Everything seemed to ramp up in March 2023 with my SaaS business, YourPCM. There have been all sorts of things going on, mostly around Zoom, but outside of that too. Here's what I've been up to this month ...
I've done loads of networking in March 2023 and it's giving me a good return on my investment!
I think I mentioned that at the start of the month, I subscribed to Zoom Phone. I built a menu system for it, added custom prompts courtesy of Speechelo and created a number of queues within the business. I have a separate queue for the Growth Team, Subscriber Team, Developer Team, Billing Team and Suppliers Team. There's also voicemail in the mix too.
Now, you may think, "Why does she need all that when it's just her?" Well, it's because Zoom phone tells me which queue the call is coming from, so I know what the person wants to talk about. In addition, it initiates a YourPCM search on the phone number so before I even answer the call, I now know who they are and what they want to talk about. See why I like it?
"I joined a couple more networking groups in March!"
Vrtual networking works well for me as it's a low-cost method of getting in front of my ideal clients. And the more you do it, the more people trust you and the more request for demos and 121s I get. Once I get people to that point, it becomes a lot easier to start a free trial, make sure they've received the emails and text YourPCM sends them and start the onboarding process.
As YourPCM is SaaS, it is a low-cost, high-subscriber product, which means I need to keep all costs for my customer acquisition as low as possible. Zoom networking with different groups around the UK works very well for me. I'm part of Peppercorn Networking, Go Connections and The Trusted Business Community and network with them a couple of times a week.
Thought I do need face-to-face time with my peers so am a member of Collaborate MK in my home town which means I get a couple of virtual meetings with them, but also a couple of face-to-face. I mean, I wouldn't drive to Manchester to do a demo in the hope of getting a free trial, but shaking hands and saying hi to people in my local area is always a good thing.
"I met with my Accountant last week and agreed to do a business plan. Oh Lordy!"
We've been talking about different ways to get investment and whether I should join an Accelerator in September (I've been invited). But whatever I do, Roger insisted I needed a business plan with 5-year projections! Being a die-hard techy, it's a bit strange to sit down and write down all aspects of my business. Yes, it's in my head, but it's getting it all out and on paper, that's the challenge.
ChatGPT 4 has been a great help. I asked it for an outline for a SaaS business plan and it produced something really good. I've been asking it to write the initial sections and then modifying what it produces into my voice. I like ChatGPT, it's beginning to get very useful for all things marketing now, and it's certainly helping me get the business plan done.
"Ok, I'll admit it ... I've been doing some coding, but only at weekends!"
I find coding to be quite relaxing and having an idea then turning it into reality (as far as code can be real) is quite cathartic. I was becoming impatient with my sharing API for my legacy blogging clients. I usually send around 65 shares across 3 platforms via Buffer every day, but it takes time to set all that up in the morning.
I created a server queue to do it instead so the data for the share is actually directed to a new table in my database then the 'Sharing Processor' running on my server takes over and sends it out at a set time. It works beautifully so started to think about bottlenecks in YourPCM too. There are a couple of bottlenecks with my SaaS product.
"One is the business discovery tool which can take anywhere up to 5 minutes to return data!"
So, when one of my subscribers searches now, it also adds a copy into my database for use later on. For example, I did a search the other week for solicitors across the entire country. It took time (of course), but I was watching TV and drinking wine in my big comfy recliner, so it was no big deal to just monitor the progress on my lappy and initiate a new search when the first one finished.
But for any subscriber who wants to search for solicitors from across the country, what I found previously can now be used for them. So, instead of it taking a long time to return a list of 500 new contacts, it can happen in a few seconds instead.
Still working on that one, and haven't made it available to my subscribers yet, but I will do soon. They'll see a new option in the Discovery tab called 'Local' and just choose which profession they want from a drop-down list and it will add them automatically.
"The second bottleneck was sending mailers!"
I have 600 people on my mailing list and although it worked rather efficiently, again, it still took time to send out a big list because it was waiting for a response from our mail server before moving on to the next record. Now I have a 'Mailing Processor' to which all mailers are sent, then it rate limits the number of emails over time. This was so good that I've converted all the emails in the onboarding process and the morning red list emails to use it too.
Rate limiting the number of emails going out helps with deliverability. When systems like Gmail see hundreds of messages from the same mail server arriving at once, it guesses that it's bulk email so marks them down, potentially landing them in a spam folder. Receiving 5 mailers every few seconds is a much better way of 'fooling' mail servers into delivering them.
March has been really busy. Plenty of 121s, lots of demos, and a ton of networking. But most importantly, free trials, and new subscribers all getting trees planted for them. I'm so glad I found Tree Nation and integrated their API a couple of weekends ago.
YourPCM is growing at a steady rate and I'm working on the flywheel to get it to speed up and become self-sustaining over time. And that reminds me that next week's blog should be about the flywheel and what it actually is. It's a rather clever way of looking at your SaaS business, and I have noticed an uptick in the number of referrals. Thanks to my YouTube SaaS guru TK Kader for the heads up on that.
So, thanks to everyone I met on Zoom this month, thanks to all my new subscribers for believing in me, thanks to my friends and family for supporting me ... and despite the economic gloom the mainstream media keep bleating on about, here's to an awesome April for us all.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Love, light and logic ...
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