This is a follow up story for GORILLA ROI. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 1 year ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
My name is Jae and I’m a spreadsheet nerd.
Gorilla ROI is a Google Sheets add-on that connects Amazon Seller Central to Google Sheets.
If you sell on Amazon and want to automate your data needs, our software allows you to:
Autoload the complex and time-consuming reports from Amazon directly into Google Sheets.
Create 100% flexible and customizable reports that fit your business needs.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
We’ve been growing consistently. This time a year ago, when we first posted on Starter Story, we were doing about 8K in MRR. We are at 23K MRR one year later and that is nearly all through SEO and word of mouth.
If you are building software, get a database engineer to create a robust structure in the beginning. Less pain.
We’ve decreased churn, improved user stickiness and the biggest focus has been on creating product expansions for users to be able to upgrade to higher plans and additional features.
Rather than offering a single price for a “one size fits all” software, we are finally at a point where our base product is so thorough that I’m confident it will take a long time for anyone to catch up in the same space. This allows us to create additional addon packages for upselling and increasing order value. I like to sell to existing customers, improving their business journey and also increasing our MRR.
The new product expansion is very new, but this has led to higher LTV and lower churn. Churn is an area I always think about. The biggest reasons for us stems from:
- Wrong people signing up
- Product not meeting expectations
My goal is a 7% month-over-month growth. On an annualized basis, this comes out to a target of 125% growth in MRR. Ambitious considering the lack of marketing I do, but not far off.
We’ve hired an extra developer and also continue using my long-time software agency for smaller things that need to be done quickly.
I still haven’t gone deep into marketing. It’s my biggest weakness. I’ve done about 10 youtube interviews and podcasts, and sales trickle in from those, but for the amount of time invested, the ROI isn’t great.
- Youtube interviews - also could be that I haven’t landed the right Youtuber as the host.
- FB ads - users are far too early in the funnel and the advanced people I try to target don’t spend time in Amazon FB groups. Mostly all new people trying to get started selling on Amazon.
- Affiliate marketing - unless I have a very well-known software or brand, it’s not worth it. Low sales. Need a strong presence on youtube or as a personal brand for affiliate marketing to take off.
SEO is still our bread and butter as we are ranking high for many of our main search terms.
Pretty much all over Google for anything related to Amazon and spreadsheets. And there are always new keywords to target. Long-tail keywords work.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Biggest lesson is actually learning from my past failures and doing the opposite in growing Gorilla ROI. When I ran oldschoolvalue.com, I created an all-in-one software with a single price.
Every time a new feature was added, it was included and free for everyone. That’s why I focused on creating a product with a customer expansion journey. Creating upgrades for people who want the special features.
We’ve had a lot of server and performance issues as we launched quickly and kept building on top of it. Lots of headaches came from that as we had to change servers, upgrade architecture, and so on. If you are building software, get a database engineer to create a robust structure in the beginning. Less pain.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Our software is based on Google’s ecosystem. Currently, we are only on Google sheets but plan to integrate with other Google products like Google Data Studio, Big query.
If any Amazon seller is looking to create and analyze data on a Google service, we want to dominate the space.
This means we can create more specialized products and further increase the product expansion MRR. Someone may use Google Sheets now, but 2-3 years later, they may outgrow it and want to use Google Data Studio and I want to be there when they are ready to make a move instead of sending them to another company.
Easy ones that are on the list:
- More content and SEO
- Uploading videos and tutorials on youtube
- Growing a FB group
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I’d recommend The Traveler's Gift. It’s more geared towards motivation and as an entrepreneur, it’s hard to be surrounded by like-minded people. This book is very uplifting and breathes some fresh air and perspective.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
I just see it as a market fit.
Are you trying to sell something where you are creating the problem and then trying to solve it? Or does the problem really exist and are people looking for a solution?
If it’s the first, time to pivot. If it’s the second, find out where your target market is hanging out and get leads and sales from there.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Yes. A content writer who is an expert with Amazon and spreadsheets.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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