Are you looking to start your own business? Perhaps you want to start a Software as a Service (Saas) business, but you’re not quite sure where to start. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Plenty of people are interested in creating their own company, but struggle to get it off the ground.
Below is a guide you can use to not only plan out and start your SaaS company, but help it grow well into the future.
Identify a Pain Point
First, think about what problem you want your software to address. You need to identify a pain point within your target niche that your software can alleviate. For example, let’s say you’ve noticed that social media management softwares are lacking a certain feature that your software will include. Or maybe you think current CRMs are too expensive, and you want to offer a lower-cost alternative.
Whatever it is, you need to identify this pain point so that you know the goal of your software.
Secure Funding and Find a Team
Once you know the goal of your software, it’s time to start building some infrastructure. You’ll need some funding to get things off the ground, and likely a team to help you build it. You funding could be your own savings, a bank loan, or even through something like the LTV Saas Fund.
How much funding you have will then determine how large of a team you can afford. If you don’t already have a team of people in mind – for example, a group of friends or former coworkers – be sure to take the time to hire the best people you can find. For more information on making your first hires at a startup, you can check out this guide.
Develop Your Software
With your team in place, now it’s time to start building your software. Study your competitors and see what they’re doing. Make sure you’re team is always on the same page and that you stick to your deadlines. Developing a new software takes time and it’s important that you get it right. Once you have a working model up and running, be sure to do plenty of testing so that there are no bugs or issues.
Start Marketing Your Business
When your product is finally ready to launch, it’s time to start marketing. There are several strategies you can use to market your new SaaS business. For starters, you can leverage social media. Social media is a great way to find business who might have an interest in your software and reach out to them directly. Take the time to build up your reputation on various social media platforms, then start networking.
Next, start up a blog on your website. A blog is a great way to earn credibility within your niche while also kickstarting your inbound marketing efforts. People who find your blog posts via search engines or social media will then hear about your software and may turn into customers.
Another great strategy is a referral program. As you begin getting customers, offer an incentive for them to recommend you to others. For example, if you charge a monthly fee, you could offer a free month for every new customer they bring in. If you have a good product people will most likely want to recommend you anyway, but adding an incentive gives them a little extra nudge.
Finally, you can think about running some paid advertisements. A great place to do this is either through a search engine like Google or through a social media channel. Doing so will guarantee that people hear about your software, but it comes with an added cost. Whether this option is right for you will largely depend on your budget and how much time you have available to manage the campaigns.
There are numerous marketing strategies available to you, so it’s just a matter of finding out which ones work best for your company. A good idea is to dip your toe into each, measure your results, then pour more resources into the most effective ones.
Make It Easy to Get Started
A key aspect to any new software is making sure it’s easy to get started with. If your software is overly complicated, it will not only turn people off from continuing with it, but it will clog up your customer service channels.
Take the time to develop a solid on-boarding process. Each new customer should be shown exactly how your software works and how they can get the most out of it. A great way to do this is either through a guided, interactive tutorial or through an instructional video.
Gather Feedback and Data, Then Improve
Once people start using your software, you’re going to learn a lot. What features do they like? Which ones are they not using? What are their biggest complaints? How many sales are you making each month? What does your conversion rate look like?
It’s important during this time to gather as much data as you can, then learn from it. Study your numbers and look for ways to improve. Gather feedback from your clients and look to implement their suggestions. The best way to grow your new SaaS business is to always be looking for ways to improve, and you can’t do this unless you’re collecting plenty of data on how you’re doing.
Manage Your Business Well
Finally, as your business continues to grow, it’s important that you manage it well. Give your team the tools it needs to effectively run, such as communication software and a CRM. Make sure you’re keeping your best employees around and reducing employee turnover. Also, as you need to bring in more people, make sure you’re hiring the best you can find.
There’s a lot that goes into running a successful company – more than we can cover here. For more tips, this guide can help you out.
Start Building Your SaaS Company Today
Building a successful SaaS company takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it. It all starts with a solid product based on a need in the market. Once you’ve gotten that down, you can begin to think about bringing in customers with a good marketing plan and continuing to grow larger.
If you take your time along the way to research and plan out all your moves, there’s no reason your new SaaS company can’t be a success. Good luck!