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New Member: Solo founder of $500K ARR niche SaaS product

Hey!

I just signed up for Indie Hackers and wanted to introduce myself.

I'm the founder of Harvest Profit, a financial analysis SaaS product for row crop and small grain farmers in the US and Canada.

I launched the product in December 2016 after working as a farm management consultant for 7 years. I decided to start building the software after experiencing the shortfalls of spreadsheets.

We are currently doing $550k in ARR with a team of 4 (myself, 2 devs, 1 customer success). We raised $280k via a convertible note from four of our customers. We don't plan to raise a "Series A" or any large institutional round of capital. This was a "build a comfortable cushion" round of funding.

Challenges we have are 1) a highly seasonal sales season, 2) selling to a market that isn't fully bought into the SaaS model of software, 3) pricing and 4) nearly all farm software products are loss leaders for large agribusinesses.

I look forward to participating in the forum!

  1. 3

    500k/ARR as a Solo Founder with a SaaS to Farmers, Great Job!

  2. 3

    If it is seasonal sales, you might experiment with a pricing model that is transactional. For example, Stripe makes good money and they are not charging a monthly fee :).
    What matters is (almost) guaranteed repeat business to meet your ARR targets.

    1. 1

      We don't really have that type of model. Our product is a managerial accounting product with a model similar to Quickbooks.

      Thanks for the suggestion though!

      1. 1

        Quickbooks is a great model. You could give the product for free and charge when taxes must be filled (transactional recurring).
        If you can create more value for the customers the more there are customers on the platform (ex: performance vs. anonymized aggregated peers), then you want to optimize for growth and freemium works great there.
        If basically a customer gets more value because the product has more features or is perceived as the market leader, then you want higher prices (ex: per year, per seat) and optimize for bigger annual contract value (ACV).

  3. 3

    Hey, and welcome!

    I love hearing of niche businesses! It sounds like a positive thing that you are there before they are comfortable with SaaS type models. Hopefully in time it will help you establish yourself as a leader in your niche? Of course, it is hard to be patient too!

  4. 2

    Welcome! It's great to see new members, and bonus points for being here to share and learn!

  5. 2

    That's awesome, is data entered manually or captured using sensors or some sort of IoT?

    Kudos on the success!

    1. 1

      Manual along with bringing in some data from farm equipment

  6. 2

    Hey @NickHorob, I'd love to chat with you. I grew up on farms and might be able to help.

    1. 1

      Sounds great. Feel free to shoot me an email!

  7. 1

    It's niches all the way down :-) Love hearing about people building products that are off the "let's sell to fellow software developers/marketers" beaten path. Welcome to the community!

  8. 2

    This comment was deleted 4 months ago.

    1. 1

      Thanks, I appreciate it!

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