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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. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Didn't get under 2%, but stayed under 3% churn.
    [​IMG]

    That's more than 1% since August ( an increase of over $800 per customer lifetime )

    For reference, here is the prior screenshot
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    So I touched on several things on your question here:
    GOLD - Ask Me Anything About SaaS ( I'm building my 7th )


    I think the best loose framework is this:
    • Have domain knowledge
      • Do you have to have this, no. However it will make building your SaaS 10,000x easier and faster
    • Does it fit your core values, mission statement, and who you are?
    • Can you pull this off yourself, or do you need partners?
      • Depending on others is tough sometimes, how much can you pull off yourself initially before bringing on others?
    • Does it make CENTS?
      • Read MJ's book
    • Do you have competition? If no, this could be a bad sign.. but not always.
      • I look for products I like, but don't love.
      • I create the same product, but make it the one I love
      • You gotta add several of your own twists to it to have it standout
    • Build an MVP and see if your beta users love it too
      • Build off their feedback, but only if it aligns with your roadmap of features
    • How big is your market?
      • Be realistic. I own a SaaS in the digital marketing industry. However, not every digital marketer is my customer. Your core market needs to be big enough to provide you profit and not trip over the fact you will have churn
    • Can you grandma or mom understand what you are doing? If no, you need to work on your product and how it helps others
      • Don't focus on the most advanced users of your product, focus on the least advanced


    If I think of more or a better way to glue this all together, I'll come back and edit this one post.

    .
     
  3. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Got any questions?

    I'm wanting to prepare for my presentations at the event in Feb. Your questions here could help me line out my presentation out there
     
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  4. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Hey @eliquid I have a question on pricing...

    Is their ever a benefit to lower price vs higher price? In this instance it might be $100/mo vs $50/mo.

    In my mind, I'm thinking that the $50/mo might be a little bit less work to sell people on (also because it offers tremendous value). My SaaS app (currently just a desktop program) is directed to Vets themselves not the business itself (their could be anywhere from 1-6 Vets per practice) but it varies (some practices share patients while others have their own but share the office space).

    What I am trying to say here, is I'd like to somehow encourage the "sharing effect." Like I want the first Vet in an office to be so impressed or the program offers so much value that he tells his co-workers and they purchase too. In my mind though, I think that $100 might be a little steep for what it does (it saves anywhere from 6-20 hours per week or more) and may require further convincing...

    If the Vets are not being paid hourly, most likely a % or salary, how do you tie the time savings in, in quantifiable benefits?

    thoughts?

    Also if my app is profiting off of the inefficiencies in another program (but does not use it at all), does it fulfill the commandment of CONTROL?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 11:31 AM
  5. EasternCrane
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    EasternCrane Sit in the gap not the choice Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    @eliquid

    I referenced you in @LeoistheSun Saasify thread.

    Here's trying "the foundation" method to starting.

    How would you start from $0?

    I gave Leo some tactics and strategy I've come across in my own life that are tested for casual use with friends and relationships based on what I know about the foundation and being an employee for a business.

    My theory and tactics are currently untested for starting a business though from $0 though.

    Some forum recommended books have even stated that money hurts more than helps. My own experience has confirmed this: Other people's money doesn't help. Excess cash has only helped me fail in a spectacular way.

    I haven't tried the $0 approach though because I always thought it takes money to start rather than certain critical resources.

    I will PM you the theory I have on how to start from nothing if you want to just check it across your experience without answering publicly.

    You could pollute the SaaS industry overnight with the answer.

    You also saw my other thread asking about databases to search for market information. Please answer what you would use for that research.

    I personally think you don't need any cash to start or experience. You usually don't need much if any experience for most jobs (non-technical and even some technical because they train). Lots of things in life can be learned when taking action because life is a non-linear path.

    1. How would you start from $0 without coding?

    You may keep your technical experience on directing projects.

    2. How would someone get to project completion and first customers?

    3. What database would you use for your research?

    4. What would you look for in a market to build an industry solution?

    5. What would you look for in a product?

    6. For non-technical creators would you use a low-code or robust no-code system like bubble.is?

    If you had no technical experience.

    7. Do you think it's possible in 2017 to start with $0 and build a SaaS. Please give a defense if you think so because some people trash the method who are credible.

    8. How profitable do you think doing it that way would be? Exit potential? Lifestyle potential? Start to lifestyle change potential?

    Really want to get a fact check from someone who has done this 7 times differently than Dane Maxwell.

    I listed 5 ways I think you can get to a profitable idea in the Saasify thread. There should be many ways to start as well.
     
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  6. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    If I am not mistaken, @eliquid has all his 7 SaaS's in the same or similar niche. Therefore he can sell the same customers to them. Much easier than those who have not bought...

    Might be wrong... but thats one way of doing it.

