The last year’s struggle to launch and grow this SaaS business, Omniconvert, teached me and my young team members a few interesting things about bootstrapping such a business.
Allow yourself to breath
Allow yourself time to relax and disconnect from your day by day operational struggle. The world seems like is running fast, and you are missing opportunities, but, in the end, it’s also about the process, not only the destination. If you notice yourself forgetting about your old friend’s birthdays or having breakfast at 4 PM, you need to pull the break a little. If you’re a workaholic or my persuasion skills suck, view consequences here.
Low hanging fruits vs. catching the big fish
That’s an important decision. If you are bootstrapping, you may think that the “big fish” could come too late. If you are always looking for small fishes to help your cash-flow survive, you may not go as fast as you can. After almost a year of struggle, we finally got it. Don’t go for the elephant, but go for the mammoth.
It’s not about problems, it’s about handling opportunities
Every entrepreneur and, I hope, every man on Earth, is aware of the rarity of resources. As far as I am concerned, time is the most precious. When you are creating innovative solutions to sell, you can find an opportunity almost everywhere you look. But the catch is not to let yourself fatigued by an exhausting run after your top 25 priorities. When you start a new day, revisit your priorities and focus on doing the first things first.
Take care about the team…and the team spirit
If you feel the urge to succeed at any cost, I advise you to stop and look at your team in an ordinary day. Are they still smiling? Do they feel comfortable at work? In the end, what you need is synergy and harmony in the team, in order to maximize its potential. If you tend to be over-demanding and focused more on what it’s not being done by co-founders and co-workers, you will ruin everything. That law of “85-10-5” works very well, and I recommend it to all of the employers.
85% of your feed-back should be positive, 10 should be like “this could’ve been done better” and 5 should be about what is really disturbing.
Use the leverage effect
Once the product is stable, start looking into the network: it’s time to shout loud that you have a great service to offer. Find out who’s the most influent man in your industry who could test and use the product and ask for a case study in case of positive results. This approach is more efficient than any attempt to work on the product’s development. Here are some opportunities to accelerate your SaaS:
- find the most influential people who could use your product and propose them to use it and share it or to give feedback
- find some partners who are addressing the same market as you are
- write some newsworthy materials – articles, infographics and push them to some relevant communities where your target audience is spending time
- bring real value to your target’s life, besides your product
In the end, just enjoy the ride! Even if you are not going to build the next Google, you’re going to congratulate yourself because you’ve not spoiled your life by being a small wheel in a huge multinational corporation.