My SaaS: MyKennels
[no longer active]
MyKennels was a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application I ran for several years. Boarding kennels and catteries would pay monthly to keep using the product and receive continuous updates. It remained modestly profitable throughout its life until I decided to shut it down in 2017.
I had always been interested in bootstrapping my own software product. I had knowledge of the petcare industry, in particular the running of boarding kennels and catteries, so I decided to create an application that would help these businesses with their everyday tasks.
The application was built with Ruby on Rails. It allowed boarding kennels and catteries to:
- Keep detailed records of their customers and their cats and dogs.
- Record bookings and manage their availability.
- Receive important reminders. For example, when potentially dangerous pets were arriving, or when vaccinations were due for their customers’ pets.
- See an overview of everything they needed to get done today - arrivals, departures and other tasks.
The application managed to attract customers from all over the world. Whilst most of the customers were UK-based, there were kennels using it in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UAE, and India.
Unfortunately the number of customers plateaued. The cost per acquisition of paying customers had become too high and I had failed to develop new channels of acquisition.
Because of this I had to spend more time on client work to supplement my income. Eventually I could no longer offer the level of customer support and product development that customers deserved, so I decided to shut the service down.
I learned a lot from developing this product and the mistakes I made along the way. In particular, I learned that writing code is only a small part of running a successful software company.
Have an interesting project you need help with? My email is firstname.lastname@example.org