• The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  1. Join 50,000+ entrepreneurs
    who are kicking butt and
    winning their dream life.

    Unscripted™ Entrepreneurship:
    A Business That Pays More Than Money, It Pays Time.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF) outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED™). From multimillionaires to digital nomads, the forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane)  Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block!

GOLD! Ask Me Anything About SaaS ( I'm building my 7th )

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by eliquid, Oct 14, 2017.

Tags:
  1. Arevico
    Offline

    Arevico Contributor

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Rep Bank:
    $143
    How do you get the first paying customer? Basic outreach, ads, just the basics?

    What are your thoughts on 'free until out of beta' - model ?
     
  2. eliquid
    Offline

    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    6,118
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $48,015
    Basics are fine for 1st paying customer.

    But honestly, you should be your first paying customer. Also if you have followed along, you know I speak about authority a lot. That authority should be able to help you know where your customers are ( mine was in forums ).

    On free until out of beta.. that model is fine. You will need all the users you can get to point out bugs, issues, and things you never thought of to make it a great solution and value for others.

    .
     
  3. Arevico
    Offline

    Arevico Contributor

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Rep Bank:
    $143
    So basically being active in the industry results in a. finding a need to be solved and b. a target audience which to spar with and get as initial user if I understand correctly?

    The idea I generated i got from an inefficiency I noticed at my job, but that doesn't realy translate well into a small or large initial adience.

    Do you have experience in one of the 7 saas in which the solution/need was in a different industry? How do you tackled this? Would reaching out to people having the same problem (reddit/mail/linkedin) be a great way to validate a need ?

    Thanks for your time and experience
     
  4. eliquid
    Offline

    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    6,118
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $48,015
    It can. Generally when you are active in something ( participation vs non-participation ) you find issues or problems. Example, you said below the idea you got was an inefficiency at your job. You were acitve in your job and found the issue. Compare this to someone with no job at all who dreams up an idea about an issue at someone else's job that they have no experience or participation in.

    How do you know it would not translate well into a small or large audience? What is small and what is large?

    100 customers to me is a lot if I can get them paying $300 a month.

    It's not the number of customers, it's the amount of revenue you can generate that should be "small" or "large".

    If you look over the first answer in this specific post above, you can see how I handle experience and authority some. Based on this, I have never done a SaaS in an area/industry I didn't participate in or have experience in.

    Example, I am coding up a crypto related SaaS a little each day on the side for 30-45 min a day. I am not a crypto expert and I am not a millionaire from crypto trading activities. No one knows me for anything crypto related.

    However, I have been trading for quite some time and built my own algo's for trading and done a lot of research and investing. I know where my customers hang out and what their needs are.

    That alone somewhat meets my experience and authority min.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I know guys trying to do the same thing as me that I have talked to that have never put a penny in crypto, have no clue where crypto traders hang out and talk and what apps they use, and haven't ever backtested an algo before.. but they wanna build a SaaS in it ( my brother-in-law ) based on some crazy idea he has and they fact that "crypto is so hot right now"

    Does that help bridge the gap on that thought process?

    Authority can come in many shapes and sizes.

    .
     
  5. Arevico
    Offline

    Arevico Contributor

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Rep Bank:
    $143
    Thanks, it helps setting my mind in a particular way. The building part is not the problem for me. I can do that and if i cant i can figure out how. So i really wanted to take a little more effort into the first part of the process
     
  6. Andy Black
    Offline

    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    7,567
    Likes Received:
    31,995
    Joined:
    May 20, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ireland
    Rep Bank:
    $178,881
    That’ll end well...
     
    adiakritos and BrooklynHustle like this.
  7. 404profound
    Offline

    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    2,130
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Desert of Desertion
    Rep Bank:
    $5,444
    Hey Jason, what is your sentiment on single page applications vs. the traditional multi-page application? Would you say SPAs are non-negotiable at this point, or are there still use cases for MPAs?
     
  8. eliquid
    Offline

    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    6,118
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $48,015
    I don't think it matters.

    Think of it this way...

    Does your customer care if a new URL serves them the value they want and need? Do they get a benefit if the URL stays the same and the content is just rewritten on the SPA?

    Speed is not a factor in either. A slow stack will still write the content out slow on a SPA.

    In my opinion, a SPA can make things more complex overall. Some would disagree with me though.

    In the end, I like MPA more personally. Your end customer will not care or notice more than likely.

    .
     
  9. 404profound
    Offline

    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    2,130
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Desert of Desertion
    Rep Bank:
    $5,444
    That is a really good point, thanks for responding. I've dug into the MEAN stack learning path, but as you pointed out, it may make more sense to implement the solution with something less over the top.
     
  10. Roger FS
    Offline

    Roger FS New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    MN, USA
    Rep Bank:
    $222
    I am only a fraction through this year-long thread, and I can only say "priceless."
    This thread alone is worth a year's Insiders membership.
    Just started a Udemy Web development course last night, had purchased before starting to read this thread, now really psyched & motivated.
    Many thanks eliquid for sharing so much of your expertise, I will be referring to this thread often during my self-education.
     
