How We Are Bootstrapping Our Software Development Agency To Success

Published: April 3rd, 2023
Sharvin Shah
Founder, MTechZilla
from Satara, Maharashtra, India
started February 2021
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Hello, my name is Sharvin, and I started a company called MTechZilla. We develop high-quality websites and apps for mobile devices based on the client's requirements. As a software enthusiast with 5 years of experience, I love solving problems with innovative digital solutions that meet the specific needs of businesses and people.

At MTechZilla, we believe that technology should work for people, not the other way around. That's why we take a user-centered approach to every project we undertake, working closely with our clients to understand their goals and objectives and designing solutions that exceed their expectations.

Our talented team of developers, designers, and project managers is committed to delivering the highest quality work on every project, large or small. We offer a variety of services for our clients, from responsive web design to native mobile app development.

We are committed to staying at the forefront of innovation and keeping up with the latest trends and advancements in the industry. We take pride in our ability to provide innovative solutions that allow our clients to stay ahead of the competition. If you're looking for a partner to help you develop a website or mobile app that meets your unique needs, we would be honored to work with you and help you achieve your goals.

The core principles upon which I have built MTechZilla are honesty and persistence, both of which are crucial in ensuring the success of any business endeavor.

Since our inception, MTechZilla has focused on providing tailored software solutions based on each client's specific requirements. Over the past two years, our dedication to delivering high-quality services and adhering to our values has resulted in a significant expansion of our clientele. We began with a single client and have grown to serve more than five clients during this time.

Our year-on-year growth has been substantial, averaging 200%. Moreover, the applications we have developed have successfully catered to thousands of users. One aspect of our company that I am particularly proud of is our ability to maintain long-term relationships with our clients. Our initial clients remain part of the MTechZilla family, and our client base has continued to expand, primarily through word-of-mouth referrals.

In conclusion, the values of honesty and persistence have been fundamental to MTechZilla's growth and success. These principles have guided us in building strong relationships with our clients and delivering exceptional software solutions that meet their needs.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Growing up, I always had a deep passion for programming. I spent countless hours tinkering with code and creating patches for various offline computer games. While some of these patches would completely crash the game, others would add interesting new features.

My interest in programming grew as I grew older. I decided to pursue my interest in computer science and enrolled in a course at Pune University. It was there that I began to learn more about web and app development, and I quickly realized that this was the direction I wanted to take in my career.

Over time, I started to receive more and more requests from friends and acquaintances for software development tailored to their needs. It seemed that everyone needed a website or app that could help make their lives easier.

That's when the idea for MTechZilla was born. I wanted to create a company that specialized in developing software solutions that were user-friendly, intuitive, and innovative. I knew that there were other software development agencies out there, but I had a unique vision for how I wanted to approach this industry.

Before I officially started the company, I started working on a contract basis to test out my idea and make sure it would work. This gave me a chance to learn more about the industry and build a good reputation before I took the plunge and started MTechZilla.

Today, I am proud to say that MTechZilla has grown into a successful company that helps businesses and individuals alike develop the software solutions they need to thrive in today's digital age.

By consistently delivering on our promises, we have earned the trust and loyalty of our clients, who have continued to work with us for years.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

When we started MTechZilla, we were bootstrapping our way to success. We had a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve, but we had to work hard to make it happen. We had to convince clients to take a chance on us, and we often had to offer discounts or other incentives to get them onboard.

Our first customer acquisition channel was technical publications such as dev. to and freecodecamp, where I wrote a blog that attracted our first client. Over time, our hard work paid off. We provided quality service to our clients, and that led to word-of-mouth referrals. As our reputation grew, so did our business. We hired talented individuals who shared our vision and helped us to expand our services.

When I'm asked about the first hire at MTechZilla, I prefer to approach this question from a different perspective. In our company, I believe that every person we have hired so far and those who are part of our journey are, in essence, our "first hires." Each individual has brought a wealth of knowledge and skills to the table, contributing to the improvement of our processes.

Regardless of their roles, be they Engineers, HRs, QAs, or Project Managers, everyone has introduced new initiatives that have actively propelled MTechZilla's growth. I am proud to say that each hire we make shares the same vision and goal, working together towards the betterment of our company.

In terms of our digital presence, we built our first website using Next.js and hosted it on Vercel. With the help of analytics, we identified areas of interest and began upgrading the website. We redesigned our website, created a new logo, and developed a mission statement that communicated our values. Around six months ago, we introduced a 'blogs' section using Ghost, which significantly increased traffic to our site.

We also focused on creating content that provided real-time value to our clients and others in our industry. One such example is our recently launched case study, 'how to develop an MVP in a month,' which garnered around 600 readers within a month. We believe there are still many areas to develop and are actively working on them.

By doing this, we attracted even more talented individuals who wanted to work with us. But perhaps the most important thing we did to grow our business was to focus on content. We knew that standing out from the competition would be crucial, so we created content that provided real-time value to our clients and others in our industry.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the importance of having team members who take ownership of their work and are willing to initiate new ideas.

