The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

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

OP
OP
eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,413
6,805
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
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?
What you are doing, I do not feel is a SaaS so I can not suggest something
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

iHaveAName

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 30, 2018
7
9
19
I love this thread! Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing all this valuable information.

How do I validate an idea?
I've spent some time researching different industries and "unsexy" businesses that would benefit from a custom SaaS solution for that niche. I have found quite a few where only a few, sometimes no modern and easy to use all-round software solution exists. Some of these "unsexy" businesses are required to use software that looks like it hasn't been updated in the past 15 years. I definitely think I can add a lot of value to these businesses.

Now about my question. You have mentioned that all your SaaS projects have been in the digital marketing industry and that validating was quite easy with an existing e-mail list and experience in that field. But now assuming that this is not the case...
How do I go about validating that there is enough need if I don't know those businesses personally?
Currently we ask all businesses, for whom we do webdesign & copywriting for, about their problems and workflows. But I got some of the best sounding ideas for niches that we haven't worked with before.

I don't want to spent a lot of time developing the first working demo until I can contact business owners. But I also don't know how to approach them by e-mail regarding a possible future solution. It would take months before I'd have the first beta for testing purposes.
How can I get great feedback regarding an idea, without sounding like I'm just pitching my future solution to them? How many businesses should I get in contact with? Is it better to keep my e-mail short? Should I create a small survey for these business owners to take?

Would highly appreciate any advice! Thank you :smile2:
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,413
6,805
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
I love this thread! Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing all this valuable information.

How do I validate an idea?
I've spent some time researching different industries and "unsexy" businesses that would benefit from a custom SaaS solution for that niche. I have found quite a few where only a few, sometimes no modern and easy to use all-round software solution exists. Some of these "unsexy" businesses are required to use software that looks like it hasn't been updated in the past 15 years. I definitely think I can add a lot of value to these businesses.

Now about my question. You have mentioned that all your SaaS projects have been in the digital marketing industry and that validating was quite easy with an existing e-mail list and experience in that field. But now assuming that this is not the case...
How do I go about validating that there is enough need if I don't know those businesses personally?
Currently we ask all businesses, for whom we do webdesign & copywriting for, about their problems and workflows. But I got some of the best sounding ideas for niches that we haven't worked with before.

I don't want to spent a lot of time developing the first working demo until I can contact business owners. But I also don't know how to approach them by e-mail regarding a possible future solution. It would take months before I'd have the first beta for testing purposes.
How can I get great feedback regarding an idea, without sounding like I'm just pitching my future solution to them? How many businesses should I get in contact with? Is it better to keep my e-mail short? Should I create a small survey for these business owners to take?

Would highly appreciate any advice! Thank you :smile2:
Your question is exactly why I stuck it out in the digital marketing industry.

Not because I had clients in that industry and could email them when I did a new SaaS ( which did help, but wasn't the main reason ), but because I was a digital marketer myself. I was scratching my own itch.

Once I built my first SaaS, the 2nd SaaS was just easier because I could email my current customer list, but ultimately that 2nd SaaS was also for me. The list of customers was just a bonus really and it did make it easier to get success, but ultimately I was my own customer and solving my own needs each time.

The last part of your post deals with "not developing" the working demo before you talk to customers. Then it pivots to asking them without pitching your idea. Creating surveys, etc.

That's all well and fine, but this is why I stress on being an authority in your niche and working within your industry.

If you develop a product you need AND you are an authority in your niche, you don't need to ask customers for ideas, pitch them, or survey them. You build what you need, then you sell it to others.

I am not saying DO NOT survey customers and ask for idea, I am just saying there are 100 ways to skin a cat. The only way I know that works out well ( because I did a lot of them ) is building products for myself since I am my own customer and I am also a bit of an authority in my niche. At that point I skip all the market research and jump right to building an MVP.

Once built, I get customers in and then expand from their input.

You can build a SaaS without being your own customer and without being an authority, but it's kinda of like having Thanksgiving with no meat and just ToFu. It can be done, but it seems like it would be a lot harder and bland ( sorry my vegan friends ). It can be done, it can be managed, and it can be ate.... but its just harder.

I tend to like my way and example.

What can you build that you would be a customer of, and an authority of, to get you to MVP in the next 7 days?

That where I would start. Grow from that point.

.
 
OP
OP
eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,413
6,805
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
You know how they say when you develop copy for a LP, or a target demo/avatar.. you pick one person and write just to that person?

Sometimes they tell you, write like you are writing to Justin, your best friend. Or your mom...

This is what my process for a SaaS is like.

The one person, is always me.

What does Jason need in X SaaS product? And then I make it.

There will end up being a couple thousand other "Jason's" ( me ) out there online though, just like me.

They will find the product and join up. They will have questions and concerns, some will churn and leave. Those are all points for me to learn and expand on my SaaS. Improve it.

