10 Steps To Build a SaaS MVP
The market worldwide for SaaS products is expected at $60.36 billion. With established giants such as Microsoft and many fresh SaaS startups emerging each year, it’s difficult to achieve a SaaS product to be noticed and accepted with a high degree of customer satisfaction. Therefore, the idea of MVP is now an essential method to prevent the waste of resources. By using an MVP SaaS startup companies can test the efficacy of their ideas and develop a more effective final product.
So, here’s my opinion on how to construct a SaaS MVP in the correct method.
1. To develop a SaaS MVP, define the issue first, and then find a solution later
Naturally, the main reason for creating an MVP is that you have a solution for an issue in your mind. However, the outcome in a SaaS MVP will be more about solving the issue rather than the solution.
Don’t expect to build a superman-like SaaS product that can be the world’s ultimate hero. So instead, have a small take look at the issue and try to resolve it in the most efficient way you can.
Before you start working to develop your MVP you must define the problem as precisely as you can. This way, you’ll be able to identify the most effective solution to the issue.
2. Know the customer’s needs and their pain points to create the best SaaS MVP
When you have an idea of the problem you can create a buyer persona for your intended group of customers. The development of a profitable SaaS product requires you to focus on the end-user. It’s crucial to first comprehend the lives of those your SaaS product will make better.
To be able to precisely determine your buyer’s profile be sure to go beyond the standard techniques of market research. Naturally, data is important and valuable, but the most important aspect is to engage with people.
Make sure you get honest and thorough feedback from a couple of individuals who match your buyer profile. You can ask open-ended questions to find out what elements of the SaaS product aid users. There are many methods to gather feedback. Start your email lists, send out feedback forms, and make use of social media platforms to collect as many opinions from as many different sources as you can.
3. Find the easiest solution to the problem
The answers you receive in step 2 will be the basis of your solution. However, you must be aware of how to utilize the responses correctly. Remember that you are creating a SaaS MVP that is targeted at a specific user base.
Therefore, you need to think of the SaaS solution in its most basic shape. Develop an MVP that’s just enough to determine the effectiveness of your product and meet the fundamental needs of your clients. You can go overboard in terms of features and the size of your solution after you’ve tested your main assumptions of your SaaS.
4. Beware of competing SaaS products
The most popular products in history aren’t always the ones that are built on original ideas. We used to have My Space before we got Facebook. eBay existed long before when Amazon made its debut and became the top eCommerce company.
The takeaway to be learned here is that the performance of a software item and, in particular, SaaS software, depends mostly determined by how the idea is carried out. If you’ve got a revolutionary concept that no one has ever thought of, that’s fantastic! However, it’s extremely rare. Most of the time, a variation of the same idea is invariably present. It is essential to ensure that your SaaS MVP is superior to your competition.
Research and study what your competitors are doing to be considered by your customers. If your product is performing well, the best option is to create a superior version, incorporating features that are performing well and eliminating those which aren’t.
If, however, many other businesses are successfully pivoting to the SaaS concept, you must think twice about moving forward unless you have a sound marketing plan to gain a significant market share.
Tools such as CrunchBase or Product Hunt are great for efficient competitor analysis.
5. Prioritize features to your SaaS MVP
A lot of features could create a mess for your MVP. Additionally, the benefits provided by extra features are rarely greater than the costs they bring with these features. Naturally, separating essential features from the less important ones is crucial when creating a SaaS MVP.
Sort your product’s attributes into must-have features and nice-to-have features. Do not focus on nice-to-have features at the early stages of MVP, and then begin to evaluate the essential features. From those features that are essential, you must identify the two or three core features that your intended audience requires and is willing to be willing to pay for.
To make the right decision in this phase it is helpful to have an approval procedure established. For instance, you could define the criteria each important feature should fit into. Did this feature get the attention of my intended users during the initial research phase? Was this feature element of our initial idea for the product? Is this feature likely to significantly impact my earnings? If a feature isn’t doing one of these things, you can drop it at the moment and then move on.
6. Create a product roadmap
A roadmap for your product is an essential part of any tech-based startup and is especially important when many people are involved in the outcome. Once you’ve settled on the most important features you want to include in the SaaS MVP, chalk out an outline for each stage of development and marketing.
You may choose to have either a time-based or one that is based on progress to help you build your SaaS MVP. A product roadmap that is time-based helps to visualize how the product is developing in time. It is mostly composed of general deadlines for testing and development of features, including the UI as well as a SaaS MVP. But, this kind of roadmap could be unproductive if you work in an environment that is constantly changing.
