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Is moving on a good option? Or when to move on?


#1

Hello Bootstrappers,

first a big thanks to all the valuable input I got more this forum during the past!

Today I really need some advice on how to move froward with my saas since I got a couple of questions in my head that every bootstrapper might come across: Am I sill motivated? Am I investing my time right? Is the product still vaild? Should I move on to the next idea?

Maybe some of your feedback might bering me back on track…at least i hope so =)

Currently I am have a simple saas product online which i managed to grow to 1k MRR over the last 1,5 years, not much but a nice for a first saas try. Some facts for your jugement:
Product: Amazon Landing Page Builder
Pricing: 20 / Monthly, Free Trail
Homepage: 900 monthly visitors
Trail Signup CR: 4%
Trail to Subscription: 15%
But somehow it feels like an uphill battle and thanks to Stripes Analytics I can clearly see that the 20% churn is causing the trouble. This also comes down to that nature of the product because these landing pages are just used once a new product is released. Hence the user signs up, uses the service and cancels after launch. On top of that I see some competitors improving making it hard to catch up. Although they might have the same problems in the background.

So the whole situation feels kind of demotivating and I am not sure anymore if the product itself has a long term potential.

Over time I slowly drifted to the idea of creating a new product that will partly cater the same audience but is much more hooked into the sales funnel and also will have a higher price point. It feel a bit more mature than to current product but also has more potential. Of course that means I have to start over again with customer development and also building up the marketing, seo etc which I already did in parts for the LP builder.

Well thats my kind of dilemma… :roll_eyes: stick to the old product and invest even more time into it or start something more promising.

Maybe it is not even about starting something new, maybe the question is: When should I stop working on a product?

Hope your feedback, experience or advice will help to clear my mind!

Thanks for you time!
Alex


#2

Hi Alex,

First, being a person that have tried tenths of ventures with zero income I have to congratulate you - you have made it to a point where you actually have paying customers ! This at least proves that your solution gives something to the World.

Having in mind the above, my humble opinion is - don’t give up. Try some changes, like:

  • see how many percent of your paying customers cancel on the first month and if this is more than 50% - set it to a one time fee (e.g. $50) and oops - you have $2K/m from just this change.
  • don’t throw your site, you already have the (please note!) paying audience - if you decide that another product will do it better, first try it as a third SaaS plan (in addition to the free and 20/m) /you see - the audience is there, just show it to them/
  • drop a line to those who have canceled. Give them 50% discount to the new product (which may appear as an Enterprise/Pro plan in your SaaS)
  • … I hope you get the point …

Wish you luck!


#3

Congrats on achieving this - it is damn hard to get to where you are.

When should I stop working on a product?

Moving on is always a hard decision. You’ll never really know if it is the best thing for you.

Is revenue growing? If so, I’d suggest continuing.

Anything new you start is still going to be a grind with perhaps a year or two of low MRR.

If you do stick at it, @Atanas_Walks gave you great advice. If you are already thinking of moving on, why not try wild pricing experiments first?


#4

@SteveMcLeod @Atanas_Walks thanks for your reply.

Well revenue is unfortunately not growing. It is more the opposite it is decreasing as well as the number of new signups. There is also a 9 Euro “pay a you go” option for a single launch so I have the feeling it is not a matter of pricing. Seems more the demand is decreasing in general or customers found another way to solve the problem.

I also asked customers that have canceled: some liked the service and might use it again on the next launch, others said the funnel “FB Ads - Landing Page -> Amazon” did not work for them and hence they don’t need the LP anymore.

At the moment I only serve german clients since i build up the marketing and service in german. One final move would be to offer an english version and offer a freemium tier (no competitor is doing this right now). I know freemium is as dangerous way not before moving on.
What do you thing?


#5

You should definitely give the English version a try before quitting this idea!


#6

I’m about to try that. Was selling an app for $25, but sales are stagnant. Have been re-doing the website design (with video tutorials this time, plus it’s “responsive” now), and will jack up the price to $99 to see what happens. If nothing happens, so be it. But at least I’ll know where I stand. :slight_smile:


#7

You can leave it running for some time to see how it performs on autopilot. I also suggest to extensively test it to make sure it doesn’t have any show stopping bugs. If you see it grow, you should also receive some feature requests from customers, try implementing some that you feel right to see if the income grows.
It already gives $1K per month, and combined with high churn rate, to me it seems that the niche has some potential - you have enough new customers each month to have $1K income and it’s not dropping.
You can try offering 3, 6 12 months payments (with a bit discount) to see if it increases the amounts of money received.


