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Ideas to re-invest profits that don't also require a large time investment?


#1

Since April my B2C language learning webapp Readlang has been making about $1500 / month revenue ($1300 / month profit). I can just about manage to live on this without eating into savings which is a huge milestone :smile:. Obviously I’m not stopping here though! Right now I’m spending almost all my time improving the product, fixing bugs, responding to user feedback, etc. and don’t want additional distractions, so…

Is there any way to re-invest a small amount (maybe $300 / month) to grow the business faster with minimal work on my part?

The problem is that most of ways of investing also require a big time commitment, otherwise I’m just throwing money away, e.g.:

  • freelance designer - need to search for someone good who shares vision & then give thoughtful feedback on their designs
  • adwords - need to iterate on copy, keywords, etc (and I’m skeptical this will pay off for my product)
  • content marketing - need to find a good writer of useful articles which may be difficult on this budget, and there are lots of language learning blogs already out there, so would need to be very high quality to stand out, and may not pay off
  • social media / community management - this is very tempting since it could free up some of my time and grow these social channels better than I can. On the other hand, it’s nice for users to interact directly with myself as the creator of the product, and it’s good for me to keep tabs on user feedback to inform product development. And again, I need to find someone I really trust to communicate with users

Eventually I will spend time on this stuff, but in the meantime, any ideas to invest money which doesn’t also require a large time investment?


#2

Looks like a nice product.

My gut reaction would be to spend your money on Adwords say $10/day, it would probably be a good idea to invest in few books on Adwords to help you when your starting out.


#3

I’d avoid committing to any regular outgoing at your current level of income. I’m guessing there are still many tweaks and polishes you can add to your product, your purchasing process, and your support. Time and effort spent on this pays offs handsomely on young products.

But if you really want to give someone else some of your income…I’d suggest getting a freelancer to help with customer support. But you are right, it will consume time to find the right person and get started.


#4

With Adwords there isn’t a commitment as you can stop the ads at anytime, perhaps just trial a few dollars a day, trial for a month and if it doesn’t work you can just switch off your ad. Worst case scenario you’ve wasted $60, best case scenario you’ve found a marketing flywheel.


#5

Congrats! It’s always fantastic to see someone doing well :smile:

Some thoughts:
Find out which part of your customer-acquisition funnel needs the most love. Narrow your search to solutions that help with that.
If you don’t have enough insight into that, consider hiring tools rather than people. E.g. a SaaS analytics engine like Baremetrics or FirstOfficer.io. That has a good chance of pointing you in the right direction and you don’t have to tend it as much as a person.

Other tools, e.g. use getdrip.com and create an email course educating people about the problem you solve, why it’s such a good solution, etc.


#6

Thanks Steve, you’re absolutely right - there’s no shortage of tweaks and polishes to do, and that’s where I’m spending my time. Just wondering if I should experiment with putting some of the profits to work now, or wait until I can spend more time on it.

Customer support is a good idea, and the same person could potentially moderate content onto the site, but I’ll wait to dedicate time to finding the best person I can for this.


#7

Maybe. But I think it’s likely you won’t find a flywheel after your first $60 on adwords, but will need to spend a bunch of time and money playing with different keywords, ad-copy and landing pages before hitting on one that works.


#8

Thanks @Richard!

I don’t know how useful those SaaS services will be for me since I get more payments via PayPal than Stripe. I’ve hacked together my own ugly homebrew system for monitoring monthly conversion rates, churn, new & returning revenue, etc. So I’m OK on that front. As for improving those numbers - the main bottleneck is polishing the product - i.e. design and coding work, which I’m doing all myself.

Perhaps it makes sense to just grow as I have been and think about re-investing when I’ve got more profits to play with, and then dedicate significant time to deploying them.


#9

Hi Steve,

It worked for me, I used adwords to take my web apps from pocket money to a fulltime living, I think after spending a couple hundred of pounds you should have a good idea, I did a quick a google search and you should be able get some cheap keywords.

If you do decide to use adwords to grow your business, I would also recommend that you install conversion tracking code so you can optimise your campaigns. You can also use the data from adwords to drive your seo, content and email strategies.

I noticed your from the UK (Living in Spain?), if you think I can help you in anyway, just look me up, send me an email or give us a call, would really like to help you become more successful.


#10

To elaborate: Imagine water moving through your sales funnel. You want to find the leakiest spots and fix those.

Basically, it’s the 80/20 rule: not all fixes will produce the same benefits. So focuse on the “high return” areas.