TMBA 293: Start a Business This Weekend Using the Software With a Service (SWaS) Business Model

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I recently came across an article on TechCrunch that caught my attention, called “Do It For Me Is The Next Big Thing.” Big businesses have been doing “Do-It-For-Me” for decades, but small businesses remain a relatively unconquered frontier. I wanted to talk about it with somebody running a DIFM software business, so I called Mat Newton from The Web Agency Podcast. He recently started a SWaS business, or “Software With a Service” business called Tourism Tiger. This is an ideal business model to take advantage of the huge DIFM opportunity, and we talk about many aspects of it in this episode.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • The pros and cons of SWaS and how Mat is executing it in his business.
  • Three ways you can put this new business model to work.
  • Some businesses that are successfully putting SWaS to use.
  • Some business ideas that Mat thinks could be successful.
  • How Mat uses these SwaS principles in his own business.
  • Some successful techniques for marketing and scaling a SwaS business.

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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.


Dan & Ian


Published on 05.07.15
  • Matthew Newton

    Hey Dan, was fun to come on! Hope the listeners enjoyed it.

  • was great to finally have you on Mat! hope you can come back in the future and let us know the progress with TT

  • Awesome episode guys! Up until today I always referred to my business model as SaaS but SWaS feels much more fitting. This episode hit so close to home that it felt like you guys were reading my mind.. and then BOOM you mentioned RealtyNinja?!? I literally went back and re-listened to it a few times to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.

    Humble request as founder of RealtyNinja.. do you think you could remove the space between Realty and Ninja in the show notes?

    Keep on being awesome and thanks for the mention!!

  • Brittany Keller

    Hey guys! Great episode. Just a quick correction though. It’s, not .net, Justin’s one of my clients at PostPolished, so I noticed that right away. Keep up the awesome!

  • Matthew Newton

    ha jeez, sorry. not sure why I thought it was .net

  • you got it man keep up the good work!

  • cheers Brittany I just updated the link text.

  • Brittany Keller

    Haha it happens. :)

  • Thanks for the edit!

  • Great episode guys! You talked a little about marketing/getting clients for SWAS and/or Productized Services. Could you do an episode on prospecting with one of the people that are great at sales you alluded to?
    There are lots of great ideas out there, but the overwhelming part is actually finding people to pay for it. Like Mat said, many of these niches don’t have the search volume for PPC, but that doesn’t mean the need/desire doesn’t exist. So, what do the successful sales people do to identify prospects, organize them, cold call/email them, etc?
    I love the ideas you guys give out. But, how would one narrow them down. The MailChimp one, for example, is great. Then, when I think, “OK find everyone selling gourmet coffee from Costa Rica that has an email newsletter,” or whatever…it just seems like it would take months of research, prospecting, and cold calling, not a weekend.
    How do the sales/prospecting pros do it?

  • Matthew Newton

    Great questions Joe

  • thanks for the questions Joe! I think we can work something up here :)

  • Right on, I’ll be looking forward to that podcast!

  • Really enjoyed this episode. I’m working on something similar, using a few third-party services to serve site customers. If you’ll forgive a little self-promotion, I’ll caution entrepreneurs to ensure that they have a good Terms of Use agreement in place for their SaaS (or SWaS) products to avoid legal issues. I wrote up a post, sort of inspired by this episode, on one of my blogs –

  • excellent thanks for that Zach!

  • Nick Socha

    Hi Dan, Mat, and all

    I am up for the challenge of a content repurposing startup as my first step in my entrepreneurial journey. I was thinking start out offering a blog to newsletter via mailing service, then add other services later seeing that this would be my first ever venture. I would like to aim at technology blogs (since I have an IT background) and / or entrepreneurs. I would be running everything myself, but outsource the repurposing orders. What do you all think? I could really use honest opinion(s). Where is the best place to go for outsourced work?

    Thanks for the community here at TMBA and I love the show.


  • hey Nick I don’t see any reason on the surface why it could work, I’d probably pass on calling it “newsletters” gives you the flexibility to go upmarket/price, something like lead cultivating etc.

  • Nick Socha

    Thanks Dan I’ll stop back with an update.

  • Matthew Newton

    Hey Nick

    Didn’t get it all from the above but content repurposing is a great business idea which more business people should be doing.


  • Matthew Newton

    Thanks Zachary

  • You’re welcome! Let me know what you think.

  • Hey guys,

    Late to the party here, but I’ve been diving through the productized service archives to try and flesh out my idea. I’ve been freelance marketing/copywriting for the past year, but I’d love to be able to scale into something that is no longer hourly — hence my interest in productized services.

    I’ve tried a few ideas and failed, and am now about to start with a new idea: Email Courses for Life Coaches/Biz Consultants. Very much a SWaS idea.

    Selling point? Customers buy coaching packages based on trust & personality, and what better way to do that than by sending them your best content for a few days after they sign up, with a little hint that they can hire you for even more amazing stuff by clicking this link that redirects them to your coaching page.

    I’m kind of hoping to launch on the higher end of most of the productized services I’m setting — $500 per 5-day course. “If you get just 2 coaching clients from this course, it pays for itself.”

    I’ve seen so many people launch these productized services at much lower prices, like $100-$200 for something that would take a similar amount of hours. Do you think it’s plausible to start at something like $500 from scratch, or should I build my way up?

    Thanks, as always, for all the great stuff. I keep recommending this podcast as the only biz podcast worth listening to.

  • What’s the software you’ll sell with it? Leadpages or similar? Some kind of email marketing package?

    I think this can work my only concern is that this market doesn’t seem to have a lot of money to invest as coaches tend to be solopreneurs, that said there are plenty who make it work by focusing on the top end of the market. I think 500 is a plausable price point and I’d start high to flesh out my concerns on the marketplace, if you can’t make good margins productized services become very hard to sustain.

  • Nick Socha

    Hi Dan

    I’ve made good progress and have a landing page up and am looking to start taking orders soon. What do you think of the process so far? I was still unable to come up with any other catchy name besides “newsletter” haha. Check it out at

    Thanks again for your motivation and all you do because if not for TMBA thousands of us might still be miserable thinking that the 9-5 in that smelly cubicle is going to be our norm for the next 30 years.

  • rockin’ looks like a great start !

  • Agree with Dan, solopreneurs who aren’t established struggle to pay for 4 figure amounts but $500 would work but your service would have to be very automated to make that work margin wise. With my biz funnel engine I started offering $2-3k sales funnels but it’s such complex work (custom design / copy) that I was being crushed. I’ve now split my offering to low end, fully automated productized service (where customer has to provide their own copy) for $497 and a high end, application only full custom offering starting at $5k+ (and soon to be $10k+). Just wrote a blog post on how I’ve structured this and our process here

  • cheers richard thanks for the link

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