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Dan McManus of Evosus: “Pace yourself”

Pace yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Keep doing the right things, every day, and focus on creating a healthy business model where expenses are under control, and you’re not starving for the next sale. As a part of our series about “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful App or SaaS”, […]

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Pace yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Keep doing the right things, every day, and focus on creating a healthy business model where expenses are under control, and you’re not starving for the next sale.


As a part of our series about “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful App or SaaS”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dan McManus.

Dan is the CEO of Evosus Software. His experience and passion can be summed up in one word: growth. More specifically, Dan’s experience is helping technology companies grow. He’s doing exactly that with Evosus as they’re now the top business software program in North America for the swimming pool, hot tub and hearth industries. Dan has an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and lives in Vancouver, Washington where he enjoys living in and exploring the pacific northwest.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

While attending college in New York, I got an internship at a publishing company, where I was fortunate to learn the fundamentals of direct marketing. To this day, those skills serve me well. More than ever, the business world wants to understand the cost to acquire a new customer, the ROI of dollars invested and how to create value.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led you to think of the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

Evosus was created by three entrepreneurs in the Portland, Oregon area. The general manager of a hot tub company asked for software that he could run his entire business on vs. cobbled programs and spreadsheets. After determining that there was no one program that would meet these needs, the idea was born: create an all-in-one software program that could run a retail / service / construction business. This was no small feat, which is why it’s taken 20 years to build Evosus.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

The toughest times we had were early on. As a bootstrapped company, we operated on a very lean budget, and we struggled to meet payroll at times. It was incredibly stressful, but we got creative and always found a way to pay our expenses.

How are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Today we are the #1 ERP business software company in the swimming pool, hot tub and hearth industries in North America. We have hundreds of clients and a successful business model.

Meanwhile, we are still a bootstrapped company that keeps a close watch on expenses.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

Early on, I remember that we were short on resources and desperately needed a salesperson to follow up on leads, and generate revenue. So, I called a friend and said, “All you need to do is call our list of prospects and set up demonstrations.” Boy was I wrong. Beyond demos, we also needed someone to follow up with each business, answer their individual questions, and take it all the way through to a signed client. Lucky for me, my friend was forgiving, and helped us do just that.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

All in one. We always go back to that. There are many retail / point of sale apps. And there are many, many field service apps. And even quite a few inventory apps. However, there are very few applications that do all of these things in one software program.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Pace yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Keep doing the right things, every day, and focus on creating a healthy business model where expenses are under control, and you’re not starving for the next sale.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

We got lots of help early on, because we asked for it. There are people out there that “just want to help” with little to no expectation of a return. Find them and speak with them. One of the people we asked for help from was a hearth dealer that helped us get into that industry. Before walking into our first hearth trade show, we got training, learned industry terms and showed up ready to go.

Approximately how many users or subscribers does your software currently have? Can you share with our readers three of the main steps you’ve taken to build such a community?

Thousands of people log in and user of software every day. There’s been no secret sauce on how we attracted these clients. One by one, we build the business, one client at a time.

What is your monetization model? How do you monetize your community of users? Have you considered other monetization options? Why did you not use those?

Software onboarding and licensing. One of the cool things we’ve done is to create seasonal licensing, to save dealers money in the off-season. Our clients love it.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@globalmandan

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