A template for success
Joanna Monteith has been helping businesses set up business software solutions for many years but it’s some of the easier requests that has the potential to launch a global marketplace business.
Joanna owns Consult, a Napier-based business that helps transition businesses to cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) products such as Xero and WorkflowMax.
The days of printing invoices out on pre-printed letterhead with logos and contact details is long gone and the cloud-based software solutions can replicate the old way, while offering much more – if you know what you’re doing.
“That’s where Customisedt comes in. Many industries have their own requirements and off-the-shelf solutions sometimes don’t easily enable customisation. The capability is there but the ability for a business owner or manager to customise can be time-consuming.
“I’ve done customised invoices, purchase orders and packing slips upon request for many years and when another client asks I’ve then had to try and find the last one I did to duplicate, which sometimes isn’t too easy.
“I realised that I should create a library of templates for all types of business documentation and when the next client asked, I could show them some examples to choose from.”
This was the start of what has quickly become a global marketplace where businesses similar to Consult can list and sell their document templates.
Joanna says its only early days and she is still working out the best way to ensure the template designers/creators are well rewarded while at the same time ensuring the templates are significantly cheaper than one-off versions.
To build up an initial library of templates, Joanna emailed consultants similar to her as well as connecting via Linkedin and Facebook.
“I had a massive response with contributors coming from Canada, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and Australia.
“I’ve been working with them to ensure they are well compensated with an ongoing income stream. The benefit is that what was previously a one-off design for a client becomes open-source and creates a new passive income stream.
“Initially I thought I would offer a royalty to template contributors, but the current aim is to get as many templates as possible so I have made it a set fee to list a template and we’ll charge an administration fee.
“I know I would rather earn $2,000 from selling 200 downloads of a template rather than $200 for a one-off.”
Joanna is now working out the most effective way to market the online marketplace to businesses looking for document templates as well as getting referrals from professional service providers such as accountants and book-keepers.