Weekly Snip Report, February 11th, 2015

The weekly Snip report hasn’t been weekly for a while, sorry. I was in Nigeria from January 15th to February 7th, so that’s a big part of the reason. I went to Nigeria for one of my clients to teach computer programming there.

Snip pretty much got put on hold the whole time I was in Nigeria. Actually, pretty much everything except the stuff I was doing in Nigeria got put on hold during that time.

Before I left, I had a rough plan for what I’d like to do on Snip when I got back:

  1. Move trial sign-up form to home page
  2. Set up autoresponders throughout 30-day trial
  3. Redesign website
  4. AdWords
  5. Get as prominent as possible on Capterra (Capterra is the #1 result when you search for “salon software” or “hair salon software”)

While I was gone a customer reported a couple bugs in Snip’s reporting area. I almost remembered that I’m currently paying a ridiculous $250/mo to Rackspace for hosting my various WordPress sites (including the Snip site). The only way to change the pricing, according to Rackspace support, is to do a full server migration. (You used to be able to just move a slider. WTF? Oh well.)

So here’s my new plan:

  1. Server migration
  2. Fix those couple bugs
  3. Move trial sign-up form to home page
  4. Set up autoresponders throughout 30-day trial
  5. Redesign website
  6. AdWords
  7. Get as prominent as possible on Capterra (Capterra is the #1 result when you search for “salon software” or “hair salon software”)

I actually did the server migration today, now I’m on #2.

One thing I did recently was to remove the “view demo” opt-in form from the home page and replace it with a link to a “free interactive demo”, AKA the 30-day trial. This has resulted in an increased level of trial sign-ups and, in fact, January 2015 was Snip’s best month ever in terms of trial sign-ups. I had 13 in January, and the best month I could find previously is 8. That’s maybe not super impressive but it always feels good to reach new records and milestones. I have to imagine that if I move the trial form from where it is now to the home page, it would increase the conversion rate even more.

On the consulting side I finally feel good about where I am. I’m no longer “in pain” due to ill-fitting clients (e.g. clients that use Backbone.js when I’m trying to become an expert in Angular, or clients that impose problematic schedule constraints). I mainly have two consulting clients now: one where I get to work with someone who is (among other things) one of the world’s most well-known Rails experts, and another where I get to pick my own technology stack (Angular + Rails is my choice), charge a very healthy hourly rate, and be able to cite a “locally famous” business as one of my clients. I feel pretty good about that stuff. It always makes me sad to remember that I’ve been working on Snip for over 4 years and I’m still barely anywhere, but now I feel like I’m at least 1 for 2 instead of 0 for 2 in terms of successful businesses I own. It feels good to be successful at something. And even if I were to somehow lose one of my two clients, each of the two is so good on its own that I would still feel very successful even without the other. As time goes on I’m feeling harder and harder to knock down, and my level of financial comfort reflects that too.

I also moved Ben Franklin Labs into its own dedicated office in January, although I didn’t actually start working in it until 2 days ago due to being in Nigeria and waiting to get internet. After over a year of working in shared co-working spaces, it feels nice to be 100% in control of my environment. No shitty music, no feeling like I’m a guest in someone else’s space. If anyone comes here it will be because I invited them, and on my schedule.

Ben Franklin Labs is necessary because I need an income and I’m not willing to get a job. It’s a big distraction from Snip, but it’s a totally necessary distraction. I’ve always thought that an easy/lucrative/fun version of BFL would be less distracting than a hard/shitty/broke version. These days BFL is more easy/lucrative/fun than ever, and I think that serves Snip’s interests well. Looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish in the next few months in both areas.

2 thoughts on “Weekly Snip Report, February 11th, 2015

  1. Pingback: Weekly Snip Update, February 18th, 2015 | Jason Swett

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