Building a SaaS Start-up
Software as a service, or SaaS companies have been growing at a phenomenal rate and are not expected to slow down anytime soon.
While most SaaS companies are currently economic displacers there is big potential for them to become economic disrupters, which means they are no long just another competitor for the customer. Instead, SaaS companies have the opportunity to change the way a customer thinks and acts. For example, Uber has been a transportation disrupter that has travelers looking at new, possibly more efficient and economical ways, to get to their destination. The majority of its business is done on a mobile app, which is another major trend in stimulating the SaaS growth.
Just a few years ago SaaS companies were seen as a cheaper alternative to the bigger industry names but, that is no longer the case.
So, if you are looking to build widely distributed apps then here are some tips to building the business:
Those in the SaaS industry have been relying on a “bottoms up” strategy of growth. This means they have been relying on the Internet to gain customers. Many SaaS companies start with the small fish, as it were, and work their way up to bigger clients.
The strategy seems to be working as a recent report shows that 64 per cent of small and medium size businesses rely on SaaS products. These are the clients that are behind the surge in the SaaS market. Over 75 per cent of companies involved in the survey said they expect to increase their use of SaaS products over the next three years.
Focus on mobile
There is an expectation that SaaS offerings for mobile will increase dramatically as more and more business owners rely on their digital device. A survey by Intuit showed that 43 per cent of business owners use their mobile device as the primary tool for running their business.
Improve customer service
If the SaaS product is not helping the customer solve their problem quickly and efficiently the consumer will move on. This should be a concern for everyone at the SaaS company, not just a specific department. Every employee should be responsible for the customer’s satisfaction with the product. This will help sustain – and even grow – the SaaS company’s consumer sales.
Software sales is not just the domain of the sales team
Most customers have already done a certain amount of footwork into researching the product before they even contact a SaaS company. They’ve also researched the competitor. Therefore. it is best that each employee in each department is treating the customer well and thinking of making the sale above all else. Making the sale is not just up to the sales team. The best SaaS companies have all their teams working together to get and keep the customer.
Learn from your customer
Don’t be afraid to hear out what your customer says about your software product. By accepting that there is room for improvement you not only show the customer they are important but you may also discover some interesting ways to change and grow your product.
Subscriptions are the future
This is a predictable source of revenue and are therefore a good way to grow a business. It offers a reliable stream of cash that allows a company to focus on using other funds for different activities like marketing or building the business in some way.
Think beyond software
Subscriptions do not have to be limited to SaaS companies, any organization can use this type of sales tool. Subscriptions can give your customer a lower monthly fee in turn for a long-term commitment to using your product.
Consider job seekers
The majority of start-ups have been focusing on email tools, financial or productivity software or web conferencing offerings. This software is used in a variety of different industries and job positions. SaaS products are not just for those in the technology industry. Many professionals in various positions have been using subscription based platforms. Thus, job seekers need to be equipped with a certain level of SaaS experience whether they work as administrative professionals, engineers or sales representatives or any number of other positions.
Strategy for your target market
There are different strategies you can use to grow your company depending on who you are trying to sell to.
You can decide you want to develop millions of low fee subscriptions to millions of customers or a higher fee for a few thousand customers. The sales strategy that you use will depend on what objective you are looking to achieve with your subscription plan. For a lower fee and a larger number of subscriptions strategy then your best growth process will be to have a very social product that will grow virally or something that will bring in lots of SEO traffic. If you are looking for a moderate number of customers you will still need to rely on referrals of consumers of your product. You could focus on charging more and attracting less customers using a great inbound marketing plan or you could also create a great sales team and focus on outbound marketing. If you are looking at offering your SaaS product to major companies, which will allow you to have fewer customers paying you top dollar for what you do, you’ll need to do some investing with both time and money. Remember that it could take years before they pick up your product, so patience is key.
Recruit top talent
Those in the SaaS industry have been focusing on hiring top talent by offering higher than normal wages. This usually guarantees that your product will be full of quality. It also ensures you are able to continue to offer the best product to your customers by making your employees feel they are valued.
The SaaS industry has been seeing a lot of growth over the past few years and is expected to continue to develop over the foreseeable future. There was an estimated $12 billion spent on SaaS products in 2016. That number is expected to grow to $26 billion by 2019 and $55 billion by 2026. There is no better time to create your own start-up than right now.