by Steve Tenuto on

Hi. My name is Steve Tenuto. I'm 30 years old and live in Boise, Idaho. I run an animation agency called Motioncrafter. We make short marketing videos for tech companies. I hire out a large part of the work, but as with any small agency owner, I'm very much involved in just about every aspect of the business.

To be as transparent as possible, I plan to expose Motioncrafter's exact revenue numbers in a future post. It's a huge contributing factor in my ability to devote time and money toward Clientroute. Plus, I'm tired of the shroud of financial secrecy agencies operate behind. So stay tuned for that soon.

Why a journal?

This is a place to share my process of building Clientroute like some of my favorite SaaS founders are doing.

I'm lucky to have many of the skills necessary for launching a SaaS company. You can expect these updates to consist of UI/UX design, development, marketing and sales, and the business strategy that (hopefully) ties it all together.

In return, I'm hoping to grow an audience that I can lean on to provide input and ideas that help build Clientroute into a useful tool for growing digital agencies and freelancers.

More Clients, More Problems

In 2016, my agency was growing and I was no longer able to handle all of the work myself. I took on the help of a few sub-contractors and we tried several project management apps including Trello, Asana, and a Slack plugin. Our collaboration and communication improved, but my clients didn't use it.

"...we tried several project management apps including Trello, Asana, and Basecamp. Our collaboration and communication improved, but my clients didn't use it."

I'd send countless emails to clients updating them on projects and forwarding requests from my team. When, and if they responded, I'd go in and update the project management app so my team could see.

With a dozen or so active projects on our plate, my mornings now consisted of several hours of relaying information between my clients and my team.

I realized these tools simply weren't designed with clients in mind. That's why I decided to build Clientroute.

Introducing Clientroute

Clientroute turns a Trello board into an intuitive client portal designed for streamlined project collaboration. Initially, building on-top of Trello sounded like a great way to reduce the friction of having to adopt a new tool, but as amazing as Trello's developer tools are... it wasn't going to provide enough flexibility. So, I decided to build a stripped-down version of Trello that better fit my product's needs.

That being said, let's try this again.

Introducing Clientroute (take 2)

Clientroute is a project management tool that keeps your team and clients on the same page.

It's basically the project management tool I've needed for my animation studio for years. It has just enough project management chops, while being designed from the ground-up to cut down a lot of the back-and-forth with clients.

What's Next?

With a great response from early sign-ups and communities like Indie Hackers, Reddit and more, I'm focusing on building out the product over the next few weeks. I'll be writing about my progress, so stay tuned!