Whitney Blodgett is an established SaaS developer and company owner based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her company serves many retail service outlets in the automation of services for creating invoices, autosuggestion newsletters and accounting management.
Ms. Blodgett studied at the University of Georgia, majoring in Computer Sciences. During this time, she was already interested in connecting technology through businesses. One of her main philosophies as a technology enthusiast was to build bridges between consumers and their businesses.
Truly so, her idea materialized when she decided to start a company 8 years ago. In 2006, she began to work as a freelance SaaS developer and pitched her software to local businesses in Atlanta. The high quality of her program spread through word of mouth in the businesses around Atlanta, and this proved the be the start of her company. At present, she has employed 15+ employees in a local headquarters to help her manage her business.
Whitney Blodgett is a dedicated entrepreneur who also hopes to venture into other business entities. She is currently looking into investing in vacation real estate, as he also enjoys the outdoors. He believes that as the world becomes more and more interconnected, a lot of people will be taking advantage of opportunities to travel. This, she believes, will also be applicable to her present SaaS business. She hopes that one day as she goes into real estate, she would be able to build a SaaS system for real estate owners to manage their commercial spaces in one place.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I was actually a graduate of Computer Science at the University of Georgia. I have always been fascinated with how technology can affect all facets of life, and this is why I took several courses in applied technology as well. I wanted to find out what are the main problems of companies when it comes to online retail. I found out that they have problems in automation and would often hire representatives that weren’t effective or would cost them a lot of money. Through my service, I was able to provide automated services for my clients in their business.
How do you make money?
I make money through our 3-tier subscription services. Companies can choose to pay for our business automation services monthly, quarterly or annually.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It wasn’t too long until my SaaS company became profitable. I started my work as a solo freelancer, and I pitched my business to retailers who had problems shifting their focus from selling physically to online. They didn’t know how to do it. By doing this, I was able to get a handful of clients from Atlanta alone, and I eventually hired junior developers to help me deal with the workload. It took me about 6 months to make my SaaS company profitable.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I didn’t really doubt the potential of what I could offer my clients. There was one time, however, where I doubted my skill as a developer. Thankfully, I had a supportive team who would always give me great ideas and helped me get through those moments of doubt.
How did you get your first customer?
I got my first customer when I approached a men’s apparel store in my local community. I noticed that they were on a closing out sale. I tried to see if the manager was in and I presented my SaaS platform. A few days later, the CEO contacted me and they were my first clients. Now, they run an online business that is more profitable than their physical store.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
The greatest marketing strategy for finding clients in my business is always getting the “low hanging fruit”. This simply means that our company finds potential business owners who are already having problems where we are the perfect solutions. This way, our leads always close to sales.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I am actually planning to diversify my business to include solo business owners. Some people in my team are opposing the idea because they want to focus on large businesses and corporations. However, I don’t really see the reason to limit my services to large businesses only. I want to help smaller businesses thrive as well. And so next year, we plan to include a more affordable monthly subscription for solo entrepreneurs.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Technology is one of the fastest-developing industries, and companies who focus on this area tend to thrive well. The challenge, of course, is always learning to adapt to new trends.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
To be honest, one of the most successful moments I had was when I personally met with my 3-person team back in 2012. This was the time when I was transitioning from being a freelancer and I was finally expanding my company. It was a climactic moment for me.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Like what I mentioned, our company has now decided to expand our services by not excluding any business owner out. I believe that this is one of the best decisions I have done, and I am looking forward to serving thousands of small-time entrepreneurs and helping them grow their own revenue.
What business books have inspired you?
There is a book I’ve recently read called “From Impossible To Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue” by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin. This has inspired me to continue bettering our services for our clients. Being a team leader and a business owner, it has helped me stay up on my toes and always look ahead in my industry.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
Our company has recently purchased 3 sets of MacBook Pros and Microsoft Surface. It has helped us get in touch with our clients, test our current software for bugs, and allowed us to test how our programs work in different operating systems.
What’s your advice for startup companies?
I would advise startup owners to always research the best ways to run their business with spending the least amount of money. I can guarantee that most startups will suffer loss if they think about paying inefficiently for services and other overhead costs that exceed their profit. My suggestion is to go with the flow–follow the trends, look at what other successful people are doing, and you will succeed.