It's time for the first update in 2021.
If you're not familiar with these posts, I'm documenting m journey from $5/hour Fiverr code monkey to $100/hour consultant.
You can check out my previous updates on my profile or visit the archive on my blog.
Although January was a wild month in the world, I had quite a chill one.
I've restructured the deal with Client #1.
Some pretty interesting projects came my way.
And I started making my own product.
Let's get started with the update.
TL;DR I made $4800 for 12 days of work on one project. I have two other projects in the pipeline.
I've already mentioned that Client #1 got funding. Now that they have money, we decided to restructure our deal a bit.
The First thing is that we switched from charging by the hour to charging by the day. Client #1 currently occupies three days in the week.
Next up we switched from $35/hour to $400/day.
Two people reached out this month.
Coincidentally, they both work in finance and want to create their own SaaS product to escape the grind.
I've had a total of three meetings, two of which were introductions, and one deep-dive.
Lead #1 wants to make a sales team performance tracker that integrates seamlessly with Stripe. The budget is around $5-$10k.
I had an introduction meeting with him where I asked if we can get in touch in a week after he creates some mockups so I get a better picture of his vision.
I've sent one follow-up email to which I haven't got a reply. I'll send another one in the following days.
Lead #2 wants to make a platform for discovering new food products. The budget is up to $5k.
I had two meetings with him.
It's the same situation as with Lead #1 where I asked for a mockup before I give out a quote.
I received a mockup this week, had a deep-dive conversation to find more about the project, and I've written him a proposal in Bonsai.
Bonsai notifies me when someone sees proposals and I got an email that he saw it. I'll follow up with him in a couple of days.
I have no preference on which project I'd rather work on.
After talking with these two leads, I've realized that I can win the project even if they don't accept the first proposal.
If they reject the first one, I'll propose another one which will be 10-15 hours shorter but I'll ask them to buy a license for a SaaS starter.
But there's a problem with that plan. There is no a good SaaS starter kit for Django and Vue.
My current favorite stack for bootstrapped products like these is Django + Vue.
I've tried to find a SaaS starter kit for this stack but couldn't find a good one so I've started writing my own.
I introduce you to Get Django SaaS. An opinionated SaaS Starter kit for Django and Vue.
So far I've:
- Put up an email capture website
- Ran ads for the product
- Setup backend and frontend base projects
- Bootstrapped base layout for frontend
- Written email/password authentication system on the backend
- Created login and register page
Some things I still need to do before I can call this an MVP:
- Wire frontend auth with backend
- Write a system for CRUD scaffolding
- Add email integration with MailChimp and EmailOctopus
- Integrate billing with Stripe and Paddle
- Design and code common components a customer can choose from to customize the base look
- Add teams and email invite system
- Documentation, documentation, and more documentation
After I implement all this I'll see whether it will fly and if there are freelancers that are struggling with the same problem.
You must be asking yourself: "Hey Adem, it's awesome that you're building your own product but how did you validate this idea?".
- There's a ton of SaaS starter kits out there so there's a market for it.
- I'm scratching my own niche. One famous SaaS starter kit is Laravel Spark and its creator, Taylor Otwell, said that he'd be fine if no one was buying it since it's helpful for him. I'm going with the same approach. Even if I don't get any customers, I'll still have an awesome starter kit for future projects.
Moving on I'll include my expenses for the month.
Client #1 uses Deel to process payroll. I get paid via SWIFT so the transaction fees are SWIFT fees + my local bank fees.
Lucky for me, in Bosnia taxes are pretty low and they come at a bit over 10%.
Each month I have to contribute to the retirement fund a small amount of $154 to be eligible for a pension when I get old.
I buy ETH each month to get the advantage of dollar-cost averaging and compounding effect. This is not an opinion on what should you invest in. I'm breaking down my business expenses because my crypto investments my other pension.
Hello Bonsai (affiliate link) subscription costs $19. Worth every penny.
I bought getdjangosaas.com from Namecheap for $8.
I spend $18 supporting some creators and open-source contributors for the hard work they're doing.
January 2021 was one of the better months I had.
I've made $4800 gross. If we factor in $1274 of expenses, my profit is $3526.
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Thanks for reading,