The most popular model is the progress-based product roadmap. It is essentially about categorizing every task into stages like to-do, in-process, and completed. The SaaS MVP roadmap is based on agile principles and is much more efficient for MVPs than full-time products. Utilizing effective agile project management tools can be extremely helpful in helping remain on track with an underlying roadmap that is based on progress.
When creating a roadmap for your product make sure you include only the information that is pertinent to every stakeholder. Details that are not needed can confuse, or cause discussions to divert into unproductive objectives.
7. Do not search for efficiency
The final SaaS product has to be constructed efficiently to make the most of your earnings. However, you don’t need to be concerned about that when you’re simply building an MVP.
Consider the MVP you build as an investment that may be able to provide yields. Therefore, to minimize the risk, try to create an MVP that reduces development effort while also addressing the major issue at present.
There are numerous ways to achieve this. You can opt for shorter development cycles using different sprint hacks. Make the most use of open source code in the best way you can. Choose a minimal user interface and a simple design. MVPs can eliminate aesthetics, as long as the user experience isn’t harmed. SaaS product isn’t damaged.
8. Measure, build, study
With a clear plan for the product and the necessary technical requirements in mind now is the time to start developing your MVP of your SaaS product. But, MVP development is not a one-time task like the development of a final product. To create a SaaS MVP the right way ensure that you test the product you’re building repeatedly until you end up with a refined version.
The SaaS MVP development stage comprises a feedback loop in which you develop, test and improve and create your product over and over again.
Customer feedback is of the most valuable importance in this stage. Make sure to update your MVP regularly based on customer feedback you get. These insights make MVP the best choice to build a successful SaaS product.
9. Test pricing models
Apart from providing a basis for the product that will be developed, the development of a SaaS MVP also provides an opportunity to find the most effective monetization strategies. Once you have completed the feedback loop during the stage of development, you can begin trying out different pricing models.
In addition, the detailed customer information that is gathered for every pricing model will aid you in determining which pricing option you should choose. It is advisable to speak to both types of customers who haven’t used similar products and people who are using a directly or indirectly similar product. Based on this information you will be able to tell if your product is priced correctly or too expensive compared to similar products.
10. Start Your SaaS MVP and stop developing
In this stage, you’ve identified a feature that is essential that you have developed and then priced it accordingly. It’s time to go live with it. A lot of SaaS founders want to continue to develop additional features when they don’t get a positive reaction to their MVP. It’s not always the best approach to follow.
Even if you find just a couple of customers who are willing to purchase a SaaS MVP, you stop making it better. The fact that just a few customers are willing to pay for it is enough proof that you’ve developed your MVP effectively. Perhaps the reason for an unsatisfactory response is the lack of marketing.
Instead of constantly improving your MVP make use of your resources to gain more clients for your MVP. Make use of your community and encourage users to share their experiences with their target audience. Connect with relevant influencers in the field and let them promote your product through their social media pages or podcasts. Quora is an excellent platform to promote your product.
Five tips and tricks to creating a SaaS MVP
When creating an MVP for a SaaS application, it is important to strive to make the process speedy and cost-effective. However, this can be difficult to accomplish.
Here are some suggestions to take into consideration when you are trying to improve the process of SaaS MVP development easier, faster, and less costly:
1. Make use of languages to speed up prototyping
Programming languages like Ruby, PHP, and Python permit rapid development and are commonly employed to build prototypes quickly. The major drawback of developing solutions using such languages is the fact that the solutions aren’t very scalable and often have poor performance when a large load is on.
More complicated languages and commercial frameworks, like ASP.NET, will provide you with greater control and higher performance when you are working with heavy loads but will require more time and knowledge to master.
If you decide to bring a SaaS MVP to market faster by using fast prototyping language be prepared to invest additional resources to grow your solution. Making use of tools like ASP.NET may require longer and require more resources in the initial stage, but when they are implemented by skilled developers, they could reduce the number of resources needed during the subsequent stage of development.
2. Utilize open-source software
Open-source software is an affordable and efficient method to incorporate features, however, this strategy is not without its limitations. The major drawbacks of open-source software are the absence of documentation, the high possibility of numerous bugs being undiscovered as well as limited backward compatibility and no assurance of compatibility with older versions. In the end, open-source software may cost more than commercial options over the long haul in particular if you do not have sufficient expertise working with them.
