Starting an internet business today is very easy and accessible to those who have an internet connection. With the Internet, it has become easier than ever for budding entrepreneurs to hit the ground running.
So, yes, you can start a SaaS company with very little knowledge. If, however, you want to not only start, but run, a successful SaaS, you have got to do so with research and forethought. Here are 8 great tips to follow when you start your company.
- Deal with Issues Early Issues are the nature of the beast with SaaS. You will find problems with your database, problems with your code, and problems with the tools you choose. Don’t put off dealing with issues until they are so large they are overwhelming.
Monitor your performance daily. Take customer comments to heart. Deal with issues as they arise, not when you anticipate them becoming a bigger problem than they already are.
Hosting Flexibility Your hosting needs will differ when your company grows. Do not sign up with a company that does not rise with you. Changing hosting platforms later will require hours, if not days, of downtime. Instead, look for a host that allows you to scale up or down as the needs arise.
Know Performance Capabilities Like hosting, there are different tools that you will utilize for your SaaS. Make sure that the tools you choose can handle the load you deliver. For example, free customer support software may be enticing now, while you only have a handful of customers, but will it meet your needs when you have thousands of subscribers?
As you are selecting the tools that you will utilize, take a close look at their performance capabilities. Take the time to read user reviews and, if necessary, find something better.
- Structure for Performance
It is tempting to start small or take short cuts, assuming that you will have fewer customers in the beginning. You will be anxious to get your MVP (Minimal Valuable Product) into the hands of the public as soon as possible. While working on your MVP it is important to keep scaling in mind at all times.
Let’s say you have a product that uses spreadsheets as a database. This is ok for a small customer base, but as your business grows, this will become very hard to manage, and the performance of your site would decrease. One key priority should be building for performance and scalability. Choosing the correct tech stack will be crucial to your companies ability to handle growth. This will ensure that you will not have to start from square one when your company grows.
- Build What’s Missing It is very tempting to build an app with all of the bells and whistles without thinking about customers upfront. Many founders simply create a product and release it to the public once they believe it has everything to offer their target audience. This is a huge mistake. You will invariably find that you missed something, or that your customers are not finding your offering useful.
Instead, build a bare-bones app (MVP). Ask for customer feedback, and build upon your foundation, adding the things that your customers suggested.
- Charge More It is not unusual for any entrepreneur offering any product to charge much less than what the product is worth. Do not charge what you think others are charging. Do not undervalue your service.
When you are deciding what to charge your customers, keep in mind that there is someone out there who is willing to pay whatever you charge, as long as you can deliver. Set your price, and then tell people why they should pay it.
- Payment Processing Do not skimp when it comes to payment processing software. While you can allow people to pay you with Paypal or Bitcoin, these payment solutions are not set up for recurring payments for SaaS. You will quickly find that once you get a bunch of customers, utilizing products such as these become tedious.
Set up a Stripe account from the beginning and monitor your progress with a Stripe Dashboard. Even if you only have one customer, you will find that the software is incredibly helpful.
- Market Yourself Have you ever heard this famous statement in the startup world, “Build it, and they will come”? As much as you would like to think it is going to happen, new customers are not going to appear magically. You will need to market yourself. Conduct a bit of research into how successful SaaS companies have promoted their product and do things that are similar (but not the same, of course).
Starting a digital business is pretty straightforward. Starting a SaaS and setting yourself up for success is something different. Follow the tips above to get your SaaS company off the ground and running in the most productive way that you can.