Liz Hermann Grew StageTimer to $2K MRR with 400+ Paying Users

Liz Hermann is the co-founder of Stagetimer - Remote-controlled countdown timer
 

Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?

My husband/cofounder visited a friend’s studio and saw him start a timer in front of the presenter then run back to the control area. He then thought: “There must be some cloud-based tool you can control remotely”He went home, made a quick search on Google and turns out there wasn’t anything that could be controlled remotely. He created a simple version of a remote-controlled timer on the weekend to test his skills.
 
After creating a simple version he made some iterations and posted about it on Reddit. Got his first users from this post (free at this point) and quite a bit of feedback on how to make the tool more useful.
 

How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?

It took 4 months (from the launch of a paid version) to get to 50 customers (out of 180 registered users). I joined Stagetimer a few weeks before reaching 50 customers and saw right away that our conversion numbers were great (1 out of every 3 users converted into a paying customer), so now it was a matter of getting the word out there.
 
At this point we were already getting more and more users by word of mouth. Users were very happy that such a tool was finally available and started telling everybody about it.
 
That was the main "strategy" (although not well thought-through) for the first users and customers: 2 posts on Reddit and word of mouth from early adopters.
 
 

Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?

Node, Express, MongoDB, Vue.js, Firebase
 
It works well as webapp, but now that we are working on an offline version (Electron) we need to find good solutions for the Backend and Firebase integrations.
 

What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?

 
Airtable, Paddle.com, Firebase, Matomo Analytics, Ahrefs, Google search console.
 

What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?

For most cases, when it comes to entrepreneurship, all it takes is being curious about something and trying things around. Both my cofounder and I have tried many things in the past and it always comes from paying attention to the world around us, getting curious about things and giving them a try.
 
Some things will go very well, like Stagetimer, and others, as long as you don't over engineer it, even if they don't work, you probably won't lose much by trying it.
 
My favorite books so far:
"The Founders" - Jimmy Soni
"The Messy Middle" - Scott Belsky
"Predictably Irrational" - Dan Ariely
 
Best podcast:
My First Million - Sam Parr and ShaanPurihttps://www.mfmpod.com
 
Newsletter:
Zero to Marketing - Andrea Bosonihttps://www.zerotomarketing.com
 

Anything else you want to mention?

We started with the usual subscription model (monthly and annual) and noticed that many people bought a monthly subscription and cancelled a few days later. When talking to these customers we found out they only needed the timer for one event and planned to buy the subscription again once they had another event.We then launched a 10-day license and saw our churn hit zero. Nowadays our revenue is double our MMR and most people buy the one-time license several times a year.
 

What other products are you working on?

I'm also working on an online candy store just for the fun of it: https://ohcandyworld.com