Scaling things that don't scale

What was working

Since pivoting Magic Sales Bot back in November, MRR has grown 20% Month-over-Month to a touch over $1k.

I use the tool to sell the tool, and it's all pure hustle. I onboard every user manually, and then I check in almost weekly to make sure they're seeing signals that are worthwhile. Sometimes, I even write snippets of sales emails for them so I know they're getting value.

What I actually want

I can only do this manually for so many users, and 25-ish was a ceiling for me.

When I think on what I actually want out of a business I'm building, I have goals and anti-goals:

Goal: Make money on the internet that scales independently of my effort, work cyclically (some weeks are feasts, some are famine), do work that's interesting to me, earn $30k in MRR.

Anti-Goal: No calls. No set working hours. Do not work myself into another job.

To move towards my goal and away from my anti-goal, I spent this last month in an automation effort for my things that don't scale.

What my effort was

My work this month was two parts:

  1. Get more shots on goal by making it easier for people to try the tool
  2. Make it so users continually receive value without interacting with me


By removing the paywall up front and making it so user's could see data before signing up, I hope to get more shots on goal with more users.

The product-led growth approach is how I see myself scaling to my goals.

On the backend, I can't constantly monitor people's data manually. I see the process going like this:

  • I monitor data
  • I tell users when there is a cool piece of data, like a funding alert
  • They come into the tool and add it to their funding sequences

To me, there seems to be a simple path to automation: During setup, allow users to specify which sales emails should be sent to each signal type. Then, add new signals to those sales emails in their CRM, daily.

This way they're getting set up once and experiencing the value long-term, and won't have a reason to churn.

I spent a good chunk of the month redesigning the front-end to fit this goal, and to adopt a more professional-looking UI, which was feedback I'm acting on from users who did not convert.

What I'm seeing so far

I've got the first part of the equation done - the easier onboarding. I have yet to do the retention/activated user part of the equation for automating sales emails.

While I was doing this work, I was not doing the manual work for my users, so I saw churn. $300 out of my $1,050 in MRR, actually: churn

This is 5 users, total. They weren't getting value out of the tool because I wasn't feeding it to them.

On the surface, this sucks. I don't like churn. I hate it.

Slightly deeper, it signifies to me that it was a worthwhile investment to automate this stuff, and I'm automating the right things.

My goal for the first week was to get 10 users to submit their first company. I got 67 to do it in the first week.

Every day, I've been watching Hotjar and my analytics to remove snag points. Currently, I see people submit data and not interact with it, or get hit with account creation and bounce, or get no data for a small company and bounce.

That's my next step to work on.

So this is bittersweet: Great success on initial activation (though more is needed), poor churn out the backend, and only 4 account signups.

Why I need this to work

This is the second time I've passed $1k MRR and then fallen below it. The first was 14 months ago, with my first product, a much earlier version of this that wrote emails for you.

I don't want to plateau. I want to grow, and realistically have another 6-10 months of money in the bank before I need to come up with new solutions.

I would like to think this is good judgement, and I'm trying to improve my skills in that area. The quality of my decisions is the quality of this business, and I hope this is the right execution of the right decision.