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Hi, I'm Casey. I make a scheduling software for service businesses and sales people


#1

Hey there fellow bootstrappers. I’m a serial entrepreneur from Seattle… in the past I have built products/sites that other people would like/use, but this time I decided to build something that I wanted/needed… This is the most fun I have had in a start up, building something I’m actually using myself :slight_smile: Go figure, right?

I have been working on an online appointment scheduling software for the last 3 years. Its called Bookafy.com… We spent about 1.5 Years in development… Started planning in September 2013 and launched in March of 2015 (with a terrible product in hind site). In the last 18 months we have improved the product dramatically… Suffice to say, that product is quite good now and competes with all of the big boys. Part of me wishes that we were more “ready” and had more features when we launched (and less bugs), but we learned a ton from launching early.

Starting to kick a little butt, getting some big customers and a ton of small ones. Always wishing I had a few bucks more to throw at marketing, but thankful I don’t have to answer to a VC.

We are getting all of our customers now through CPC (About 50%) and the rest from our customer’s customers wanting to do the same for their own business. Pretty fun!

Happy to be part of the group and I look forward to learning from you all!


#2

Good stuff!

I see that you offer 1-on-1 demos. How do you make that work for plans that are $20/month? Or are you doing this because it’s early on and you want to talk to prospects?


#3

Hey, thanks for the question. Surprisingly, not that many people take us up on the demo. Most people just hop on and create an account and get going on their own.

However, I try to personally talk to as many customers as I can and we just started asking for phone numbers so I can call them. We will see how that goes :slight_smile: The demos are in large part how we get feedback on how we can improve. When we first started out, the average potential customer (that quit before becoming a customer because we lacked so many features) would give us a list of 5 or so features that we needed to have in order for our software to work for their business. After talking to hundreds and hundreds of our customers, we found a ton of patterns in what was needed and have built in almost all of their feature requests. I dont think i could get that feedback without good relationships with the customers. Today, we get less requests because the product is so much more robust… but I still really like to talk with customers. :slight_smile:

Another answer… which works in parallel… We have so many features that customers don’t know about or shouldn’t need to know… so if I can get on the phone with a customer (me or one of our support people) we can really optimize their site with best practices, without them having to try and sort it all out on their own. I often build buttons for our customers that match their branding… I even embed code onto their sites (wordpress, web.com, weebly, squarespace, etc). I actually log in and make it all work for them. I think its fun, and one of the best parts of my job.

If I was to add up the time spent doing one-on-ones vs the dollars earned at 20-60 per month, it might be rough… But I think the relationships we are building with the customers has been a huge help in getting/keeping customers. thinking about the LV of the customer, I think we come out on top.


#4

BTW, I am also doing live demos.
I did it sporadically last year but will be doing it consistently for a couple of months to see how it works.

My plan is to learn the following:

  1. Patterns of what people find confusing
  2. What every user needs to know for onboarding, and the best way to describe/present that
  3. What are the top 10 or so Use Cases (or “groups” of #2)

Then that’ll feed into:

  1. Updates for the programs
  2. Screencasts of the programs. (I’ll likely have a bunch of short videos based on #3 above.