In the past, when you wanted to build a web app or tool, coding skills were a necessity.
Today, however, there are plenty of options available for those of us with more limited coding knowledge to find success. I’ve been using these so-called “no-code” tools for years and particularly love Zapier and Airtable.
Webflow has been on my radar for a while now and I finally had time to take a deep dive and test it out with a few projects.
At first glance, Webflow looks like just another drag&drop website builder, but it has almost unlimited options for customization (without requiring development skills) and its CMS is extremely powerful.
In one of my previous blog posts, I shared a story of how I built a coworking cabin.
After having the first prototype ready, my initial plan was to partner with a manufacturer to build these cabins on scale and rent them as vacation rentals.
While the plan of finding a manufacturer didn’t work out, the good news was, I discovered some intriguing patterns by interviewing about 20 people who were interested in buying a cabin.
Most of the people I talked to had already done some research and just wanted to buy any nice, reasonably-priced prefab house for themselves.
However, their main challenges with buying a prefab house were:
As I already had quite a solid spreadsheet of manufacturers (150+) from around the world, I started to research if something like a marketplace for these homes existed.
I also looked at keywords in Google Trends, subreddits, FB groups, and Twitter. The result were extremely promising: There’s a lot of demand but no solid marketplace/competition.
I started to explore Webflow to see how I could import my database to their CMS and how it could all bind together. I designed all the possible filters and categories for prefab houses and realized that it might take many months to deliver any sort of final product.
So I started to think about what a minimum viable version might look like, with just one use case and no filters/categories yet.
And here it is: a collection of prefab backyard offices.
I published the website last week and I haven't run any promotions yet aside from replying to a few tweets.
My plan now is to test the feedback and start playing with 1-2 of the easiest business models (I wrote down 12 in total). Then I’ll add more houses based on their use case (modern cabins, vacation rentals, etc.) and filters (shipping to [state], bathroom included, etc.).
Interested how is this project going to evolve?
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I'm the founder of Surf Office, a one-stop shop for anyone organizing company retreats.
A few side-projects I'm involved in: Epic Monday, Hoodpicker, and Surfpreneurs Club.
Kickstart your hospitality business by reading one of my guides for: coliving, glamping and hosting offsites.
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or Linkedin.
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