Sorry for the long question, but I promise it's a good read as it includes a challenging topic on growing a bootstrapped business, which I imagine applies to many of you as well. I look forward to your insights and "business acumen."
I have a SaaS product which I built ground up (database, server, application, website, etc) and which targets clients for multiple industries (worldwide, everything from hospitality, security, to academic, etc). Growth has been good, but I'm the only person running the business, and I have a well paying daytime corp job. I'm not making nearly enough from the side business to match my fulltime salary. However, I would love advice on how I can expand the business to next level without having to put in time during the day for sales and support (very little, currently) when I'm working. As a Saas business, customer attrition is low, and over the next 2 years I expect to add on ~$12K-$16k with increasing numbers in subsequent years (word of mouth, up-selling, branding, etc.). The product offers 3 yearly subscription plans between $499 and $999. Customer awareness of the "solution" is my biggest challenge.
If you were in my position, what you consider doing? Remember, the goal is for me to retain my fulltime position and drastically increase sales (2x to 3x). These ideas came to mind:
(1) Hire a consultant to work part-time (20hrs /week) to make cold calls and drive more sales. I estimated for each month the sales person should be able to secure 3 sales, with one going back to his/her compensation for the following month of outbound sales. With this model, I still have the challenge of dealing with customer technical and business questions, which the part-timer would not be able to answer and probably shouldn't focus on.
(2) Partner with another IT business, staffed fulltime, to white label the product and sell it maybe as Private Software as a Service offering. For one business sector, I think they could get 50K - 70K for base and 9k-14k for yearly maintenance. I would take a royalty from each sale and continue working on future product releases.
(3) Give up some ownership of the company for a business partner who can focus on daytime customer needs and sales, and some technical aspects. I'm not sure how much to give up, and would there be enough sales to make this an attractive offer (since still SaaS model). I would continue to focus to future versions and features.
(4) Sell the product to another company to continue it as a SaaS business and ask for royalty for future purchases. My hands would be washed of the product and current customer base.
What would you DO?? Please share your business insights.