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I think for B2C, depending on specifics ( which you didn't mention, but just generally asked about B2C vs B2B )... its the same overall about the information in my thread.

More difficult to manage? Yeah.

But same ideas and strategies for the most part ( speaking 80/20 stuff here ). Yeah.

Why is that?

At the core B2C is dealing with humans and emotions. At the core B2B is too. Humans make decisions in both.

So many of the things in my thread actually don't deal with business problems. They deal with human problems.

Solve those human problems at the core, and it works for B2C and B2B. The things that differ come afterward and expand out like account reps, invoicing types, etc.

But in the end, you're dealing with humans first and foremost.

.
 

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I think for B2C, depending on specifics ( which you didn't mention, but just generally asked about B2C vs B2B )... its the same overall about the information in my thread.

More difficult to manage? Yeah.

But same ideas and strategies for the most part ( speaking 80/20 stuff here ). Yeah.

Why is that?

At the core B2C is dealing with humans and emotions. At the core B2B is too. Humans make decisions in both.

So many of the things in my thread actually don't deal with business problems. They deal with human problems.

Solve those human problems at the core, and it works for B2C and B2B. The things that differ come afterward and expand out like account reps, invoicing types, etc.

But in the end, you're dealing with humans first and foremost.

.
@eliquid Awesome answer again:praise:

The focus at first should be to solve human problems. Solving Human-to-Human problems aka H2H is the core of any business anyway.

So loving this thread!
 

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What stacks are easier to port over to a native iOS or Android app?

Do you find that typical SaaS customers make this as a requirement or request?

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 
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What stacks are easier to port over to a native iOS or Android app?

Do you find that typical SaaS customers make this as a requirement or request?

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
No clue, never did a port to either
 

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@eliquid Awesome answer again:praise:

The focus at first should be to solve human problems. Solving Human-to-Human problems aka H2H is the core of any business anyway.

So loving this thread!

Agreed. I like this thread's focus on human interactions driving tech. Hey, if the car doesn't make you FEEL good, then who's gonna buy it? Whether that be a sporty feel or a greener feel, it's all about feeling.
 

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Not sure how I missed this thread...

I'm diving headfirst into a quasi-SaaS business model. One of my biggest hurdles is finding talent to outsource the software and hardware development. @EasternCrane touched on the subject above and you gave a great answer, but how do you even know what sorts of contractors you would need? I'm fairly certain I'll need an electrical engineer and some sort of programmer or software engineer, but no clue what sort of qualifications to look for. Python, SQL, C++, and Klingon are all in the same category for me.

Any suggestions as to how to develop a list of who might be needed before even beginning the process of asking the difficult questions?
 

offrs review

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Not sure how I missed this thread...

I'm diving headfirst into a quasi-SaaS business model. One of my biggest hurdles is finding talent to outsource the software and hardware development. @EasternCrane touched on the subject above and you gave a great answer, but how do you even know what sorts of contractors you would need? I'm fairly certain I'll need an electrical engineer and some sort of programmer or software engineer, but no clue what sort of qualifications to look for. Python, SQL, C++, and Klingon are all in the same category for me.

Any suggestions as to how to develop a list of who might be needed before even beginning the process of asking the difficult questions?
Any development company you reach out to will assign a project manager to walk you through the steps. You won't need to to take on the Klingon yourself, but it's always good to stay abreast of which technologies, platforms and methodologies are being suggested. Mainly because they're likely going to outsource it to someone else (footing you with the management fees) or worse case, they'll try and use one of their core specialties (even if it's not an ideal fit). The latter being a real bad situation because you'll end up paying for the construction of a hackneyed machine.

If it's a big-enough project to warrant the time, effort (and money), you'd do well to bid it out. You'd hire your own SME (usually an ex-dev or PM with experience in these technologies) to create project scope and RFP/RFQ (Request for Proposal/Request for Quote). They'll shop it out to qualified bidders and they, in turn will fight to make the case for why you should hire them using some in-house or out-of-house technology. It's ultimately the best way to go... instead of you knocking on doors, looking for the right expert (and everyone will tell you they are the one), your PM writes a project scope with specific requirements and opens the door for people to make the case to you. This has the added benefit of exploring options you hadn't considered.

