1. Hello! Who are you and what is your business?
I’m Kevin, born in San Jose, Ca. I’ve started a few companies, and had a few successful exits in the past. My first successful business was InstaMaids, which was a cleaning company that allowed online bookings. Grew that to $40,000/month by month 4, and after 2 years, I sold the company and moved to Costa Rica for a bit. I then started a shave club with Rohan Gilkes, which we great to 1m annually in sales, and sold that as well. After that I started GrooveJar, a software company with pop ups, review widgets, and more. Which I later sold.
During all this time, I realized I was building a team of developers, and would just send my friends who requested their information to them. It wasn’t until later when I realized I should probably create this into some type of business as we have the team, and knowledge of putting successful projects together.
So I started NerdPilots, which was going to be very product based, but we soon realized we were getting all kinds of different projects. Both large software development projects, and smaller tasks. So we went through a few different custom built platforms, to land on something that could both do simple credit based tasks, and one time larger projects. The credit system allows us to take on a subscription of clients. They can purchase credits at a monthly discount, or just hire us one time at a slightly higher hourly, or total project rate.
Right now we’re doing about $20,000/month, and we’ve just been spending this time building and perfecting our platform, before growing it out. We have a staff of about 15 people, and now growing pretty steadily.
2. How do you attract and retain your customers?
Our first few customers came from facebook groups, and friends of ours. We got a few good clients from craigslist, but wanted to perfect the platform before starting paid ads, which we are not starting to do.
Adding things like hosting, and other types of software we own help keep people in our ecosystem.
3. What were your challenges and obstacles of growing your business?
We’ve has issues being consistent with incoming clients and work. We’ll have a month with multiple 5 figure projects, and then the month after that is dead. So now we are hiring a marketing manager, so that we have more consistent marketing. It’s definitely a challenge trying to juggle clients, projects, customer service, and then things that grow the company like content and marketing.
Like I mentioned before, we changed the business model a few times, to simple development tasks, to being more well rounded.
4. What has been helpful to help you to grow your business?
In regards to what has helped us grow, have a solid project manager, has really allowed me to free up some of my time and focus on marketing.
We’ve been using slack for our companies communication, and that has helped enormously.
By far though, just having a great team is so crucial. Without them, there is no company.
5. What is your advice for those are starting productized services?
When you start your own productized service. I think you need to be very flexible in the beginning to figure out what’s going to work for you. You might figure out that your customers needs are really different than what you were originally predicting. So staying flexible, and then niching down would be the way to go. Also, having a plan in place for growth, and how you are going to stay organized are super important. Things get very unorganized beyond half a dozen clients if you are not ready.
6. What are your plans for the future?
Our immediate goals are to get to a consistent $100,000/month or more in revenue. We are hoping to do with with a more traditional marketing approach via paid ads, and then in the future do more content and influencer marketing.
Growing out the platform, and keeping people in our ecosystem will be a focus in the future.
7. Where can we learn more about you?
Never forget to clean your HTML code and double check your content before publishing the articles!