    Find an idea ->build it -> build a kickass marketing website that gives everything away for free -> build another saas in the same niche -> build another
     
  7. TreyAllDay
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    TreyAllDay Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    @eliquid Do you still invest heavily in SEO for your tech, is it the right direction, and do you have any resources for those getting started?

    I have been shoveling money into adwords with little traction and at my businesses size right now (b2b) the word of mouth is too slow! :(
     
  8. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I don't invest heavily, but it depends on your experience and meaning in that phrase.

    It might make more sense to explain what I do in SEO.. To me it's not investing heavily, to others it might be.

    Since I've played in this space ( digital marketing, internet marketers, SEOs ), I just know the keywords we should aim for in general. I didn't do indepth research into longtails and such. I just know what my market searches for, because I am the market myself.

    Those terms are sprinkled in the places they need to be, like titles and meta tags. Also in the content on the page and in H1's, etc.....

    That's the technical side of it pretty much with the exception of writing really well done content like:
    • Domain Age For SEO Is EXTREMELY Important - example of research we uncovered using our "big data" warehouse of servers and some AI. While everyone is screaming about content and links, we actually uncovered something valid, almost unhackable, and game shattering for SEOs.

    • Experts Weigh In On SEO Heading Into 2018 - we asked our customers what they needed help on, then went out and found experts to answer those specific and direct questions. We were also the first to start talking about how SEO will change in 2018.. no one else was thinking this far ahead and trying to help the market.

    • Push Down Negative Websites Just Like Expensive ORM Professionals - targeting a subset of our users. But this isn't just some list we stole from another site or a dump we found. I actually did research for weeks on different terms and recorded the results and shared them, its actual research that is current and actively used.. not just "theory" or a list of sites from 2012

    Past that, we share these in normal places like Twitter, in emails, Reddit, Facebook, Linkedin, other blogs pick them up, etc.

    That's the extent of it right now.

    I'm looking to get into guest posts a bit more and writing for some publications.

    To some, that might be investing heavily.. to others like me, it's not a lot.

    I think if you come up with great content ideas, write them out with a focus to help people, and then get the sharing started.. it will pick up on it's own.

    It's amazing the small little niche places we find our articles shared.. it's even better when we find a slide deck where someone talked about us at a conference and we never knew it.

    Most of it starts with the articles though. It's got to be unique and helpful. SEO will follow afterwards.

    Of note, I use to do all the crazy SEO stuff in the past and was very active. I am more passive with it now ( link building stuff )

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 2:32 PM
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  9. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    That's how I fell into it.

    Never meant it to be that way when I started. It was just a natural progression.

    I think having domain knowledge helped me fall into it. I know where my market needed help and I built the SaaS. I also knew a few other areas it needed help and built those out as I progressed.

    Some customers overlapped into each SaaS as I went forward.

    All in all, I'm playing in the same space the whole time though.

    I think I can expand out now past my same market because once you have a solid foundation built, it's easier to leapfrog to the next lilypad without getting dunked in water.

    .
     
  10. EasternCrane
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    EasternCrane Sit in the gap not the choice Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    @eliquid when you have time, would you answer the questions I laid out for you?

    Best,
     
  11. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    So for pricing, here is a way you can think about it...

    I looked up average salaries for Vets, its $91,250 a year.. which is like $43.85 an hour.

    Your software saves them 6-20 hours of time per WEEK ( you said ). Lets average that to 13 hours a week.. or 52 hours a month.

    At $50 a month, they save 52 hours a month in exchange for 1 hour of pay? That's massive value bro.

    Even if its just the measly 6 hours a week and not 13 averaged, that's 24 hours saved a month for 1 hour of their pay pretty much. Still massive value.

    If I was you, I'd up it to $100. I'd trade 2 hours for 52 hours of free time. Even 24 hours free time.

    I'd hit up your current members and ask them directly how much time they save in a survey, then use those as testimonials on your site.

    For the sharing and wow factor, that comes from having a great product and will naturally happen once your product is great. Telling you how to have a great product is a little bit more than I can share in this post, but you need to find out your CORE vet demos.

    Why?

    Because not every Vet will buy from you. It just won't happen.

    You need to find your CORE vet demo, ask them about their issues and problems, and make sure your SaaS solves that and provides massive value. If you can really save them 52 hours a month for 2 hours of pay, you have all you need as long as you have an awesome product that is easy for them to use too.

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 2:33 PM
  12. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I'm trying. I'm going though each one as best I can as I have time AND have the right answer for.

    .
     
  13. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for your reply! I meant to say (btw sorry haha) that it was 6-20+ hours a month not week :(
     
  14. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    It is still value, especially towards the higher end.

    Survey your current members to be sure if you haven't. Average it out, it's 13 at your range now.

    That's like 1.5 days ( at business hours ) saved a month, for 1-2 hours of salary?

