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

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

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  1. Arevico
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    Arevico Contributor

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

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    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
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    Arevico Contributor

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

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

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    That’ll end well...
     
  7. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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

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    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
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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

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

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

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    @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?
     
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  13. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    No one needs a tech hub.

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

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

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    @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...
     
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  15. Burton
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    Burton New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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

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    @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.
     
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  17. Burton
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    Burton New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Thanks a lot Strick, your post is really valuable for me.
     
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  18. Dcudmore
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    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
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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

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    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?
     
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  21. Dcudmore
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    Very much, thanks.
     

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