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๐Ÿ“ฅ From Bankruptcy To Making $8605 Per Month: A Remarkable Turnaround

Learn the exact growth strategies Calendesk and other projects used to get their first few sales and beyond

Hi everyone ๐Ÿคย 

This is Cameron from growtharchive.xyz ๐Ÿ“ฅ

I wanted to thank all 115 subscribers for subscribing, Iโ€™ve been hitting 10-15 subscribers/day which is insane!

Every week, I highlight up-and-coming projects and successful startups' early growth strategies that worked and the challenges they faced when making their first sales and beyond.

Successful Startups Growth Strategies๐Ÿ“ˆ

Devcinch is a subscription product that allows you access to a software developer, replacing unreliable freelancers and expensive agencies for one flat monthly fee.

Project Launched: 23 June 2023
Founder: Mark Woodhall
MRR: $12,700 MRR (Updated 30th Of July 2023)
First Profitable Customer: 10-15 days after launch

How did you come up with the idea of Devcinch?

โ€œI had already been contracting as a Senior Software Engineer for a while and wanted to start to try to work with a model that didn't directly trade my time for money.

After some thinking, it became obvious to me that hiring software contractors is a process that could be improved. If you could pay a fixed monthly fee for a Software Engineer and you could cancel anytime, that might be quite appealing, and it would get rid of a number of pain points:

1. Contractors are expensive on a daily/hourly rate

2. It can be difficult to find the right contractor, hiring is hard

3. Most of the time you can't immediately cancel a contract if it isn't working out

4. In countries like the United Kingdom there are legal complexities that make hiring a contractor challenging (IR35)

5. Relationships might be short-lived, the contractor might quickly find another role, or go permanent

Devcinch removes all of the above problems and adds some unique benefits.

I started to research what already existed in the Software Development as a Service space and found nothing. There are a number of options in the design space that looked to be successful, so I decided to try to make it work for Software Development. โ€œ

How did Devcinch get its first profitable customers?

โ€œI already had a small group of trusted contacts who I have worked with in the past. Most of them have a CTO or Engineering Manager role.

I sent out an email to some of them that looked like this: "What is the number one problem for someone in your position that you would buy a fixed price package from a consultancy in order to fix?"

I had a few replies and two of them turned into Devcinch customers.โ€

What have you struggled with when building Devcinch so far and how has this shaped your business?

โ€œThe two customers I have so far are relatively large businesses, with existing technical teams, and well-defined, preferred ways of working. It can be difficult to persuade them of working to a model where they only measure the output, rather than the "hours worked".

As a technical person I've also found it quite difficult to market and I'd love to try to get some validation by winning customers that aren't existing contacts. โ€œ

What gives you and Devcinch that unfair advantage over new entrants into the market?

โ€œI think experience is a big factor in managing to work with multiple clients at the same time, context switching isn't easy, and I believe you genuinely need to have a certain skill set to be able to be productive enough to keep customers happy.

I'm hoping to keep running Devcinch as a solopreneur, obviously, this limits the maximum number of customers you can take on but it does mean that people who are impressed by my personal brand know they are working with me.โ€

What is your main growth strategy for Devcinch going forward?

โ€œI'm not entirely sure I believe there are two main markets for Devcinch, early-stage start-ups without technical founders and with enough money to pay for a Devcinch subscription and well-established tech teams at larger companies that just want a more flexible software engineering contractor.

Firstly, I think I need to choose one of those markets to focus on and have a content strategy that gets Devcinch in front of the right people.

I think it makes sense to also double down on existing customers, given the type of work I've been doing so far it is likely that they will continue to have many of the same problems that need addressing. โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰Check Out Devcinch๐Ÿ‘ˆ

Calendesk is an appointment-scheduling software built for businesses. Don't waste time arranging meetings with clients. Streamline your company's workflow - automatically.

Project Launched: 2020
Founder: Maciej Cupial
MRR: $8605 MRR (Updated 28th Of July 2023)
First Profitable Customer: Calendesk started with a free beta version, and after ~6 months, Calendesk got the first customer to pay for it.

Last week, i shared Calendeskโ€™s MRR chart on Twitter.

They are now up an extra $347 in MRR according to the latest chart Maciej gave me:

How did you come up with the idea of Calendesk?

