A week has passed since I last wrote to you about my "Build in Public" journey where I will be building GoKiddo, a web app where parents can find activities to Go and do with their Kiddos.
If you missed Part 1, you will find it here.
Let me start with a small disclaimer.
In my last post, I said that I will force myself not to build anything for a week. Unfortunately, this didn't work. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I cannot sit still on an idea. When an idea starts ruminating in my head, I cannot stop until I have done something about it.
Why does GoKiddo excite me so much?
You might be wondering why I have a child-like (pun intended) excitement about GoKiddo.
It will be free to use for the public
If a product is free to use and it offers value to its users, hopefully, it will be easier to get them to use it and tell their friends about it.
Our clients are businesses and they have budgets for marketing
Once I heard the following analogy - what is the best thing to do during a gold rush? Many people will say to get to the nearest river or mine and start looking for gold. And sure, you might find some, but if you are really looking to seize the opportunity, then start selling shovels and gold sieves.
Every business has a marketing budget. Otherwise, they would never grow. And if I can offer businesses a platform where they can get marketing exposure, then I am sure I can get them to pay a small monthly fee for it.
I have always wanted to try and build a business with a monthly subscription model
Most of us have a monthly subscription of some kind. Take your Netflix subscription for example. Each month you pay a relatively small fee and it doesn't really make a difference to you.
However, if you look at it from Netflix's perspective, they have millions of users and each month they can estimate with probably 98% certainty what their revenue will be.
Now doesn't that sounds amazing? Imagine I charge a business R100 per month to have their listing on GoKiddo. If I can manage to find 10 businesses that's R1000 per month (which will already cover the overheads).
Now if I can find 100 businesses? That's R10 000 in revenue each month. Guaranteed.
It doesn't sound like a lot of money, but if consider how many businesses there are in Cape Town, South Africa and then Worldwide, then the amounts become astronomical.
A quick update on the GoKiddo(.)com domain name
Unfortunately, I have not received a response from the owners of the domain, but I will continue to reach out to them.
I bought another domain
In the meantime, I realised that the social media handle I claimed on all the platforms is @GoKiddoApp, so I checked whether GoKiddoApp.com was available and it was, and I purchased it.
Next, I had to decide which features are essential
- I use Notion to create a database of all the features I could think of. I have Notion installed on my iPhone and Macbook, so I basically have it close by 24/7. Whenever an idea for GoKiddo popped into my head I "wrote it down" into my Notion database. I ended up with 23 features.
- 23 features are quite a lot, so then I decided to rank the features to be either low, medium or high priority. I decide on the priority of a feature by determining whether it is absolutely necessary for the MVP (minimum viable product). If so then it is a high-priority feature. If it is an important feature to have, but it can be left off out now, then it's medium-priority, and if it's nice to have, I make it a low priority.
- I ended up with 12 high-priority features that I have to build for the MVP.
Here are the 12 features
- There needs to be a home page where you can see all of the listings and filter according to amenities and location.
- If someone has filtered the listings and they would like to share the list with a friend, they need to be able to.
- You need to be able to open a listing and see a detailed view.
- The listing detailed view needs to have a Google Map embedded and you should be able to get directions.
- Users should be able to contact the business via phone, email or website.
- Users/businesses need to be able to sign up and I need to verify that they are real users/businesses.
- Both businesses and users need a profile page where they can view information applicable to them.
- Businesses must be able to sign-up for a free trial.
- Businesses must be able to add their own listing on a dashboard.
- The business must see a preview of its listing while they edit it.
- The website needs to track impressions, views and clicks on listings in order to give business feedback on how well their listing is performing.
- After a month they will be billed with a monthly subscription charge to keep their listings live.
After deciding on these 12 features I started building them on Bubble.
The nitty-gritty of building the above features on Bubble is a bit difficult to illustrate here, but I really want to encourage you to check Bubble out and see what it's all about.
Bubble is a powerful platform for building any web app you can think of.
Please keep in mind, that the version above is a test version and it might vary greatly depending on when you are reading this post.
Please feel free to play around with the website, I would love to get any feedback from you.
At the time of writing, I have built most of the 12 features above, except for the analytics, free trial and monthly subscription billing features.
I opened a can of worms once I got to processing the payments
Processing payments in a single country for example South Africa is relatively easy. Once you start processing payments all around the world, it becomes quite messy. In order to stay tax compliant in all the countries you need to submit VAT remittances and other sales tax requirements in every single country you have clients.
At the moment I am considering a Merchant of Record.
A Merchant of Record (MOR) is a third-party service provider that handles the financial transactions between a buyer and seller. In other words, it is an entity that assumes responsibility for processing payments, managing chargebacks and refunds, and ensuring compliance with local tax and regulatory requirements on behalf of the seller.
This merchant of records usually charges a higher transaction fee (5% vs 3%) however they ensure that you remain tax compliant worldwide and you only deal with them.
At the moment I am considering two:
LemonSqeeuzy is the new kid on the block, whereas Paddle has been around a bit longer (but it shows, it seems that their customer support and user interface suck). As it stands at the moment, I will opt to use LemoSqueezy, unless something changes drastically.
Using LemonSqueezy will allow me to charge businesses with a monthly subscription and offer them a free trial while doing all of the heavy financial liftings on my behalf.
What is next?
- I am going to focus on building the analytics features first.
- I have opened an account with LemonSqueezy and I am waiting for them to approve it then I will add the monthly subscriptions and free trial to the website.
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