SaaS Founders Need Conversations, Not Data

So, your micro SaaS business isn’t growing nearly as quickly as you want it to.

As a technical founder, you likely believe the problem in your business is a lack of data. I get it — you’re used to leveraging data to make optimal decisions. However, you’re wrong.

This is the position I was recently in, as the Founder/CEO of Regios Technologies, Inc.

I thought I needed to maximize traffic as soon as possible. Several users told me they found me on a Shopify Community thread they found on Google, so that means I need to go full steam ahead on Google, right”?

In reality, high-speed SEO is impossible. You can’t rank quickly on Google.

The real problem is that you don’t know what to do next to grow your business. Because you’re a software engineer, you assume data will solve your problems. However, as an early-stage founder, you just don’t have that much data available. So, the next best thing… Is customer conversations.

Use What You Already Have

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

You can’t be the best at everything in your business. You also have limited resources. Therefore, you must be effective at the few things you’re good at. This means taking full advantage of your existing resources. You remember that email list you’ve built up over time? It’s time to use it.

Reach out to recent customers (especially the ones you haven’t spoken to in a while!) to learn more about their use case. Here’s what you need to learn:

  • Which customers get the most value ($$$) from your app
  • How they found you
  • Why they’re still using your app
  • What they think it’s missing
  • And most importantly, what specific problem your app solves for them

Time To Pivot My App?

I might be able to pivot my app to focus on a specific niche. I already have a niche in mind. I’ve encountered this niche a few times trying to use my app, but being limited by its current capabilities. I would love to pivot to serve this audience, as they sell to businesses. B2B companies ostensibly have more budget to spend, so serving them could increase my profits.

I also ran a quick experiment on changing my app listing’s keywords to better suit this niche. I found out that if I did, I would maintain a high ranking in the Shopify App Store.

The fact of the matter is, “Regios Automatic Discounts” is too general to be of high value to any specific customer segment. What is an “automatic discount,” anyways? It means so many different things to different people. Feature requests frequently come in, without any common theme behind them.

A pivot like this is a major commitment, so before I do this, I’m reading Deploy Empathy by Michele Hansen. I want to maximize every minute I spend talking with customers, and to reduce how much attention I pay free users.

Hopefully my thoughts in this progress update have been helpful to you. I’m sharing everything I learn on my SaaS bootstrapping journey, so make sure to subscribe.