Discuss Home · Bootstrapped Podcast · Scribbleton Personal Wiki · HelpSpot Customer Service Software · Thermostat NPS

Hi. I'm Andrew. I have a small SaaS and am looking to grow it


#1

The description pretty well sums it up. I learned to program, wrote a small SaaS project to serve my previous industry (auto repairs), and quickly discovered I’m terrible at marketing. My dream is to run SaaS as my full time deal, and to do that I need to learn.

I’ve also discovered that solo SaaS entrepreneurs are a little hard to find. I would love to form/ join a mastermind group of SaaS entrepreneurs looking to get to (and well beyond) their first $1k in MRR.


#2

Welcome and congratulations on the launch.

Have you gone through a few demo calls to gauge the market? If you’re able to chat with potential customers early on, the feedback you receive will be priceless and will help you come up with a roadmap for new features. You may even get a few contracts.

Are you able to share more info about your SaaS? Who is your audience? Knowing more would help us give you more relevant marketing suggestions.


#3

An experience most of us have when we start out!

Be brave, share the URL of your site so we can offer some constructive feedback in a gentle way.


#4

Thank you.

My application aids automotive technicians in recording, reviewing, and reporting on their hours. This is a unique problem in the industry due to how techs are paid. They are paid on a commission system called flat rate. The way most shops handle this is prone to errors, resulting in lost income for the technicians. I know this because I was a technician. While a tech I created a spreadsheet that quickly gained traction in my shop. My SaaS is the next evolution of that spreadsheet.

The URL is http://flatratetracker.com


#5

Awesome. I don’t know much about the industry, but do have a background in SaaS inbound strategies and have a few thoughts:

-Around 70 people every month search for “Flat rate pay calculator.” People are looking for a solution, but some don’t realize that software is the answer. To get in front of these people, consider building out landing pages using keywords like “flat rate pay calculator” and throwing up a copy of your old Excel spreadsheet as a template for them to download. At the bottom of the template you could write something like, “Want to manage all of this without dealing with the hassle of spreadsheets? Click here to check out a free demo of Flat Rate Tracker.” Alternatively, you could start an email list by offering the template and nurturing the list. Just depends on your audience.

-Consider creating a company page on Capterra under categories like “auto repair software” and ask your current users to leave a review. If you have a pre-recorded demo video you could throw up on the page, even better.

-Nice, clean homepage. Love that it’s not cluttered. Consider diving further into the pain points. For example, your FAQ page is great, especially what you wrote under the FAQ’s “Why use Flat Rate Tracker” – It reminds your audience of the core of their problem, which I assume is getting paid correctly. The big takeaway is that mistakes in their flat hours is costing them money, which is why they need your software. Why not make it a tagline on the homepage? Something like “Mistakes in flat rate hours leads to manual error and lost money. Track your hours quickly and easily and avoid costly mistakes with Flat Rate Tracker.”

-If you have a picture to go with your customer testimonial, it might add more trust to the testimonial and humanize the page.

-Again, I don’t know much about the industry, but it might be worthwhile to experiment with a “Book a free demo” button. Some industries prefer talking to a real person before trying it out, while others like to dive right in. Including a demo button will help you reach those who prefer calls.

Just a few off the top of my head. Hope this helps.


#6

Wow, thanks for the great feedback!

The main challenge I have hit in targeting keywords is the vast majority of people searching for “flat rate (something)” are actually looking for a tool related to flat rate shipping. Even my application’s name could be easily mis-understood to mean “a tool to track flat rate packages”. Unfortunately, that is the name associated with the pay plan for technicians too. I have struggled to get my ads in front of my actual target market for that reason.

Btw, if it’s possible to do, huge opportunity for anyone who builds a tool that helps users with flat rate packages…

I love the idea of landing pages giving away the old spreadsheet. Great idea!

Thanks again. Lots to chew on here.


#7

You’ve got a very defined niche which is great - so you could try old skool marketing (actually going out and finding them rather than helping them find you).

  • Adverts in a trade mag aimed at automotive technicians.
  • Is there a trade association for these folks?
  • Do they have to do anything like regular training - could you do a deal with companies that provide this training to include a leaflet or similar in a goody bag?
  • Is there a Facebook group or other forums where they hang out that you can become known at?
  • Does this help the garage management / owners at all (or can it be made to) - in which case you can target the garages themselves?

#8

Hand to hand combat is probably the best marketing here. I’ve been pretty heads down in it and my FT job (unrelated) though.

No trade associations that I know of.

Garage owners have contacted me with the same question. Shop admin functionality is not built in yet, but hopefully soon. The app does have some basic reporting functionality in it that will be beneficial to the shop if techs are required to track hours individually and turn them in at the end of the pay period (which is common).

The best avenue I have come up with for marketing this SaaS is independent tool distributors. Most shops see 3-5 tool trucks a week. Technicians already go there to buy tools/equipment for their job. These trucks are a natural gathering place for techs, and would be the best location to put pamphlets/ download links. I feel that to do this effectively I will need to provide an incentive or affiliate link for the tool distributor (who do have trade associations, conferences, etc…). This is an avenue I haven’t pursued yet, but would like to very soon.

Have any of you successfully added an affiliate program to your application?


#9

Wow… great idea… you are however selling to an non tech crowd though… although, the young ones that are on the up and coming are very much into their phones… generational I guess…

I have owned a use car lot and a body shop… lol So I can understand the concept very well…

You had great advice here… I would add a Youtube channel aimed at the technician… Getting paid, working more efficiently, tricks and tips… Video of a tech you know that works at 2x … lol

I like your idea of the tool trucks… those guys have a lot of influence on the techs and are entrepreneurs themselves… Get them to give it out … you buy this you get a year free, contests… Promote them and their tools on your website!.. All gear heads love a good tool catalog, new gizmos and stuff…

I would say that it also has to jive with the shop owners…

Also useful to figure out some rates are unfair… if you don’t measure and statistic you can’t figure out some rates are just too tight…

I think you have a very nice niche there by taking the tech’s point of view… every one attacks garages through the owner, I like your approach…

Cool… Nicely done by the way… what did you use? I am poking around with React Native and am pretty impressed at the technology…


#10

Andrew,

One approach to the Mastermind idea might be to do a one-off.
Select a group of folks and invite them to a group voice chat. (I’d shoot for a size of 3 to 5 to start with)
You could find people from this forum or other places.

It seems like one of the tricky issues is to slowly build trust and comfort. It’s kinda like dating vs. marriage. Jumping right into a new Mastermind group with new people might feel very committing (what if I don’t like these people? What if they don’t like ME (or I/we don’t get along?)

Suggestion:

  1. Start a Thread on this discussion board on the topic.
  2. Invite people on the site that you’ve found helpful.
  3. Encourage people to declare their “offer” and their “wanted”. (So maybe Skills and Questions/problems)
  4. Perhaps start that discussion in text in the forum and if it goes well, invite some of those folks to a live chat.

#11

@Hannah_Wright

Have you used Capterra before? What was your experience like? Did you buy advertising from them?


#12

I’ve recently heard of some SaaS apps offering a free month or two for referring a friend. It seems like your audience may do some networking among themselves. If you can incentivize a small group of users to do your marketing for you this way, it may be worth it.


#13

Yep, we have had good results with Capterra. I’d recommend giving their advertising a try with a very small budget to start (then installing the conversion pixel to see the results).