How to start a successful SaaS business

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Technology expert and entrepreneur Hammad Akbar shares his top SaaS business tips for new start-ups.

So, you’re interested in Software as a Service (SaaS)? But aren’t sure how to build a success around an idea or business? Perhaps these tips can help?

Global SaaS is an ever increasing industry in the modern world. It’s a multi-billion dollar sector sector, and one which has seen a large amount of growth in the past few years. So, it’s no wonder so many are interested in starting up and developing their own SaaS business.

But like many other industries, SaaS can prove to be a difficult nut to crack. Starting up a successful business can be hard enough, but when it comes to SaaS, there’s a whole new set of problems to consider.

So, if you’re looking to build a successful SaaS business, and need a bit of inspiration or help, be sure to check out my short list of tips and advice.

Keep things simple

SaaS can be extremely complicated. There’s no two ways about it.

So, when it comes to building a successful business, especially in the early days, it’s extremely important to keep things as simple as possible.

When you’re working with a lot of ideas and are planning extensively, it can be really helpful to take a step back and set a few ground rules. Rules that will help you to focus and build success.

Work on one product that you truly believe in, keep your team as small and efficient as possible and focus on your local market first.

Track your progress

In your first few years of business, one thing is true. You’re going to learn a hell of a lot.

You’ll make mistakes and will often be unsure of what’s actually going on, but you’ll be better off because of it.

From day one, be sure to track your progress, ask questions and act on what you learn – you’ll grow as a result, trust me.
It might be a simple case of learning from your mistakes and talking to potential customers, or you could go the whole hog and go analytical. You could measure your audience through surveys and landing pages, test competitor’s products and even analyse suppliers.
The more knowledge you have the better.

Talk to customers

This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s advice that new start-ups don’t always heed.

Whilst initially, you’ll be spending most of your time developing and building your service, talking to potential customers can really help shape your business, and your overall success.

Starting some customer development in the earlier stages of business can help in many ways. Finding out a customer’s problems or ideas can lead to some incredible results and running your potential services by impartial parties can mean the difference between a good and a great product.

Ask for money

Again, this is a bit of no brainer, but when starting a company or business, it’s really, really important to establish a cash flow, especially for SaaS.

You see far too many budding entrepreneurs and new business owners these days giving their services away for free to establish a reputation or user base – but it doesn’t need to be that way.

Whilst providing a freemium service might work in the long term, it’s always important to establish a line of income when it comes to your SaaS business.

A paying customer will mean so much more to you than someone who filled out a survey or contact sheet. They’ll get a better service and you’ll know the true value of your services.

So there you have it, just a few pieces of SaaS business advice, from me to you. But what do you think? Do you have any tips for building a successful SaaS business? Let me know if the comments below.

2 Responses

  • 5 Things You Didn’t Consider in Your User Onboarding Process - Hammad Akbar May 13, 2016 at 9:34 am

    […] a customer convert from a free trial to a paid subscription means you were successful. However, success for your users means achieving their desired outcome with your […]

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  • 5 Things You Didn’t Consider in Your User Onboarding Process - Hiring | Upwork June 6, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    […] your desired outcome. Having a customer convert from a free trial to a paid subscription means you were successful. However, success for your users means achieving their desired outcome with your […]

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