How to start a SaaS startup?
If you’re thinking of creating a software as a service (SaaS) company, you’ll need to begin by defining your requirements. If you’re not certain of the features you’ll need to do to get a SaaS startup and would like to know the things that entrepreneurs in this field are doing, then you’re in the right spot.
We’ll then dive into the steps you’ll need to follow to create, launch and develop a successful SaaS business.
What exactly is software as a service?
Let’s first define the definition of what a SaaS company is a software as a service) means that users can access the software via their web browser or web-based application. The software manufacturer is hosting their product using their servers. This is the reason SaaS products are often called “hosted solutions” or “web-based solutions.”
It’s also normal for people to see SaaS products described in terms of “cloud-based” solutions. Contrarily desktop-based models are the case where a business or an individual will put software in their personal computers and then run it on the servers of their personal. If you’re a business owner it is essential to be able quickly to describe the benefits of this model and then highlight the benefits of your particular solution.
10 steps to begin the process of starting a SaaS startup
1. Create a solution for the issue
Before you begin to think about pricing or branding, or even forming an organization, it’s crucial to ensure that you have a specific issue to solve and a solution to address the issue. If you’re not solving a challenge and you’re not solving a problem, then you’re not running an enterprise.
2. Create a lean strategy
There’s no way over it. You’ll need an effective business plan. Instead of sitting down to create the 40-page plan, you should start with a 1-page proposal.
It’s the quickest method to put your ideas onto paper. It’s the initial stage in the planning the plan-it-now process that is simpler and less prone to iteration than traditional methods of planning. It’s also more appropriate for SaaS companies which are always testing innovative ideas.
The pitch will broadly outline your plan (what you’re planning to accomplish) as well as your tactics (how you’ll go about it) as well as the business plan (how you’ll make money) and your timetable (who is responsible for what, and when).
If you’re using software such as Live Plan it is possible to create the initial “lean plan” in less than one hour and then put your time in the area that is important–validating your concept.
If you’d like to go through the lean process by yourself then you could make use of our free template for business pitches or follow our article on how to construct your pitch. Regardless of the approach you pick to use, here’s what you’ll need to address:
In the section on strategy, you’ll want to include:
- One or two lines of description of your business and your business’s unique value proposition. your distinctive value offer.
- The description describes the issue you’re solving for customers and the solution you have to solve the issue, which is typically either your item or service.
- The description you provide of your intended segment or the various segments of the market you’re trying to reach.
- Your competitors, along with a brief explanation of the way you differ from them.
3. Verify your SaaS concept
You’ve been working on making your lean plan which is an outline of assumptions. In this next step, you’ll figure out if those assumptions are accurate or not. Then, you can adjust your strategy to make sure it is in line with what you’ve learned.
This is done by trying to respond: What idea can I use to earn money?
Instead of jumping into your most popular idea, this step serves as a test. It can help you decide whether or not you’ve got an excellent idea that can be made into a profitable business.
4. Examine pricing models and the first customer acquisition
SaaS services typically have a subscription-based pricing model. Instead of paying one time for the lifetime of usage, the customer is charged regularly typically, monthly or annual. You could consider it a software license.
It’s a well-liked model due to the potential for a higher lifetime value for each customer. Instead of a single lifetime value, such as $120 for a single sale you offer every user or customer You could charge $10 per month for each user for the duration that your client uses your product or service. The longer they stay with you, the greater their value throughout their lifetime.
You probably have spent time analyzing different sales forecast scenarios based on subscriptions in the process of creating your lean plan. This should have given you a concept of how reducing the number of subscribers who cancel (the number of cancelled subscribers) and other factors can influence your success. It’s now time to set up the pricing structure.
The pricing model you choose ought to be something you’re thinking about and testing in the validation stage, but you may need to tackle this aspect of testing differently. A distinct strategy, a separate buyer acquisition process, and distinct goals you’re hoping to achieve. There are lots of options to bring customers in the door to test the waters from trial-based free trials to offering freemium services that allow for upgrades. It is possible to check this Brisk Guide to pricing models for SaaS for more information on how to start.
