentist who practiced for years and years and years in Southern California. And now he just moved to Alabama, a rural area in Alabama and...
Mike Kelly: I'm sure that's just like California.
Megan Lohman: Just like Southern California, so many similarities. And he was educating me on the differences. And from that call I basically was like, wow, we really need to understand each area before we try to market to them. Because in California, this membership thing, it's kind of the wild west because there are no laws on the books around this protecting providers or any language that gives any structure around these direct primary care agreements. But they're doing it and the patients expect it. And so it's already being done in their own way. In Alabama, this is completely unheard of.
Megan Lohman: It's a big need. Patients need it. There's a huge demand for preventive dental care. And he was telling me, "You have such an opportunity to be the person to create this." So a big part of our plan come October, which is when we hope to be able to start executing this plan after this fundraise is PR and education and marketing. Because once we start educating not only through dental mediums, dental industry channels, but also to the public. I mean we're not going to be successful unless people know about these plans and know to ask about them or where to find them. So that is a big thing that I'm learning as I go too is that we have the opportunity to build what this looks like and how it should be done well so that it's benefiting both patients and providers, not just one.
Mike Kelly: Nice. When you look at the technical roadmap for the product, what are some of the things that are coming up that have you excited about, particularly as you think about new capital, use of funds? What are some of the technical things that have you excited?
Megan Lohman: I'm so excited to have a technical partner because I have been this product strategist and the architect and leading this whole charge literally based on no technical experience and just my own working experience. So now that I've sort of started to get plugged in with people who actually understand digital products and leveraging them, I'm so excited to work with Innovatemap. They're part of our plan at least in these first few months in the winter. To be able to deliver a more seamless process for our customer.
Megan Lohman: So really taking some of that off of our plate with education and having the product essentially educate our customers so they can just log into their account and the product walks them through it without us having to tell them how to add a new member and how to change payment issues and things like that. So just making it more of a seamless product for the customer, and allowing the patient to have some access to that as well. That's on the roadmap. And just having someone who understands from a technical perspective where we're going and to make sure that what's being built today supports that. So I'm just excited to be able to get some technical expertise lined up on our roster.
Mike Kelly: Yeah, even when you're surrounded by technical people, sometimes it's nice to know that there's somebody who's dedicated to focusing on your problem and what growth looks like. I can totally emphasize with that.
Megan Lohman: Yeah.
Mike Kelly: So you've been doing this for two years, is that about right?
Megan Lohman: We launched our MVP a year ago.
Mike Kelly: Right, but how long leading up to the MVP?
Megan Lohman: Oh yeah, a year before that.
Mike Kelly: A year before that, okay.
Megan Lohman: Just some market research...
Mike Kelly: That's a good guess. All right.
Megan Lohman: Great guess. Market research and getting all the legal ducks in a row to form the business.
Mike Kelly: What's the biggest thing you've learned through that process? Or a couple of things. You don't have to pick one.
Megan Lohman: Nobody moves this, if I don't move it. And that's the one thing that's been the biggest source of stress, but also the biggest motivating factor for me. It's really amazing to look back and think, if those phone calls don't get made or those followup emails don't get sent or these meetings don't get scheduled or you network and you come up with new ideas and you create new relationships.
Megan Lohman: The biggest thing I've learned is that don't put too much stock in any one meeting and don't write off another meeting because when you think something is really going to be this answer to your questions or your problems, it doesn't ever pan out. But then some of these just like chance encounters become what the answer should be. So it's just really been a process of just paying attention and going with my gut, taking customer feedback and asking for things, which is something new, whether it's asking for the sale, asking for the referral, asking for capital, asking for advice. There's so much asking that goes on. And then also being a good customer. Make sure that I'm offering value whenever I can and that I'm being the customer that I would like to have. So that's kind of a lot that I've learned.
Mike Kelly: That's awesome. So a couple of things in there really resonate with me. One, that nothing gets done unless you move it forward that's going to continue for a long time. Just so you know that. Two, the idea that there's no meeting that's too small, right? Or introduction or handshake or whatever, right? Everybody can play. Turns out when you're a startup, everybody can play a massive role and not knowing where that is and having the humility to recognize that is phenomenal.
Mike Kelly: And the last one while you were talking about just not being afraid to ask for stuff. There's this great book I read years ago, it's not super applicable to entrepreneurs, but I reference it a ton in my life. It's called the Secrets of Consulting 2. The Secrets of Consulting is also good, but Secrets of Consulting 2 has this thing called a Consultant's Toolkit and just think these 12 items that you carry around with you to remind you of things that you should be doing, right? So they're kind of cheesy but they also really are true. So one is like yes, no medallion, right? So that you're empowered to say no to things which very few entrepreneurs say no to anything, which is hard. But it's this physical reminder that you can say no to things.
