For the last month or so, I’ve been helping Moraware hire my replacement – an interesting experience!
Why are we doing this? Well, I’m starting my own company: Simple Integrations. I’ll share marketing stuff soon, but the goal is to help businesses like countertop fabricators eliminate duplicate entry. Anytime someone reads information from one system and retypes it into another – that’s my cue to improve things.
This business was created from demand – customers were asking me to solve a specific type of problem for them. There appears to be enough demand to turn it into a business. I have a plan to do just that, and I’m going for it.
Here’s what’s different about my new software business:
- Instead of charging an hourly rate or a large upfront amount, I’m charging a monthly recurring fee for (largely) custom solutions. I call this approach “Custom SaaS” – customers like it because there’s very low initial investment and almost no risk for them. I like it because I get the beauty of growing Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and its correspondingly high customer Lifetime Value (LTV).
- This pricing approach (charging a recurring monthly fee based on the value of the problem) means I’m shifting the risk of custom software development from customers to me. I can absorb that risk by limiting myself to integration problems. As long as I focus on integrating systems that I know (or want to know) extremely well (like Moraware!), it’s risk that I can manage. It also means that I should avoid doing much user interface work (because getting UI right is inherently more expensive than back-end magic). The simplest, non-technical way to describe the type of problem I solve is that I eliminate double entry.
- There’s strong evidence to suggest that certain integrations will grow into products that I can resell multiple times.
Countertop fabricators are perfect customers for me, because they’re successful, but they typically lack IT departments. I can help successful companies in any industry, but my services are probably less needed for companies that have their own IT departments.
I already have a couple of customers paying me monthly for small solutions. The next step is to free up more time to pursue more customers and solve more problems. That’s why we’re hiring my full-time replacement.
I’m very proud that my relationship with Moraware is strong enough to evolve in this way. I simply approached them about moving from full-time to approximately half-time in order to pursue this new adventure and still feed my family while my business grows. That’s the plan anyway 😉
Obviously, I’ll explain much more over time, but this ball is starting to roll downhill – wish me luck!