5. Establish your brand
If you’re trying to make an impact in a crowded market, or simply to make your company memorable finding out how to identify and distinguish yourself is crucial. You might want to take the competitor research that you’ve done to you position your business.
This isn’t something that you must outsource to a brand agent but it is one that you can start within your own company. We’ve provided a step-by-step guide to creating an identity right at Brisk Logic. It is also possible to use tools such as Canvas to create designs as well as brand colors and logos with no experience in design. However, before you put together your mockups, there are some branding elements you should think about.
6. Legalize it
Although you don’t require any formal qualifications to develop software, you might require compliance with the specific industry you want to serve. You should be aware of the particular rules and guidelines and also legal ways to establish your business with the following components.
Select your preferred business structure
One of the primary requirements you’ll have to fulfil to legally operate your business is to decide and then create your business’s structure.
When it comes to the ideal company structure, it depends on the needs of your business. In the case of Greendale, Gene Caballero says, “We knew that if we ever wanted to be looked at seriously by venture capitalists, we would need to be a C-Corp in Delaware.”
Do you find the money to begin your business? There are many solutions to this dilemma. You can start a business with bootstraps and perform the majority of the legwork by yourself. You can also look to a bigger sum of capital from the beginning by presenting it to an angel investor or venture capitalist to fund your business. If everything else fails, how is the best way to ask your friends and family to lend a hand?
On one side, bootstrapping your company provides you with better control. You can decide everything and decide how you’d like to manage your business and the people you’d like to work with. However, it’s a long process.
On the other hand, getting the best investors to join from the start can speed up your learning process and your go-to-market strategy. It could also give you immediate access to channels which could have taken several years to get into. But, you’ll have to give up some of the company’s control at the point you sign up outside investors.
8. Design your product
In this article this section, we’ll discuss some of the aspects you should keep in mind while building your product.
Get started as soon as is possible
Noah Parsons says, “Start gathering contact details for interested potential customers. Create a landing site or do some marketing and then generally reach out to the most potential customers you can.”
Indeed, you could create the landing page before having completed building your product. Gleam.io offers some fantastic growth hacking methods on their website; apply these strategies to get that initial boost.
9. Develop your go-to-market strategy
There are a variety of methods to promote your SaaS product, ranging from paid advertisements and affiliate partnerships to proactive outreach to media outlets as well as content marketing. Testing a mix of these techniques is a smart idea. Be aware of what works and remember that it could alter in time.
Make your public relations
If you don’t have the funds, doing your PR starting is a great idea. At the end, who is more knowledgeable about your company than you?
“The media is always looking for new content to write about,” says Gene Caballero. “Just ask. The press release was sent out to all the cities we launched in and had press coverage across all the cities.” Begin to build up an inventory of journalists and writers who are interested in the news you be sharing, and who you can contact. Utilize the advanced search feature on Twitter and other sites like Contently to find people that might be a good match.
10. Establish metrics for success
No matter if you consider yourself a lover of statistics when you’re running your own business, you’re likely to need to adapt to studying these numbers.
For many, tracking numbers can be intimidating or boring. It can also be time-consuming. However that these numbers are likely to be your best friend. They’ll assist you to make better decisions that can reduce the stress of figuring out what to do away from you. The tracking of your most important indicators will assist you to identify ways to increase your productivity, and whether or whether it’s the right time to start.
To monitor the health of your business it is essential to be aware of what these metrics can reveal about your company. It’s also imperative to monitor the performance of these metrics regularly to help you make better decisions and prepare for the near future.
The process of starting a SaaS business requires time.
Although the process of starting a SaaS Startup can be boiled into the 10 steps listed above. Each component will require time to test, refine, and then repeat. There may be a lot of interspersed steps where the elements are completed in a different sequence. Financing, for instance, is something that your company might not search for until years after it’s launched. Likewise, the process of creating your business plan is likely to be a continuous process you revisit throughout the existence of your company.
If you can take something from this guide remember that the primary goal for the SaaS startup is to get their product on the market. If you’ve got an action plan in place with metrics for measuring performance, and the willingness to experiment more often, your company will be able to survive and be able to compete with the other competitors.