#8

One thing I’ll throw out that no one has mentioned here is to TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS. Not just the canceling ones, but the ones who are paying. Anyone who just signed up. Try to talk to the old ones (bribe them if you have to!)

Are you even building something they want? Is your product satisfying a specific need/pain they have? If not, what are you missing?

Maybe you’re close, but you’re just far enough off that others don’t see the value or want what you’re offering.

If you’re WAY off, maybe you need to rethink the product based on their feedback.

Either way, you’re going to be better off than you are now. I don’t think offering further discounts on such a low-priced product will do much to grow revenue here…that’s a greased pole to hell.

Don’t build more features until you understand the issues your customers are facing, IMO. It doesn’t sound this is an avenue you’ve pursued to date. It’s worth considering in my experience. Building stuff in a vacuum is never the answer.


#9

^^^

Dave’s reply above is :fire:

So much so, that I’m thinking of immortalizing it thusly:


#10

It needs a solid graphic…but searching for “greased pole to hell” turned up a disturbing number of Marilyn Manson images…so maybe not.:scream::japanese_ogre:


#11

@Dmitry I also suspected some bug but after testing I didnt find anything holding users off. But thanks for the hint.

@daverodenbaugh Actually yesterday I talked to a customer that is using the product and also upgraded into the highest tier. But YES YES YES I need to talk more, guess thats true. Talking to new ones is a good idea since they are still motivated.
The product solved a pain pretty well and there is/was also competition around. Actually talked to many customers at the beginning but maybe the market just changed. Possible.

:ledger: I had the idea to keep you all updated (and myself motivated) so I will just keep on updating this post - might be fun to read and comment.

UPDATE 01:

The plan was to translate the page also into english just to cater a bigger market. There is even one user from china that uses the app and somehow manages to operate the german backend.
So I set up the app to use i18n (developer pro tipp: plan i18n from the beginning) and did a deployment, woke up the next morning and…BAM! 300+ alert mails telling me that the server was down for half the night. Out of memory! But how? Just by translations?
During a stressful day I figured out that a user uploaded around 200000 entires (text) whereas a normal user uploads 1000 lines!!! Called that guy, he explained, i learned, now its fixed.
What a start for a project I just want to run on autopilot.


#12

I’m terrified of this with my app so I put a “request access” gate on the landing page for now! I know gatekeeping will stall conversions but I decided to start local since my Saas can and has sold well in person.

To give an opinion on your original post, I’m an accountant so I’m always pushing budgets. A good budget will dictate how to continue a project and can give you perspective on what you thought you had in your head. Pretty basic stuff but so many business owners skip it.

I’ve had some tough meetings where projected sales don’t line up with cashflow needs and the decision maker has to either stretch their finances personally, find outside funding or in the worst case put the project on the back burner indefinitely. Hopefully you’re not to that point but it’s good to have a line in the sand where you would know when you’re there.


#13

UPDATE#02:

Working towards getting my site up in english I came across a nice tool to handle your translation files: https://poeditor.com You can upload, translate and download pretty easy. There are of course also other ones, but it worked for me on the first try.
Fun Fact of Today: One of the signups from today used a trash mailer address and I was slightly pissed when I saw it. How can one not even give me their real name/email if they signup for free plan! It basically tells me “I don’t trust you, I don’t want to hear from you but I want it all for free!”
I had already started to typ up a quite hatful mail but then decided NOT to send it…you never know, beware of the trolls :roll_eyes:

Stay tuned :radio:


#14

Well done on your progress so far.

If you’re making some money it suggests you have something of some value, it just sounds like the value ends too soon.

However if people are prepared to invest for just a short period it also suggests you have their trust, and they are therefore a marketable audience that you could sell other stuff to.

Therefore it would seem expedient to try to develop new products that are useful to them. Take a read of The Mom Test and talk to the customers you have gotten. Work out what their problems and challenges are. Don’t pitch ideas, listen to their pains.