How to Build a SaaS Business
Every SaaS story is unique, but each company follows general conventions and patterns. Speed is of the essence, so if you want to create your SaaS business in less than a month, you’ll need to follow in the footsteps of the best.
Here’s a look at a general outline of the SaaS journey.
Step 1: Outline Your Plan
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” In this spirit, your first step should be to outline a solid pitch that details:
These four key areas will help you develop a fairly comprehensive plan. You will find that each section naturally leads to the next one. At this stage, you should work with vast and general ideas. You can always delve into detail later. For now, it’s a matter of marking the edges of your idea to create an area to work within.
Step 2: Perform Viability Testing
Your plan might look great to you, but what about the wider world and your target audience? It’s critical that you find out whether your idea is viable. If you blaze ahead without stopping to properly test the viability of your business, you could waste a lot of time and become very disappointed down the line.
In fact, the reason that so many startups fail is because they don’t take this important stage of the process into consideration.
To test the viability of your business idea, you’ll want to discuss it with your end customers and the professionals in your target industry. At this early stage, every conversation has the potential to define the course of your business. While you can use a range of channels to acquire feedback, you can’t beat face-to-face conversations.
Step 3: Craft Your MVP
So there’s an appetite for your SaaS business. But what’s next? Many businesses decide to create a minimum viable product (MVP) that will satisfy early customers and guide future product development.
The size and shape of your MVP will entirely depend on your business. Some SaaS companies move forward with mockups and wireframes, while others invest significant amounts of time in creating a functional prototype.
The idea is to capture the attention of some early customers and carve out a space for your business on the landscape. It gives you a natural platform to build and elaborate on as you progress through the remaining stages. And if you’re the first business in your space, you’ll have a powerful marketing opportunity.
Step 4: Create Your Look
Branding is critical to the success of any business or product. Early in the process, you’ll want to start thinking about branding, as it will have a big impact on every area of your business and SaaS product. Branding also has a definite impact: 77% of marketing leaders agree that branding is critical to growth.
The look and feel that you establish will also start determining the UI and UX of your product, so you’ll want to invest accordingly. Many entrepreneurs struggle to get their businesses off the ground because they didn’t take the time to cultivate a stable and consistent brand that facilitates future growth.
Step 5: Do the Legal Work
Even though this step might not be the glossiest one in this process, it’s critical that you create your business by using the appropriate business structure. You should also ensure that your business complies with any specific rules and regulations that govern the industry you’ll be entering.
When it comes to security and data protection, SaaS companies face a host of challenges, so be sure to do your research and connect with the appropriate legal advisors. As you work your way through this process, you’ll also have to make sure the legal name of your business is ready. While this milestone is exciting, it will require a lot of deliberation!
Step 6: Secure Financing
Now that your business is a legal entity, you can start securing financing. This process will greatly vary, depending on where your business is located and other specifics.
You may discover that government grants available to you. In addition, you can pursue traditional methods, such as bank loans. In addition, alternative financing options are becoming more popular these days. For example, perhaps you could consider some form of crowdfunding or a small business loan.
Venture capital firms are always looking for new businesses that have high growth potential. Do you believe your business could be the next big thing, and can you provide evidence of early growth and interest? If so, you might want to consider exploring the VC landscape.
Step 7: Expand Your Product
By injecting cash into your business, you’ll liberate funds that can be assigned to expansion. So flesh out your SaaS product and equip it with the functionality you originally envisioned.
This expansion process should be guided by the research you received from your MVP, as well as the viability testing you already conducted. By focusing on these references, you’ll be able to grow your product in a way that you know will resonate with your target market.
Since you’re facing some tough decisions in this step, you’ll want to carefully consider them. Will you decide to outsource or go for in-house software development? What are the exact tactics you’ll utilize to build your software?
At this stage, you’ll also want to further develop your monetization strategy. Perhaps you gave your MVP to a certain group of users for free, but now it’s time to adjust. Pricing is a big headache for many SaaS businesses, so spend time learning and perfecting your pricing structure.
Step 8: Earn Visibility
Of course, it’s also critical that you start growing the reputation of your business and acquiring new customers. Many SaaS areas are very competitive, so they move quickly. To secure growth, you’ll want to make sure you heavily invest in marketing and PR.
You should take the time to develop a sophisticated and far-reaching marketing and PR campaign. To get the best results, you should consider blending a range of techniques, such as traditional PR, traditional marketing, and content marketing.
The more eyes that are drawn to your business, the better!
Step 9: Track Your Performance
By now, your SaaS business should be moving along nicely. The foundations are in place, and you’ll be looking forward to making constant innovations to your product and growing your collection of loyal users.
At this stage (and far into the future), it’s critical that you get used to tracking metrics and assessing your performance. This tactic will help shape your growth strategy, get a better understanding of your product, and ensure that profitability is always being secured.
Good business analysts are worth their weight in gold. By being equipped with an amazing vision for business, they’re capable of helping guide your business as it grows and navigates the tough currents of startup life.
Step 10: Make Regular Adjustments
One key reason why many businesses fail involves the inability to adapt to change. As a SaaS provider, the needs of your customers will constantly be changing and evolving. Don’t be afraid to follow your data and gradually make significant changes to your product.
How Lectron Comes into the Picture
Here at Lectron, we’ve worked alongside a range of leading brands. Our globally recognized talent is capable of tackling any software project, large or small. With the push of a button, our partners have a completely new technology development team available to them.
Due to our experience, we understand the challenges new SaaS businesses face. Since we’re capable of true collaboration, we understand the needs of nascent businesses, and we work quickly to secure your advantage.
For instance, we work alongside Sharebold to create a tool that offers simple and smart social media management to small businesses, agencies, and in-house marketing teams. Their team has followed many of the steps in this guide, and they continue to thrive to this day.
If you’re interested in learning more about working with us, be sure to check out our enterprise solutions. Starting a new SaaS business is no easy task, but success is incredibly rewarding. So we hope you achieve it! If you have any questions about how to build a SaaS business, it would be our pleasure to further discuss it with you.
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