Updated: Dec 31, 2021
SaaS(software as a service) products have become the most sought way for companies to sell software solutions to their customers. Almost every application that we are using is a SaaS product or is on its way to becoming one. SaaS products have also enabled business owners to cut their establishment costs and set up their processes faster.
In this UNICHED article, we will talk about what SaaS is, what are the advantages and challenges with it, the process of building a SaaS product and cap it off with some tips.
Now, let’s get straight into it.
Definitions and terminologies
Before diving into the steps of building a SaaS product, let’s take a look at some of the terms that we will be using in this article and understand their meaning.
SaaS: It is a mechanism through which a user can access a particular software over the internet for a subscription.
Cloud Computing: It refers to the processing of data(computing) done on servers located remotely which are accessed by multiple users via their devices.
Cloud Portability: It is the property that determines how fast a locally-hosted system can be hosted on cloud servers.
App integration: It refers to how various systems can be integrated and used homogeneously.
SLA: The service level agreement is the most ignored document that contains what the users should expect from the provider.
Advantages of SaaS products
SaaS products have the following advantages for the users:
Easy: SaaS products are cloud-based apps which makes their adoption easier and quick. Installation takes seconds, and learning takes minutes which makes it a great option. Most of the SaaS solutions have a free trial period that helps the users make sure whether they need it or not.
Evolving: SaaS product owners continually study the market, understand the new requirements and improve the product. New features are continually being added and old ones improved enabling the users to do more with less.
Economical: The contracts can be updated monthly and cost way less as compared to the costs of building your own software. Data can be immediately backed up and exported before terminating the contract.
Secure: SaaS software has teams working to make it reliable and safe. They have taken care of the regulations and constantly make the app more secure from attacks. Data protection for you and privacy protection for your customers is ensured.
Connectivity: These cloud-based applications can be accessed from anywhere in the world with the help of the internet. More importantly, SaaS products easily integrate with your existing flow.
Building and selling a SaaS product has the following advantages for the vendors:
Scalable: Even if a company starts slow, it can smoothly scale up by the click of a few buttons. It makes their business very profitable in the long run.
Fast: Building a SaaS product, adding new features, deploying bug fixes take a very short amount of time. The best part is your customers won’t have to “download updates”.
Customer-oriented: The success of a SaaS product depends on how useful its users find it. It makes the business more customer-facing and focuses on solving real-world problems.
Pricing: Having multiple packages help the vendors target various sizes of business in various verticals. Furthermore, they get to learn more about new use cases for their product that increases their business value.
How to build and market a SaaS product?
Building a SaaS product is much like building any product.
Validate your idea: Use MVPs and market research to make sure that the SaaS product you are aiming to build will earn you money. In other words, is the solution desirable? Does anyone have a problem with your solution?
Learn the ropes: Get educated about the overall process of SaaS product management. There are a lot of consulting firms that will help you see the big picture deep into the future. It will provide an idea of what to expect.
Build your team: A SaaS product needs to have a team that builds it, markets it, sells it, and improves it. In general, you will need a product development team, a marketing and sales team, and a customer support team. (image source: Clockwise Software)
Define organizational flow: At the beginning, everyone might do a little bit of everything, but growth is possible when things are properly defined. Outline the responsibilities of each department and how they connect with each other.
Choose the right tech: Frontend, backend, SaaS host, and database. Ideally, choose a technology that is easy and simple for your developers and that provides flexibility.
Find the right tools: Your tools will define your capabilities. Tools for CRM, billing, sales, support, internal and external communication. Test them and choose according to your needs and available resources.
Ship and support: There must be a complete feedback loop that ties the support team to the developers. It will help you continue to improve your product by reducing errors, improving the UX, and increasing usability.
Don’t abandon research: Always keep an eye on your competitors. Learn what is working for them and what is not.
SaaS products are going to be the method of software delivery for a long time. For the vendors, it is a great opportunity as building a solution has never become that easy and quick. With the right idea, team, process, and tools, one can build a SaaS product within a month. Furthermore, obtaining customers and being in constant touch with them has never been easier, thanks to the internet.