Building a business is a roller-coaster ride, so let's all share a snippet of our current journey!
I am struggling with how to set up the payment system. I live in Germany, but don't know if I'm required to open a company before accepting payments. Theoretically, I can open the Stripe account, but don't know if that's the smartest thing to do.
Going well: Finishing up the project.
As soon as you put something on the market with the intent to make money it is essentially a "Gewerbe" in Germany. For that, you either need to form a Kapitalgesellschaft (GmbH, UG), Personengesellschaft (OHG, KG, etc) or register as a "Einzelunternehmer".
What to use depends on your situation, what you are building, the risks involved, and your personal risk tolerance.
happy to help if you got any questions.
Hi Jens, thanks for the fast and thorough reply! Yeah I read something on that topic and I think UG would be a good.
I decided to, for now, postpone this topic and actually focus on making a better product, but thanks for your openness, I'll keep you in mind for further questions! :)
If you want to truly not have to worry about any handling money, taxes and legal liability you should look at Paddle. You'll be getting CC and Paypal, multi-currency accounts and automated tax handling to name a few important features - we make this possible as a software reseller (Disclaimer: I work there)
I would consider Paddle if they were upfront with pricing. However, due to snake-oil tactics (the marketing pages are a mess and really vague) taken to hide the costs, it's immediately a non-starter.
I would check with your local IHK. At least in Berlin they have some people dedicated to startups and new ventures, and they are happy to give advice.
Thanks for the advice, I'll look it up!
In order to start accepting payments using stripe you'd need to enter your companies details. You can open up a Stripe account for testing without having a company. Also, do not underestimate the amount of work there is in integrating Stripe.
Thanks for the heads up!
Oh yes! Totally agree...
Was struggling with paypal last week... and I still hasn't gotten the solution from the community and had to settle for 2nd best / alternative.
What do you have to lose? I'd start making money, then ask for forgiveness if you absolutely have to, rather than waiting for permission. I wouldn't nitpick dates unless there's a true blocking dependency, as long as you're getting it all set up properly in the end.
Handling money is a very delicate topic in germany, think GDPR, liability and taxes. I'd research the topic some more and look for expert help first, instead of going bold and figuring it out later.
Depending on the type of company that @itballer want's to found this may be bad advice. I am not a lawyer, and the last time I researched this is some years ago so take with some grains of salt:
If you want to found a GMBH or an UG, which are the germans equivalents of LTD's, you may still become personally liable for company debt in case of bancruptcy if you made some profit before founding the comany.
If you are fine with being personally liable, you can just go to the nearest Amt, pay like 60 bucks to officially register a single-person company and then declare your profits as income tax.
You do want to do your own research tho since I'm only like 50% sure about this and things may have changed. (Also, you want to look up consequences regarding healtcare and IHK)
Yep. There are some things you can do to void the "limited" part and become fully liable, especially in a one-man show where you are the owner and managing director at the same time.
The past week has been rough in terms of motivation, had to take a few days to just reflect and revisit my priorities.
I will be switching to a part-time role at my current company, an intentional step to give myself more time to focus on launching my business. Really excited for that.
Sorry to hear about the motivational challenges - it's definitely something everyone experiences at one time or another.
Would be really interested to hear how you negotiated the part-time gig. I often wonder if PT is the way forward or whether "burning the ships" and quitting to live off savings is optimal
I actually originally planned on leaving my job to give myself 6 months to start a profitable business of my own. But then the part-time option was offered to me, if I was open to it. I hadn't thought to ask for it, as it is not common at all at my company, but was super excited to have that option as I still really enjoy my current team and product that I work on.
btw... thanks for the follow on IH!
I'm having fun thinking about how to grow Fifty, and I'm learning a lot about marketing and how to engage with an audience online.
Even though I'm learning about marketing, its still difficult as a technical maker to get a foothold and get results. Sometimes motivation is lacking.
Reddit audience. They are obsessed with 'Reddit culture' and comment spam on every post, however; most of our beta users are from Reddit.
Development of the product and blog posts!
This reddit audience struggle sounds interesting. How did you first approach them? Through organic posts that somehow got upvoted or plain old ads?
