I think an important part of bootstrapping is being able (and needing) to celebrate the little victories that to outsiders might not look like much but to those of us in the trenches are the little glimmers of light we need to see from time to time to help us keep pushing on.
It took five months but I just had my 100th account sign up for http://www.pageproofer.com
When I first launched I was overly optimistic it would take no time at all to hit that goal. Then reality (and her evil sister the magnitude of the internet) set in and I realized it was going to take some hard work and hustle to get there.
100 might not sound like much to business owners, but it says a group of people have found a service useful and some of them have found it useful enough that they pay me each month for it. Not buckets full of money at this point but enough to cover hosting and other small costs and leave some money left over for a nice diner out with my wife.
Hitting that milestone validates the idea I had and the effort I’ve put in. My ratios for visitors to accounts to subscriptions seems on par with the numbers I have seen for other SAAS’s so that tells me regardless of all the mistakes I feel I have made something is working correctly and it’s only a matter of time and effort to grow the sign up number to a point where a sustainable business can happen.
Just wanted to share this with the larger community. Hopefully it will encourage someone else who is just getting started that it’s worth the effort.