So, I’ve created a product without really verifying whether people will buy it or not.
I know, I knowâ€Š–â€Šstupid rightÂ ?
The whole thing got started when doing some client work last year, and I was getting requests to do similar work, to tackle the same problem from multiple clients.
The solution I delivered workedâ€Š–â€Šbut it was hard to test as it was installed on the client's servers, and I had limited visibility and access to test, monitor and improve the solution after delivery.
Then came my brilliant idea: why don’t I turn this into a SaaS app that I can get multiple clients using?
It sounded like such a great idea in my head, I mean, I already had developed a first â€˜version’ of it…I just had to “tweak” it and turn it into a generic tool that I could release as a product…easy right?
Uh ohâ€Š–â€Ša few months and hundreds of early morning and weekend hours laterâ€Š–â€ŠI had created a SaaS version of my solution. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It took longer to do than I expected, and now this other part: what do I do now to sell this solutionÂ ??
While building the SaaS app I consumed so much, way too much, information around startups and bootstrapping. And annoyingly they all reiterated the same thing: before you go and build somethingâ€Š–â€Šmake sure you talk to potential customers and validate your idea!Â
I kinda heard these words all the way through my development, but I didn’t really want to hear them because I knew I had not done this. I knew I had done this the wrong way around.
I was still getting interest from clients in doing customised solutions to solve the problem that my new SaaS app was solvingâ€Š–â€Šbut turns out it is a big difference selling a subscription to an unknown online service, instead of just selling my hours to create a custom solution clients could implement on their servers.
I have had literally no direct experience in marketing digital products or non-digital products for that matter.
Neither have I had experience in direct sales for this kind of products. So what was I going to do next?
Everywhere I turn, there is advice on how to grow your startupâ€Š–â€Šbut once you get down to the point that you are starting with no audience whatsoeverâ€Š–â€Šwhat are potential next steps? Most advice assumes you’ve already done your homework and followed the rulesâ€Š–â€Šnot like me.
So I have a productâ€Š–â€Šand just because I might have done things the wrong way and not really done any good product/market fit validation– I still want to test out if it this thing could fly. I don’t want to just scrap it just because I didn’t go out and find like 100 people who’d be interested first.
Now, this does not mean I will never give up on my productâ€Š–â€ŠI know I have an emotional attachment to this little offspring that I’ve created (as most developers do)â€Š–â€Šbut I will try my best to be realistic as I try different tactics to try to get this thing off the ground.
But I sure as hell just want to give it a good go!
So whats next for rule-breakers like me now? How can I get my solution in front of prospective customers? Whats my best bet in marketing/promoting this thing? How do I know when to give up?
As I go through this journey of discovering what my options are at this timeâ€Š–â€ŠI will document my findings in weekly blog posts so that others might also try out some of the strategies that I discover.
My first step this week is to really try to define my ideal customer(s) and get some ideas on who to find and target these.
Until next time…
crossposted from Medium