That improvement leads to more people coming in, no longer just "Jason's". But Bobs and Williams, Mary and Irene's.

In my position of authority, I can typically skip a lot of the "pivoting" and go right to making a pretty good product. However, you will have to mostly go through this pivoting if you are working in an industry you do not know ( my example above ).

Does that help?

.
 

iHaveAName

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 30, 2018
7
9
19
Does that help?
Yes! Thank you a lot for taking the time.

I've been thinking about building a product for a niche that I am an authority of in some form, but told myself that the product is too hard to build and that I should start with something easier first. But that is just BS now that I rethink about it.
There is a lot of value I can add to my niche, and a couple of other niches that I know / have some experience in. There are multiple products one can build for any of those niches. It doesn't have to be the biggest and best project ever for that niche, as I imagined it to be before.

I think I will just start off with a smaller product, maybe being able to sell for $5/m to a niche of a few thousand people worldwide. Won't make me rich, but at least I'll build something, and it won't take me a year to develop. I can then take that product and experience to expand within the same niche. Or reevaluate the situation.

Thank you for your post & inspiration. I'll go right ahead and start planning a small product MVP for a niche I know well, and go start building the very first version of it.
 

TreyAllDay

Whatever it takes
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Feb 9, 2016
463
1,117
373
28
Edmonton, AB
@eliquid I have a couple questions I would love your opinion on - and once again thanks for all the guidance you have provided us in this thread.

1) Did you/your partner ever build any SAAS in wordpress?? I have a developer I am contracting who swears it will work great. I do actually agree with him that it would work, however for some reason I just have a hard time imagining a multi-million dollar company using Wordpress long-term, and imagine it would have it's limitations.

2) Any feedback/experience on hiring or working with Indian Developers? This one has worked with Canadian companies and comes highly recommended - so quality isn't an issue. Just wondering if there's anything I am not thinking of.
 
OP
OP
eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,413
6,805
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
@eliquid I have a couple questions I would love your opinion on - and once again thanks for all the guidance you have provided us in this thread.

1) Did you/your partner ever build any SAAS in wordpress?? I have a developer I am contracting who swears it will work great. I do actually agree with him that it would work, however for some reason I just have a hard time imagining a multi-million dollar company using Wordpress long-term, and imagine it would have it's limitations.

2) Any feedback/experience on hiring or working with Indian Developers? This one has worked with Canadian companies and comes highly recommended - so quality isn't an issue. Just wondering if there's anything I am not thinking of.
Depends where Wordpress is used.

You can have a SaaS, that has a blog, and Wordpress would be excellent for that blog section.

If you mean, Wordpress as the SaaS backend ( members/billing/auth/etc ), then hell no. Wordpress is seriously bloated and slow. Why do you think there are speciality hosting platforms for it based around speed. There are even security plugins for it. That should tell you a lot. Stop and think about what I just wrote.....

Yes, of course you could build your own system that ends up slow and insecure, but why would you knowingly start there? Especially with a system that by default "force-ably" updates itself to the newer version every couple of months or so? Think about the nightmare that will cause to your codebase on any custom coding you wrap around it and how it will break when WP updates itself.

I could clean my car with steel wool and it will clean the car, but why on earth would I do it if someone told me it would "work" though? That what I see about this WP solution.

It might work fine for a really low end system that doesn't get a lot of members and use, but anything that would scale I would stay far away from.

As far as Indian developers, it really comes down to their attitude. They like saying Yes a lot even when they don't really mean it ( as in a Western way ). There is a huge cultural difference that if you don't understand it, could present issues. The presentation at the Summit earlier this year was very eye opening about that.

I've had no issues with work or quality, but you have to still pick good developers. Your sticking points will be communication and staying on tasks ( not because of laziness, but because of expectations falling apart due to communication issues/gaps ).

Hope that helps
 

Martin Boeddeker

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 5, 2018
130
268
174
35
Paderborn, Deutschland
@eliquid I have a couple questions I would love your opinion on - and once again thanks for all the guidance you have provided us in this thread.

1) Did you/your partner ever build any SAAS in wordpress?? I have a developer I am contracting who swears it will work great. I do actually agree with him that it would work, however for some reason I just have a hard time imagining a multi-million dollar company using Wordpress long-term, and imagine it would have it's limitations.

2) Any feedback/experience on hiring or working with Indian Developers? This one has worked with Canadian companies and comes highly recommended - so quality isn't an issue. Just wondering if there's anything I am not thinking of.
I use funnelscripts from Russel Brunson's. It's build in WordPress (at least most of it) and really helps to find good headlines for example and rough drafts for sales copy. I would estimate it's a multimillion dollar product or at least close to it.
 

TreyAllDay

Whatever it takes
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Feb 9, 2016
463
1,117
373
28
Edmonton, AB
Depends where Wordpress is used.