This helped us to increase our SEO ranking and build our reputation as a company that truly cares about its clients. Overall, building the first version of our service model was a challenging but rewarding process. We learned a lot along the way, and we continue to innovate and grow as a company.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Launching MTechZilla was an exciting but challenging process. As a bootstrapped software development agency, we had to start from scratch and build our brand and reputation in the market.

To begin with, I leveraged my existing client base and offered them the option to move to my new portfolio. This gave us a head start in terms of revenue, but we quickly realized that we needed to expand our client base to grow the business.

However, in the first few months, we struggled to gain traction in the market. We were new to the industry and had to learn how to build our brand organically. We focused on creating valuable content that demonstrated our expertise and unique selling points. Our approach paid off, and over time we began to gain more clients through word-of-mouth referrals.

It was a tough time, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic which slowed down the market. But, we persevered and continued to innovate and adapt to the changing market conditions. After six months, we began to onboard new clients, and they are still a part of our portfolio today.

Most of our leads are organic and originate from word-of-mouth referrals. This has proven to be a highly effective and trusted way of acquiring new clients. Upon receiving a client's requirements, my initial step is to create a comprehensive presentation and pitch that outlines the necessary next steps.

The primary goal of this presentation is to demonstrate how MTechZilla can accelerate the development process and help the client bring their dream product to market. I emphasize our ability to understand their vision, provide innovative solutions, and deliver high-quality results.

The presentation typically includes a detailed plan outlining the development process from start to finish. This plan consists of a timeline specifying the delivery dates for each phase, ensuring that the client is well-informed and confident about our approach. By breaking down the project into manageable milestones, we can maintain transparency and create a collaborative environment that fosters trust between MTechZilla and the client.

Throughout the sales process, communication is vital. We maintain an open line of dialogue with the client, addressing any concerns or questions they may have. This ensures that both parties are on the same page and that the final product aligns with the client's expectations. By focusing on transparency, communication, and a tailored approach, we have successfully built lasting relationships with our clients and continue to grow our business organically through word-of-mouth referrals.

Once we had established a sales process, we faced a new challenge: finding the right talent to grow the team. Initially, I tried to hire locally, but I struggled to find the caliber of candidates that we needed. So, we switched to a remote hiring model, which opened up a whole new pool of talented individuals. This decision has been a game-changer for MTechZilla and allowed us to become a fully remote company.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

MTechZilla's approach to attracting and retaining clients is built on a foundation of quality and value. We believe that by providing exceptional service and delivering on our promises, we can establish long-term relationships with our clients.

One of the key factors that have contributed to our success in retaining clients is our focus on delivering quality. We are committed to providing the best possible solutions to our client's needs and we always aim to exceed their expectations.

We have made several adjustments to our services in response to client feedback. We prioritize maintaining open communication with our clients, and to facilitate this, we send out feedback forms every month. This approach has proven to be highly effective in identifying key issues and implementing improvements to our service. A specific example I would like to mention concerns the development methodology we initially employed. At the beginning of our journey, we used a Kanban-based approach, which proved effective in accelerating app development. However, as the apps reached the release phase, we found, and our clients agreed, that using Sprints could be more efficient during this stage.

As a result, we adapted our development process by incorporating a mix of both Kanban and Sprint methodologies. When starting app development, we use Kanban, which allows for flexibility as clients often do not have a complete list of requirements in mind. This approach enables them to experiment with their ideas.

Once the client has a clear outline of their requirements, we transition to using Sprints. This mixed approach has not only allowed us to better cater to our client's needs but has also improved the overall efficiency and effectiveness of our development process.

By consistently delivering on our promises, we have earned the trust and loyalty of our clients, who have continued to work with us for years.

In addition to providing quality services, we also believe in giving back to the development community. This is why we regularly publish content on our website, sharing our day-to-day experiences and insights with the wider community. By doing so, we not only provide valuable information to other developers but also increase our online presence and improve our SEO rankings.

When it comes to attracting new customers, we rely on organic growth rather than paid advertising. We believe that word-of-mouth referrals and the strength of our content are more effective in building our brand and reputation than traditional advertising methods. By maintaining our focus on quality and delivering valuable insights to the development community, we are confident that we can continue to attract and retain customers in the long term.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

For the future of MTechZilla, we are very optimistic. We have grown from a team of one to 15 people in just two years, and we are continuing to expand. Our ultimate goal is to help as many people as possible turn their dreams into successful products.

Currently, we have a strong presence in Europe and the USA, but we are eager to expand into new regions and reach even more people. We believe that our unique focus on quality and customer satisfaction will continue to set us apart in the market.

