How to bootstrap your SaaS business

Lauren Forth
Written by Lauren Forth
on October 15, 2020

Here at Xolo we aren’t your average business partner. We love talking to our customers and getting to know them and learning about their challenges, opportunities and ways of working. 

One of our inspirational customers is Mike from Rubini Solutions who works to quickly build, develop and market Software as a Service (SaaS) tech in order to deliver solutions for his customers. 

Mike currently lives in Italy (although wants to move to Lisbon) and he is one of our Xolo Leap partners. 

We talked to him recently about his SaaS business, how he has been affected by COVID-19, life as a solopreneur and how he generates revenue for his business. You can watch the full interview here, or read on for a quick summary of our discussion…

Xolo Talks vol 4 with Mike Rubini

Why did you set up your business?

As well as being a business owner and ‘techie’, I am also an avid lover of jazz music and love playing my saxophone professionally. However, after a stint in New York, I very quickly realised that being a jazz musician wasn’t that lucrative so I looked for other ways to make money so I could continue my passion for music. 

This is when I started selling SaaS. I originally established two agencies and quickly learnt a lot about the powers of outsourcing and delegation. After a short partnership with two other individuals I decided I wanted to go it alone. 

Rubini Solutions allows me to identify trends in various markets and develop solutions that help to inform other people’s business and personal decisions. 

Under my main business umbrella, I currently have nine SaaS products, although I’m always looking for new opportunities. The products are:

  • usecart.com
  • microacquisitions.com
  • groouply.com
  • targetbear.com
  • ecomads.io
  • Fastlien.co
  • Treendly.com
  • Geex.co
  • Jazz.services

A big part of my businesses’ growth was working with Xolo Leap. Although I am a completely online business, due to Italian bureaucracy I found myself doing lots of manual tasks like sending physical invoices. 

I did my research and found out about the Estonian e-Residency system and Xolo. It seemed to be the perfect solution for me, and it certainly has proved that way.

Launch-company-for-€69-month

Optimising your SaaS business

There are lots of ways you can optimise your SaaS business to increase profitability and reduce waste. Some of these are:

  • Not overbuilding. A common mistake of developers is to ‘overbuild’ their product. This results in a product with lots of features that becomes too expensive for the majority of customers. It’s much better to keep it simple. When you find yourself in this position you might even be able to split your product into multiple entities that are simpler, reach new audiences and are easier to use.
  • Partnerships. Although I tend to work alone, I do see the value in strategic partnerships in order to access new markets and appeal to new customers. 
  • Diversification. Try and understand multiple markets so that you can diversify your product portfolio.
  • Research. I do a lot of research in order to properly understand a particular customer need and this means that my products are properly built in order to provide a bespoke solution. I tend to find that surveys or looking at microdata can be really beneficial. 
  • Opportunities. Look at what your competitors are doing and try to find a gap in their offering. A competitor weakness could quickly become your unique value proposition. 
  • Be quick. Don’t spend too much time on a new product because you don’t know if it will be viable or sought-after until its actually launched on the market. For me, I want a new product to be profitable within days and if not then I usually delete it! I only want to focus on things that generate profits quickly.

Being a solopreneur

I have been a solopreneur for many years now and I think I knew from a young age that I wasn’t meant to work for others as I’m not very good at taking orders or directives!

I even learnt my trade on my own as I am self-taught in computer science, having started out just playing with coding and programming and gradually built my knowledge to where it is today. 

My products are mainly automated which means I don’t have to be too hands-on, although I’m not afraid of hard work and putting in the hours if I need to. As a freelancer it’s nice to achieve a work/life balance, benefit from the gig economy and find my own path in life.

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What is Xolo?

Xolo is an all in one solution for your online business – we are your company, bank account accountant and best friend.

We allow freelancers, the self-employed and digital nomads to set up and run their business in a hassle-free way, no matter where they are in the world. Our platform is fully automated and seamless, so you don’t have to worry about anything. 

  • Xolo Leap – In collaboration with Estonian e-Residency. This option gives you a full company that you are the owner of. You can complete the set-up from anywhere in the world and we will help you register, get a bank account and address and thereafter, your monthly bookkeeping and anything else you may need. 
  • Xolo Go – This is a quicker solution and is great if you need a legal entity from which to invoice. We have an invoicing tool and also provide you with a dedicated business bank account, a platform on which you can manage your expenses and it also allows you to make payments as you go. 

We are an automated platform, but we are real people and everyone in our team is happy to help our customers with any admin and business issues that they come across so that they can concentrate on actually running their business and dealing with your clients.

See plans

Find out more about Mike’s business, Rubini Solutions here or contact us today if you want to find out how Xolo can help you take your SaaS business to the next level. 

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