We all dream of starting a business with low overheads and a recurring revenue model through monthly subscriptions. Typically, as software sells, SaaS companies see massive revenues. In the 21st century, numerous organizations have shifted their operations to become full-time SaaS companies. It became real after they realised how to start a SaaS company.
However, if you have a brilliant idea for software that can be sold as a service, it can become something big. Let’s walk you through how to turn your idea into a SaaS company and live your dream.
What is a Software as a Service Company?
A SaaS company will design software for its users who can access it through either an internet browser or a web-based application. The SaaS company hosts its software on in-house or dedicated servers, which is why SaaS products are referred to as hosted, cloud-based, or web-based solutions. Depending on the most suitable business model for your idea, you can also develop a desktop-based app for your customers, which can be installed on your client’s servers, bringing you revenue through licensing.
There are numerous advantages for starting your own SaaS company; some of them are: Scalability is convenient.
– Different software versions are easier to manage.
– Cloud deployments can be launched.
– Flexible licensing can be offered.
– Revenue streams can be predicted more accurately.
12 Steps to start your SaaS company
After gaining a basic understanding of a SaaS company, now it’s time to see how you can use these ten steps to put your idea into action:
1. Finding a problem and developing the solution
The first and foremost step is to find a problem that people face. However, the problem must be apparent, and you should develop an accurate solution. Here are some questions your product or service needs to answer.
– Can it fix the problem better than anyone else?
– Can we relate to the problem?
– Will we be able to solve the problem with our knowledge?
2. Creating an approximate plan
Once you find the problem and think of a possible solution, it’s time to write it down and create a business plan. Instead of writing a 20 pages-plan, consider making a concise one-page handwritten lean plan to simplify things. Here are some essential points to note on your lean plan:
Your strategy will consist of a one or two-line description of your Unique Selling Point, followed by a statement that describes your identified problem. You will also define the target market in your strategy while highlighting your competition’s strengths and weaknesses.
Steps to achieve the goal
You should list all of your potential sales channels, marketing activities, key partners, and resources so that you know how to get customers and sell your SaaS product. You will also need to declare your core team and clarify their roles.
The business model will consist of your primary revenue streams and expected expenses. You should use this section to lay the foundation for a proper sales and cash flow forecast. The standard will help you understand your financial capabilities.
You should mention all of your important dates, expected responsibilities, and budgets as a part of your action plan in the timeline section. This will also help you hold yourself accountable and allow you to rework your action plan when required.
3. Validating your SaaS idea
Creating a lean plan requires time, but it is simply a list of assumptions. It’s not wise to rush into your first idea without fact-checking every aspect. Follow these steps to determine if your idea will generate money or not:
– Talk with your potential customers and discuss your idea.
– Do a competitive analysis to see how much you need to be.
– Create a prototype so that people can experience your vision.
4. Think of your digital marketing strategy in advance
You can market your SaaS product in numerous ways. However, you should pay attention to market trends as they can change over time. You should keep in mind some elements while designing your market strategy.
– Think of the whole digital marketing, rather than a separate marketing tactics;
– Participate in online communities;
– Consider content marketing as well as your long term strategy;
– Introduce beta testing of your software.
– Consider using Hubspot or Active Campaign as your marketing software.
5. Choose a SaaS Digital Marketing Agency to partner with
A good way here is to cooperate with a SaaS Digital Marketing Agency. It’s always better to have a long term parter who knows how to approach to this specific market and what your SaaS prospects and customers may like and dislike.
Velainn knows how to create a whole marketing strategy for SaaS company, as well as improving and maintaining separate parts. For example, creating automations, lead generation, email marketing and more.
6. Choose an appropriate SaaS pricing model
The most common pricing model in SaaS products is subscription-based. Your customers will be paying on an ongoing basis instead of paying once for a lifetime of use; this gives you the option to bill them monthly or annually. However, growing SaaS companies have to constantly test their pricing model to adjust it according to how people are willing to pay for your software.
7. Find your differentiator
“Differentiate or die” is also a common phrase when you think of how to start a SaaS company.
As we discussed earlier, there is a lot of competition in the SaaS industry. Therefore you need to differentiate yourself from others. Start by thinking of how you can make your brand stand. You should convey your vision through your brand. A domain name is also an essential factor in establishing your brand. Take your time to decide the perfect one.
8. Make sure your business is legal
There are no prerequisite qualifications while building software; however, it should comply with industry-specific rules and regulations. Therefore, you should consider these elements before starting your SaaS company, you should:
– Choose your business structure and have it registered.
– Pick a name for your business and have it registered as well.
– Make sure it complies with industry-specific regulations.
– Any other legal things depending to your country specific rules and laws
– Hire a lawyer if needed or outsource this job to a lawyer firm
9. Financing and funding
Depending on your business idea, you may explore numerous financing and funding options; some of them are:
– Bootstrapping your business.
– Pitching to an angel investor.
– Contacting a venture capitalist.
– Asking your friends and family to invest in your business.
10. Building your software
Once you have decided everything in the previous steps, it’s time to build your software. You should start small as soon as possible. Do some research and find a development methodology for a systematic approach. Even when getting a cloud computing service may be cheaper, you should keep your core development in-house so that you don’t have to rely on anyone else.
11. Choose a CRM and Marketing software
For doing Marketing you should think of having a software, that will bring a significant value to your SaaS, and save tons of time and budget. While it’s great if your Marketing partner can recommend the one (or more) to use, we recommend to consider Hubspot and Active Campaign as the best options, in our mind.
At least you will be prepared in advance and discuss software objectively with your marketing team.
12. Establishing metrics to measure success
When you decide to run a business, you need to make success metrics your best friend as they will help you make informed decisions in the long run. By monitoring these metrics, you can:
– Improve your current performance.
– Improve your future performance.
– Catch problems beforehand.
– Get honest feedback related to your goals.
– Make confident decisions.
How to start a SaaS company in 2022. Conclusion.
When you start your SaaS company, you should be patient and confidently watch your company become what you had envisioned, as each component takes time, testing, and refinement. As the founder, you need to be dedicated to your company in order for it to survive and stand head to head with the competition.
Numerous SaaS startups contact Velainn to help them with their digital marketing activities as our expert marketers have years of industry experience and can give startups the required boost. If you want us to assist you with your startup, feel free to contact us.