    Silver Silk and eliquid like this.
  11. strick
    Offline

    strick New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Rep Bank:
    $88
    I've been struggling with the "beautiful code" thing lately and this answer helped me a lot. I'm working on my MVP and I've wasted so much time worrying about "best practices" and thinking I don't know enough on the technical side.

    I finally had to ask myself if I wanted to be an expert programmer or an entrepreneur that can write decent code to make money and get help from others that are more skilled when I need them.

    Things really started moving forward for me when I accepted that my code would not be perfect and that would be ok. I just have to get things working and produce value for customers and then I can optimize and make things better later. Otherwise, I could be wasting my time building something perfectly that nobody wants.
     
    Silver Silk and eliquid like this.
  12. strick
    Offline

    strick New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Rep Bank:
    $88
    @eliquid any thoughts on building a small SaaS company remotely? Managing a remote team? Is this a good idea? Do you think it's necessary to be in a tech hub?
     
    eliquid likes this.
  13. eliquid
    Offline

    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    6,118
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $48,015
    No one needs a tech hub.

    Whats holding you back from doing it with a remote team?

    .
     
    strick likes this.
  14. strick
    Offline

    strick New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Rep Bank:
    $88
    @eliquid

    Nothing, I prefer remote work. A lot of people in the tech startup crowd are always telling me I need to have everyone in the same place, be in a tech hub for connections, talent, resources, mentors, go to meetups, yada yada..

    I don't like the startup crowd and think it's mostly fluff. I even hate the word startup lol. I was just wondering if others felt the same way, or if it's just me and I'm missing something...
     
    Edwin Fernandez and eliquid like this.
  15. Burton
    Offline

    Burton Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    32
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $182
    Hi, I have one question. I’m building web platform for my automotive business and I came up with decision that I will try to share it as a SaaS platform. I want to target car garages and I was wondering how can I get some clients. I mean if it’s a good idea to just email businesses to make an offer or setup landing page for presentation and try to advertise it? Thanks in advance for answers.
     
  16. strick
    Offline

    strick New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Rep Bank:
    $88
    @Burton for getting early customers, I've had more success finding people locally that have problems I can solve. Most people will say they aren't interested. I find the few people that are interested in the solution I'm developing, but instead of selling them right away, I tell them I'm just interested in hearing more about their problems and getting feedback on early versions of my product.

    You have to think of the process as an experiment. Your goal early on is learning what early customers want. You're also learning WHO your customers really are. You'll narrow down your ideal customer as you go.

    Keep adjusting as you get feedback. Let the market guide your product development. Expect your product to evolve. Your early versions will probably be terrible and that's ok.

    After I work out the early versions through the above process, I'll move on to internet marketing, experimenting with sales copy, etc

    This is what works for me, but I know others have had success with landing pages first to test potential product ideas.
     
    eliquid and Burton like this.
  17. Burton
    Offline

    Burton Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    32
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $182
    Thanks a lot Strick, your post is really valuable for me.
     
    strick likes this.
  18. Dcudmore
    Offline

    Dcudmore New Contributor

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Rep Bank:
    $51
    Thanks for this thread.

    I have kind of a general question, but maybe you could provide some thoughts on it.

    For a Saas that has a free version, how do you decide which features to include in it, and how much to limit them (if applicable).

    ---------------------------------------------------
    If it helps, my context is that I've just about finished building a sort of content marketing ideation tool (similar to Answer the Public).

    The main value axis (or w/e you want to call them) that I have to play with are:
    1. Number of searches per day or month.
    2. Number of results from each search.
    3. Tracking queries over time as I add new data to the backend.
    4. Advanced sorting and topic extraction.
    At the moment I'm planning to:
    • Not limit the number of searches per day - It seems almost wrong to discourage users getting in the habit of using the tool. (Does this make any sense?)
    • Limit the number of search results on the free plan.
    • No tracking or advanced sorting on the free plan either.
    That was probably way tmi, but I'd rather that than too brief.

    Any thoughts on the topic in general would be appreciated.
     
  19. eliquid
    Offline

    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    6,118
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $48,015
    Yes

    And Yes

    Meaning yes to both.

    You should be doing everything and anything to land those first clients.

    Some will respond to cold emails, some will visit your LP via ads, some will respond to face to face.

    Everyone consumes differently and in their own way. You need to meet them in the way they consume and work.
     
    Silver Silk likes this.
  20. eliquid
    Offline

    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    6,118
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $48,015

    The 2 main ways most price tiers work in SaaS are:

    1. Limit features/functionalty ( plan A has XYZ, but plan B has XYZ + ABC )
    2. Limit usage ( plan A is full featured, but only gives you 100 tries a day, but plan B gives you 300 tries )

    I think the best is a hybrid.

    You have to plan out who your users are...

