It was a boilerplate message from one of my contacts. "Congratulations on your work anniversary!" it said, at which point I was a little baffled. A while later another one arrived, then another and another! I jumped on LinkedIn to see what was going on and it turns out that January 2021 was the official launch of YourPCM.
"Of course, it wasn't called YourPCM back then!"
No, it was the 'SLO Personal Contact Manager', which I renamed because it was an absolute mouthful to say and no one knew what SLO was supposed to be. Apart from it being S.L.O and being my limited company name (SLO Media Limited), people used to call it "Slow Media" which wasn't very good for a company in this high-speed digital age.
I only rebranded to YourPCM in autumn 2022. Still, the January 2021 anniversary was the date I felt my fabulous little "CRM designed exclusively for UK small business owners" was ready to hit the wild. There had been an entire year of on-and-off coding before that, just to get the core database finished, tested and offered to members of my BNI chapter to beta test as early adopters.
What's the timeline?
2020 was about coding the actual customer database and testing with my BNI chapter
2021 was about adding in the business search feature and refining other tools
2022 was about the HTML mailing list system and more bells and whistles, especially security
2023 is going to be about founder-led marketing and adding more and more subscribers
You see, you can't keep adding new features in the hope that your SaaS product suddenly becomes appealing to the masses. Launch and be damned ... It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be good enough ... get out there and show people your passion for what you have created (and other cliches).
Unless you're seriously lucky and become a unicorn almost overnight (like Open AI and Chat GPT), you have to keep plodding along, marketing, networking, 121-ing, free-trailing ... until you get to the point you have a critical mass of subscribers and the snowball rolls down the hill on its own. That, for me, is 100 subscribers.
"At that point, everything changes. It is no longer a proof of concept!"
Any SaaS that can support 100 subscribers is proven. The product works, the business model works, and it's generating a solid income ... this is the point you get others involved because although I can physically look after 100 subscribers, any more than that is going to cause serious time issues for me.
I've already agreed on the plan with my accountant. We spin YourPCM into its own limited company, then apply for R&D tax credits, get approved for seed funding and look for some initial investors, then we build the team and grow some more. A lot more ... ready for VC funding.
"But that's all going to happen in 2024!"
For 2023, it's about founder-led marketing and adding more and more subscribers into the mix. YourPCM is such a good CRM (I hate calling it a CRM!) and has a focused target market made up of people who understand why good business relationships between small businesses are essential. I always want YourPCM to have that small business feel, no matter how big we get.
So, well done to me for completing two years with YourPCM. I'm very much enjoying year three so far.
Love, light and logic ...
The CRM designed exclusively for UK small business owners ...