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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I know salesforce, zoho, and infusionsoft are leading the pack in the CRM market. But anyone able to create a new CRM for a specific niche and make a living off of it?
I'm looking to build a CRM as a SAAS, but one that is more geared twards a specific industy, instead of a general saas CRM like ZOHO that can be customized to do evertying.
What are your thoughts?
Do you sell a CRM in any specific niche market? Successful?
Would love some feedback.
That depends on three things.
1) The size of the vertical you are targeting.
2) The percentage of companies or people that you are going to convert.
3) The price the vertical will pay for your solution.
If you are selling to one legged people from Finland perhaps move on. If you are selling to women that like shoes from the USA that's a different matter.
Pick your battleground.
My last product (which has failed by the way) was in a saturated and big market (not CRM). I answered this question for myself by looking at other similar companies in the space. This was just part of the basic market research and I did it 100% by internet searches.
One of these similar companies was acquired in the mid 2000s by a larger company and their annual profit prior to the acquisition was reported exactly in the press. Two other companies in the space had some non-exact financial information reported on the internet that allowed me to make an estimate. You can also get an idea of how much money can be made by checking how many employees similar companies have, whether they have physical offices etc.
It is important that once you arrive at a figure that you keep your guard up! The fact that there is money to be made in a niche does not mean that your product will be successful. Your niche is different to theirs. You still need to concentrate on making something that people want. You still need to actually get customers, sell the product and collect the money. The software business is tough and you are likely to fail. So keep your head down, work hard and smart.
My recent experience is applying for a job at a company precisely in a SAAS CRM niche - in this case a particular industry also targetting the Spanish speaking/Latin American market which they said wasn't as sophisticated or developed as the English speaking market so they didnt have any real competition. It would indicate that you can indeed make a living in the space and have 2 or 3 employees, but this company was working out of a house and didnt have offices.
My tip would be to look for a growing market or one that is starting to boom if you can find it and target that.
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