โ€œThe concept for Calendesk was sparked during a casual conversation with my hairdresser. He was struggling to find an efficient tool to manage his bookings and customers, and given my background in programming, I thought, "Why not design a solution myself?" I thought it would be easy ... :)โ€

How did Calendesk get its first profitable customers?

โ€œWe began with a straightforward approach - we created a landing page with a clear CTA, and launched a Google Ads campaign. This strategy brought in some customers, but it wasn't profitable.

However, it did help us understand our customers' needs better and helped with product improvements - at least someone was using the platform and could leave feedback.โ€

What have you struggled with when building Calendesk so far and how has this shaped your business?

โ€œThe main struggle in building this project was initially mismanaging resources, hiring too many people, and burning capital too quickly.

After burning all savings and facing bankruptcy, the team had to be let go, and the entire project was completed by myself.

This experience shaped the business by encouraging a more conservative approach to hiring and spending, focusing more on selling the product than just building it.โ€

What gives you and Calendesk that unfair advantage over new entrants into the market?

โ€œIt is the invaluable experience gained from past mistakes. The project is now managed more efficiently, focusing on customer engagement, their feedback, and making the best product for themโ€

What is your main growth strategy for Calendesk going forward?

โ€œThe main growth strategy going forward is to use multiple channels to expand reach, including paid ads on platforms like Google Ads and Capterra, organic growth through SEO, word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers, and internal strategies like adding links to notifications and calendars to attract and retain new users.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰Check Out Calendesk๐Ÿ‘ˆ

MRR Chart Of The Week๐Ÿš€

New Projects To Keep An Eye On ๐Ÿ‘€

-Projects at $0MRR-

Seamlessly find, create, share and apply Your Perfect Wallpapers / Packs in a Single Hub.

Project Launched: 27 Jul 2023
Founder: Jeffrey Ken

Growth Plans:

- Building in public on Twitter
- Joining subreddits such as r/wallpapers and making a name for yourself there.

๐Ÿ‘‰Follow Jeffreyโ€™s Growth๐Ÿ‘ˆ

No-code, drag-and-drop tool to build, monetize and visualize APIs.

Project Launched: 23 May 2023
Founder: Khal

Growth Plans:

- Planning to focus on SEO to get their first paying user

๐Ÿ‘‰Follow Khalโ€™s Growth๐Ÿ‘ˆ

Quickfeedback makes collecting feedback IRL easy, quick and affordable. On the site, users can generate feedback forms and QR codes simultaneously.

Only a free-tier is available at the moment + waiting-list for a paid (but more powerful) tier! ๐Ÿ’ช

Project Launched: 23 May 2023
Founder: Adam Hawley

Growth Plans:

- At the moment, I'm trying to reach the initial users by conducting problem interviews with potential customers.

๐Ÿ‘‰Follow Adamโ€™s Growth๐Ÿ‘ˆ

The F5Bot Lead Generation Strategy ๐Ÿค–

Have you ever heard of F5bot?

F5Bot is a free service that emails you when your selected keywords are mentioned on Reddit, Hacker News, or Lobsters.

I use f5bot to keep track of certain mentions across all subreddit. Its a very powerful tool that has helped me get leads for my headhunting agency, Outforce.

I use it to track niche keywords like 'hire a virtual assistant' to quickly reach out and add value in the comments, get a sense of what they're looking for, and jump on a call before anyone else.

I recommend using the f5bot on a new Gmail account and avoiding using too many broad keywords, as your Gmail app will crash with 100s of incoming emails. (This happened to me ๐Ÿ˜ก)

Delegate Your Project Tasks To The Experts๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป

Did you know that you can start freeing up 2000+ hours worth of your operational tasks much earlier on in your business/side project than you think?

My team matches your startup with full-time 40 hour / week remote growth assistants from $800 / month, saving you up to 80% in average US salary costs.

  • Able to swop for a new candidate in our pool for free.

  • Cancel your subscription at any time.

  • No expensive hiring fees like other agencies.

Donโ€™t know what to delegate? You can book a free discovery call so we can understand your business and where our growth marketing assistants will fit in.

Thank you for reading and supporting the Growth Archive.

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See you next week!

- Cameron Scully (@cameronscully_)

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