April 28, 2019

Any Indie Hackers currently building a service instead of a product?

Jovian Gautama @jovian

Lots of awesome Indie Hackers are heads down developing their new product. Anyone is working on launching a service with minimum effort on the product side? I know @louisswiss does :) - Would love to hear your journey!

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    By service, I'm assuming you mean something where you are essentially trading your time or output for your customer's money. I provide a service for folks, but wouldn't see I'm building a business around it. I just have a simple page with Calendly links people can use to buy an hour or 30 minutes of my time. They usually find me after a talk, a course I teach, or through referrals.

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      That's exactly it. I'm contemplating doing a similar thing myself. How did you start charging people for your time?

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        When I have a convo with someone that wants help, I usually tell them something like this: "Let's chat for 15-30 minutes so I can make sure I can actually help you. If I can, my hourly rate is $XXX and here are the 1/2/3 things we'll get resolved in that time. If I can't help you, I'll find a different person or resource to point you to. Sound good?"

        If they waffle on paying for coaching, then they weren't a real customer to begin with. If they negotiate on price, that's fine, but I rarely budge off my standard price unless there's a clear reason they can't afford it, or I'm doing some sort of bartering.

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    @jovian - Do you consider software-as-a-service (SaaS) a service or a product? What's your definition of service versus product?

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      SaaS would be a product. My definition of service is a business where customers pay for your or your team's skills and expertise instead of your product. For instance: Consultancy (can be development, design, biz-dev, marketing, etc), coaching or teaching.

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        Got you. I'm not managing actively but am invested in couple companies that provide services.

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    No but thinking about starting a feedback service for designs as most Makers and hackers struggle with design and I think I have an eye for making small changes to make the design better.

    I‘ve already helped couple people that I know with in-depth feedback about their designs and after reading my feedback and tips, most things got to the better.

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    Yes, an offline service in fact. I started a house painting company last September called Wild Fox Painting: https://www.wildfoxpainting.com/

    I have been treating it as I do my other "Products/Projects" that are all online based. I have been able to use a lot of what I learned with my online stuff and apply it to my physical service, it's going better than anything else I have created.

    I'm on track to double my yearly revenue with half the effort and I'm hardly even trying at this point, I'm just doing it on the side for fun (and extra revenue). Plus it helps me not be at a computer for 60+ hours a week.

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    Hey @jovian,

    Yes - I am working on a course teaching (technical) founders how to do sales right now.

    Previously I've done quite a bit of consulting and built/sold a few product businesses. But this is my first course/service.

    It's still a bit early to talk about the journey, but I'm happy to answer any questions you have!

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      Thanks for replying Louis! This might seem like a dumb and obvious question, but based on your experience and patterns your observe, what is the #1 biggest obstacle or mind roadblocks for technical founders when it comes to selling their products?

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    🙋‍♂️Yep starting with it. I think Products are much harder than Services.

    Recently tweeted about the same thing - https://twitter.com/deadcoder0904/status/1119206830666911745

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    I am selling web and mobile development services at chrysntm.com

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    We are adding "services" to our current SAAS model. We sell customizable platform where our customers are also looking for help on content creation and a bunch of other things. We realized there was a big opportunity to up our game and start offering those services as well and really become a complete shop for our customers. Pricing services are so much harder though.

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    This question is so important it should have been pinned in the wall.

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    This comment was deleted 9 months ago.