I'm not sure of the standard threshold for this sort of thing, but whenever I did this, it was for mid-sized custom sites $10k to enterprise solutions $220k. Anything under that still warrants the organization and clarity, but honestly, you'll find that people take less time to read it if there's not a big pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.
 

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If it's a big-enough project to warrant the time, effort (and money), you'd do well to bid it out. You'd hire your own SME (usually an ex-dev or PM with experience in these technologies) to create project scope and RFP/RFQ (Request for Proposal/Request for Quote).
This is the direction I've been leaning. Thanks for the feedback.
 
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@eliquid what would you say it is your average "adwords ad click to customer rate" in your b2b saas experience?
We aren't doing any PPC to our SaaS. It's all word of mouth pretty much
 
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@eliquid what would you say it is your average "adwords ad click to customer rate" in your b2b saas experience?
Although it doesn't list B2B SaaS, this might help..

 

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Hey eliquid, thanks for doing this.

Have you ever used any services to find influencers in your niche? If so, are there any you recommend?
 
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Hey eliquid, thanks for doing this.

Have you ever used any services to find influencers in your niche? If so, are there any you recommend?
I havent, sorry
 
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Noticed a lot of images are missing from the thread.

Not sure what happened. I was using a mix of Imgur and Dropbox.

Will try to recreate and bring back. Not sure I can on all of them.

Anyone have any new thoughts or questions?
 

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Hi Eliquid, I am building my first platform and am trying to figure out how to get users.

Let's say you weren't an expert and did not have a an industry reputation for the next SaaS you build.

Let's say you were building an SaaS for something random like...tracking the plant macro-nutrients - nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) or NPK for short in a residential garden.
  1. How would you get your first 100 users?
  2. How would you get your next 1000 users?
  3. Are the first two to three growth stages typically different?
Maybe I'm over-complicating it and it is simple as sending e-mails with great copy...

Thanks!
 
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Hi Eliquid, I am building my first platform and am trying to figure out how to get users.

Let's say you weren't an expert and did not have a an industry reputation for the next SaaS you build.

Let's say you were building an SaaS for something random like...tracking the plant macro-nutrients - nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) or NPK for short in a residential garden.
  1. How would you get your first 100 users?
  2. How would you get your next 1000 users?
  3. Are the first two to three growth stages typically different?
Maybe I'm over-complicating it and it is simple as sending e-mails with great copy...

Thanks!
1. If you're not an expert in the topic, how do you know what you are building is what people need? Like actually need and will pay for, not just a want they will check out for free?

2. Lets assume you know what they need without being an expert. Ok. Once built, how do you know it works like it is suppose to ( since you're not an expert in the topic )?

3. Experts can write articles, get interviewed, do podcasts, speak at conferences and people within your topic will be able to tell you're an expert and thus follow you or sign up, helping you to get your first X customers easily. Experts know where their market hangs out too to get the first X customers.

4. Even if you are not an expert, but you have industry rep.. the same can be applied to #3.

Since you are asking if you have none of those, I would think you have a lot of struggle ahead of you.

Getting your first X customers without being an expert or having industry rep puts you at a huge disadvantage in so many ways.


So to answer your questions specifically...

1. Find out where these people hang out, start interacting with them. You will need to get innovators and early adopters since no one will know you or your brand.

2. Your innovators ( and some of your early adopters ) will give you feedback. Some will churn, some will stay. You will need to please these people as best you can. They are basically your life raft in this ocean of SaaS.

3. When you actually provide enough value, these innovators and early adopters will start helping you get to 1k customers with their testimonials, word of mouth on other sites, social media posts, etc. When this happens you change your strategy from getting your first 100 at places they hang out, to getting your first 1k and beyond at mainstream media sites and advertising channels.

4. To grow past the first 100 once you get the word of mouth and social validation, you need to start hitting up places like Youtube, Quora, Reddit, getting interviews or articles on Forbes, gardening magazines, podcasts, etc.


I wouldn't worry about your first 100 or first 1k. I would be worried with Churn.


Getting 100 or 1000 customers means nothing if they only stay with you 1-2 months. You will forever be in a pattern of failure.

When you can keep your churn around 3% or lower, you know you have something worth pushing out to a larger group of people ( past the first 100 customers to 1,000 and beyond ).

