We’re not the first and we won’t be the last to share the story and lessons of bringing a SaaS product to market.
It turns out to be a heap more work than we expected!
At the end of November 2021, where are we at?
In short, not as far through as we anticipated, but (kind of) ready to go nevertheless. We have got to a point where we want a handful of MSPs to test it and give us feedback. We’re not ready to push it out wider.
We’re are at beta.
We have the free version of our Discover module working.
While we think its pretty amazing, we are realistic enough to know that other people using it will talk to us about things we take for granted, give us a wider perspective and help us innovate it to be better.
Try a SALES DISCOVERY with a new prospect or a BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY REVIEW on your own business.
Then, please share your feedback using the CHAT feature from the menu. Our pilot needs your feedback so we can incorporate it before we go out to a wider audience.
We thought it we just needed to write some code, and get the portal running.
This seemed pretty simple given that we had a working version with some very happy subscribers. More than that, we know it works because it is the tool we’ve been using in our own MSP business for a few years.
- But, we knew it was a little cumbersome to use, and we needed to spend time helping get every subscriber running. That couldn’t scale. So we decided to fix up the UX (user interface) and try to make it more intuitive. That’s a big piece of work.
- We decided to adopt a freemium strategy, and that means self-service – so we had to find code to allow users to self-register. That’s been ok, but we’re still not happy with the code we found and we need to improve it.
- It also meant we needed to think about how to scale up support, and we’ve added a chat function to start that. I suspect the tool we have is fine for now but will need to be scaled up as we get really going.
- We needed a new website and no one liked the logo we had, so that was another job. Write a new website, design a logo and so forth. When we did that, we realised how far our thinking had progressed and all the content we had previously didn’t really express it terrible well. Of course, websites are never quite finished and are always being tweaked.
- We’ve realised our ‘explainer’ video is too long, and it includes the old logo and old UX in the screenshots. But changing that isn’t totally urgent so we’ll do it next month.
- How do you take payments? Manual invoicing, like we have been doing so far, won’t scale, so we’ve had to figure out a payment gateway and run it on (PayPal) – we’re still working that out.
- What about the legals? Terms and Conditions needs to be available, even if 99% of new users just scroll over them when they sign up. That took a few days and it is good to have it done.
- How do we link up our CRM to the client portal so we can nurture and encourage and support our subscribers? What are the customer journeys we need to consider? We have started this thought process but it has a long way to go.
There has been much more than we expected. In retrospect, we should have thought about them all, and allowed time, but in good-old “can-do” style, we just started getting on with it. I’m pleased we did, because we wouldn’t be here any other way.
Our lesson has been “What do we need to do right now? vs What can we defer until next month or next quarter?”
What does that mean for the current state?
It’s beta! We’ve said that already.
The free version of the discover module is ready, and we want feedback.
The big questions –
- Does this make sense?
- Is it useful to MSPs?
- Does this excite you?
- Should we push on?
What can you expect next?
Today as I write this, we’re working on improving the login screen and a little UX tweak.
To complete MVP we need to:
- Finish bringing over the content customization to allow premium subscribers to create their own review templates, and export them to Word.
- Finish the Manage screens and our new task manager
- Setup the Paypal to actually take payments (is currently only a test version)
- Move the MFA to support something like Google Authenticator
- Looking ahead, we still have to setup analytics, complete the customer journey mapping and integrate it with our CRM
- That is to say nothing of porting over our QBR module into the premium edition, and letting premium subscribers add more users.
We won’t get bored! Above all, we hope you like what we are doing.