    You want enough upside to make it worthwhile when you get enterprise customers to handle them, but also get the groundswell going to get people to even know who you are.

    The best way to start is, what is the minimum core features all of my customers need?

    That could feature A, B, and C at a min for everyone. Start there

    What features are people wanting, that isnt core. Make that your X, Y, Z for higher end users at a different price point.

    Now look at limits. What is reasonable for someone that logs in just 1-2 a month versus someone highly engaged and using it daily? Break that down and ties it to your tiered plans you have from above based on features.

    A good thing is to look at your competitors. Can you beat them by 2x? Your competitors prob have lots of customers and have tweaked their plans over time. There is a reason they tiered theirs that way. See if you can spot trends among them and gleam that insight.. they already put in the work for you. Now beat them by 2 or 3x and see what happens.

    Does that help?
     
    Dcudmore likes this.
  21. Dcudmore
    Offline

    Dcudmore New Contributor

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Rep Bank:
    $51
    Very much, thanks.
     
  22. eliquid
    Offline

    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    6,118
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $48,015
    I've had to pivot away from the original idea I had for my 7th SaaS due to focusing on SERPWoo ( my 6th SaaS ). Putting more time and energy into SERPWoo was deemed a better choice.

    But in doing so, I want to show you something else I do. My 7th SaaS is now going to be something different than I thought it was...

    Think about this.

    In building your SaaS, you will need to build all kinds of systems and potentially combine ideas too. Ideas that if broke apart, could be their own SaaS as well.

    For example, in building your SaaS you might need a fraud detection system for your billing and signup process. Sure, you could sign up to a few of the more expensive services available right now and roll the dice they know what they are doing, OR you could build your own with a weekend's worth of research and trust you know how it works. In doing so, you could also build an API to that fraud system you built and offer it as a separate SaaS offering.

    Double work? Distracted focus? It doesn't have to be.

    You could simply place it on a few directories, hire someone to promote it a bit with articles, and list it on producthunt and reddit and let it slowly build up a small audience until you can get back to it or hire a partner to run it.

    When you add a new feature to your existing SaaS, ask yourself if you can make that feature it's own SaaS and simply build it out and let it off into the wild and see how it does on it's own.

    That's "kinda" how my prior SaaS's worked out in a roundabout way and one reason I stayed in digital marketing niche.

    What are you an authority of and can build to scratch your own itch?

    .
     
  23. amp0193
    Offline

    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    10,650
    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    Rep Bank:
    $47,754
    It's not just SaaS. It's anything.

    I've got a spin-off business happening because I needed the original product to meet the needs of my customers. It was worthy of it's own separate platform though.

    Taking action leads to more and more opportunities. Ones you would never see if you were on the sidelines.
     
  24. Patrick Jones
    Offline

    Patrick Jones growing Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    106
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Berlin
    Rep Bank:
    $538
    In regards to fraud reduction you write:

    Could you elaborate on that one a bit? Do you really log every single http request?

    Do you have a comparison to what other SaaS providers log (more/less)?

    Do you have a use for the logged data other than fraud reduction? E.g. marketing?
     
    404profound and ruzara5 like this.
  25. eliquid
    Offline

    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    6,118
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Louisville - Kentucky
    Rep Bank:
    $48,015
    Yes. It's not any different than what Google Analytics or Piwik do. If you use Analytics or any "counter" and analytic tools, they are doing the same thing. Lets say you dont use those but use a tool like Intercom, same thing.... That pixel you put on your site, it's prob on every page of your site, logging all the same http responses and traffic.

    The problem with those tools is, they don't really give you 100% of all the RAW data.

    You might get some graphs and funnels and nice charts, etc. But I want the RAW data. Like a CSV dump of what that user did. You can't get that really.

    So I decided to do that. Scratching my own itch that will one day maybe be another SaaS for me ( working on it ).

    I don't think most other SaaS companies do this, the way I am doing it. I feel most use 3rd party tools like Analytics, Heap, MixPanel, etc.. or tools that could pull it, but dont, like Intercom, etc. Most tools don't give transparency and instead try to "sum it up for you" in a graph.

    I'm a very different thinker. Most other people prob. see no reason to pull it the way I do. But then again, most SaaS companies have very high churn, fraud, and retention issues compared to my SaaS.

    Yes, it is used more than just fraud. Marketing is one we also use it for along with several others.

    In the end, its just more potential SaaS's that we can make and break out as potential other revenue streams. See a few posts up for why I am always thinking of ways to gain more revenue streams within my current SaaS.

    Scratching your own itch and being an authority in something is about the easiest way to build a SaaS and break revenue goals.

    .
     
    ruzara5, splok and Gutzofter like this.

Join 1000s of entrepreneurs who are rewriting life's script and winning financial freedom.

---- ----

You must be a member to join the conversation.

Create Account

Join the community fast and easy!

REGISTER

Log In

Already have an account? Login here.

LOG IN

Share This Page