How This Guy Built A $100k/Month Business From His Laptop

In 2020, Jacob Klug almost failed high school. Today he runs a no-code agency that generates $100k/month in revenue.

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Hey there! 👋

First, hope you had a BANGER July 4th! Weather here on the East Coast was beautiful, but not as beautiful as how much money this guy makes per month at just 20-years-old! As always, you can find the full podcast episode here at The Dealroom. Now, on to Jacob Klug!

Note: This story has been edited for reading clarity

Founder, Jacob Klug shares the story:

In high school, I was running a real estate marketing company. We mainly had realtors and some local businesses, but we realized a lot of them were trying to transition during COVID. Obviously, everything was digital, and a couple of out clients were looking to build a platform that integrates with Zoom and a lot of other community features.

I was like, ‘Well, this is super interesting. I’ve used and no code; maybe we can actually do this as a service.’

That's when the light bulb moment struck for me, and we took on our first client.

I woke up every day, and it never felt like a job. This was something I was doing over my weekends and now I do it during the week.

It’s really hard, though, because in the first 6-12 months, nothing happens. Yeah, we got a couple of clients, but they're small clients. It was one client here, and then a couple of months later, the next client and it would slowly trickle in. Unless you enjoy what you're doing, you're going to be like, ‘Well, it's not making money fast enough.’

I just kept doing it because it’s fun. Later, by the time you snap your fingers, you realize, ‘I actually have something. I have a real business here.’

Q: Did you graduate high school?

I was failing high school, and if I didn't do something about it, I would be held back.

So I had to make deals with all my teachers. I called all of them and told them, ‘Look, I cannot go to class on Zoom. I had other [sales] calls during them’

I explained to them what I was doing, and luckily enough, all the teachers of classes I needed to pass gave me flexibility for my assignments. They agreed that as long as I did the assignments, I didn't need to show up to class.

Q: What are the capabilities of no-code?

No-code is a new rise in tools that we've seen. There are different tiers of no-code. You have what I call tier one, which is like the OG at WordPress. They essentially created this new category because of the time coding just a basic website required. WordPress bridged the gap. 

The second tier includes tools like Notion that are made for you but can also be customized. You also have things like Webflow and Framer, which allow you to build cool, interactive, and custom websites. 

But where I hang out is, you could call it tier three or tier four, which is complex web apps, web applications, mobile apps, etc. There are tools such as, where you can essentially build pretty much any kind of web application using a drag-and-drop element for the front end that's completely custom.

All our apps you would not be able to know were no code. The tools we create range from building for startups to building internal tools for enterprises that are looking to automate their systems.

Q: How much did you start your business, Creme Digital, with?

Nothing. Agencies are great because they require no upfront capital. It's a positive cash flow cycle. When you think about it, you are selling and getting money in the door before actually delivering the service. 

It's not just agencies. There are other service businesses where you can implement this. But you have to get creative around ‘How do I get money in the door before I deliver? Even if it's like 50%.’ Which is what we did. We had clients and would take a 50% deposit. I'd then use that money to hire people to do the work, deliver the work, and then you get the other 50%. 

Q: What did you do to grow the business early on as a high school student?

One of the biggest things is always word of mouth, like referrals.

But the two main ways are:

1. Inbound 

2. Outbound

Inbound is Google ads, people intently searching, ‘I want to build a product.’ Outbound, which we're pushing out more now, is like cold emails. So, we experiment a lot with organic content, podcasts, socials, and Twitter just to get the message around.

Q: How did you get the YouTuber Airrack as a client?

Yeah, that was a funny one because his manager posted on Twitter that they were looking for bubble developers. My friend knew the manager and introduced us. They came to us, and they were like, ‘We need to launch this in three weeks, and we have half the platform ready. We need somebody to finish it off.’

So it was super pressing. We had 2-3 weeks to revamp this whole product before it went live to millions of people. We just grinded it out and dedicated the whole team to this one project. We really wanted to impress them, too, because we knew it would be kind of cool. When we showed them the app, they were blown away.

Q: How much does the business make today? 

Every month is different. We work on a subscription model, so we're an in-house fractionalized team for companies. We used to do fixed-scoped projects where you would come in, and we'd price it out, but we've transitioned to a purely monthly model.

It's good because our monthly revenue is more stable. It also gives the client a lot more flexibility around what they can do because they're not tied in. But on average, we're doing around $80,000-$120,000/month.

For Jacob Klug’s full story you can listen to my interview with him on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or by clicking the image below.

Have a productive week!