But start where these people hang out and interact with them, get them onboard to hit your first 100.

Once they are on board and you can keep your churn to 3% or less, and these people are giving you testimonials, word of mouth, social media posts, and ideas to better your SaaS.. then you are ready to aim for the first 1,000 customers where you will need to reach out in general places like Youtube, etc.

To get your first 100 customers, do anything you can. If your SaaS costs $49 a month and they will signup only at $19.99.. lower the price for them to $19.99 to get them in. You need these first 100 so go at a loss if you have to to get them in and trying out your product.

.
 

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1. If you're not an expert in the topic, how do you know what you are building is what people need? Like actually need and will pay for, not just a want they will check out for free?

2. Lets assume you know what they need without being an expert. Ok. Once built, how do you know it works like it is suppose to ( since you're not an expert in the topic )?

3. Experts can write articles, get interviewed, do podcasts, speak at conferences and people within your topic will be able to tell you're an expert and thus follow you or sign up, helping you to get your first X customers easily. Experts know where their market hangs out too to get the first X customers.

4. Even if you are not an expert, but you have industry rep.. the same can be applied to #3.

Since you are asking if you have none of those, I would think you have a lot of struggle ahead of you.

Getting your first X customers without being an expert or having industry rep puts you at a huge disadvantage in so many ways.


So to answer your questions specifically...

1. Find out where these people hang out, start interacting with them. You will need to get innovators and early adopters since no one will know you or your brand.

2. Your innovators ( and some of your early adopters ) will give you feedback. Some will churn, some will stay. You will need to please these people as best you can. They are basically your life raft in this ocean of SaaS.

3. When you actually provide enough value, these innovators and early adopters will start helping you get to 1k customers with their testimonials, word of mouth on other sites, social media posts, etc. When this happens you change your strategy from getting your first 100 at places they hang out, to getting your first 1k and beyond at mainstream media sites and advertising channels.

4. To grow past the first 100 once you get the word of mouth and social validation, you need to start hitting up places like Youtube, Quora, Reddit, getting interviews or articles on Forbes, gardening magazines, podcasts, etc.


I wouldn't worry about your first 100 or first 1k. I would be worried with Churn.


Getting 100 or 1000 customers means nothing if they only stay with you 1-2 months. You will forever be in a pattern of failure.

When you can keep your churn around 3% or lower, you know you have something worth pushing out to a larger group of people ( past the first 100 customers to 1,000 and beyond ).

But start where these people hang out and interact with them, get them onboard to hit your first 100.

Once they are on board and you can keep your churn to 3% or less, and these people are giving you testimonials, word of mouth, social media posts, and ideas to better your SaaS.. then you are ready to aim for the first 1,000 customers where you will need to reach out in general places like Youtube, etc.

To get your first 100 customers, do anything you can. If your SaaS costs $49 a month and they will signup only at $19.99.. lower the price for them to $19.99 to get them in. You need these first 100 so go at a loss if you have to to get them in and trying out your product.

.
Thanks Eliquid, I will build expertise by doing what you said and iterating over and over.

It will likely take me time, but maybe I'll have beginners luck.

I'll either hit it out of the park or I'll learn. :smile:
 

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My problem is:

I know who my audience are.

I have direct experience with this audience and their needs.

I know how to reach them.

I know how to sell to them.

I know my idea will fly.

I don't know how to code it.

I don't know how to progress it further without my idea being stolen.

I'm starting to feel like I'm action faking, I can't seem to progress beyond the theory stage, it's driving me insane, I just know someone else is going to pop out with this idea soon giving me another BS hard-luck-that-should-have-been-me-story.

I stare at the code and struggle to stay awake, I just need to get it working slightly. I know it's not meant to be easy, but it feels like it will take 5-10 years at this pace and there is no way that someone else won't have this idea by then. Furthermore tech moves so quickly, by the time I've mastered Solidity/C/Python/JS it will be something else.

All I feel I can do is keep watching tutorials, reading books, trying to learn, but it all feels like it's going nowhere, I just want action, I have a great idea, but what's that worth?

I'm guessing nothing.

Is there some kind of extreme code camp I can go through?

