The SaaS Podcast - SaaS, Startups, Growth Hacking & Entrepreneurship
Geoff Atkinson is the founder and CEO of Huckabuy, a SaaS platform that takes SEO to the next level by automating the creation of structured data to help search engines better understand your website.

In 2015 Geoff started an affiliate website. It was a simple business model -- promote other companies' products and get commissions from the sales.

So his priority was to do a great job with search engine optimization and drive plenty of traffic to his website. And in order to do that, he needed to create lots of content. So he built a software tool to help him generate content.

He struggled wit that business for the next two years and he got nowhere. He knew that he had to either shutdown the business or pivot quickly.

And he had two interesting insights at this point:

1. Even though his affiliate business was a failure, he had several people asking him if they could license the software tool that he had built for himself.
2. After doing so much SEO, he realized how important structured data was becoming for Google and wondered if he could get ahead of the curve.

So based on those two factors, Geoff decided to pivot into a SaaS business. This was something that he knew nothing about.

And it became even more challenging when he had to try and sell his new product. Initially there was no user-interface, so he was going to sales meetings and trying to explain to prospects what his product would do for them but he had nothing to show them.

It was too much of a leap of faith for many prospects, but a few decided to give him a shot. And finally after three and a half years of working on his business, he started to get sales.

Today is business is almost $1.5 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).

So in this interview, you're going to hear Geoff's story and how he went through three and a half years of lean times for his business, how he pivoted into a SaaS business, what he learned about sales and the importance of structured data and how it could help you with SEO.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Direct download: 219_-_Geoff_Atkinson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Derek O'Carroll, the CEO of Brightpearl, a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) product for retailers and wholesalers.

In 2016, a SaaS company founded in a small city in the UK was struggling with a business model that was unsustainable. After almost 10 years in business, the company was struggling to retain customers and was quickly running out of money.

That same year, Derek O'Carroll was hired as the new CEO to help turnaround the company. He spent a lot of time talking to employees, partners and customers to figure out the issues.

He started building a list of things that needed to get fixed. And the more conversations he had, the longer his list got. He quickly realized that he wouldn't be able to fix everything.

He needed to focus. So he eventually identified 3 key areas of improvement. And he decided to focus the majority of his time and his teams' time on solving those 3 things.

It looked like a good plan. But it wasn't smooth sailing. In fact, when they started executing on the plan, they actually made the customer churn problem even worse for a while as they lost a lot more customers very quickly.

But they stayed the course and kept executing the plan. And eventually it paid off.

In the last 3 years, revenue has more than doubled and is growing at almost 50% year over year. And they've significantly reduced their customer churn.

The key lesson here is that if your business is struggling, or you feel like revenue has flatlined, or you have high churn, sometimes it can be overwhelming.

Where do you start? What do you solve? You might have a super long list of things. But identify the top 2 or 3 things that you believe will make a difference and do a really great job to execute relentlessly in those areas.

I hope you enjoy the interview.


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Need help building, launching and growing your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club Plus and get the insights, motivation and support you need to succeed. Learn more about SaaS Club Plus.

Direct download: 218_Derek_OCarroll_Brightpearl_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Josh Ho is the founder and CEO of Referral Rock, a SaaS product that helps businesses to design, launch and manage a customer referral program.

You've got a great idea for a SaaS product, but no one else seems as excited about it. Does that mean it's a bad idea and you should move on to something else? Not necessarily.

In 2013, Josh was at a car dealership waiting for his car to be serviced. He overheard a conversation which got him curious about how brick and mortar companies like car dealerships got referrals and if there was a way to automate word of mouth referrals.

He did some research that evening and thought he'd found a gap in the market. He was excited about his idea but he didn't like what he heard when he interviewed prospective customers. No one seemed excited about his idea.

But being a bit stubborn, he decided to build an MVP anyway.

He kept things really simple and cobbled together a few different tools and technologies to quickly build an MVP. And he started getting the word out anyway and every way he could.

And slowly he started getting people signing up for his product. About 18 months later, he had around 500 users signed up.

