Being a first-time founder is difficult.

You will need to handle many challenges every day.

But it’s a lot easier when you know what to fix in your SaaS business and how to do it right.

In this blog, we’ll show you how to build a successful SaaS business from the ground up as a first-time founder - from ideating your SaaS product to prioritising its features for a better user experience.

Let’s dive right in.

Key takeaways

  1. Building a SaaS company is easy if you plan every step.
  2. Strategic planning is crucial to take your SaaS business to the next level.

What is a Saas company?

SaaS can be defined as Software as a service company.

For example, Slack, Shopify, G Suite, etc.

A SaaS product can either be a hosted solution or a web-based solution. It is named so as the software is hosted on its own servers.

Saas product is also commonly referred to as a cloud-based solution, whereas we know that a desktop-based solution is a private software installed and run for personal or company use.

How to build a successful SaaS business as a first-time founder in a few easy steps?

SaaS product ideas are everywhere, but spotting the right one that fits your market and solves the problems of your customers takes time.

Here are some proven steps to find that one big SaaS business idea.

1. Identify a problem and develop a solution

This is the most important element business owners fail to fix while starting a SaaS company.

Identify the problem of your potential customers and brainstorm how your SaaS product can solve it.

If you have competitors, research them and find out how you can better them and bag customers for your product.

2. Create a business plan

Create your business plan. Because a business plan gives you a clear picture of how to take it ahead. SaaS is a fiercely competitive niche market; without a proper business plan, you can’t win in the long term.

A standard business plan includes all necessary details like your product USPs, pricing, market analysis, business model, financial projections and more.  

Before beginning a business, structure your plan in an accessible format that convinces you.

3. Verify your SaaS idea

When the business plan is drafted, you need to verify your business idea, which helps you understand if it really works or not.

Thorough research

Research everything you need to know about your business. You can seek the help of industry experts, successful entrepreneurs and professionals to understand their take on your idea.

You can also create surveys to elicit responses from your prospective customers. This way, you’ll know if your product solves customer pain points.

Customer feedback

Most entrepreneurs fail to focus on the customers' best part of their business.

One of the biggest wins in business is understanding your customers better. The more you understand them, the better your business will be.

You can directly engage with prospective customers to understand their expectations about your SaaS product.

Note down their suggestions to improve your product further.

Helpful tips: Did you know the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make?

Analysing the competitive market

Look at what your competitors are doing. You need to understand what they offer, their pricing and USPs clearly. You must be better in all these aspects to get a headstart.

4. Develop an MVP

Develop a Minimum Viable Product with limited features to be updated later. This lets you understand the market response.  After you’ve launched the MVP, you can get it tested among your early adopters and revamp your product in line with their feedback.

You can either build an in-house team or outsource your MVP development to a tech partner like NeoITO.

Also read: Why is it important to outsource your mvp development.

5. Conduct a pricing test

Pricing is an essential factor in your SaaS product's success.

Gather the pricing details of your competitors and analyse the effort and solution you have made. Pricing should be based on the spending capacity of your target market. Create a sensible pricing strategy to attract customers from different walks of life faster.

6. Demonstrate your brand- clarifying the vision

Wait! How will you be known to the users? Don’t you need a name for your brand? Without a title, it would be like an engine lacking an ignition switch.

Now it’s time to decide your brand name, logo and design.

Design appropriately, keeping in mind the other business brands in your niche.

Logo and brand name should not distract the users. It must be unique and serve the purpose rightly. The logo and the design should give a consistent idea about the SaaS product you have developed.

When starting a SaaS company, meet all the legal requirements for friction-free business operations.

You can rope in a legal consultant specialising in startups to help clear all the legal hurdles to run your business without any roadblocks.

8. Invest wisely

You need money to launch your business and get things rolling. Create a well-defined investment plan for your SaaS business matching the big picture of your business.

You can either bootstrap your startup or rope in investors from your intimate circles like friends and family.

9. Beta testing approach

Beta testing is like a test launch, providing valuable customer feedback to polishing the final product.

This approach can help you avoid possible failures and also lets you know the real user demands.

10. Product release

This is the stage where you release the first version of your SaaS product to the market and elicit feedback from day one.

Post-release, you will get an idea about product reception from early adopters. Plus, you need to set up a full-fledged feedback loop during this stage to improve your product consistently.

11. Marketing

Launching your SaaS product is only half the battle. The actual game begins when you devise strategies to get your product to the right set of customers.

You will need a solid marketing plan for your product to bag more customers. For example, you can generate interest for your product through social media, blogs, videos, landing pages and emails.

FAQs

1. What type of company is SaaS?

Saas companies provide software as a service to the customers. They create, develop, host and implement software to meet the demands of the advancing world.

2. What are the examples of Saas?

Software as a service is accessible to all on the internet. Some of the SaaS products you might use are DropBox, Netflix, Spotify, Gmail, Skype and more.

3. How to start a software company?

If you have planned to begin a startup software company, then have a quick look at these points. This will help you with your progress.

  • Find a problem in the market and a solution for it.
  • Device a plan for the product
  • Plan your investment
  • Discuss with experts
  • Hire employees
  • Develop product
  • Beta testing
  • Launch

4. What are KPIs for software companies?

Some of the key performance indicators of software companies are

  • Customer retention
  • Customer referrals
  • On-time delivery
  • New customer sales
  • Existing customer expansion
  • Recurring revenue
  • Cost of customer acquisition