In the short term, we are working on reaching more potential customers through our case studies and tech blogs). We want to showcase our expertise and build a community of like-minded individuals who share our passion for software development. In the long term, we aspire to make MTechZilla synonymous with quality service and become a leading player in the custom software development industry.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Certainly, starting a business has been a tremendous learning experience for me. Initially, I was unaware of the many challenges that came with building a company, and I still face new and uncertain challenges every day. However, overcoming those challenges has helped me evolve both personally and professionally.

In the early days of the business, as a bootstrapped company, it was difficult to convince clients to work with us, and we often had to offer discounts and promotions to onboard them. While this may have helped us initially, we quickly learned that to retain clients, we had to prioritize quality over discounts and offers.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the importance of having team members who take ownership of their work and are willing to initiate new ideas. At MTechZilla, we are lucky to have a team that shares this mindset, and it has been instrumental in the company's growth.

As a founder, I also learned that you must wear many hats and juggle many responsibilities. Coming from a technical background, I had to learn about management, finance, sales, and other areas that were new to me. It was challenging, but ultimately, it has helped me become a more well-rounded entrepreneur.

Overall, the experience of starting and growing MTechZilla has taught me valuable lessons that will continue to serve me well in the future.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

At MTechZilla, we rely on several powerful tools to run our business effectively. One of our most essential tools is Google Workspace, which provides us with secure email services, document storage and sharing, and a chat tool for internal discussions. This helps us to stay organized and collaborate effectively as a team, no matter where we are located.

Another tool that we cannot do without is Github. It has been an integral part of our workflow since the beginning of our business. With Github, we can manage large codebases and keep track of changes made by multiple developers in real time. This makes it easy for us to work on complex projects and maintain code quality.

We also use Jira and Confluence to manage our development process. Confluence helps us to document client requirements and share knowledge internally, while Jira helps us to break down these requirements into manageable tasks and track our progress in real-time. By using these tools, we can run efficient scrum workflows and deliver high-quality products to our clients.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

While I don't read many books or listen to podcasts, I do find a lot of inspiration from movies that showcase the stories of successful entrepreneurs. These movies have been instrumental in shaping my perspective and approach to business.

One movie that stands out to me is "The Founder" from 2016, which tells the story of Ray Kroc and how he turned McDonald's into a global franchise. It taught me the importance of persistence, dedication, and a willingness to take risks to achieve success.

Another movie that has influenced me is "Jobs" from 2013, which follows the life of Steve Jobs and the founding of Apple. It demonstrated the importance of innovation and creativity, and how they can lead to groundbreaking products that revolutionize entire industries.

"Ford vs Ferrari" from 2019 is another movie that resonated with me. It shows how passion, teamwork, and a relentless pursuit of excellence can drive success, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Two other movies that have inspired me are "Guru" from 2007 and "Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year" from 2009. They highlight the importance of hard work, determination, and integrity in building a successful business.

Overall, I believe that watching movies about successful entrepreneurs is a great way to gain valuable insights and learn from the experiences of others. It can help to inspire creativity, innovation, and a never-give-up attitude, which are essential qualities for anyone looking to start or grow a business.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Starting a business is exciting and hard, but it also comes with a lot of unknowns and risks. As a business owner, I think that passion and persistence are key to making it through the ups and downs of the journey. Building something from scratch isn't always easy, but it gives you a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

One of the hardest parts of starting a business is figuring out what the market will do. You can't know what will happen, but being persistent and patient can help you get past problems and adjust to new situations. To stay ahead of the curve, it's important to keep an open mind, learn from your mistakes, and keep changing your plans.

I think that putting together a strong team is important for any business to do well. Working with people who share your vision and are humble, hard-working, and skilled can help bring your ideas to life and take your business to new heights. Together, you can make a culture of growth, innovation, and collaboration that makes you stand out from the competition.

As a business owner, I've learned that failure is unavoidable, but it can also be a chance to learn and grow. Every setback is a chance to think about what went wrong, make a change, and try again with a new point of view. Adopting this way of thinking can help you stay strong and turn failures into steps on the way to success.

Lastly, I would tell any entrepreneur to start early, keep in touch, and do something. Don't wait until your product or service is perfect before putting it out there. Talk to people in your field, ask customers for feedback, and keep improving your method. If you keep trying, have patience, and are willing to learn, you can get past any problem and reach your goals.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Absolutely! We're always on the lookout for talented individuals who can help us achieve our mission. Right now, we have two open positions at MTechZilla that we're actively recruiting for.

First up, we're searching for a Senior Backend Engineer who has experience in the exciting world of AWS Serverless development. We're looking for someone with expertise in Lambda, API Gateway, DynamoDB, and SAM.

Additionally, we're looking for a Mid Front Engineer who's proficient in React and NextJS. This position is ideal for someone who loves working on the cutting edge of front-end development.

If you think you'd be a great fit for either of these roles, we'd love to hear from you! Simply send your resume to [email protected] and make sure to indicate which position you're applying for in the subject line of your email. We can't wait to hear from you!

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!