Most software companies launch with a ‘beta’ version. But just because that’s how you’re ‘supposed’ to do things, doesn’t mean it’s what’s right for your business. And for us, a beta wasn’t right.
For the launch of Connectably, we decided on a private launch instead of a beta. We’re taking a small group of committed business owners through getting started and implementing not just new software but associated new ways of working and systems in their business.
Why we chose a private launch vs. a beta release
Our private launch is us working closely with a small group of business owners so they understand what Connectably does, why it does it, why they might want to do that in their business, and how to do it. It’s not a beta as we’re not asking the participants to pay less, or to test things for us (we’ve been testing the software already!). We also don’t want them to dabble and ‘try it out’ but instead dive in, committed to make change in how they work, and use the software as its designed to be used–right across their business.
And while we’re not discounting the price, we are adding a lot of extra value by including our Get Started programme, so we’re able to hand-hold and take a step-by-step approach to using the software with everyone.
A beta release doesn’t come with commitment
A beta release would have simply given the first users access to the software on subscription, and because it’s priced at only £50 a month, adding in a beta discount would have made it even cheaper. So there’s not a huge incentive to get cracking and implement with any urgency…as it’s not a lot of £ to miss…
Our private launch group has been asked to invest in a year’s subscription (£500) so we know they are committed–and so are we! Asking for this level of commitment from users means we’re very keen to make Connectably work brilliantly for their business.
Why we think a private launch will create better results
Right now we’re not concerned with how many users we have, but about creating the right results. Because we know that starting to use new business software is 80% about getting organised and possibly changing how you work and 20% about learning how to ‘use’ new software. The biggest change is very often not the new software you switch to, but what you change in how you work.
What’s most important to us as a business is that we’re helping other business owners run their business better. And if we can get that right from the start, we know we’re getting the right results for our business.
The selfish reasons for not having a beta launch
And, of course, there are also more selfish business reasons why we wanted to host a private launch and not a beta.
It’s important to us that people are actually using the software and not just signing up and hardly using it, or not even using it at all! With a private launch, we’ll be hands-on helping people to see how the software can save time, streamline how they work, and get going. We’ll also be able to field questions we didn’t think of, get requests on ways to work that we’d not planned for, hear ideas we’d not considered, and yes, perhaps the odd bit of errant code will be uncovered we need to fix (which isn’t a trait of brand new software, in our experience, but all software!).
We don’t think it’s a bad plan to make sure we have some ‘real users’ putting Connectably through its paces. Which, if we’re on hand to answer questions and make sure it’s being used to its best advantage, we’ll have some happy users who will hopefully want to share a testimonial or two.
With a beta test, we’re not in control of who is using the software and how they are making it work for them, or if they are even using it at all. But with a private launch, we’re able to be more hands on to help create the results we know are possible.
Why we didn’t want to just ‘release the software’
We’re not ‘really’ a software business–our why is about helping small service business owners to work better. Most of that change will come from thinking and working differently, and yes we also happen to have developed some good software to support that, but even though that’s ‘what’ we sell it’s not ‘why’ we sell it.
We’re not about being the shiniest new thing–we’re here for the long haul and want to help!
Having been around the internet marketing world for some time, it’s a common occurrence to see the latest app or software or hack promoted to do your sales and marketing better. Everyone and their dog seems to have a better funnel or blueprint than the next person. For us, it’s never about the next fix but always about having a plan for YOUR business that works. New software fixes nothing. YOU run your business.
New software doesn’t fix problems
New software doesn’t fix problems in your business–you fix problems in your business:
- Getting new accounting software doesn’t magically tidy up your accounts and stop you missing filing deadlines
- Getting a new landing page or email software doesn’t magically make you get more customers if your message doesn’t resonate and your offer isn’t relevant
- Having a fancy online shopping cart and affiliate codes doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly have sales without doing anything yourself
- Being able to take payments online doesn’t magically make people pay you
^^ you get the idea!
Software helps businesses work better
Software is always there to ‘help you’–it can automate tasks, it can streamline processes, it can replace time you or your team spend on actions. But if your business doesn’t ‘work’ now, new software is unlikely to fix a thing.
Business hasn’t changed–it’s always been about offering products and services people are willing to pay for, and doing so for a profit. Business isn’t complicated, but it’s very easy to over complicate it. And that’s something we’ve seen, a lot. And it’s not a coincidence that the overarching aim of our software is to simplify.
So while we could just ‘sell software’, we know that in itself won’t always help businesses to work better. That will come from sharing ideas, examples, the theory behind ‘good business’ and showing how to make that happen in your business. And then getting that to be done more easily, quickly and efficiently with some good software…which we just happen to have.