It is very easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you are working on something, day in and day out for months or years on end. Sometimes you just need a fresh and experienced set of eyes to give you a new perspective. That is where I can help, with affordable and independent advice on software product development, usability and marketing. My basic one day remote consulting package is to:
- do a screencast with commentary of myself navigating your website and attempting to install and use your product (where appropriate)
- talk to you on the phone about where you are and your objectives (typically 2-3 hours)
- research your product and marketing and write a report outlining what I think you need to do to get to your objectives (i.e. what I would do in your situation)
- discuss the report with you on the phone (typically 30 minutes)
- total duration: 8 hours, typically spread over 1-2 weeks
- total fee: £500 (+VAT inside the EU) + phone calls – calculate equivalent in USD or EUR
- fee 50% payable in advance and the balance on satisfactory completion – if you aren’t happy, you don’t pay the balance
Every consultation is different. But the report will typically cover areas such as:
- marketing (positioning, pricing, website, adwords, SEO, PR, affiliates, blogging etc)
- product (platform, installation, functionality, documentation, usability etc)
- financial (ecommerce, currencies etc)
- legal (company, IP, licensing etc)
- anything else I feel is relevant
The emphasis will always be on actionable items, rather than vague marketing/consultant waffle. All your information will be kept confidential.
- I have extensive hands-on experience of many aspects of the software business from over 20 years developing and marketing software.
- I have a strong technical background. I have an honours degree in physics and I am a Chartered Information Technology Professional.
- Through my consulting I have seen what works and what doesn’t at lots of other companies.
- Most importantly, I have been there myself – having built a successful one-man software product company from scratch. Running a small software business is still my main job.
I am happy to work with companies large or small, anywhere in the world, on products at any stage of development. You will need to be able to speak/read English. On-site consulting may be possible in the UK for an additional fee, depending on location. For ethical reasons I probably won’t be able to work with you if I have worked with one of your direct competitors in the last 2 years.
Email me for more details, with no obligation. If I don’t think I can help you, I won’t take your money. Please note that I am currently very busy working on own product and developing a new product, so it might be a while before I have any availability for consulting.
Andy Brice, email: consulting (at) oryxdigital.com
My business partner and I have gone through the final report and are pleased with the breadth and depth of analysis that you did. We’ve sliced the report up into a few dozen actionable TODO items and are starting to work through them. I expect sales will increase as each one is completed.
Once I’d finished with the major part of Tudumo development, I got to a point where I needed to take stock of the situation. Rather than making every mistake myself, I thought it would be much better to hire Andy to take a look at my application and essentially ask him “if this was yours, what would you do now?”. It turns out that’s exactly what his approach to your business is. We had a couple of phone discussions after which he scoured my approach and website, applying his experience to my situation.
I was left with a six-page action list, which serves me in a number of ways:
1) It validates what I was doing right
2) Points me in some new directions
3) Gives me an actionable set of tasks which serve as a periodic reminder of which tasks will give me most benefit.
4) A few Andy-only tricks that I hope my competitors don’t get!
In fact, forget it – big waste of time. ;0)
Richard Watson, www.Tudumo.com
I recently hired Andy Brice to review Schemax Calendar. To make the most of his time (and my money) I gave Andy a summary document of the product covering everything from technical architecture to marketing. We had two highly productive discussions via Skype and Andy provided an excellent report replete with helpful advice and insight. Throughout the experience, and despite an eight hour time difference, Andy was extremely professional. He was a great listener, constructive in his feedback, generous with his wisdom and clear with his recommendations.
Simon Shutter, www.Schemax.com
I launched my product a year ago, but so far haven’t had much luck selling it. I desperately needed advice from a person that could take a look at my situation and help figure out what’s wrong and how to move on. Andy Brice has been through all this and knew exactly what I was struggling with.
Simon Strandgaard, www.GraphicDesignerToolbox.com
Working as a micro-ISV needs lots of different skills, but no-one can have all of them. When you’re developing a software product for your independent venture, it’s easy to lose sight of some issues, just because there are so many of them to cover, and so few hours in a day. I realised that to help me re-focus and prioritise the key tasks after the code was complete needed the catalyst of a fresh pair of eyes, to verify or change the plans I had. Simply chatting to a knowledgeable professional made all the difference to perspective and priorities. I was expecting that from Andy Brice, as I’d read about his work with other micro-ISVs. What I wasn’t expecting was his breadth of business knowledge as well as his technical knowledge. Being able to discuss business objectives, markets, pricing, promotion as well as SEO and coding was a great punctuation point in the development of the Reserviz online service, and it helped me develop a much more focussed set of priorities to complete the initial launch period. Don’t expect from Andy a glib confirmation that everything you’ve done is fine – he’ll give you an honest assessment, and then help you work out a plan. Think of Andy as the Swiss Army Knife you need in your toolbox!
Mike Gorman, www.Reserviz.com
I approached Andy Brice to do some consulting specifically because I wanted to increase sales largely through improving my marketing efforts. Andy’s approach is one which I think those from a coding background will appreciate. From the first phone call it was clear his process was refined and methodical: not concentrating on fluffy marketing fads but rather on solid proven methods. Throughout the consulting process it was clear that Andy was taking all the positive and negative marketing knowledge he gained making his own product successful & applying it to create unique recommendations for my own product. The final report was delivered before the due date & on budget. Reading the report I was stunned by the wealth of information it contained. The report doesn’t just contain dry facts & statistics, the emphasis is clearly on actionable points. Reading Andy’s justifications for making his recommendations it’s clear that implementing them will ratchet up the effectiveness of my marketing efforts one step at a time. My conclusion is that Andy’s consulting is probably the most cost effective investment I will ever make in my business; I fully expect the expenditure to be repaid many, many times over.
