No-code businesses are cropping up everywhere, with exciting opportunities to reach more people, iterate quickly, and ship products faster than ever before. This is a story of how a former legal practitioner built a business to make travel easier, entirely on no-code tools!
Here’s her story!
I am Juliet Edjere, a legal practitioner, no-code evangelist, and the CEO and co-founder of Maze. Maze was founded with a focus to connect people relocating with service providers, reduce moving costs and enable the optimization of customer journeys.
Alongside my role as the CEO, I lead product and business strategy at Maze. I manage the customer discovery journey to identify new areas and priorities we should focus on. As the central player in driving Maze’s mission forward, I manage the business direction, vision and shape the way relocation decisions are made.
On the product side, I strategise the roadmap and prioritize what needs to be done to achieve the initiatives and strategic goals behind the product. Outside my day-to-day management of the company, I work as a Content Marketing Lead and Technical Advisor at a fast-growing international startup where she manages all things API and no-code integration.
I develop prototypes and products using low and no-code tools like Airtable, Zapier and Integromat Zapier to effectively capture, understand and analyze data.
Launching Maze using no-code tools
We launched our website in early 2022, designed and built it entirely with no code tools. As founders and immigrants, we were motivated to create a solution we wish we had, as well as capitalize on a gap in the marketplace.
We started as a service-based business helping people plan, book and manage their short and long term trips. However, when the pandemic hit, we reviewed our strategy and pivoted to provide an end-to-end solution.
We observed that despite the travel restrictions resulting from the pandemic, geographic mobility is still critical for key employees and students in today’s globalized economy, and that trend is unlikely to reverse. These people face problems similar to what we had experienced.
Maze was founded to connect people relocating with service providers, reduce moving costs and enable the optimization of customer journeys.
When looking to relocate internationally, instead of the expensive, tedious and slow process of vetting services across the country, you simply register with Maze and it does all the settlement interactions so you don’t have to.
Getting picked from the airport, getting your bills set up, full integration into your environment, calling your loved ones with a new sim card, settling into your new accommodation - everything is available within one platform.
With automated data processing, we place a high priority on data security. This saves time in comparison to traditional manual processes. We offer a self-service platform with live support that is handy across all devices (mobile & desktop).
Our platform features a simple & easy-to-use interface that centralizes all the resources for moving abroad in one place. The planning process is automated and includes a personalized checklist tailored to the user's unique journey. The user has the ability to track their progress on the platform.
It features carefully curated resources, access to service providers and leverages the power of the community to navigate the complex and bureaucratic relocation process.
To build the platform, Maze has been through three variations
We started with a landing page built on Carrd and supplemented with Typeform (you can check it out here!) The landing page was launched to collect signups and get feedback from potential users. Typeform was integrated as the contact form and the pop-up messenger.
On the backend, I set up an automated message with Zapier to get more information from submissions. This also helped with getting validation on users that were actually interested in the product. After the first email interaction, users are directed to a booking form to book a free consultation.
I built this on Zoho and integrated with Zoom to receive an automated meeting link. This was additionally then zapped to our email address so we get notified when a new meeting is scheduled. To collect signups, I connected Mailchimp to Carrd and users receive welcome emails on sign up.
Here’s an overview of all the tools we used:
- Figma: All designs were solely on Figma
- Webflow: I took a one month solo sprint to build and develop designs made on Figma. The learning curve with Webflow was seamless owing to my familiarity with other no-code building tools. This formed the basis of our proof of concept.
- Airtable - CRM database and workflow
- Stripe: For payment processing, when payment is completed, users are automatically directed to our Tally Form to complete a short onboarding form. This will set the pace for the first onboarding meeting and getting access to their personalized dashboard which is powered by Airtable on the backend.
- Tally Form: forms
- Zoho Mail: If you manage a small team, you can opt for Google workspace
- Notion: Wiki Page
- Zoho Booking
- Calendly: Meeting scheduling
- Canva: All social media graphics are done with Canva and supplemented by Figma designs
- Carrd: Landing page
- Swish.ink: Blog
- Telegram: Community, for the community, we had initially tried Tribe, Slack and Circle but found Telegram to be more relatable to our audience
Why we care so much about moving
Moving is one of the most stressful life events and can get quite lonely a lot of the time. Getting integrated into a new place is a big deal—even when we aren’t in the midst of a global pandemic. Our motivation was to create a solution we wish we had, as well as capitalize on a gap in the marketplace.
We previously worked on building a travel platform for tourists. We started as a service-based business helping people plan, book and manage their short and long term trips. However, when the pandemic hit, we reviewed our strategy and pivoted to provide an end-to-end solution.
According to Harvard Business Review, geographic moves present several possible drawbacks which can be summarized as the ROPE framework: Regulatory, Occupational, Psychological and Economical. These are serious issues that can't be isolated.
Dealing with culture shock is one of such problems as most relocators find it difficult to adjust to different aspects of an unfamiliar place. Reverse culture shock is also real for residents who have lived abroad and want to reintegrate. This cuts across a lack of language skills, accents, mannerisms and even the food.
There is often a lack of step-by-step guidance to manage the stressful relocation process. These difficulties span across a gap in accessing health care, housing, education, employment, registering for taxes, acclimation needs, legal requirements and reliable services.
Those in the industry are often not transparent with pricing and consumers are usually at the losing end. As a result, newcomers may become easy targets for abuse, extortion and exploitation, leading to missed opportunities or missing documents.
Following these observations, we carried out market research which revealed that technology advancements in the relocation industry are slow and there were hardly any online based, self-service relocation platforms. We believe the relocation process can be made more effective, digital and efficient, thus saving money, stress and time.
Advice for anyone starting a no-code business
A piece of advice to budding entrepreneurs, I’d say the first hard part is starting, so just start. As you start out your entrepreneurial journey, position yourself to be portrayed in a positive light by building a startup that solves problems.
Monetise as soon as possible and pay attention to vanity metrics that don’t grow the business but identify how many users are willing to pay to use your product or service. Know that 90% of startups fail.
So take advantage of the learning process and work hard on getting your product or service out there. Keep building but don’t attempt to do it alone and don’t fall into the phase of planning for months without actually speaking to your users.
YCombinator startup resources have helped in defining our activities at Maze. There are a lot of useful video and audio resources that cover product-market fit, lean startup model, traction generation, technology, and setting up the startup for scalability. I’d highly recommend checking those out!
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Juliet!