Starting a business from scratch: Guillaume Moubeche’s profit-led growth approach

Guillaume Moubeche
READ TIME – 9 minutes

Today, when we spend most of our time on LinkedIn, we see more and more founders and CEOs, but we rarely know the backstory on how they managed to build such well-established brands.

So we assume that we will hardly build a business ourselves because we imagine the costs, the investments and the loans are something we cannot afford.

But what if I told you there is a B2B creator who founded his SaaS business with just $1000?

You don’t need a fortune to start a business

Yes, you heard that right.

And sometimes you don’t even need a single dollar if you think about freelancing or consulting.

For building SaaS, you’ll need a minimal amount, like Guillaume Moubeche who started lempire with just $1000, or Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia who initially funded Airbnb by creating and selling cereal boxes.

Starting a business with little or no money can seem daunting, but it offers unique advantages and opportunities such as thinking of innovative solutions to the problems you want to solve.

Moreover, this struggle of building a business from the ground can teach you valuable lessons in entrepreneurship, management, and problem-solving.

So what would you need?

You can take advantage of your personal and professional skills; if you’re good at writing, design, coding, or any other service, you can start a business offering these skills to others.

Or you can adopt a lean startup methodology by starting small, testing your ideas, and iterating based on feedback to minimize waste and maximize learning.

So, don’t let financial barriers hold you back if you have a great idea and put your creativeness to work, just like Guillaume did.

Who is Guillaume Moubeche?

Guillaume Moubeche is a two-time founder, best known as the founder and CEO of lempire.

This company includes five more businesses: lemlist, lemwarm, taplio, tweethunter, and lemcal, and it’s currently valued at $150 million with an annual recurring revenue of $26 million.

The reason for his business’ success is the focus on profit-led growth approach, meaning Guillaume focuses on business profitability rather than just rapid expansion.

Guillaume has also authored a book called “The $150M Secret” where he shares insights and strategies for aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals alike based on his experiences.

He’s active on multiple social platforms, but mainly focuses his attention on LinkedIn where he has a following of 47.280 followers.

On LinkedIn he shares his knowledge about marketing, leadership, and SaaS, making him a perfect fit on our list of B2B founder-creators.

He also has a newsletter where he provides valuable insights and actionable tips for those looking to bootstrap their own SaaS ventures and achieve sustainable growth without relying on external funding.

Why is he a B2B creator?

  1. Started his first company with $1000
  2. Shares tips on how to grow a profitable SaaS business
  3. Focuses on profit-led growth
  4. Not afraid of trying new channels

A. Started his first company with $1000

After taking his chemical engineering degree, Guillaume decided to travel the world for a year and that’s when he realized what he wants most in life: freedom.

So he thought that to have more freedom, he needs to start a business.

He went to business school and got his master degree in marketing while working for companies like P&G and Hermès.

After finishing his masters, he tried to create a couple of businesses and failed, but then he met his two tech co-founders and started to build lempire.

They started the company with only $1000 and never raised a single dollar.

Even though they worked a lot, they had the impression things were not moving as fast as they wanted to, but the moment they realized that they were actually building something great is when they reached one million in ARR.

That’s the beginning of how Guillaume became a multi-millionaire and lempire recorded in April 2024 $26 million in ARR.

In August he wrote a thread on X explaining to young entrepreneurs how he would build a profitable SaaS business based on his personal experience.

In his playbook he talks about:

  1. Picking a SaaS in a Niche Market

Focus on a specific, high-demand niche rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.

So think about creating a SaaS for social media marketing, email marketing, CRM, payments, and project management.

  1. Building Vertically

Create a SaaS product tailored to a specific group within your chosen niche, offering unique and valuable features to differentiate your product.

  1. Creating a Community

Build and engage a community around your niche without relying on paid ads as it will help in organic growth and create a loyal customer base.

  1. Scaling to $40K monthly recurring revenue

Aim to reach $40K in MRR, which translates to approximately $480K in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR). This target sets the stage for a potential $1 million+ exit.

  1. Selling Your SaaS for 7 Figures

Once your SaaS reaches the target MRR, you can list it on platforms like MicroAcquire to find buyers and potentially sell it for over $1 million.

He also provides practical growth hacks like leveraging viral loops, building a social media following, guest podcasting, poaching customers from competitors, and using affiliate marketing to rapidly grow your customer base.

As he strongly believes in profit-led growth, he also underlines the importance of sales and profitability because having equity in a profitable company is what truly makes you a millionaire, not raising funds.

B. Shares tips on how to grow a profitable SaaS business

Guillaume realized how important it is to have a community for a long time before starting to write on LinkedIn.

While he was building lempire, he kept on receiving all types of messages asking for support, so he created a Facebook group where he started to answer questions.

He soon realized people needed more than answers, they needed tips and advice, so he started posting more content and eventually built up a community around his business.

In a podcast he mentioned he was the only one posting on the group, but after people saw that they were getting value, they started to answer each other’s questions and the group got more traction.

So, sharing his insights on LinkedIn and X came more naturally because he wanted to inspire people to take action and because he thinks writing is a skill everyone in marketing should master.

That’s why he encouraged his employees, such as Roxana Irimia, to create their personal brands on LinkedIn.