Jonathan Matthews, www.deeptrawl.com
Category Changes post Andy Website Visitors 10% Increase Trial Downloads 200% Increase Google Organic Search Hits 320% Increase Visitor Time Spent on Website 250% Increase
What stands out most to me in the above list is that even though our total web traffic has not increased substantially, our overall downloads, conversions, and time spend on the web site have increased significantly. That means that our efforts to focus our advertising and communicate correctly to our target markets is paying off. We’re getting much more qualified leads coming to our web site, they are spending more time looking at the site and the product, and more of them are choosing to download the trial version. (Read the full post here)
We hired Andy to provide an “outside perspective” on what we were doing. This consisted over an overview of AdWords, our website and a small amount of usability testing of one of our software tools. The results were informative and painful. Painful as in “we knew there were problems, but not like that”. No one likes when they are shown video that proves the user interface is not as easy to use as you thought”. Very humbling. The comments on Adwords have caused us to change our focus in that area. I’d like to hire Andy for longer, but he has a business to run. I regard the consulting as a success. Its given us a lot more work to do than we anticipated, but I feel that we are more in control as a result. Even if you are happy with your team and their work, an occasional outside perspective is a very useful thing to have.
How can I improve my sales? How can I make my application more profitable? Which of my ideas could be the next software product? With these questions in mind I hired Andy. He evaluated my small business, tested the product, checked the product website/store, and we discussed my strategy. Andy knows the Micro-ISV life and business with all its specialities and constraints. As a result of his work, I’ve now a clear plan and even tools on how to improve my sales. I was already able to put some ideas to work, and they already yielded measurable improvements. And Andy helped me choose my next project, I am now very much looking forward to it.
Ruben Bakker, www.mailplaneapp.com
I launched my product SQL Pretty Printer several years ago, but I wasn’t satisfied with sales. So I contacted Andy to do some consulting about my product and website. After several rounds of questions, Andy looked at my product and website and did some research. Andy’s final report is easy to read and understand, and lists about 100 actionable points about my product and website. After that, it took me about 3-4 weeks to apply this advice with the help of Andy. 3 months later, I’m really satisfied with the result: the downloads have increased 36%, and the sales increased 25%. So my conclusion is if you have a product, and want to sell more, Andy is the person you need to approach.
James Wang, www.dpriver.com
After launching our new test management software TestRail early last year, we recently contacted Andy to help us increase the visibility of our product. Based on customer feedback and reviews, we knew that many software development teams prefer TestRail over legacy solutions that are difficult to use. But we also knew that most teams weren’t aware of our new product, so we wanted to improve this situation. The first thing Andy did was to try and test the application as a normal user would use it. While he walked through the application and briefly tested its major features, he recorded a video of this experience and narrated the video with comments and suggestions. Seeing how a first-time user uses your application can be very useful and it definitely showed us a few things that we could improve. Learning more about the application was also important for the next step: Andy interviewed us to learn more about our goals, marketing methods and many other things. He then prepared a detailed and thorough report with many suggestions, comments and recommendations. Implementing all those suggestions will take time but we are already seeing first positive results of the short-term improvements that we’ve implemented. If you want to bring your product (or product marketing) to the next level, Andy’s consulting service is highly recommended.
Dennis Gurock, www.gurock.com
Trying to sell an innovative product that I love too much, Andy provided distance and professional advices. My message is now more focused and my TODO list is narrowed to the essential. I warmly recommend to hire a day with Andy Brice if you are in the same situation.
Bruno Janvier, www.contenta-videobrowser.com
I got Andy to check out why my software was not selling as well as I expected. His approach was very thorough and covered the entire downloading experience, from Google to first impressions of the software. Some of the findings were very unexpected, and he found a considerable amount of room for improvement in various areas. Many suggestions were things I had never considered. I needed a brutally honest opinion with plenty of recommendations, and Andy (The Gordon Ramsay of the Software Development World – in a nice way) exceeded my expectations in his approach, his professional knowledge, and his knowledge on where I’m missing out on sales. Even though we were 13 hours apart in time zones, we covered a staggering amount of ground. I’m still working on the changes he recommended (there were quite a few), but I am confident that I will recoup the consultation fee paid to Andy very quickly once these changes are in place. I would definitely recommend Andy’s services, as this was value for money, particularly for those who find their software is not doing as well as it should do and need to look at it from a completely different perspective.
Paul Roberts, www.roboprintjobmanager.com
I’ve been running a software company for over 10 years now and thought that I knew most of the tricks and had fixed most of the usual issues. Still, I hired Andy to check my file sync software to see what I’ve been missing. And that were quite a few things. Actually I was surprised at the wide range of angles that Andy checked. Not only the software and website (as it was to be expected), but also Adwords, business, sales and marketing tactics. I’m still working on implementing the changes, but I’m already sure that this was a very good investment which will easily pay off – not only for my file sync product, but also for my other products.
Thomas Holz, www.easy2sync.com
I have learned that when you need to improve your business, it is good to ask a second opinion. For the indie software business problems Andy’s consulting services is the best solution. He has deep knowledge of the indie software business and his advice is practical.
Petri Piirainen, www.softcolor.fi
I’ve had a very good experience with Andy. He was really professional. He went in and analyzed my business from all angles and offered many invaluable suggestions. I’ve just started implementing them and I am sure I’ve recovered my costs already. So if you get an opportunity to work with him – don’t hesitate.
Peter Severin, www.wireframesketcher.com
I hired Andy to get a fresh perspective on what I’m doing, and to get ideas for improvement. It was an absolute success. His suggestions were extremely useful. Getting the perspective of an experienced software entrepreneur for a day was very helpful. He delivered really exceptional value. I’d recommend his services anytime.
Lukas Trötzmüller, www.fwsim.com
 I have a Skype number.