The Emotional Rollercoaster Of SaaS Entrepreneurship
Up down, up down, round and around ...
Posted by Steffi Lewis on 03/03/2023 @ 8:00AM
Seriously, who'd be a SaaS entrepreneur? It is very hard work and I sometimes look at those with a proper job working 9 to 5 with a little jealousy. But the key thing about SaaS entrepreneurship, or in fact, the key to any type of entrepreneur's work, is to never ever give up ...
I've been working for myself for the best part of 30 years. Some of it was pure self-employment, some of it contracting, and other parts as a company director. I've done many different web projects for many different clients (big and small) and I'm glad to say that I've enjoyed it all.
"No one can ever say I've had a boring career!"
I've had some real highs in my career, as well as some flat-out lows too. There have been times I've had plenty of money and was able to follow my hobbies and passions, and other times when I've had to decide whether to feed myself or my cat until that next client payment clears in a few days. The cat always won by the way. There are very few entrepreneurs, in SaaS or otherwise, who haven't experienced similar.
However, there is a common theme among all the successful entrepreneurs I've met in my time. Yes, they've experienced the highs and lows as I have, but we all have that one common attribute: we're stubborn, bloody-minded and refuse to give up. Ok, that kinda sounds like three things, but you get the point.
Building out your product takes time, and many SaaS entrepreneurs want to make it perfect before they launch it. I know of one chap who spent years trying to get it just right. He ended up selling one property, remortgaging another, and then spending two whole rounds of investment just to keep himself going until it was perfect. I still don't know if he's launched to this day!
Your product doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be good enough. Get the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) out the door, start marketing and start adding your subscriptions!
I'm very fortunate that I have my legacy blogging clients to fall back on. I create and publish blog posts for them each and every week (sometimes twice a week) and I also do social sharing and blog mailers for them too. Remember, YourPCM spawned out of the digital marketing platform I built, so they're my existing clients and they help me pay the bills as YourPCM is a bit young to support me fully.
Anyone who wants to bootstrap a SaaS business needs a product they can sell, a market to sell it into, a proven method of lead generation and a source of income to keep them going as they move from the Proof of Concept stage (less than 100 subscribers) to something that investors could put money into. Not every SaaS entrepreneur has an existing source of income to fall back on until the Venture Capitalists come along and throw money at you.
"By the way, you think you work hard bootstrapping? Just wait until you have investors who demand results!"
I'm still in the Proof of Concept stage and am not looking for investors, but I'll be out of it this year at some point with a brand new limited company and me hunting around for some seed investment and a pile of R&D tax credits. I've been offered a place on an Accelerator program in September, so it seems my plan to wait for 2024 may be brought forward by a few months.
But despite all these exciting opportunities coming my way, the cost of living crisis has forced up all of my bills, especially household energy, petrol for my car and food. It is just so frustrating, and don't get me started on my food bills. Tesco, I'm looking at you.
It is tough, and we're all feeling it. There are days I wake up and I wonder what the hell I'm doing. I check my online banking and worry about my balance, I wonder what would happen if one of my legacy blogging clients left and how that would seriously impact my cash flow, and I'm sick to death of all the prices of things going up! Bloody stupid inflation.
"But ... this is the key: Never, ever give up!"
Even if you have to go stack shelves a few nights a week, deliver pizza or even get a part-time job for a few whole days a week you should never, ever give up on your SaaS dream. If you automate sign-up then it becomes easier for people to get on board.
Use Calendly to book onboarding training sessions and do all your meetings via Zoom to save time. Block out all the time you have to spend on other things. And if you're still in the development phase, pushing out your MVP while working on the full product for release, schedule that coding for the weekend and concentrate on the business during the week.
There are ways to solve every challenge you face and whatever the world throws at you on your SaaS entrepreneurial journey, you need the resilience to keep going!
Life is difficult right now, and it's easy to feel glum about it. But honestly, never ever give up. Buddha said, "Like all things, this too shall pass" and we will see an upturn again soon, I promise.
Oh, it's an entrepreneur's life for me.
Love, light and logic ...
The CRM designed exclusively for UK small business owners ...