You can have a SaaS, that has a blog, and Wordpress would be excellent for that blog section.

If you mean, Wordpress as the SaaS backend ( members/billing/auth/etc ), then hell no. Wordpress is seriously bloated and slow. Why do you think there are speciality hosting platforms for it based around speed. There are even security plugins for it. That should tell you a lot. Stop and think about what I just wrote.....

Yes, of course you could build your own system that ends up slow and insecure, but why would you knowingly start there? Especially with a system that by default "force-ably" updates itself to the newer version every couple of months or so? Think about the nightmare that will cause to your codebase on any custom coding you wrap around it and how it will break when WP updates itself.

I could clean my car with steel wool and it will clean the car, but why on earth would I do it if someone told me it would "work" though? That what I see about this WP solution.

It might work fine for a really low end system that doesn't get a lot of members and use, but anything that would scale I would stay far away from.

As far as Indian developers, it really comes down to their attitude. They like saying Yes a lot even when they don't really mean it ( as in a Western way ). There is a huge cultural difference that if you don't understand it, could present issues. The presentation at the Summit earlier this year was very eye opening about that.

I've had no issues with work or quality, but you have to still pick good developers. Your sticking points will be communication and staying on tasks ( not because of laziness, but because of expectations falling apart due to communication issues/gaps ).

Hope that helps
Thank you very much!

I have high hopes for this developer as he comes highly recommended, but the communication is definitely not there.

As far as wordpress - I am seriously SO split. Apparently when I wrote my original question, I didn't exactly understand.

The dev (and my canadian partner) are saying it's a good option for developing the back-end. Apparently it's great for what we are doing and will allow us to get to market fast for version 2 of our product. This new methodology is using angular (some sort of JS) for front end and using wordpress/python for the back-end, all you are doing is serving data up to the front end which is NOT wordpress... but the back-end is using wordpress' api for sorting collecting data.

Really tough choice when I have 2 people telling me, I am a shitty coder I just get things to where they are making money then hand it off so I don't understand the intricacies... i guess we'll see.

The good thing about angular front-end is you can always change the back-end as long as you are serving up the data the same way in JSON.
 

Arevico

Contributor
Apr 7, 2017
35
26
57
29
The Netherlands
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 ?
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,413
6,805
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
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 ?
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.

.
 

Arevico

Contributor
Apr 7, 2017
35
26
57
29
The Netherlands
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 ).
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
 
OP
OP
eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,413
6,805
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
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?
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.

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.
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".

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
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.

.
 

Arevico

Contributor
Apr 7, 2017
35
26
57
29
The Netherlands
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.

.
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
 

Andy Black

Any colour, as long as it's red.
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
8,412
35,645
4,306
Ireland
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"
That’ll end well...
 

404profound

Platinum Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 27, 2017
1,317
2,679
662
Desert of Desertion
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?
 
OP
OP
eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,413
6,805
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
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?
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.

.
 

404profound

Platinum Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 27, 2017
1,317
2,679
662
Desert of Desertion
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.

.
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.
 

Roger FS

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 23, 2018
15
20
22
MN, USA
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.
 

strick

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Sep 21, 2018
11
20
26
Raleigh, NC
What's extremely profitable?

Do you mean enough to live on yourself comfortably that you own your home ( no mortgage ), your cars, can raise your family, and not have to worry about bills, all debts paid and 6+ months savings in the bank? You can do that on your own.

Are you talking Yachts, supercars, 7 figures in the banks, vacations in the south of france for 6 months at a time and getting to the point you have an IPO? You more then likely won't get there alone.

If you have issues finding a partner ( equity ), you just haven't found the right partner. I will go over this next since it's actually next on my list anyways ( next posting I do ).



This is complete and utter bullshit. I had 2 partners like this before myself.

Sorry, I code to make money. Not beautiful code with lots of comments that doesn't do anything.

When you hire other programmers and you hire yourself "out of that job", they can do what they want at that point with pretty comments and structure, as long as they are hitting their other objectives and goals and the cash flow is increasing. Until then, don't worry about it.

.
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.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

strick

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Sep 21, 2018
11
20
26
Raleigh, NC
@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?
 
OP
OP
eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,413
6,805
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
@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?
No one needs a tech hub.

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

.
 

strick

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Sep 21, 2018
11
20
26
Raleigh, NC
No one needs a tech hub.

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

.
@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...
 

Burton

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 17, 2018
52
37
55
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.
 

strick

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Sep 21, 2018
11
20
26
Raleigh, NC
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.
@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.
 

Burton

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 17, 2018
52
37
55
Thanks a lot Strick, your post is really valuable for me.
 

Dcudmore

New Contributor
Mar 25, 2014
3
2
14
29
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.
 
OP
OP
eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,413
6,805
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
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.
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.
 
OP
OP
eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 29, 2013
1,413
6,805
1,496
Louisville - Kentucky
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.

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?
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.



Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom