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Hi, I am Fabian and solo-founder of Worksheet Crafter


#1

Hi Everyone,

My name is Fabian. I have been following this forum for quite a while. Time to introduce myself.

I am the solo-founder of Worksheet Crafter (www.worksheetcrafter.com), an easy to use worksheet creation software for primary school teachers. I have started this company 2012 and luckily managed to get profitable one year ago. Most of my customers are from German speaking countries so far. Before Worksheet Crafter I was co-founder of a game engine company called Trinigy.

Interestingly it seems that I am running against two recent trends ;): my software is both desktop based and in the B2C area. There a few reasons for this though and it seems to work pretty well for me. Anyway, I am very much looking forward to learn and share on this forum.


#2

Hi Fabian,

Welcome to the forum! (I’m actually not a regular here but since no-one else got here first I figured it was the thing to do :slight_smile: )

Your site looks very nice, and if you’re interested in sharing I’d love to learn:

  1. How are you currently finding your customers?
  2. Do you need to spend much time doing support?
  3. Does most revenue come from the teacher or school plans?

I’m particularly interested because I’m also crazy enough to be bootstrapping a B2C educational startup (Readlang) currently focussed on individual learners. I’ve been flirting with the idea of selling to teachers and schools for over a year but I’m worried about spreading myself too thin and losing focus.


#3

Hi Steve,

Nice to meet you virtually!

At the moment I am finding most of my customers through online communities (blogs, forums) and via customer mouth-to-mouth. Exhibiting at educational trade shows also works very well. Ads, paid banners and magazines didn’t pay off for me.

As for support, that’s currently about one hour a day. Introducing an FAQ and a license retrieval form helped to cut it down. Most questions are basic-usage or presales related. It only gets a problem when I am stupid enough to ship bugs :smile:.

In the very beginning about 95% of my customers were teachers. The more mature the product gets (still lots of stuff to do though), the more schools seem to get interested. At the moment it is about 80% teachers and 20% schools. So at least for Germany I’d focus on teachers in the beginning; you will only need to convince one teacher to get a sale whereas for schools you at least need to convince two or three at the same school.

Readlang looks pretty cool! If you ever want to approach the German teacher market then just drop me a note. I know a few teacher bloggers here, and maybe one of them would be happy to review Readlang on their blog.


#4

I think the death of desktop software is exaggerated. A lot of the software I use day-to-day is still desktop software. I wrote about it a bit here:

The majority of my PerfectTablePlan sales have been to consumers (but I also sell to businesses).


#5

Thanks for the insight Fabian!

Interesting that exhibiting at trade shows is working well. Online forums, word of mouth, and blogs are the main way I’ve been growing.

Targeting individual teachers first and building credibility before targeting schools sounds like a smart strategy.

BTW: Thanks for the offer to share Readlang. I do have a small beta trial programme for teachers running at the moment to gather feedback: http://blog.readlang.com/teachers/ - feel free to share this if you know anyone who may be interested, I hope to polish this and put a price tag on it when I find the time!


#6

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the link. I think your summary of pro’s and con’s fits pretty well.

Greetings,
Fabian


#7

Sure - I will share this link with some German teacher bloggers.

Greetings,
Fabian


#8

Hi Fabian,

nice looking tool and pricing. If you don’t mind my asking how are Per year vs lifetime working out for you?


#9

Hi Daniel,

Sure. It very much depends on the license type. Here are the stats for this year:

  • 66% of the teachers went for the subscription model, 34% for liftime
  • 24% of the schools went for the subscription model, 76% for lifetime

Quite some schools have rather complicated order processes, e.g. due to restrictions of their cities. Lifetime licenses are easer for them to get through this process. The lifetime license does not include free updates though.

Offering both ways sounds a bit complicated, but it turned out to have one more benefit: due to the lifetime licenses I got a much better initial cash-flow, giving more room for investments into the product. If I had just the subscription licenses it would have taken me much longer to e.g. purchase and ship additional clip art assets for the product.


#10

Very cool, thank you for sharing.

I’ll definitely test a “Lifetime” pricing tier.