Update on my general situation
I’m using the term “weekly” pretty loosely here. My last update was almost a month ago.
The few couple months have been some of the “busiest” I’ve had in quite some time due to overcommitment. At one point I had 7 or 8 simultaneous active client engagements and 4 people working for me. I’m also going to Nigeria tomorrow, and the preparations for that trip have been pretty diverting.
Probably the most exasperating part of the last few months of craziness is that I’ve made almost no time to work on Snip. That’s frustrating because the more consulting work I do, the less passive income I’m building for myself, and having less passive income diminishes my ability to work on building passive income. It’s a vicious cycle. It’s of course possible to escape that vicious cycle, but only if you muscle your way to escape velocity, which I’ve prevented myself from doing by overcommitting to client work.
So I shed my 7 or 8 clients one by one until I got down to just two clients. I would put both these remaining two clients under the category of “dream client”.
This trip I’m taking to Nigeria is disruptive to me in the sense that everything else in my life is going to get put on hold for 3+ weeks, but it’s also had quite a cleansing effect. It gave me a reason to strip away all but my most essential activities, and to delegate things that can be delegated. When I come back from Nigeria, I don’t plan to pick back up any of the old time-taker-uppers.
Even with so much stripped away, I’ll still be fairly overcommitted when I get back, with undelegable work. One thing I have to do is get to a certain point with a certain project so I can get paid for it. After that I can conceivably scale back with time on that project, or delegate the work, or both.
As part of my goal-setting for 2015, I set a goal to get to $1,000/mo in revenue for Snip by March 31st of this year. (Current revenue is about $430/mo.) Unlike the times in the past when I’ve set similar goals, this time I conceived a path of how to get from here to there. Said path follows.
- Fix onboarding bugs (done). I recently discovered a couple embarrassingly critical bugs in my onboarding process. For example, you couldn’t create a new stylist, which as you can imagine is pretty important to the process of getting started. I saw this set of bug fixes as a non-negotiable, critical, high-priority item.
- Plug the tax rate hole (done). Until recently there was no way for salon owners to get their own retail tax rates into the system. This meant that, until I somehow remembered to ask the salon owner what their tax rate was and manually enter it into the system, any retail transactions that salon did would be wrong. This is obviously bad, and unduly time-consuming for yours truly. I called this problem the “tax rate hole” and some time ago I plugged it.
- Put trial sign-up form on home page (name, email, password). After seeing months of an abysmally low opt-in rate for “view demo” as a call to action, I had an idea. What if instead of a demo video, I just let prospects into an interactive demo. The first screen of this could be the actual “calendar screen” in Snip, but with everything kind of grayed out and a pop-up box in the middle that says “Unlock Demo”. You can enter your name and email address to “unlock” the demo. I imagine that if people feel like they’re already “there” and they can kind of see inside the UI already, they’ll be more inclined to just enter their info to be able to play with the demo. I was originally thinking this would involve a considerable amount of programming, but then I thought, “Hey, wait, I’m retarded. I can just take a screenshot and make the background grayed out in Photoshop, and then slap a form on top of that.” In fact, the version 0.1 of this form could just be a big fat button on top of a screen shot that says “Free Interactive Demo” which links to the 30-day trial sign-up page. What I’d like to do as a next step is take out the extra step and put the sign-up form directly over the screenshot, but that will require some programming acrobatics (WordPress will need to call currently-nonexistent Rails API endpoint to create an account) and that’s a time commitment I can’t afford in the next 24 hours before I leave for Africa. But I’m super fucking pumped about the idea.
- Autoresponders throughout 30-day trial. Right now you don’t even get a stupid welcome email (at least not automatically) when you sign up for a Snip account. You should be getting emails like every day for the whole 30 days (and beyond) until you tell it to fuck off.
- Redesigned website. My website looks like shit and has forever. Once I have the previous items in place, I plan to spend $500-1000 to have it professionally redesigned.
- AdWords. It would be stupid to pay $5-10/click to send people to an ugly website with a broken funnel. Once I have a (presumably) non-broken funnel and a better-looking website, I feel like it’s no longer unwise to buy some traffic.
- Get as prominent as possible on Capterra. Capterra is a review site and they rank first for some salon-software-related terms, enough so that I think appearing prominently in Capterra matters.