But there was one big problem. Josh wasn't charging any money for his product. He had hundreds of users but no customers and no revenue.

One day, a close friend told Josh something that he needed to hear. He didn't have a real business until he was charging for his product and generating sales.

So reluctantly that weekend, he added a paid plan. And to his surprise, a week later he had his first customer paying him $59 a month.

Today, Josh runs a 100% remote company with 12 full-time employees and he's generating $70,000 in monthly recurring revenue. And his business is totally bootstrapped.

At every step, he kept second guessing himself and questioning how big his business could become. But he kept executing, trying new things and taking action.

There was no magic bullet or hack that helped him grow. He kept doing small things to see what worked and if they did, they figured out how to scale them. And that's what he's still doing today.

It's a great story and Josh talks candidly about his successes and failures.

I hope you enjoy it.


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Need help building, launching and growing your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club Plus and get the insights, motivation and support you need to succeed. Learn more about SaaS Club Plus.

Direct download: 217_Josh_Ho_ReferralRock_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Shawn Finder is the co-founder and CEO of Autoklose, an all-in-one outbound sales automation platform.

Competing in a crowded market can be really tough. Having a great product and clear differentiation is super important, but sometimes that's not enough. You also need a great product launch that helps you stand out in the market and drive rapid product adoption.

In 2016, Shawn had an idea for a new SaaS product. He already had an existing business and realized that many of his customers were struggling with the same issue.

So he started thinking about how he could build a SaaS product to help them. After doing some research, he decided he was going to go all in' with this new SaaS business.

But there was one big problem. Shawn was building a sales automation product and so he was about to enter an extremely crowded and competitive market.

No matter how good his product was, he knew it was going to be a challenge to stand out in that market. So he knew that a successful launch was going to be critical for his new business.

In this interview you'll learn:

* How Shawn started promoting Autoklose 6 months before it launched and how he had 1000 demos booked when they launched the product.
* How Shawn worked with industry influencers and partners to help promote Autoklose and get in front of a much bigger audience.
* How Shawn used social selling on LinkedIn to position himself as an authority in the space and attract prospects.

As a result, the business has gone from zero to over a million dollars a year in about 18 months.

There are a lot of great lessons and insights in this interview. I hope you enjoy it.


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SaaS Club Plus


Need help building, launching and growing your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club Plus and get the insights, motivation and support you need to succeed. Learn more about SaaS Club Plus.

Direct download: 216_Shawn_Finder_Autoklose.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Cedric Savarese is the founder and CEO of FormAssembly, a SaaS platform that helps businesses to create web forms and collect data.

In 2002, Cedric moved from France to the USA. And he landed a job as a web developer at a higher education college in Indiana.

He found himself spending a lot of time building web forms to capture data. It was tedious and boring work. But he realized how important these forms were from a business perspective.

He started spending his evenings and weekends developing a form builder - an automated way for his end-users to create these web forms themselves. It was just a side-project.

He shared the project on Hacker News and people started signing up. After a while, he added a paid plan and before he knew it, he was earning coffee money from his side-project.

It was slow going, but Cedric kept working on his side-project. He listened to feedback he was getting and kept improving the product.

The cost of living in Indiana was pretty low compared to places like San Francisco. And after 2 years, he was making enough money to quit his job and focus on his product full-time.

But there was nothing unique about Cedric's product. There were already a number of similar form builders on the market and it seemed like new ones were being created every week.

So how big could his little side-project get? And how could he stand out from the crowd?

He kept listening to what his customers told him. And eventually he found one simple thing that helped him differentiate his product.

In this interview, you're going to learn what the one thing was. And you'll learn how he doubled down on that differentiator to bootstrap his little side-project into a profitable business with 65 employees.

It didn't happen overnight, it's taken Cedric 13 years to get here. But it's an inspiring story on how you can turn a simple idea into a successful SaaS business.

I hope you enjoy it.


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SaaS Club Plus


Need help building, launching and growing your SaaS business? Join SaaS Club Plus and get the insights, motivation and support you need to succeed. Learn more about SaaS Club Plus.

Direct download: 215_Cedric_Savarese_FormAssembly_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

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