The product has all the niche features. Our primary focus is taking the product to a higher level without looking for funding. Can you suggest an approach?
Heavily depends on you payback time for customer (how long in months it takes you to get money back invested in acquiring them). If it is more than 12 months than you have to work on reducing the cost of acquisition. Without lowering the cost (and lowering the payback time) the growth wthout funding will kill you - you will have exhausted all the money before getting to the payback time.
The other thing to do when you have long payback time is to work on increasing the value of customer. This is usually done by introducing annual payment (for SaaS solutions), up-selling, cross-selling and other (full list how to do it you will find here:https://medium.com/@asengyczew/19-best-ways-to-boost-your-ltv-the-ultimate-guide-61b9417fd779)
Now, if the payback time is short (6-12 months) than just try to exhaust the market - get 100% penetration, approach new potential customers, The bigger share you want to get the bigger range of acquiring customers you will have to use. Some people do not react to offers by mail or phone so you have to go old-school and have direct sales.
Sometimes, the niche is too small for your appetite (or too small to sustain the business in the long run). In those cases you have to find other customers – either go global or look for other similar segments / markets where you can use the same solutions.
Hope it helps
There are a few things that come to mind:
Marketing strategy is needed
Product Supply Channeling is needed
Sales Support needed
- Look for strategic partnerships with continuing education boards to get points for offering your product to admin & staff, train to use and credit them towards continued education credit requirements – this will give you an edge.
- Add social features to the product – no matter what the product social features should always be included, promoted and facilitated.
- Give out discounts according to services bought from your or subscribed to, particularly for charter schools who might have multiple locations.
- Create a trial version – offer them to half of your market’s largest potential client… make the trial last enough to create a habit after the learning curve, provide support when needed…just wait for trial and habit to pass then the sale should be almost guaranteed.
- This leads to having subscription based services with a free trial in exchange for payment information for after trial.
- Use tools such as paywithatweet.com to encourage sharing w/peers.
- Get affiliate system going for referrals (embassador.com)
- Check in with the city’s dept of economic development – they are often working with local businesses, giving out grants and or prioritizing bids that help local businesses or are by local businesses.
- Hire 1 person for your B2B efforts, have a weekly quota & pay salary.
There are a ton of things you can do, I answered based on what I understood from your question – hope it helps a bit.
I'm guessing this is a software product geared toward managing the day to day business of these centers?
I'm not sure if you want to enhance the product or if you are looking to scale your marketing and sales. I think it's the latter of the two.
Are you aware of your competitors and what learning centers are using them? Specifically what chains or franchises?
I would want to know how many independent learning centers there are as opposed to the larger chains and franchises who might make group buying decisions.
It's hard to answer the question in more detail without some additional information. I'd be happy to do a call to help you sort this out.