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Having done this in a small niche to some success, here is my advice:

- start with a product that solves one or two pain points of the incumbent tool.

- compete on price in the beginning and as you add value, raise prices for new users.

- you can do things that don't scale early on like offer great support. Your big customers have the founders phone number. That sort of thing.

- find some shelf space you can own by targeting seo in chosen, winnable verticals. It's hard to do successful sem when you're small. You don't even have enough traffic to split test easily. Acquiring free traffic sources is necessary.

- remember, saas is a ramp up. 10% month over month growth gets pretty big before too long.

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