But, if the person is knowledgeable about the tricks and pitfalls that open source software has, then it could be a huge money-saving opportunity when starting the project. When your project is past its MVP phase, it might be beneficial to replace open-source parts with commercial software because they’re safer.
3. Make use of ready-to-go options
There’s no requirement to write basic modules and features by yourself. Features like payment processing, usage statistics and support chats could be costly to design from scratch. If you’re looking to incorporate Artificial Intelligence within your MVP there are plenty of AI algorithms available to perform common functions such as photo processing.
A variety of solutions are readily available for an affordable price. Making sure to incorporate as many that you can into your MVP will save you time as well as money and effort which can be put into creating your unique concepts.
4. Access databases for free
Commercial databases are secure, well-supported and documented, and can handle a huge number of users. It is essential to utilize commercial databases when you create an application that is designed to serve thousands of people. But, if you create an MVP, the chances are you won’t have this much information in the initial stages. If you’re not expecting to see a massive influx of customers in the first few days using free databases, such as MySQL.
When the number of users reaches the point that the database you have isn’t enough then you can move to a commercial one like MS SQL or Oracle, but be aware that this move will undoubtedly result in additional expenses and technical difficulties.
5. Take into consideration reasonable load testing
Testing for load is the most costly form of testing. Pushing the tests back until you need the capacity is a fantastic method of reducing costs. This kind of test is intended to determine the performance of the system in extreme load and stress conditions.
Although you may plan to serve millions of users over time that doesn’t mean that you’ll have this number initially. If you are developing a SaaS MVP, research to determine the maximum number of users you’ll receive immediately and test the number.
Business tips for creating a SaaS MVP
The best way to develop and design an MVP product for SaaS greatly depends on your business’s idea and your vision. But, a few practical suggestions will help you with every MVP project:
1. Don’t put off your decision for too long
One of the biggest mistakes made in MVP development is waiting around for the appropriate moment or investing too much time in polishing your MVP while adding additional features. Don’t think of an MVP as a full-blown product launch. It is better to consider it as version zero. Develop a quick development time and use any shortcuts you can find to test your SaaS idea for a product with minimal expenditure.
2. Be on the lookout for your competitors
Someone may have already attempted to tackle the same issue that you’re working on. Look into other SaaS products and look at their successes and failures to think about all the possible problems. Utilize sources such as Product Hunt or Crunchbase to search for both indirect and direct competitors.
3. Cut your scope in half.
The goal is to implement the basic features that are valuable to end-users. Additional features could make your MVP and could result in additional costs. Once you have your plan completed, review it over again and consider ways to cut it down. An MVP must be focused and concise.
To decide which features should be included in your MVP, you should discover the areas of pain for your customers. Create a thorough customer persona that focuses on who your clients are, what issues they face, and the features they may require to overcome those problems. Try the Moscow approach to distinguish the most important SaaS features from the non-essential ones, using an inventory of features that include need-to-have, must-have-to-have-have-have-have categories, as well as won’t-have.
4. Test pricing models
At the stage of MVP, you will have the chance to experiment with different pricing strategies and selling methods to determine the most effective ones. An excellent idea to consider for every SaaS venture is to provide an opportunity to try the service for free for customers who choose to pay for the version.
You should think about conducting surveys to discover the opinions of your audience about pricing options and the value of your product compared to other similar products on the market. This can assist you in deciding the features that you can add to your free trial or the base edition of the MVP and which ones to include in paid versions.
5. Create a roadmap for the product
A roadmap for a SaaS development project is the strategy for every marketing and development phase and is completed after all features of the product are set in stone. A well-written and clear roadmap can help you monitor your product’s progress, alter it as necessary and communicate the necessary information with your stakeholders. To develop a productive plan of action, divide tasks into distinct groups and apply agile principles and utilize a variety of tools for managing projects. tools.
6. Beware of indifference
Even if your MVP receives negative feedback, it’s a sign that people are interested in the concept. They are looking for a product that is based on this notion and they would like it done in a particular manner. Feedback from negatives is the best indication of where to go forward and the best way to grow your business. An even more serious situation occurs when you don’t receive any feedback in any way. It could be a signal to you to switch to a different SaaS project.
The Bottom Line
While MVP is merely a base variant of your SaaS service, MVP is the most important factor that determines your product’s success or demise. It’s a great method to evaluate and refine your concept. Most of the time, the best method to create a SaaS MVP is to focus more on market research, and lesson development. Understanding the needs of your intended audience and pain points is the most important factor in the success of your SaaS MVP success which has been found by Brisk Logic.