I engaged in a few posts every day for like 10 days then I started to post TL;DR versions of our blog articles every day.
Some people comment positive things, visit the website, sign up for the beta but there are a lot of toxic people who downvote every post and comment harsh things.
Those think that they protect Reddit but only thing they do is being toxic.
Yeah Reddit can be a tricky but effective community to target in my experience. Which subreddit(s) are you targeting?
entrepreneurship, entrepreneurridealong, indiebiz, marketing, etc. What about you?
Well my current product is targeted at the board game and gaming communities, so I have mainly focused on /r/digitaltabletop and /r/localmultiplayergames.
I hope to do a post on the larger subreddits (/r/boardgames and /r/gaming) once I get closer to fully launching my games (currently in closed beta)
Interesting. Why are you waiting to post on those subreddits? Why don't you post weekly/daily until launch?
Hi @emiratli248, just went through your company Tractific and find it a very interesting concept! How's that going?
Thank you so much!
The development part is going well. The tool works better than we expected in a short time. Also, we reached 100 private beta users in 3 weeks!
The best part is to know that with our product no-coders will be able to understand their data and coders will spare time. It's exciting!!
Thanks for asking, it made my day. How are you?
doing well, struggling with business models but hopefully to sort this out soon
Going well - taking a bit of rest from all "professional" stuff.
Struggling with - finding users for my product. I got a bit exhausted launching and now don't enough motivation to find users and promote properly. Also, don't really know where to start.
What have you tried so far, in terms of acquiring users?
truthfully, not much. Was kind of hoping of overnight success coming from all over without me doing much.
Not actually done anything except for a very little "marketing" here and on twitter. Not being a "marketer", having it a bit of a hard time finding an audience to speak to. Even though I know who "they" are.
Setting up social profiles and making them uniform.
Starting to get some decent Google search rankings, albeit not for the keywords I would prefer.
Getting anybody to show any interest. I know I've got a good product here. I know there's a need for it. I know people will like it if they try it. I can't get them to take notice.
We're developing https://www.wellybox.com/en - a mailbox auto scanner for financial documents.
We've been doing marketing in a POC mode for quite some time now, and currently, we're trying to kick more methodological marketing. thing is we're an extremely tech-savvy team and find it hard to allocate time just for marketing (consider hiring a marketing person who can hardly operator a mobile phone :-))
We're adding lots of features now in a pace much higher than we used to, system is more stable and we're focused on fixing things according to customers' feedback
The development for jemsplash.com and jempost.com is doing pretty welll. Struggling finding a great Saas copywriting course. Think it's super important for growth hacking.
I've launched my landing page to see if there is any interest for my product, but I'm not getting anyone to visit the website nor to signup to get notified when we go live. Am I in the wrong place? Are there no 30-60 year olds here with children and think about what might happens to the stuff if anything happens to them.
If you have ever wondered about this please visit Keepsy.app. I really would love to get opinions before we launch.
I'm currently advancing very well with the poject and hope to launch my mvp in October but I need for feedback.
Thanks to my side projects i am getting many offers to do collaborations.
But i still havnt made money with them.
I think this post can be helpful for all of us. Here is my thing:-
The promotion of Designtack is going as I planned since the launch BUT the traffic I have been receiving is just visitors on the site. I am not getting enough sign-ups. Even if I do get those sign-ups, They are using the fake emails (Maybe just to try?).
Also, I feel like I am stuck between marketing or shipping the code. 😥
All those users who signed up for the tool has been very kind and have given me a lot of feedback regarding what are the things that can be improved. Although, I am not sure if they are my customers but then again, I am appreciative of the feedback.
Hey there, good idea!
Struggling with: figuring out the key thing that prevents visitors from buying logos.
Going well: our updates seem to make people love the product more and more.
Identifying problems and solve them using web app. I tend to develop MVPs in 2-3 days.
Getting users on my (side) project.
What have you tried so far?
Seems like you have gotten the ball rolling on content marketing. That would be probably what I would continue to try for some time.
Also, have you tried a Show HN post already?
For your landing page, I'd love to see more explicit examples of how your product looks and works!