Mike Kelly: Another one is a heart which you like. I actually carry it around, a little glass heart for years to remind me to not be so angry and be a little bit more compassionate in my interactions with others. The one that you had me thinking of is there's this thing called the wishing wand, which very, very, very few people, consultants, entrepreneurs, employees, doesn't matter. Very few people are brave enough to ask for what they Right? To like paint this picture for you. Well you don't want to be perfect for me is I want this and this and this and then just be comfortable with, you're probably not going to get that, but that's okay. You're never going to get anywhere close to it if you don't ask for it. Right? So just being able to articulate, there's a entrepreneur that I'm coaching right now who's going through a very difficult negotiation with an outsource development partner and that has gone bad.
Mike Kelly: Their relationship has gone bad. And so she was asking me what's reasonable here? Which is always interesting for me as a outsource development partner. Sometimes what my answers to that will be, because I can see, totally have experiences on both sides. Right? So our last conversations was around the best thing you can do right now because they've had the first step of the critical conversation where she's expressed she's not happy, she's expressed the problems that she sees. They've heard that and accepted it and said, hey, we're going to get back to you on what the right next steps are. Which is great. That's a perfect response on their part. And so she called me frantically after this meeting and she's like, what do I do now?
Mike Kelly: And my answer was, well you wait, just wait, give them time. Let them come back to you. Because you probably brought up some points from perspectives that they haven't been considering. So they need time to process that. But the single best thing you can do is now think about what you want. They're going to come back to you with an answer. What you can't do is wait for them to come back to decide whether or not that's good enough. Because that's basic anchoring and negotiation, right? If you wait for them to come back, then now suddenly your expectation for it's possible is going to be anchored on what they said. So my guidance was write down three scenarios. One, is pull out your wishing wand. What is what you want to see happen? In your perfect world, what would you want that to look like?
Mike Kelly: The next one I want you to write down is what's the least optimal solution that you will accept, right? So if they said this, I would say okay, and I would hate every minute of that. But there's no lawsuit, we're still probably working together. You know what I mean? It's just like I'm not happy but we're moving forward. And then I said, then the real challenging one is going to be, what's the middle of those two? What would be between the thing that you really, really want and the thing that you would live with, what does that look like? And as soon as you do that now when they come back to you with something, you now have these guideposts that you can start working off of to say, well, okay, this is better than my least optimal solution. It's not as good as my middle solution.
Mike Kelly: Can I work them up to my middle solution and I'll be kind of happy with that, right? This is really close to my dream solution. Maybe I should just say yes and be thrilled, they're really a good partner, right? But you have no context for that if you're just waiting for them to come back. The one that you really said there that really resonates with me is just not being afraid to ask for stuff and then really having a clear idea of what is the thing that you want. And being able to articulate that to somebody I think is really important.
Megan Lohman: Trying to figure that out. When you haven't gone through the process, what do I want? What does the business want is sometimes the hardest part. The thing that I have been blown away by in Indianapolis is, people are so willing. I'm going to write a book, The Power of a Cup of Coffee because I've literally built an amazing business, got it off the ground, have great partners, made great connections over a $2 a cup of coffee. And I mean it's been incredible. Not lunch, not a $20 lunch. It's a $2 cup of coffee and people are just really willing to take an hour out of their morning to meet you for coffee and so I've kind of learned, you know what? They want to help. So I'm going to tell them what I'm trying to do and ask for something, see how I can help them in return. But it's amazing if you're able to figure out what it is you want and try to figure out who can help get you there, people are willing. So I hope I can pay that back somehow.
Mike Kelly: We have a great supportive culture here in Indianapolis.
Megan Lohman: Absolutely.
Mike Kelly: That I think is not reflected. I think every market has people who play that role, but I feel like here it is very large.
Megan Lohman: There's just this is a world, this tech startup space is just a world that I was completely unfamiliar with before two years ago. And there's just this energy that everybody wants everyone to succeed. Doesn't matter if you're directly involved, but if I can make a connection or a referral or an introduction, it's just.
Mike Kelly: Yeah.
Megan Lohman: Everybody wants everybody to do well and it's pretty amazing.
Mike Kelly: So you were doing this job two years ago and you decided to make the leap into building a tech company. Why?
Megan Lohman: I actually spent a year at home. I had my second child, so I have two little kids, also.
Mike Kelly: Congrats.
Megan Lohman: So I was... Thank you.
Mike Kelly: And starting a start up. You're crazy.
Megan Lohman: I'm crazy. I was literally training for the Chicago marathon, raising a, what was she? My son was three and my daughter was one and I told my co-founder, okay, I have to run this race before I actually can start focusing on trying to dive into this software solution that you're wanting me to find. So I finished the marathon and that Wednesday I started these meetings and...
Mike Kelly: Oh, we're going to be friends.
