Not sure if this counts as a milestone, but I guess it does.
I was called by an old work colleague of mine that I hadn't heard from for years. She asked if I was interested in walking away from my startup and to leave Australia and move to another big international city to work alongside her in a senior role. (She works at one of the FAANG companies).
I politely said "Thanks, but No".
If that call had come in a couple of years ago, when I was still grinding and building my SaaS startup, I would have jumped at the chance with bells on.
But today, while chatting to her, I realised how much I love my startup, and how well growth (and financial returns) have been lately, and how it would be really hard from me to walk away from it all.
Call me crazy, but I would still rather be master of my own destiny, especially at this stage of my company's growth. I am too excited to see where I can take HR Partner. The senior exec role and share bonuses will just have to wait a while.
I still clearly remember 2 years ago sitting despondently in my office, seeing that we only had about 6 paying customers to our HR SaaS. I remember thinking back then "If only I can get to 100 paying customers, that would be so great and mean so much"... But it seemed too far away and such an impossible task.
But just yesterday morning, I glanced at our company KPI dashboard and noticed that we had 103 paying customers on the books. I actually had to pause as I became emotional thinking back about how important that milestone had seemed to me, and I nearly missed it! 😄
Actually, at the time of writing this, we are up to 110 paying customers. It makes me ecstatic that all the hard work me and my co-founder have put in over the past 6 months have paid off. Most of the credit actually belongs to my amazing co-founder and the marketing team/strategies she has put in place since joining the company.
Now - onwards and upwards for the next milestone - 1000 paying customers! 🚀
Well, today was a special day for me. After nearly 3 years of living on saving and my wife having to run 3 part time jobs to support my family, I managed to take the first of what are to be regular paychecks from my startup.
Coming just before the Christmas holidays, this is welcome indeed, and it is a special feeling to have your SaaS product doing well enough that the bank balance keeps increasing every month even after my earnings are taken out.
I made the decision to go all in a couple of years back, and shut down my other consulting business that was generating income for me because it was keeping me from really focusing on HR Partner. That added focus has really helped to maximise how effective my development, sales and marketing energy has translated into new customers and revenue.
Next step - more hiring!
Pardon the pun in the title, but I am a founder who always steers away from doing special promotions or sales with my HR SaaS. After all, why would SMB (Small Business) or Enterprise customers with big budgets be interested in a discount?
Wow was I wrong. My co-founder wanted to do a Black Friday and Cyber Monday 50% discount promotion last week, and while I was reluctant, I gave the go ahead to do so.
The results were amazing. We pretty much got more paying subscribers over that weekend than we have in the past 5 months. Our Stripe and ProfitWell charts are showing over a 100% increase in revenue month on month.
One added bonus was that our promotion was picked up by several other sites out there, including Nathan Latka's blog, so we automatically got a wider reach than our normal marketing channels.
And even with the discount in place, average revenue per customer has gone up from around $500 to around $600 as the new users are signing up for higher value plans.
Long story short - Don't dismiss having a promotional sale if you are in the medium to large business space. Even people holding corporate credit cards like to feel they are getting better value by seeing a discount amount on their invoice.
Hey all, my startup HR Partner was one of the first companies to be listed on Indie Hackers when it launched, but I have been a little slack with updating our status on here - too busy grinding away at building up our customer base, I guess?! 😅
Anyhow, after several years of slow and steady growth, this month we managed to land the biggest glass manufacturer in the UK as a customer for our HR SaaS. In the same week, we closed the deal with one of the biggest disability services companies in our own country, and have a multi national retailer also almost ready to sign up to a paid plan.
Within the space of a week, we have nearly tripled our MRR, and have reached the stage where my co-founder and I can finally start taking money out of the company for ourselves instead of reinvesting it all back in like we have been doing.
Still a long way to go, but it is a really good feeling to get some larger clients on board to shore up the bottom line, and who will act as reference sites for us moving forward (The UK client has already said that they want to recommend us to their Polish parent company, which is one of the largest glass manufacturer in Europe!).
Happy to answer any questions anyone may have about B2B SaaS or anything else...
I am converting my 30+ years of experience talking to customers in the accounting and payroll industry into building an easy to use, first class HR system that can be used by small to medium businesses worldwide.