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EXECUTION [Progress] Starting another SaaS (travel industry this time)

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devbe83

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Let's start with the non-fully-related :)

Did you sell the SAAS company or the app itself? How was that process of selling? What valuation multipler did you get? did you use a business broker?
The company. Being bootstrapped and thus not having a team to go along with the sale, we landed at a multiplier of 2.5. That process was pretty smooth actually. The purchasers reached out to us and we worked with our and their legal + our accountancy firm to work on all documents required.

So for your designer job post, how did that work out?
Good! The site promises 3 designers, in the end I got 45 designs for ~100 EUR. Enough choice to pick one (from 3 that I thought were good and clever) to my liking and have its designer fine-tune a couple of things. Very pleased with the result, and having the choice to visually see alternatives was great!

Also did you have a demo ready for customers to view? If so did you use Youtube? or something else?
I wanted to show "the real thing", or something as real as possible. Visually see what it looks like. So started off building everything and once I had a couple of screens, showed those and asked for feedback. A few weeks ago I had them try on the staging application and got good feedback out of that: a couple of things they really wanted, and made a lot of sense for others as well.

This was a good process not only for customers, but also for myself. Building it required a deeper understanding of the API's I would have to call and the data they need/return, which in turn also influenced a little bit of the flow and design.

Where are you hosting the web app ? VPS ?
Microsoft Azure, on their App Services service, in a Docker container. App Services because it's their only model where you can pick a dedicated hosting plan (as in, you get a full "VPS" in terms of CPU and memory), and host multiple containers on that plan.

Do we get a link to see how it looks ;)
Not yet :) Want to get this first customer use it, process feedback and get that landing page up. Once that's done, will share it here.
 

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devbe83

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Still awaiting the person at the GDS to flip the switch to be able to book actual tickets. The intermediary seemed annoyed as hell that this took so long, so that is good.

But in the meanwhile, made things a bit better by integrating SEPA Direct Debit (via www.gocardless.com) so I can immediately request a payment for every booked flight. Not that I don't trust my first potential customer to pay me afterwards, but this is a good step forward again!

(And GoCardless was the first API that I was able to integrate in less than two hours, pretty slick! Next one will be Stripe to support US-based customers as well.)
 
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devbe83

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A week has passed, time for a status update!

Let's start with the one thing that was still pending... the GDS has fixed a blocking issue on their end, which means I can now (finally) book flight tickets! That also means go-live for the application, which happened yesterday.

While waiting for that GDS issue, I have been working on the landing page. A first version of that is online now as well and can be found at SpeakerTravel - any feedback would be very welcome! Although right now I'm not expecting much traffic there yet (going for a bit of a dark launch for now)

The TL;DR pitch: when organizing a conference and inviting speakers from abroad and covering their travel, manually handling booking preferences and invoices is time-consuming. SpeakerTravel makes this process a breeze.

My first customer is... me! For an event I (and a couple of others) are organizing, I've invited a few travellers. And of course, the first feature request already came in which is to allow booking flights for the invited traveller as well as their partner. Sometimes conference travel is a bit of vacation, so that makes sense as a feature... Let's get that implemented :)

My next customer is on vacation right now, I do plan on keeping them very warm and get them into the app as well. Fingers crossed!
 

dawp

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My two cents: too much text.
Mobile navigation elements are not centered correctly.
Besides that it looks really nice.
You planning to run some cpc adds on facebook or google soon?
 
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devbe83

Contributor
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Sep 27, 2018
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Belgium
My two cents: too much text.
Mobile navigation elements are not centered correctly.
Besides that it looks really nice.
You planning to run some cpc adds on facebook or google soon?
Thanks for checking! Will take a look at the mobile view. And see whether text can be condensed.

No ads planned yet, still want to iron out some kinks (in both the app as well as the landing page). Contacting folks I know that may want to use this as a first round of marketing, as I can work with them closely on whatever kinks they run into. But the plan is to get to ads around September-ish, after a couple of run-throughs. I do want to put a rough timeframe there. Rough because things can be slower than expected, but a timeframe to keep myself from enthusiastically adding an infinite amount of features and never getting traction.
 

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