Megan Lohman: I was crazy and I went on no sleep for two years, thankfully I'm past that now. But I am typically the only mom of young kids in a room of startup founders. And there's a reason for that. Not to discredit dads or anyone else who has a family, but a mom of young kids trying to juggle everything that goes along with that plus a startup and being available and being flexible. Having no money, putting all of that into the business. It has been an adventure. So I don't even know where I was going with that. But it's been an interesting go.
Mike Kelly: You've ever reflected on where that drive comes from? This is way off the rails, you don't have to answer this.
Megan Lohman: I know. Well I know where I took it off the rails is, I was saying at home for a year when I started this, so I wasn't working and chose to leave the dental practice to do this, but I love working. So that's why I made the leap. But anyway, what was your last question?
Mike Kelly: Where does that drive come from? To cherry pick a couple of things here. Not everybody starts a company. Not everyone runs a marathon. Not everyone does that while they have small children. I'm just genuinely interested. Do you have any idea where that was developed, where that came?
Megan Lohman: You know, I've always loved a challenge. It's always just driven me. Staying at home with my kids, was by far the hardest thing I've ever done. And like any stay at home, mom will tell you it is the least rewarding job, nobody celebrates anything, you know? And at least now I get to celebrate if I get a win or a loss, I don't know.
Megan Lohman: But that drive just, I've always loved a challenge. My parents have amazing work ethics. I don't know, just the taste of success I think when you get there and learning. I think I ran the marathon and trained for the marathon right before this for a reason. I don't think that was coincidental. The training process for a marathon is the hardest thing. And as long as you follow your plan, even on those hard days, but you just go out, you put your shoes on and you run. Mine had to be before the sun came up because then my kids were awake and I was home with them. So they were early mornings. And it's just, you have to go through that training process and then all of a sudden when you get to the race, it's the easiest race I ever ran. My last mile was a seven 24 and it's just energy...
Mike Kelly: Pretty sure if I tried to run a seven 24 for one mile, I would pass out.
Megan Lohman: The experience of being well-trained and following your plan and just doing it. Even if you don't want to on the days you don't want to, that put the ball on the tee perfectly for this experience. Not every day is super exciting, and you're motivated to go out there and build this business, but you just have to put your shoes on and go through the motions.
Mike Kelly: So I'm going to go full Tim Ferriss now and ask about personal habits. Because now this is amazing. Talk about today, so like just daily habits and routines that you have today, particularly related to the business that you think are reflections of that, right? Like, I don't want to go out and run the five miles today, but I have to do it. Do you have any of those practices built out daily, weekly today that you do for the business?
Megan Lohman: Yeah, so I really struggle with sales. It is not what motivates me. I would rather go pitch a venture capitalists then make a sales call.
Mike Kelly: That is sales.
Megan Lohman: I know, right? That's what everybody tells me. The sales process, keeping that funnel built is the thing for me, that's easiest thing to push aside. And I am the best in the morning. So I learned that A, I can only schedule two coffee meetings a week or else none of the sales gets done because it's easy to push that. So I have to start in the morning, get my coffee, check my email, and then go straight into HubSpot and look at my tasks, follow up on referrals and anything that I need to follow up on and then do new outreach. And so that's the first thing I do in the morning before the day can take a hold of me.
Megan Lohman: But it's still kind of a learning process because I wear all the hats right now. But if I don't keep that pipeline full, which is the hardest thing for me to focus on. And honestly once I talked to the clients I'm great, but it's that process, the chase that some people thrive on that I don't. I'm like get me to the demo where I can actually talk and I can talk your language. That's where I'm better. So that sales process has to be first for my day and then trying not to check email too much and be too responsive on email because I've realized that is an easy way to let your day get ahold of you. And then the afternoon is usually when I kind of need that second cup of coffee, I kind of start to get a little sluggish. So that's when I do a lot of more business administration type stuff, current existing client follow up or questions or anything like that.
Mike Kelly: Two things occurred to me in there. One, and it's still, I would assume overall if there's only a handful of competitors, it's still really early market and very education focused. But at what point do you see the funnel flipping where more leads are coming in through marketing activities rather than out?
Megan Lohman: I hope we can do that quickly. We did a Facebook live event, my co-founder and I, and we've done very little strategic social media posting and things like that. Google ads, Facebook ads, we've done just very little and it has generated a significant amount of traffic.
Mike Kelly: The Facebook live event, did?
Megan Lohman: Yeah, the Facebook live and even just Facebook ads, posts. So our number one thing is, hire this implementation person and a marketing person and start that PR because I do believe that we will be able to generate a significant amount of inbound. So if we get more than we can handle, great. That would be a great problem to have. Hopefully I'm telling you, that's our issue in December. You know?
Mike Kelly: Turns out there's no such thing as more you can handle because then venture capitalists will gladly give you their money.
Megan Lohman: Right.
