Questions

How can we sell SaaS business which does not have any paid users?

Hi, I’m Ryoma living in Tokyo, running a content marketing company and also a co-founder of bootstrapped SaaS called ZenMetrics (http://www.zenmetrics.com) - content discovery tool for Facebook marketers. I'm thinking to close down or sell ZenMetrics because of following reasons. 1) We lost our passion to solve a Faebook marketers’ problem which was “creating engaging Facebook content is hard work". We lost our passion because we found that Facebook Page API has too many uncertainties which is too hard for us to keep iterating the product development in our limited resource. 2) We can’t realistically believe anymore that we can be best Facebook content discovery tool in the world. 3) We think our market is not huge untapped market because when we tried to sell our product to our potential customers they said “Creating engaging content for our Facebook Pages is hard work but not really searching for a solution since we have more important issues” I’ve personally spent about $6K for the design/coding/server and $0 for development since it’s made by our technical co-founders in revenue-share model. Our best wish is to sell ZenMetrics.com and at least cover our costs but I think it's difficult as we don't have any paid customers yet. I'm looking for Clarity experts' advice for us.

5answers

Hi Ryoma,

Frankly without customers it would be a challenge to position the IP for a sale. With the barrier to entry being low in building the base technology, you have to show that there is something compelling you have built and customers really need this solution (even if they are not paying).

(Admittedly) In hindsight I can tell you this - don't build anything till you have lined up customers who are ready to pay. This is true even if you are building a freemium product.

Unless the technology you have built is remarkable and might find a place in some other company and given that the amount is relatively small, I would attribute it to cost of lesson learnt and move forward.


Answered 6 years ago

Hello Ryoma, and thank you for this question. I realize that you are likely hoping for a different answer, but I believe that it is very unlikely that you will be able to sell what you have built. My suggestion is to take what you've learned from this and do a full retrospective - thereby improving your odds of success in the future - and shut this down. Don't look at it as a loss but a lesson and move on to whatever is next with enthusiasm and more wisdom than you had previously. I wish you success!


Answered 6 years ago

Hi Ryoma!

The ideal thing to do is doing marketing before the product. If you found a problem worth solving, launch landing pages to test if people are willing to pay for the solution. Do this BEFORE building the solution.

Because you already have the solution built, try talking with your "potential customers" and ask why they are not willing to pay and use your solution. Learn from them and try to mind where should you pivot to then build solething they are willing to pay!

Passion is key for this. If you are loosikg pasaion for your project, find something where you really want to spend the next 5-10 years!

Hope it helps!!


Answered 6 years ago

There's no business here to sell.

You have some assets though.

Domain, brand, designs, webpage, technology, some process.

Invest minimal time - circulate the word among indsutry peers and past clients (if any) that it's for sale, throw it on a couple of marketplace (nominal cost in both time and money) and recoup a couple of thousand if you'd like.

If you're pursuing this sale and stating $6k invested in your question, it suggests the sum is still a significant enough of a number for you. In which case, releasing the assets for a discounted "rebate" is likely worth it to you.

Throw together a summary pitch. (Simply model a few successfully closed listings in whatever marketplace you put it into).

Load it on a few marketplaces.

Take a best offer.

You recouped a bit of money ...

Then move onto something else.


Answered 2 years ago

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