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EXECUTION Creating an SaaS startup without being able to code.

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Creating this execution thread is probably one of the best decisions I ever made and over a year since my last post. It's amazing to be able to look back and see where I was a year ago compared to where I am today.

A few weeks before I wrote my last update in October 2018 I felt I had pretty much given up on the project or so I thought, but looking back now I think I almost gave up on backing myself. (If you can't back yourself how do you expect anyone else to back you)

The courses I was putting off (because I thought they were beneath me) were ironically are what galvanized me and the project. They helped me find my target audience, refine my SAAS and bridge the gap between solving the customers initial issue and providing a solution to manage it moving forward.

2019 has been a massive improvement, I have been more structured with my approach to design, managing the developers and keeping close/regular contact with customers.

The compound effect of these have provided better relationships with my customers. Better relationships have garnered higher quality feedback. Better feedback has brought higher level of targeted development to sooth pain points within SAAS. The better the SAAS has become the more it has been used. The more it's used the more it has been valued. As much as it felt the project had spun out of control in 2018, it feels like it spun into control this year.

I'm really looking forward to next year and raising the bar even higher.

@Ravens_Shadow , Thank you for the great advice, you couldn't have been more true and accurate.
Good stuff.

Try commit to one monthly update for 2020 and see if that helps you even more.
 

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Locomote

Locomote

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What exactly was the targeted amount that you saved? Part of my venture requires programming, but can’t afford them. I don’t make close to six figures.

Like 99% of my business, I have to self teach myself everything due to low capital. Even with the cost savings of doing everything myself, still coming out short on the money.
Welcome to the grind...

I didn't know what I wanted to do and I thought 50K sounded like a good number to have saved. In the end I managed to surpass that and saved up 65k before leaving my job at the time.

If you can't afford it you only have two options. One would be try and find someone who just wants to code and you take care of the rest. Two find someone you can afford to make you an MVP so that you prove your product/idea has value to get your first paying customer.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say you're coming in short on money? You're not able to save?

The savings helped but at the same time I did and still do 99% of the work. Creating designs, contracts, invoicing, sourcing of hardware, visiting clients, emailing, chasing potential clients, taking courses to become more skilled in my niche, managing the developers, keeping deadlines and writing up user manuals all things I didn't know how to do when I started.

Money helps with some of these but at the end of they day you have to do them yourself to learn them. Sounds easy to pay people but you still have to spend a lot of time managing them, making sure you're communicating clearly so you can ensure they reach the end goal, if not you have to pay more to have it re done.

I think its great that you have to do and learn 99% of your business because when it takes off you'll know every inch of it. How it runs, how much attention it needs, the real cost of something not just the cash you pay for it or the best and worst times to try and get something done.

I still worked 2 other jobs not including the consulting/SAAS over the summer because I don't take any profits, I roll it all back into development. The savings got me going and allowed for me to make a couple of extra mistakes while learning but its the paying customers that are going to determine the success not the savings I started off with.

Takes money to create real value.
I think you need to flip your mind set here. I believe the value comes before the money not the other way around.
 
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DeletedUser0287

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I'm not sure what you mean when you say you're coming in short on money? You're not able to save?
What I mean is that even saving the majority of my income, I am still short on money. I got a business that requires lots of capital, coding is part of it, but not the main.

I think you need to flip your mind set here. I believe the value comes before the money not the other way around.
I mean you had to put some money in tocreate value, no?

Don’t want to detract too much from your thread, but I got a physical business.

The product provides the value. In order to create the product, I need materials, tools, equipment, knowledge. Since I am making something different the knowledge is not freely available like most subjects and I have been paying for any knowledge I can get.
 
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Locomote

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Don't worry about derailing the thread, it's a great question!

I mean you had to put some money in tocreate value, no?
The answer is yes and no, I leveraged my initial value and time to gather the money, then put in money to create a product that provides more value.

The product provides the value. In order to create the product, I need materials, tools, equipment, knowledge. Since I am making something different the knowledge is not freely available like most subjects and I have been paying for any knowledge I can get.
If you need need money for these items you need to look and see what value you currently have to leverage to get the money. Don't get me wrong it's always easier said than done.

It could be leveraging the value of your time working a part time job where you earn some extra cash but also a discount on materials, education or knowledge of a unique topic. I did this with both of the jobs I worked over the summer to get a better understanding of different topics that I wanted to incorporate into my SAAS.

I'm sure you already have value you just have to figure out what it is right now and how to convert it into the monetary value you need to help complete your other goal.

You don't have to agree it's just how I see it but i'm happy to discuss it further if you want? I just feel some point you have to provide some value before you get money even if its the money to create the value.
 
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Locomote

Locomote

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Time for a quick update:

I hope everyone is keeping well and hanging in there.

2020 has been my most successful year to date. I've doubled the size of the business since January. I've had a breakthrough with my sales game. I realized I was talking myself out of a lot of sales because I wasn't fully confident in the product and people could sense it. I made some changes and filled some gaps. I've had nothing but positive feedback since. That positive feedback has spilled over into confidence during sales pitches, that confidence has lead to sales.

The plan for the latter half of the year is to go all out on sales and covert as many clients as possible.

We have dramatically shortened the length of time it takes to onboard new clients to the system and we have identified a few more areas to improve. Streamlining onboarding has been critical in allowing us to accommodate multiple companies at once. When you can't handle the larger volumes of leads you risk losing sales and building a negative reputation.

Currently working on a rebrand to use in sales material (fresh logo, new colour pallet and new fonts types).

My goal is to start paid ads next month. As the SAAS is a high ticket item converting one new customer via paid ads should cover the budget for an entire year of advertising. The platform I'm looking to advertise on has a 6% - 8% click-through rate. Sounds good on paper but I'll find out soon enough if it's worth it.

Excited to see what kind of conversion rate I can achieve but I'm sure there's another steep learning curve hidden in there somewhere.

Stay safe,
Locomote.
 

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