I've done some advertisements and did get some sign-ups but no one active. I've done one blog content but not sure if I should do more.
What examples are you referring? Add all possible features in the form to show it's potential?
I think maybe enhancing the "How It Works" section with screenshots or something similar to how it actually looks (what does the login page look like?)
What's your project?
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I'm very motivated, I have a great productivity system I fine tune for years, and I accomplish a lot of stuff I want to do.
I have difficulties to stop working. I gamified so well my whole productivity system that it's tough sometimes to tell myself I need to stop.
I have difficulties as well to stop and try to see the big picture. I'm so much into my projects I forget to ask myself sometimes if I'm going in the good direction.
Well that intrigues me, can you share your productivity system with us??
Going well: Getting good feedback, only 1 person unsubscribed till now form my newsletter.
Struggling with: Increasing subscriber count.
The idea for Toko is going very well. I have a lot of ideas planned for it.
I am currently old enough in my country to get a job as a minor, so I need to work out how to fit this project in with my schooling and the part time job. I am also struggling with motivation, as I haven't touched the project in 4 days
I'm more productive, finally feeling I have a balance between being happy and getting shit done.
Since I'm working on different ideas and trying to validate them. there is this foggy feeling of uncertainty where I'm not sure if my current actions will lead to the hopped outcomes. But I guess I need to give it more time and then I will be able to connect the dots
reaching 100 users on https://conferfly.com
We're currently in the idea validation phase, sending around a short survey
Going Well: Most of our replies so far are positive 🙌
Struggling: We want to hit 100 replies til thursday, but we're stuck on 45/100 and our organic reach seems to be done. Need to find some more channels!
haha yeah! The problem is that most groups have a no ads or no survey policy ;) I've contacted some group admins if they would be okay with me posting my community focused survey
There are plenty of FB groups I'm sure you'll be able to find a few more! Just keep searching! :)
Going well: 300 users in 30 days with 3 figures of MRR
Struggling with: low daily engagement of freemium users
Congratz, that's amazing results! All 300 users are paying customers? or 300 freemium users you from which converted some to paying customers to achieve the 3 figures MRR?
Thanks! The latter is my case. I'm working on some email campaign ideas to drive Daily Active Users and some community development ideas like contests and User Generated Content. Biggest hurdle right now is creating awareness in my market
Marketing my new product & getting some beta users before launch.
My GSuite add-ons. It's on auto pilot. Needs little to no work and earns bread for me.
Going well: I'm motivated. Have the idea and technical knowledge.
Struggling with: Don't know where to start. I'm a 9-5er and the amount of work look overwhelming.
Regarding where to start... do you have a target customer in mind? Have you validated your idea with them yet?
Not really sure how. Cold e-mails? Also I think I need to niche down.
So this is a game schedule listing site, you will be able who plays today and what the score was for last night.
Hence the target customer is anyone who wants to watch a game.
Niching down is almost always the answer when you're starting.
Even Zuckerberg built a small directory that only worked for Harvard at first.
Is there an existing community or "watering hole" you could focus on? In my case recently, I joined a retail arbitrage niche on Twitter and shared a video of a Figma mockup to validate the demand for my product idea. I only spent about an hour on the mockup and tweet before I spent the many hours coding the app.
Things seem to be going well design wise on this project. I have been able to have something actionable to build each day. One thing I’m struggling to build is a network and help build a little community. My current ideas around this are to simply engage with indie hackers and provide enough feedback such that I start gaining some followers. My hope is that if I do this enough then posts and milestones I make on here will gain some traction.
Awesome! What is your current project?
I am trying to build up an audience as well. I think there are two major routes:
Build a general audience around yourself (on IH or Twitter). Makes a lot of sense if you are wanting to launch info products, courses, or products that market well to your expertise (e.g. tool for developers)
Build an audience around your product. I’m honestly still figuring out the best way to do this myself. I am building a digital games platform, my best idea so far is content marketing (“how to host an awesome virtual game night”)
Best of luck to you!
I’m working on a dashboard design editor at the moment. I have the design mostly finished, just working through the admin section right now and figuring out orgs/teams. Once I have that put together I’m on to the next phase of development. Making quite a bit of progress I must say!
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