I'm willing to sacrifice everything at this stage, boom or bust I don't care, I just need to get over that theoretical hump and actually start doing it.
 

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My problem is:

I know who my audience are.

I have direct experience with this audience and their needs.

I know how to reach them.

I know how to sell to them.

I know my idea will fly.

I don't know how to code it.

I don't know how to progress it further without my idea being stolen.

I'm starting to feel like I'm action faking, I can't seem to progress beyond the theory stage, it's driving me insane, I just know someone else is going to pop out with this idea soon giving me another BS hard-luck-that-should-have-been-me-story.

I stare at the code and struggle to stay awake, I just need to get it working slightly. I know it's not meant to be easy, but it feels like it will take 5-10 years at this pace and there is no way that someone else won't have this idea by then. Furthermore tech moves so quickly, by the time I've mastered Solidity/C/Python/JS it will be something else.

All I feel I can do is keep watching tutorials, reading books, trying to learn, but it all feels like it's going nowhere, I just want action, I have a great idea, but what's that worth?

I'm guessing nothing.

Is there some kind of extreme code camp I can go through?

I'm willing to sacrifice everything at this stage, boom or bust I don't care, I just need to get over that theoretical hump and actually start doing it.
Since making this post I have come to realise that I was suffering from paralysis by analysis!!

I resolved this by walking the dog and going for some productive meditation (ALA Deep Work), on that walk I realised I needed to do some things to resolve my crisis.

1. Identify exactly what I didn't know - Look at requirements I had laid out and try and describe variables and write functions for them.

2. Identify a similar contract and see if I have enough knowledge to tweak it to my needs - Do this by looking at course notes and possibly backing up with extra Solidity documentation.

3. Just do it! -

Results, I have started tweaking existing contract using course notes.

There are another 7 points to my checklist, however these will come once I have done the first three.

- Turns out I know more than I thought I knew, I still know nothing, but at least it is a useful nothing!

Feeling energised and a lot more positive :-D
 

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I wouldn't worry about your first 100 or first 1k. I would be worried with Churn.


Getting 100 or 1000 customers means nothing if they only stay with you 1-2 months. You will forever be in a pattern of failure.
^^^ That's a great point!

One book that really opened my eyes to this is the Automatic Customer by John Warrillow. It goes into all of the math of the subscription business. Churn rate seems so important. The viability threshold was also very interesting.

On a side note: I do marketing for a SaaS. I'm starting to find that we are getting a lot of traction from content marketing from the top of the funnel down. I'll write some content for specific audiences then use paid social to get it in front of people using FB ads. So much opportunity here.
 

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1. If you're not an expert in the topic, how do you know what you are building is what people need? Like actually need and will pay for, not just a want they will check out for free?

2. Lets assume you know what they need without being an expert. Ok. Once built, how do you know it works like it is suppose to ( since you're not an expert in the topic )?

3. Experts can write articles, get interviewed, do podcasts, speak at conferences and people within your topic will be able to tell you're an expert and thus follow you or sign up, helping you to get your first X customers easily. Experts know where their market hangs out too to get the first X customers.

4. Even if you are not an expert, but you have industry rep.. the same can be applied to #3.

Since you are asking if you have none of those, I would think you have a lot of struggle ahead of you.

Getting your first X customers without being an expert or having industry rep puts you at a huge disadvantage in so many ways.


So to answer your questions specifically...

1. Find out where these people hang out, start interacting with them. You will need to get innovators and early adopters since no one will know you or your brand.

2. Your innovators ( and some of your early adopters ) will give you feedback. Some will churn, some will stay. You will need to please these people as best you can. They are basically your life raft in this ocean of SaaS.

3. When you actually provide enough value, these innovators and early adopters will start helping you get to 1k customers with their testimonials, word of mouth on other sites, social media posts, etc. When this happens you change your strategy from getting your first 100 at places they hang out, to getting your first 1k and beyond at mainstream media sites and advertising channels.

4. To grow past the first 100 once you get the word of mouth and social validation, you need to start hitting up places like Youtube, Quora, Reddit, getting interviews or articles on Forbes, gardening magazines, podcasts, etc.


I wouldn't worry about your first 100 or first 1k. I would be worried with Churn.


Getting 100 or 1000 customers means nothing if they only stay with you 1-2 months. You will forever be in a pattern of failure.

