had the chance to sit down and chat with Cyril Gupta, CEO of Teknikforce. We looked at their story, how they are currently keeping up with the competition, and how they plan to grow.
Let’s introduce Teknikforce to our audience. What is it and how does it work?
Teknikforce has been producing affordable software for small businesses who want more success online. We’ve created a number of tools to help in social media marketing, creating business websites, for email marketing, outreach, etc.
How does your mission differ from the other companies in your niche?
First, we are not a single product company. We have a portfolio of products and our mission is to solve related problems. A business that’s trying to sell online doesn’t have just one concern. They may be trying to get new leads, accept payments, deliver products, advertise or email.
We bring them related solutions that work well together and solve the problem comprehensively.
Our focus is squarely on the small business. That means solopreneurs, small teams, local businesses. Businesses that don’t have the privilege of big budgets.
The mission is to help people achieve success without bankrupting them with expensive tools that they can’t afford.
How did it all start, and what are your achievements to this day?
Many years ago I made a tool to help people optimize their videos to rank better. It is called Tuberank Jeet. It was very well received and still sells to this day. Of course now it is a lot more modern and has AI do the job.
Since then we’ve launched 20 products that solve specific problems in online marketing. We have over 100,000 free and paid users and have generated nearly $5 million in sales so far.
Business is a continuously evolving process and we got a lot of important learnings in our journey. Right now, focusing on connecting with our customers is a strong priority with us.
We want to make sure that our customers are heard, that’s why we built a 24 hours chat support process. Our prospects and customers can go to our website anytime and talk to a real person.
Customer feedbacks help us gather important learnings, and create the features that people really want, fix bugs faster and establish a strong bond.
We are fully bootstrapped so the only way we can grow is if our customers continue paying for our apps.
Who are your typical clients and what problems do they have when they come to you?
Our customers are small business, solopreneurs and freelancers who are trying to grow their business online. Our products are low-cost but full-featured. We also promote the idea of self-hosting because it helps us reduce costs further and gives our customers more control over their data.
We have a number of products in the market, like CloudFunnels, which is a business website builder. We also have CourseFunnels which lets people create and sell courses online and ShopFunnels which is a robust ECommerce platform.
These are our 3 flagship products but we also have other tools that solve specific problems. We have a tool to help people with Outreach marketing, another to let them create auto webinars online and even a browser for multi-login marketing.
These are special, niche-market tools with a small number of customers. We are graduating slowly from small niches to bigger ones.
Since we are bootstrapped, profitability is something we really care about and we’ve been profitable since the first year. If that means growing slowly and organically stepping through small niches, that’s okay.
Our customers really believe in the work we do and we have built a 5 star reputation. We have a 4.8 star rating on Google Business over 100 reviews and on platforms like G2, Capterra etc., our tools are rated 5 stars.
That’s a pretty good record for a tech products company. This market is very challenging with new technologies and opportunities appearing all the time. It’s a challenge sometimes to even stay relevant.
We’ve done it so far by keeping the focus heavily on affordability and reliability. Let’s save our customer a serious amount of money.
For example our latest product Sendster is a powerful newsletter sending system that our customers can get at only $127 a year. Our competition routinely charges that every month.
Can you share any success stories where your product made a significant difference for a business dealing with these challenges?
Our biggest and most popular product so far is CloudFunnels
. It has over 7500 buyers and powers thousands of websites on the Internet. Our customers have built fantastic Sales funnels with it.
We have transformed many markets with this product. We were the first to integrate Nigerian payment systems like Payfast and Paystack and we enabled a lot of businesses from Nigeria to get online and create their business websites. It has been an amazing experience to listen to their feedback and gratitude for making this product for an underserved market.
Our new business builder, ShopFunnels is one of the best selling ECom platforms on Appsumo with nearly-perfect feedback from the customers who bought it.
Can you share any feedback from current customers that highlight how your Teknikforce has positively impacted them?
I think that the economy in this decade is all about customer reviews. Hard sales tactics don’t work anymore. Customer feedback does.
If your product is solidly made and appreciated by your customers, record their feedback publicly. People will buy from you only if they trust you.
We have literally thousands of reviews from our happy customers over all the products we’ve created. Our customers post comments sometimes on the Facebook ads we run. They just can’t hold back.
This of course has been the biggest energizer for us, even more than the money we’ve made. Our business is about enabling people to run their business better. It’s a big responsibility.
When people say things like, “I am never going back to ClickFunnels again,” it validates our work. We’ve saved you a lot of money, and now you’re standing by us. It’s the best feeling to have your customer on your side.
If you had unlimited funds, what improvements would you make?
We’ve been bootstrapped by choice. I feel it’s okay to be small and be profitable. To be able to defend your territory aggressively and pivot fast whenever there’s need to do so. I value the freedom that owning all of the enterprise gives me. It creates choices like none other.
That said, if I did have access to the VC; series A, B, C kind of funds, I’d put that in creating products that are more scalable and compete in the mainstream. Of course that’s my goal even today but the approach is a slower, calculated one.
We are doing it one-step at a time and it feels right.