I’m happy to announce that as of about 3:45pm today (November 27th, 2013), Snip is a profitable business. If you’re not familiar with Snip, it’s my salon scheduling software product I’ve been building over the last few years.
I got a call this afternoon from the salon manager of my newest customer, and we put the salon’s credit card into my payment system. I immediately had to jump on a Skype call with a consulting client after that, but now that that’s over I can bask in the glee of profitability.
Here are Snip’s monthly expenses (approximately):
|Google Apps (this powers email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org)||$10|
|Grasshopper (this powers my 800 number)||$25|
I have a total of 5 customers on various plans for a total monthly revenue of about $160. This means I have almost $30 a month in profit. I think my first purchase will be a monocle and my second one will be a top hat. Then I’ll start saving for a Lamborghini.
I’m not going to bust out the champagne and caviar just yet, though, because I’m probably not going to stay in the black for long. Here’s why:
- Strangely, one of my customers is paying for Snip, but they’re not actually using Snip. They started a 30-day trial some time ago and gave me their credit card info, and by now they’ve been charged, but they aren’t using the product. Don’t get the wrong idea – I’ve done plenty to fulfill my obligation of letting them know that they’re being charged, and I’ll happily (maybe not that happily) refund their money if they ask. But they aren’t using Snip, and I don’t have super high hopes at this point that they’ll ever start. So I’m probably going to lose this customer soon, and that will put me back in the red. (Side note: I always leave salons alone between Thanksgiving and New Year’s because they’re usually crazily busy during this time and focused on serving clients. I’ll reach back out to this customer in January and try to close the issue.)
- The domain name for Snip is sniphq.com, but in hindsight it really should have been snipsalonsoftware.com for SEO reasons. Some of my best keywords are salon software, hair salon software, salon scheduling software and salon appointment software. I already own snipsalonsoftware.com but I’ll need to set up email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, which will cost extra money per month, which will put me back in the red. (Eventually I suppose I can kill email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, bringing my monthly cost back down, but I think they’ll have to stay alive for a while because people will still be emailing me there.)
Reason #1 for going back in the red is obviously kind of sucky, but I don’t feel bad at all about #2. Switching to snipsalonsoftware.com is obviously an investment worth making, and the earlier the better.
My next announcement will probably be “Snip is now snipsalonsoftware.com! And I’m no longer profitable!” but I’ll of course get re-profitable at some point again.
By the way, you might be wondering if my current profitability is the result of Operation Get Profitable. Not really. I did get one new customer during OGP, but that was just kind of coincidence since they had been in the pipeline before that, and my newest customer came through a referral. I’m still chasing down leads generated during OGP.
I have a friend with a software business doing a couple million a year. He has a person on staff whose job is calling customers who have paid and helping to get them started (at $199/mo) STILL he has folks who do not activate and some who are even rude to the staff about the call, the customer knows they’re paying, knows they’re not activated, knows there’s free assistance to get started and they just don’t feel like doing it… but they don’t want to quit or cancel. I’ve had people sign up and pay for 6 months before they did 1 thing. It can’t be your job to make them use it, just to sell and support it. Some ppl are just going to do that. Keep going man.
Thanks, man! That’s totally nuts but I believe it. Some people are crazy.
I believe you can negate the cost of the additional domain emails by adding the other domain as an alias in Google Apps! Congrats!