The Little Things 

How 5 Minutes of Work Made us $50,000

Andrew Wilkinson


It’s easy to think your revenue is tied to the big stuff. Sweeping product changes. Major feature releases. New marketing sites. $100,000 ad spends. At MetaLab, we’re always pushing forward with major features, but sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. We’ve made two small changes to Flow in the past six months that are directly responsible for a huge jump in revenue and have enabled to make some big steps forward in growing the company. Surprisingly, they both took less than a day to implement.

Annual Billing

Most SaaS companies bill monthly, but recently we noticed a lot of companies starting to bill annually. As a bootstrapped business where cashflow is king, annual billing sounded pretty good to us, so we decided to A/B test it.

We had assumed it would kill our conversion rates and that it would be a shortlived experiment. To our surprise, we found that it had little to no effect on conversion and meant a year of billings in the bank each month. We made the change in an afternoon, and our monthly cashflow tripled immediately.

This is huge for a business like ours. It means we can afford to build a generous referral program, significantly increase our advertising and sponsorship spend, and build great new features that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to tackle until much further along.

A Little Green Button

This one is even better: When a new user is on their 30-day trial, we added a little green button in Flow’s navigation that says “Upgrade” and links to our subscription checkout form.

As soon as we implemented it, we found that it significantly increased our conversion rate and that users converted an average of 7 days into the trial instead of the usual 30 days.

This little button, done on a hunch, took us 5 minutes to get live and has already made us more than $50,000 in new subscribers. Not too bad for 5 minutes of work.

Of course, this isn’t to say the big stuff doesn’t matter to your customers, just that sometimes you just need a brighter OPEN sign in your window, or to clean the mildew off your awning.

Try giving yourself an afternoon to go back to the basics and pick some low hanging fruit. There’s nothing quite like making $50,000 for 5 minutes of work.