We talked to Amin Memon of Draftss about the unlimited graphic design and code service on subscription where founders, developers, startups, freelancers & agencies can hire a remote graphic designers and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Amin Memon: A year back, when the pandemic started, like everyone else, we too were confused and were panicked on how things would unfold. I am glad everything turned out well for us. I am doing good, and so is my family. I am happy to say the same for our entire team at Draftss.com.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Draftss.com.
Amin Memon: I had been running an agency business for years and was looking to innovate the graphic design & web development space. I wanted everyone as an individual or a company to have access to great design without hiring a designer and contracting expensive agencies. I, with my co-founder Junaid Ansari, came up with a model of having graphic design on a subscription. We launched in April 2018, and it was an instant success. In 30 days, we went from $0 to $3300 MRR.
How does Draftss.com innovate?
Amin Memon: Draftss.com provides Unlimited Branding, Graphic Design, Landing Page, WordPress, and HTML on Subscription. Bad design sucks. Finding designers suck hard & too time-consuming, and it is expensive like crazy. With Draftss.com, we solve that! We are like an Uber for Design & WordPress Team. You simply pay a flat fee every month, and you can request any number of design/code tasks.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Amin Memon: The pandemic kind of affected us in a positive way; our team has grown, the number of clients has increased, and our entire team is now 100% remote. We were stressed out at the start when the pandemic broke out, but eventually, we learned and kept growing while accepting the new challenges and new normal.
We adopted a lot of new tools in our company to help us process better, right from having an internal wiki for our team to marketing apps for our website to give out promotional offers.
We doubled our revenue in 2020 and grew our business to $100k ARR. Instead of firing away our team, we hired new people to the team.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Amin Memon: Running a startup is all about making difficult decisions where there is no simple right or wrong. Since we have scaled our team, hired lots of great people and even fired the ones who weren’t a match for us. Difficult decisions of firing clients which weren’t a match to changing pricing strategy, I think there were loads of difficult decisions that Junaid and I had to go through. I am glad of the synergy that I have with my co-founder Junaid, where we always seem to have a different thought and perspective to each of our problems, and we end up solving it in the most brilliant way.
Few pieces of advice for everyone who is running a startup
– Hire great people. A great team will take you to great places.
– Running Day to Day Tasks of a startup will stop you from growing. Everything can be delegated. Delegate your tasks, so you can focus on the most important things that you are missing out on.
– Automate as much as possible. Look out for whatever takes most of your time, or whatever task keeps occurring every now and then, and figure out a way to automate it.
– Invest in the right tools. Tools have helped us grow a lot. In the start, as a bootstrapped founder, I always tried to avoid using 3rd party tools to keep our costs low. I so regret doing this.
– Do. Do. Do!
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Amin Memon: We have been using a lot of apps and products for Managing & Growing Draftss.com
We thought to share all the products that we are currently using and plan to use. We had spent a great time trying a lot of products and experimenting with them out.
Here is the list:
Stripe & 2Checkout – For Payments
ProfitWell – Subscription Analytics
GitLab – Code Repository
FirstPromoter – Affiliate Management
TawkTo – Free Live Chat
HelloBar – Exit Intent Popup
Grammarly – Better English
UberSuggest Chrome Extension – Keyword Stats directly on Google!
OpalStack – Best Python/Django Hosting
Snov Mail Tracker – Nice & Free Email Tracking
Google Meet – Video Calling
Bubbles Chrome Extension – Providing Feedback on Website
Google Analytics – Website Analytics
Hotjar – Session Replays & Heat Map Analytics
Google Forms – Using it to survey & collect important details when hiring
Loom – Video Recording. Majorly for explaining tasks.
Edit This Chrome Extension – To quickly edit the text & see how a certain copy would look/feel.
Web Whatsapp – Communication
Voxer – Better IM Like Voice Communication
Unsplash / Pexels – Free Stock
IPData – Check Geo Location of the user to set pricing & timezone
Amazon SES – Transactional Emails
MailJet – Promotional Emails
DownNotifier – Website Downtime Alert
PorkBun – Domain
Ngrok – Local Host Tunneling
Postaga – Outreach / Link Building
SEMRush – SEO Analytics and Link Building Outreach
Growth Runner Daily Google Analytics Report on Whatsapp
Products we are looking to try/use:
GrowSurf – Referral Marketing
PhantomBuster / Integromat – Automation
QuickBooks – Accounting & Management
LeadBites – Lead Gen
Sonotel – For US-based phone number
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Amin Memon: Our biggest competitor is DesignPickle, which is an industry leader in the productized graphic design space. To be honest, we love all our competitors. Instead of competing with them, we try to learn from them. We constantly receive new clients who were previous users of our competitors like DesignPickle, Penji, Kimp, ManyPixels, etc.
To stay in the game, we make sure we do the job right. As simple as that sounds, that is the biggest and most important thing that we try to resolve or keep innovating on. All customers in our space are looking for great designs, and we make sure we do that instead of providing fancy features, false promises and bad designs. Junaid at Draftss takes this very seriously, and there is a constant cycle of hiring & firing designers so that we give the best to our customers.
Your final thoughts?
Amin Memon: I am sad for all the people who have lost their loved ones in this pandemic and the ones who had shut down due to the pandemic. I hope you all will be able to restart your lives for a brighter future.
My plan is to reach $300k ARR this year with Draftss.com and continue to help businesses with great designs.
To everyone out there, constantly learn new things, experiment and don’t forget to grow.
Challenges = Opportunity, so take more challenges.
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