Mike Kelly: To go solve that problem.
Megan Lohman: But you just have to find people to help you.
Mike Kelly: And then the second thing that you mentioned in there, which is much less important, is trying to not check email and talk to me about that. What kind of habits do you have there that seem to work or not work?
Megan Lohman: This is a new strategy. Because I just realized, wow, just responding to incoming emails, you can take a whole day doing that.
Mike Kelly: Spend the whole day doing that.
Megan Lohman: Yeah, absolutely. So I'm trying to check it at 8:30, 10 right before lunch, right after lunch and then once in the middle of the afternoon.
Mike Kelly: Wait, that was five times, that's pretty much all day.
Megan Lohman: Is that all day?
Mike Kelly: Yeah.
Megan Lohman: Okay. For me, that's not very much. So check it and only respond to things that are pertinent right there. Especially in the morning when I'm trying to do that sales stuff and then anything that can wait, until the afternoon. Right now, I'm kind of in a critical time where any sales, inbound response, lead, anything. I have to be responsive.
Mike Kelly: Yeah.
Megan Lohman: And also with fundraising, questions, I want to show that I am responsive. I want to be responsive so I kind of have to be. But as soon as I have support I feel like I'll be able to put up some more boundaries around responsiveness.
Mike Kelly: Yeah. What do you do with the stuff you can't get to?
Megan Lohman: Do it on the weekend.
Mike Kelly: Just let it go, or to do it on the weekend?
Megan Lohman: No, do it on the weekend.
Mike Kelly: All right.
Megan Lohman: Another thing that happened I don't think was coincidence is I had a girls trip in Scottsdale the April before, it was April 12th through the 15th right before we started development. So I came back from that trip. It was literally April 16th that I started my first day...
Mike Kelly: This was last year?
Megan Lohman: Last year and I sat on the plane next to this guy who had started a business 10 years before and we just kind of started talking and you know, he...
Mike Kelly: I never get to sit next to these people.
Megan Lohman: Poured all of his wisdom out. I didn't know at the time what a blessing that person was. I don't even know his name. And he said, "The first two years you are going to feel like you're not getting anywhere, but just keep putting one foot in front of the other and I promise you will look back and you will see all this progress." And he's like also for those first two years, you're probably not going to have a lot of boundaries. So that's basically what I've given myself. The guy on the plane said it. So if he told me this is what I need to do, then I'm going to do it. So, it's pretty much been true. There haven't been a lot of boundaries. I've done a lot on the weekends, evenings.
Mike Kelly: I'm nine years in, there's still no boundaries. So yeah, that's not going to change.
Megan Lohman: It's hard. It's a really hard thing.
Mike Kelly: It's hard if you don't love it. If you love it, it's okay.
Megan Lohman: Yeah, that's true. With my little kids, sometimes that pains me if they're doing something and I'm trying to get work done or you know, so it's just that balance.
Mike Kelly: There have been small children here at developer town doing yard work outside the building.
Megan Lohman: Yes. Because the boss says that work has to get done. Yeah.
Mike Kelly: That has happened on weekends, yeah there's lots of ways to blur the two.
Megan Lohman: Exactly. I'm learning.
Mike Kelly: All right, so maybe refocus for the end. As you think about the market going forward in particular, those new competitors that have emerged. Particularly if you think of raising capital and continue to differentiate in that market, what do you think the strategy is going to be going forward?
Megan Lohman: You know, we have a proven market, there's no doubt in my mind that there is a market and since we have competitors who are also newly emerged, it is an execution play at this point. There's nobody that's substantially differentiated within the product or the technology or really even the pricing. I mean we're all fairly, the biggest differences, best service at this point. So what excites me the most about capital is being able to get people in there to fill the voids where I don't have the experience marketing and the product. I mean those are two big pieces, senior level roles that we plan to fill this year. So I'm just excited to get people on the team. I know that we have, the industry experience. We have the market, we have the early success. We have some really big wins, that if we can just plug in some more people who have all this expertise in these other areas. I don't see how we can't win. I mean, I really don't.
Mike Kelly: If somebody would like to get ahold of you to talk to you about investment, job opportunities, having you come to their practice and make the pitch, how do they do that?
Megan Lohman: Yeah. Email me is obviously pretty quick. @MLohman, M-L-O-H-M-A-N @planforward.io. Also, we're pretty active on LinkedIn and Facebook and it's @teamplanforward or call me 317-416-8548.
Mike Kelly: So brave.
Megan Lohman: Maybe scratch that.
Mike Kelly: No way. That puts you in the elite five people out of a hundred episodes that have given their phone number.
Megan Lohman: But it's on my website. It's kind of everywhere.
Mike Kelly: It's fine. I totally get it. Megan, thank you so much.
Megan Lohman: You're welcome. Thank you for the opportunity. It's been fun.