On LinkedIn, Guillaume focuses on posting about how to grow a SaaS business, but he also has a lot of posts about what it means to be a good entrepreneur.

But to be honest, the posts I like most from Guillame and I find more useful are the ones about founders and CEOs.

He is not afraid of talking about things no one else will.

As an example, he wrote an honest post about founders who made a 7 figure exit, but don’t want to tell the exact amount.

He imagined these founders selling their businesses for $1 million, and then dissected this amount showing us how much money was actually going into brokers and lawyers pockets, closing bank loans and paying taxes.
These are parts that aspiring entrepreneurs don’t get the chance to see, they only see that 7 figure text that makes you think “that’s a lot, I want to have that too!”

If you want to understand more about what happens behind the curtains of a CEO, Guillaume shows you everything.

Want to know the difference between a first-time founder and experienced founders?

Guillaume’s got you covered with a post telling you all about it.

And this information can teach you a lot no matter on what side of the table you are on.

If you’re a first-time founder you can see your flaws and try to learn more from experienced ones.

And if you’re an employee you can understand why your CEO reacts the way he does and try to understand them.

He goes further offering advice to first-time founders.

Guillaume won his followers with honest content about the founders’ life.

In one of his most appreciated posts he talks about the normal lifestyle he has like watching Netflix, working from bed, or not waking at 5 AM.

He admits that it’s not easy to reach financial success, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel stressed all the time when working on something you like.

C. Focuses on profit-led growth

On Grow Your B2B SaaS Podcast with Joran Hofman, Guillaume talked about the profit-led approach on which he built his products.

Guillaume Moubeche began talking about the advantages of bootstrapping a business versus seeking investor funding.

He believes that investors have historically dominated the narrative because of the significant PR and customer attention they receive when they raise money for startups.

However, many successful companies have been bootstrapped, countering the common belief that investment is necessary for success.

Guillaume argues that focusing on profitability from the start and owning your profit and loss (PNL) statement is crucial for building a resilient business, especially in tough times.

He also talks about the common mistakes companies make when trying to implement a profit-led approach, such as targeting large enterprise accounts.

He notes that the extensive paperwork and legal requirements for securing deals with big companies can be overwhelming for startups lacking resources like multiple lawyers and sufficient funds.

Instead, Guillaume advises focusing on smaller, less legally complex markets initially.

He stresses the importance of working on something you love and bringing in money, and avoiding working with clients who make life difficult.

And he highlights communicating with users to truly understand and solve their problems.

According to Guillaume, there are no shortcuts to success—it’s about engaging with users, asking open questions, and continuously refining  the approach you take based on real feedback.

D. Not afraid of trying new channels

Guillaume understands the importance of building a personal brand, and he’s not afraid of trying new channels and platforms to build his brand.

He’s mostly active on LinkedIn and X, but he also posts videos on his YouTube account and on TikTok.

On YouTube he has 33.900 subscribers and he posts videos about entrepreneurship, lempire, and AI.

He has a total of 497 videos, and most of them are short form videos with views ranging from 700 to 8.000 like this video below where he explains the decoy effect.

Some of these short videos he also posted on his TikTok account where he has 136.900 followers and 872.600 likes.

Here some of his videos went viral and got more than 400.000 views like this one where he talks about business experiments.

He also had this video on YouTube shorts but there it had only 4.000 views.

So, as B2B creators you should not be afraid of posting the same thing on different channels as you don’t know where your content will spike.

Besides YouTube and TikTok, Guillaume also has a newsletter where he talks about the profit-led approach and business ideas and tips to more than 3,000 followers.

What can B2B creators learn from Guillaume?

A. If possible, bootstrap your business

I think the most satisfying thing of bootstrapping your business like Guillaume or Nathan Barry did is that you have full control over your business decisions and direction.

This allows you to stay true to your vision and values without the external pressure to meet investor expectations or timelines.

Bootstrapping also encourages organic growth, which is often more sustainable.

You can grow at a pace that matches your revenue and market demand, leading to a more solid and reliable customer base.

Not to mention there is less stress due to no pressure of repaying investors or meeting their growth targets.

Indeed it may be much harder, but at least bootstrapping allows you to be more creative, resourceful and efficient with your funds.

B. Build and engage a community

Building a community around your personal brand can later help you come up with a business idea.

So it can offer you invaluable insights for your product development and marketing strategies.

Or, you can start your business and then provide valuable content and support to the growing audience and establish trust and loyalty around your brand.

C. Try different platforms

Expand your presence across multiple platforms to enhance your reach and impact.

Guillaume engages on multiple channels such as LinkedIn, X, YouTube, TikTok and through his newsletter, so he gained a varied audience around his brand.

Besides a diverse audience reach, being present on multiple platforms also leads to more experimentation.

You have to try various content types and strategies to see what resonates best on every channel.

Final Thoughts

Everyone who is an entrepreneur, an employee, or a B2B creator should listen to Guillaume’s tips and pieces of advice.

It teaches you about marketing strategies, leadership, about the importance of bootstrapping, about understanding the startup world and so on.

Guillaume, chapeau for sharing everything you know with the rest of the world.