How to Run a Smart SaaS Business: BaconBiz 2016 in a Nutshell

Published June 06, 2016 by Jane Portman

Productized Consulting Roundtable at BaconBiz 2016

I’m writing this on a plane as I’m flying from New York City to Moscow. BaconBizConf 2016 in Philadelphia turned out to be amazing, and I want to share my personal takeaways with you — so that you can apply them in your business.

My own talk was about optimizing navigation in web apps (recap in the end of this post), and I’m glad that I had a chance to draw founders’ attention to design problems.

Now, onwards to the awesome speakers!

Website personalization (Brennan Dunn)

Brennan runs an infoproduct business for consultants and freelancers at Double Your Freelancing.

Podcast outreach (Kai Davis)

Kai is an outreach consultant at Double Your Audience.

Direct sales (Nathan Barry)

Nathan shares his amazing success story with ConvertKit, email marketing software for professional bloggers.

Facebook ads (Mojca Mars)

Mojca runs Super Spicy Media, a social media marketing consultancy.

Video training (Joel Hooks)

Joel runs, bite-sized video training platform for developers.

Be special & be yourself (Nick Disabato)

Nick runs Draft, an interaction design consultancy. Amy asked Nick to give a talk about Dirk’s Friday Fresh Fish Flash which is a unique local newsletter in Comic Sans.

Optimize your funnel for conversation (Jason Forrest)

Jason runs Rigbooks, software for trucking companies.

Team communication (Natalie Nagele)

Natalie runs Wildbit as a product-agnostic business, putting her team’s well-being as a top priority.

Business operations manual (Josh Kaufman)

Josh is the super-famous author of Personal MBA and two more books.

Bringing up your own sales rep (Ian Landsman)

Ian runs HelpSpot, well-establshed help-desk software.

Managing a portfolio of web apps (JD Graffam)

JD runs two agencies (a design agency and a development agency) who work on a large number of acquired web applications. Very inspiring model!

Retaining customers (Richard Felix)

Richard runs Stunning and Retained, both focused on preventing user churn in SaaS companies.

Successful business practices (Patrick McKenzie)

If you don’t know Patrick, go and read all his stuff immediately. Now he works on Starfigher, a recruiting/game platform for developers. Patrick gave an amazing talk, but it was so inspiring that I nodded in admiration and forgot to take notes.

Optimizing navigation in web apps (Jane Portman)

So yes, I was the last speaker on the lineup. Here are the points I hammered — inspired by my book, The UI Audit.


One could think that after attending conferences for a while (and actively consulting for SaaS companies) you kind of already know “everything” — if one ever dares to say so. But every time you go to another conference, your own circumstances and opinions change so much! A fresh spin on a good old topic might become a true revelation.

And of course, BaconBiz organizers did their best to curate most actionable, concise talks for us. Thanks Amy, Alex, Thomas, and the team.

Plus, face-to-face communication with your friends is invaluable. No explanation needed. If you ever think that it’s too expensive… Then think of someone like myself why flies in all the way from Russia, and book your next conference now!

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