We’re championing our SaaStock Founder Members. The leaders and experts building the SaaS companies today that’ll shape our industry and the world of SaaS tomorrow. In this series, we’ll be profiling some of our SFM members who’ve been a part of the membership to help them scale their SaaS. They deserve the spotlight, so let’s get right into it.
Today’s post features Philip Gillen, a SaaS Founder and SFM member.
1. Who are you and what does your SaaS do?
I’m Philip, CEO & Founder of Upscaler. Our SaaS helps companies get ready for ISO certification, and helps them maintain it once they are certified. Examples include ISO 27001 which is an information security standard accepted by SaaS buyers globally, and ISO 9001 which is a quality management system.
2. When did you start your business? Did you do so alone? Explain why.
Upscaler was incorporated in January 2021, about 4 weeks after my previous SaaS company was acquired. But the idea for Upscaler had been brewing in my mind for years.
Basically, we make ISO certification accessible to companies of any size. With Upscaler, SaaS companies can get ISO certified in as little as 3 months!
3. As a SaaS founder, what’s that one challenge you are facing in your SaaS at the moment?
Differentiating ourselves. It’s an incredibly competitive space, with Excel/Word templates, consultants, legacy software vendors and a new brood of automation platforms. All competing for the same set of customers. Upscaler is different and in many ways better than any other approach – but we have yet to clearly articulate that message.
4. How are you looking to overcome this?
We’re a small but growing company with limited resources. So we’re planning to engage with an agency to help us with this.
5. If you had a magic wand, what would you change (about your SaaS or externally) to enable faster growth?
New brand, positioning and website. Abracadabra, done.
6. What one piece of information do you wish you were privy to before starting/ founding your company?
The value of outbound email for a start-up. I never did outbound in my previous companies because I incorrectly looked at it as spam and disregarded it as a tactic. Big mistake. In Upscaler it is fuelling our growth at that critical time before brand and content marketing take effect. Of course, you need to do it right and be respectful of those you are contacting.
7. As a SaaStock Founder Member, what are the key learnings you’ve gained so far to get you closer to $10MM ARR?
Every SaaS vertical is hugely competitive now. Where 10 years ago you were 1 in 10 solutions, today, you are 1 in 100 or more.
But if you stay in your lane and focus on adding value for your customers you can build a great business. Provided the market is big enough of course.
8. Finally, what do you aspire to become, personally or professionally, within the next 12 months?
Continue to develop myself as a first-time CEO. The SFM community and learning opportunities the membership provides certainly helps in this endeavour.
For Upscaler, our plan is to pass €1m ARR within the next 12 months.
If you are looking to achieve success all year round and be put in the spotlight, check out the SaaStock Founder Membership:
A private community of ambitious SaaS founders scaling to $10MM ARR. Get a support network of peers, connect with likeminded founders around the globe, and learn proven strategies from industry experts to help you scale up your SaaS. Apply now.