When you can keep your churn around 3% or lower, you know you have something worth pushing out to a larger group of people ( past the first 100 customers to 1,000 and beyond ).

But start where these people hang out and interact with them, get them onboard to hit your first 100.

Once they are on board and you can keep your churn to 3% or less, and these people are giving you testimonials, word of mouth, social media posts, and ideas to better your SaaS.. then you are ready to aim for the first 1,000 customers where you will need to reach out in general places like Youtube, etc.

To get your first 100 customers, do anything you can. If your SaaS costs $49 a month and they will signup only at $19.99.. lower the price for them to $19.99 to get them in. You need these first 100 so go at a loss if you have to to get them in and trying out your product.

.
Hi Eliquid,

First of all thanks for the very valuable answers and information you have given in this topic. I've also got some questions about having to be an expert in the field.

The SaaS idea I've been working on has been validated by experts with many years of experience in the field, whom I really trust. However, the subject of the SaaS idea is located in the field of my bachelor's that I haven't finished yet ( one more year) . On the other hand, I do have a few organizations in the field that I have been active for.

So now the questions:

- How can I present my SaaS very convincing and selling to people in the field for example during networking, while I haven't finished my bachelors yet, without coming across as an arrogant know-all? The majority of the people in the field is in their 50s/60s and can be stubborn.
- My SaaS would be in B2B, targeted at middle to large organizations. In my country it would be fiscally most ideal to have a sole-proprietorship in the first years of the company. However, I feel that this might cause me to come across as small/not too serious. What is your take on this?
- How can I personally motivate my group of MVP testers to eventually make sure the organization that they are at employed to buy the service, aside from offering just a good unique service?
 

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My SaaS would be in B2B, targeted at middle to large organizations. In my country it would be fiscally most ideal to have a sole-proprietorship in the first years of the company. However, I feel that this might cause me to come across as small/not too serious. What is your take on this?
I don't know anyone that has ever asked me if I am an LLC, C-Corp, or Sole Proprietor before.

I wouldn't even worry about this. People do not ask, if they do you can say you are a business and have VA's or part-timers helping you ( I assume you would at some point )
 
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How can I personally motivate my group of MVP testers to eventually make sure the organization that they are at employed to buy the service, aside from offering just a good unique service?
MVP doesn't mean free for life.

When it comes time for you to roll out paid plans, you will know if your value to them was good enough for them to buy or not.

You need to make sure it is before you roll out paid plans though.

So constant contact with them, surveys at the right time, listening to them, being their expert, etc will all guide you to this point of when to make it a paid plan and how much to charge because you are interacting with them.

People will ask you tons of questions on your SaaS, that shows you areas of opportunity. Things you did wrong, things they don't understand, features you don't have that competitors do, etc.

When people stop asking questions is when you need to worry because you have either done everything 100% right ( impossible ) or they are just aren't responding to your value.
 
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How can I present my SaaS very convincing and selling to people in the field for example during networking, while I haven't finished my bachelors yet, without coming across as an arrogant know-all? The majority of the people in the field is in their 50s/60s and can be stubborn.
Your degree means nothing, if you can provide them value.

For the arrogant part, that's all about framing your story. Do you talk all about yourself and how great your product is, or do you talk about them and how you can help them save X with your product?

If the majority of your clients are B2B in their 50's and 60's, you need to learn to speak their language ( industry and age and business metrics ). Find out their problems, and presents solutions ( save X )

This is why I talk about being an expert a lot.

It's not about having competitors who have already validated the idea.

It's about everything plus the stuff you asked.

You need to learn all their problems and how to speak their language and how to keep in contact with them so they get entrenched into your product and it's 100x harder to leave your product when you go to paid plans from MVP status so they have to pay you.

And it's not so much about locking them in, but making them so eager and happy to use your product, they wouldn't want to leave anyways.

How are you tackling that?
 

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My problem is:

I know who my audience are.

I have direct experience with this audience and their needs.

I know how to reach them.

I know how to sell to them.

I know my idea will fly.

I don't know how to code it.

I don't know how to progress it further without my idea being stolen.
Maybe start on a visual coding platform like bubble.is ?
It's not ideal, but you can create a proof of concept pretty quickly to validate need.
Beats the hell out of learning how to code from scratch IMO.

