This is a follow up story for ZenMaid. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
I’m Amar Ghose, the co-founder, and CEO of ZenMaid, a scheduling software specifically for maid services. We help over 1000 business owners every day to better manage their cleaning companies.
Last time we were featured on StarterStory we were in the 40k MRR range. Been a crazy year since.
We’re currently at $66,000 per month about 40% above where we were this time last year. COVID wiped us out pretty hard but we’re now growing 10% month over month as we recover. Prior to the pandemic, we had grown 60-70% over the previous 12 months.
This year I’m writing in from Edinburgh in Scotland. My wife and I are waiting for Thailand to re-open borders so we can head that direction.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
The last 12 months have resulted in minimal growth, mainly because we lost about 30% of our MRR to COVID in March 2020. Since then we’re recovering nicely and we’re back on track to break $1 million ARR before the end of the year.
It took us way longer than we expected but we succeeded where others failed simply because we didn’t give up.
We’ve doubled down on our partnership marketing and are running the 2nd annual Maid Summit next month with ~50 industry experts. Last year we had 2800 maid service owners attend this virtual event and this year we expect it’ll be even bigger!
After last year’s summit, we repurposed all 44 talks and spread them across our social media assets.
We recently hit 1000 YouTube subscribers (sounds like a low number but our niche is super focused, so this is huge for us) at almost the same time we broke the 1000 customer mark!
Our Facebook community now has over 5000 members and is growing fast.
Despite the hit we took to revenue this year, things are going quite well.
We’re also maturing a bit as a company and adding info products to our mix, starting with a few e-books on topics we know well.
We’ve also continued to invest heavily in paid advertising which I think could be our ticket to really scale.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Cash is King. The pandemic really hammered that home. We took a loan shortly before it hit and that really helped us. We’ve actually continued taking loans to help fuel our growth despite having money in the bank.
Focus. Right now we’re starting to do too many things at once when the key for us going from 1000 customers to 10,000 is to double down on what’s working. We have everything in place to scale, we just need to do more of what works!
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Now that we’ve hit that 1000 customer mark we’re confident that we have the systems in place to scale to help 5000 maid service owners and beyond. Getting the team behind that vision without needing to hire too many more folks (or add additional management layers) is vital in short term and long term for ZenMaid.
The biggest challenge here is going to be keeping our close, personal connections with our individual users and audience as we get larger and larger. We’ve already had to move demos to group format (rather than 1 on 1) to serve more owners.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
In terms of podcasts, I’ve been following My First Million by The Hustle (I also subscribe to their paid newsletter/community). I’ve also been paying attention to what Andrew Wilkonson at TIny Capital and Ryan Kulp of MicroAcquisitions have been doing with SaaS acquisitions
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Don’t give up. We took consistent action for years because we knew we’d get there eventually (exception: if your business is a moonshot). It took us way longer than we expected but we succeeded where others failed simply because we didn’t give up.
Our product wasn’t better in the beginning, our margins were worse than our competitors, no one knew our names. But we kept at it.
That’s true for most people trying to build a lifestyle business, if you stick with it long enough, it’ll work.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
ZenMaid is not hiring at the moment but I’ve recently acquired a new software - BurnChurn.io - which helps SaaS and membership sites to retain customers, lower churn, and get high-quality, actionable feedback.
We’re looking for affiliate partners at the moment if any readers are interested :-)
Where can we go to learn more?
I’m most active in sharing my business thoughts and strategies on Twitter. Please drop by and say hello!
- New project: BurnChurn.io ← click if you have a SaaS
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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