Today on the blog I wanted to continue with our series looking at SaaS services we use to run our business, by looking at Baremetrics.
Baremetrics provides a business dashboard. We give it access to our Stripe account (the service we use for billing) and it produces all kinds of interesting reports that let us instantly understand how our business is doing. We became customers about a year ago after a few months of cobbling together our own spreadsheets to try to track business performance. Baremetrics is far, far superior to anything we could build ourselves, assuming we even had the time or desire.
I won’t post screenshots of our dashboard, though BM provides an interesting functionality in which you can make all your company data public. It’s not for us, but some companies do, including Baremetrics themselves. Here’s their dashboard, you can see exactly how the service works (nice MRR guys!). With a few clicks you can dive deep and determine churn, figure out how much you’re spending on fees, and even model future revenues. You can quickly see how much a customer had spent with you over their lifetime and many other useful stats.
The Baremetrics company dashboard (not our numbers, sadly):
Another feature I particularly appreciate is the weekly summary snapshot which gets dumped directly into our Slack account.
The pricing of the service is fair, especially relative to the time and energy it would cost to try to gather the information ourselves.
In short Baremetrics takes all the work out of knowing how the business is doing. Not just at a high level but also letting you dive deep into any particular metrics when you need to.
Nevertheless, everyone can improve. So what could be better about Baremetrics?
- Like many US based companies BM seems to be built assuming you run a largely domestic business. That may well be the case for most of their customers, but it’s not the case for us. Our customers are spread all over the world and we bill them in many different currencies (BTW - SaaS pro-tip: bill your customers in their currency, they love it). It would be great to have reports about where are customers are, how much of our revenue is in which currency, etc.
- Perhaps paradoxically given my request for the above feature, I would like BM to do a bit less. BM is constantly launching new features that we don’t really need, and it seems almost every time I log in I first have to wade through all kinds of non-relevant notifications. The service already does what I want, when I need it. It is a utility our business relies on. But it is not something I constantly want to be pinged about and re-learn. This is a situation we at OpenCage also find ourselves in - our customers rely on us to solve a task for them. If we solve that task well, they move on to other parts of their business. They do not constantly want to hear from us. This can of course be very frustrating for a business owner (and product development teams), but the reality is that more is not always more. It’s a tough balance to strike.
That’s it for our look at Baremetrics. If you are running a business on top of an online billing service like Stripe, I can’t see why you would not use Baremetrics, frankly.
Final point - the life of the bootstrapping SaaSster can be a lonely one, especially if the team is remotely distributed. So I thought it might be fun to meet up with fellow practitioners IRL and have dinner/drinks. If you’re based in Barcelona and work on a self-funded SaaS service and would like to meet up, please get in touch.