Then only learn code when you discover a limitation. Or hire it out?
 

Roli

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Maybe start on a visual coding platform like bubble.is ?
It's not ideal, but you can create a proof of concept pretty quickly to validate need.
Beats the hell out of learning how to code from scratch IMO.

Then only learn code when you discover a limitation. Or hire it out?
Wow, I've just checked it out briefly, it could well be the answer to my problems. Ultimately I'm coding in Solidity for Ethereum; however that is so close to C#, C++ and Python that it could just work.

Also the web side app is all pretty much JS...

Man I can't wait to dive into this! Am away camping with the family this weekend, I know where my head's going to be on Monday morning though...

This could be the golden nugget of info that takes this from concept to reality!

Thank you so much :clap:::thumbsup::clap:::smile:
 

Ludo

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I don't know anyone that has ever asked me if I am an LLC, C-Corp, or Sole Proprietor before.

I wouldn't even worry about this. People do not ask, if they do you can say you are a business and have VA's or part-timers helping you ( I assume you would at some point )

MVP doesn't mean free for life.

When it comes time for you to roll out paid plans, you will know if your value to them was good enough for them to buy or not.

You need to make sure it is before you roll out paid plans though.

So constant contact with them, surveys at the right time, listening to them, being their expert, etc will all guide you to this point of when to make it a paid plan and how much to charge because you are interacting with them.

People will ask you tons of questions on your SaaS, that shows you areas of opportunity. Things you did wrong, things they don't understand, features you don't have that competitors do, etc.

When people stop asking questions is when you need to worry because you have either done everything 100% right ( impossible ) or they are just aren't responding to your value.

Your degree means nothing, if you can provide them value.

For the arrogant part, that's all about framing your story. Do you talk all about yourself and how great your product is, or do you talk about them and how you can help them save X with your product?

If the majority of your clients are B2B in their 50's and 60's, you need to learn to speak their language ( industry and age and business metrics ). Find out their problems, and presents solutions ( save X )

This is why I talk about being an expert a lot.

It's not about having competitors who have already validated the idea.

It's about everything plus the stuff you asked.

You need to learn all their problems and how to speak their language and how to keep in contact with them so they get entrenched into your product and it's 100x harder to leave your product when you go to paid plans from MVP status so they have to pay you.

And it's not so much about locking them in, but making them so eager and happy to use your product, they wouldn't want to leave anyways.

How are you tackling that?
Thanks a lot for your feedback. It will really help me a lot. Looks like some subjects seem more a problem in my head than they are in reality. :)

So to summarize, if I understand you correctly the critical success factor in the MVP part is good and sufficient contact with the testing group in order to make sure you notice the right things to convert them to a customer?

And regarding the right framing and being accepted, it's also really about communcation and to be precise listening and answering with my solution? And at the same time really forming relations with the people instead of just a hit-and-run in trying to sell them something? Do you consider for example a blog with articles on recent events in the field helpful in getting established and more respected?

Once again thanks a lot for your answers and the great info.
 

ellepro

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Paid membership is not an option as there are already free ones out there. Hi thanks for doing this. So am currently building one. Its a free online software though. I am planning to monetise it through cpc ads and affiliate ads. Any other options for monetization you can suggest?
 
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eliquid

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Thanks a lot for your feedback. It will really help me a lot. Looks like some subjects seem more a problem in my head than they are in reality. :)

So to summarize, if I understand you correctly the critical success factor in the MVP part is good and sufficient contact with the testing group in order to make sure you notice the right things to convert them to a customer?

And regarding the right framing and being accepted, it's also really about communcation and to be precise listening and answering with my solution? And at the same time really forming relations with the people instead of just a hit-and-run in trying to sell them something? Do you consider for example a blog with articles on recent events in the field helpful in getting established and more respected?

Once again thanks a lot for your answers and the great info.
Sorry, I somehow missed this..

I think once you have a MVP, watching and understanding your customers use it would be key to refine and improve the MVP, and ultimately get to the point you get the pricing right too.

Forming relationships is key.

I don't want to do business with someone that is always hitting me up to buy something. You need to be their mentor, their friend, or at least someone they know they can trust.
 

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