I have been doing programming since I was 16 I think. And I graduated with a Computer Science degree. PHP and building websites and web application has always been my playground. I have built software product like DIPPEC, UploadNSell.com, OptinDesign.com and others.
But since two weeks ago, I took a leap into a software business mentorship program. And this is rather a different route than the normal internet marketing that I am used to. This one, while can be totally done remotely using online tools, you can’t shy away and hide from people behind a website. The strategy is to find a niche and talk to as many people as you can within that industry to discover a solid software idea.
I think it is rather brilliant. Being a programmer that I am, and perhaps many other programmers, when you have an idea, you start coding. But this time that is the wrong way to do it. You ideas may be worth squat! Especially if you are an alien to the market that you are trying to enter.
Software-as-a-Service for Predictable Monthly Revenue
So the first step — throw you ideas away. Talk to people and find out their pains and frustration in their business, and perhaps you will find a problem that you could probably solve with software.
When I have that, I will get to work, either build it myself or find myself a developer to help me. The plan is build a software-as-a-service (SaaS) that customers will pay monthly for access. This is also the business model applied by companies like Adobe (pay monthly for Photoshop), 37 Signals with their Basecamp HQ (pay monthly for online project management tool). Businesses are open to the internet and online software. And doing it this way, you can collect monthly payments from your customers. In business, having a solid, predictable revenue is the key to growing bigger and bigger. And through this program, the plan is for each student to roll out their own SaaS.
Sometimes I think I may be too familiar with Internet Marketing niche. The program suggested that we also consider other niches, market and industry. Chiropractor, Real Estate Agents, Car Dealership and many more are also potential software customers. Heck, they might be already be using something. Sometimes we get discourage because the business may already be using some software. You are right, but that is a good thing because now it takes a lot lest to convince to use software. It is obvious when you think about spa and salons, you think about online purchase and booking. And maybe when you think about real estate agents, you think about how they can keep their prospect database more organized.
But what if you stop all that and just talk to them. They may have other problems and may still be looking for a solution. So I think the main thing here is to explore other niches too and build to throw your ideas away. Listen to others instead.
My first goal — $1000 monthly recurring revenue (MRR)
The goal is obviously a comfortable living for myself. I know how much I need to make to earn myself a good living. But I am setting my goals step by step. Achieve the little milestones before reaching for the next one. And celebrate the little successes. So my first goal is to achieve $1000 in monthly recurring revenues. I hope to achieve this within the first year.
So what are you working on?