The three of us all running productized service businesses of varying shapes, sizes, and phases of growth.
We compare notes and share our experiences about why we started a service business in the first place, what where our first growing pains, how we were able to remove ourselves and what it looks today into growing sometimes massive teams with layers of management.
Then of course, we talk taking the turn into software products which is kind of a trend these days with a lot of productized service businesses taking that next step.
[9:00] Why Russ and Craig started a service business instead of a software company.
“I was broke. I needed money now. So I was motivated to get it going and launch it.” Russ
“The business model tends to build on itself as opposed to software.” Craig
“If initially you are limited to only software, or only training, there is kind of a limit to number of available problems you are able to solve.” Brian
“What’s the fastest way to reach a launching-to-revenue point where I can pay my own salary and fund new products down the road?” Brian
[14:49] Pricing and money conversation.
“Just raise your prices, you’ll probably have same trajectory of growth but with better clients and less headaches.” Craig
“Clients want to buy services like they buy products on Amazon.” Brian
[18:53] Russ plays the host: How to deal with Haters?
[25:12] Craig plays the host: How to grow 3x?
[28:15] Removing ourselves from the business. Thoughts on hiring.
“We created a hierarchy of advancement. Everyone comes in at the same level. We don’t hire at a manager level. We don’t hire at a level other than designers.” Russ
[41:46] Why going to other products and not just keep growing the service.
“A SaaS product is worth a ton more money for the same revenue. A software product business is more predictable.” Craig
“Design Pickle was the stepping stone to my SaaS empire, and… that didn’t happen” Russ
“The problem is our businesses are growable but not as scalable as a Saas could be.” Brian
[50:27] Work balance managing the services and the products development.