    For a professional that gets it ( and you could use this, but you should think of better ), thats:
    1. A day off work possibly each month to spend with kids or spouse
    2. A day I would spend improving my practice instead of "working"
    3. A day I could spend treating animals ( if I love it ) instead of "admin" tasks
    4. I reduce work for one of my assistants to have them doing something else
      1. I also reduce human error here too possibly
    5. A day I use for charity work to help spread my brand/practice in the community

    Think of things your CORE Vet demo would say/do with that extra day or 2. Put that on your site.

    .
     
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  15. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    @LeoistheSun

    People love when you can make them money, or save them money too.

    If you can tie that time saved ( or functions in your SaaS ) to making them more money or saving them money, you are hitting good points to help convince them to try you out.

    .
     
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  16. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks @eliquid I am at the stage where I am pre-selling. But I wasn't sure as far as pre-selling amount (3 months upfront) and all that stuff. I will be sure to ask them too how much they might save or how much their process currently takes).

    Do you have any tips on when you cold-call what you might say to the gatekeeper?

    The comparison is great too! For the cost of one Starbucks coffee a day, you could save 1 hour!

    Thanks!
     
  17. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    It sounds like you don't really have a user base yet. Or maybe it's really really small. Just reading between the lines here.

    If that's the case, offer your product for free when calling. Offer it for free when not calling.

    Get 25 Vets in the door now, all for free.

    Trust me on this, they will tell you what works and what doesn't and what they really need. They will also more than likely ( if you do it right ) be your brand evangelists and spread your word for you. ( again, if done right ). All of that together added up is more valuable than $100 a month from them.

    .
     
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  18. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Yes, I think I answered as best I could on that other thread so far.


    Will answer the rest above when I get my off my coaching call with my students in a few hours.

    Thanks!

    .
     
  19. LeoistheSun
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    Its not currently developed as of yet. I do have mockups and whatnot though.
     
  20. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Start giving away for free.

    It's not simple to give away free.

    If you find you can't get users to use it for free, you won't be able to get users to use it for $100 ( or $50 ).

    And it's not about signups, it's about engagement after they sign up. Ongoing engagement.

    .
     
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  21. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    @LeoistheSun

    Sorry, I just realized you said it's not developed yet.

    My bad

    .
     
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  22. eliquid
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    eliquid Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I've touched on this a bit in this thread and others.

    I'll include the highlights again here ( a few ). When I reference "See Above" below, this is what you should come back to
    • Domain experience
    • Authority position in domain
    Neither of those require money. But they do require time and expertise. Putting yourself in an authority position will more than likely require content from you in some form. Again no money is needed though.

    Once you get to that level, you will need to be able to have a great idea. One that can bring people into your company for little or no money unless you plan to do it all yourself. Is this optimal? NO. But thats 1 way you could do it with $0 and for some reason wanted to stick to that.

    You could also get people to buy in and invest.

    You also need to meet CENTS somewhat too.


    I think cash can help. Do you have to have it? No.

    If excess cash caused you to fail, you weren't disciplined at that time in your life when it came to you. This is not a personal dig at you. Most people are this way.

    Please PM. Though it might take me days to answer back

    I don't know of any databases myself. However I did comment if you found someone to do this work and do it right, you would have to pay them more than you offered.

    I somewhat agree, and somewhat disagree.

    I fully think you need experience in something to start a SaaS.

    I can't start a SaaS helping mothers with ovulation issues if I don't really understand women and ovulation and the WHYs behind it. I could fake knowing, but it will come through in my product eventually.

    I posted some of it above.

    See above

    See above

    See above

    See above

    If you rely on 3rd parties, you will fail at some point. They will be the weakest link in your chain. Code your own, on your own platform

    Yes. I started with no money each time. Is that odd?

    No.

    I firmly believe that each project pays its own rent from day 1. Therefor no project gets a "loan" or other freebie from another current or prior project. They work and stay in their own silos.

    2017 is no different than 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, etc.

    If anything, things are cheaper now than then.

    If you have no tech experience you can find a tech co-founder or raise money and pay for one that way.

    It's not easy or fast, but you didn't include those adjectives in your question.

    How you start ( at $0 or $10k ), does not dictate profitability. It also does not predict exit potential or lifestyle or change.

    Maybe it does if you took in investment or gave out equity, but it entirely depends on what numbers YOU choose if you do that.

    Im not for or against Dane.

    There are 1,000 ways to cook chili.

    You can add peppers, put in noodles, eat it cold or use turkey instead of hamburger, etc.

    No matter what you do, you made chili in the end.

    You can cook chili with $100 in ingredients, or $0 in ingredients.

    There is no recipe for SaaS, just like there really isn't one for chili.

    There's only fundamentals.

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 3:52 PM
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  23. EasternCrane
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    EasternCrane Sit in the gap not the choice Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Transferred Rep. Nice post.

    You answered everything well and in your own way.

    Thanks for the post. I will PM you soon.
     
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