In the past 10 years, the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry has shot up as if it was propelled by rocket fuel. In 2008 it was valued at $5.56 billion, it is now worth $116.39 billion and is expected to reach 132.57 by 2020. On top of this, the Global SaaS-based SCM Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.52% between 2018 and 2022. Evidently, this is a great industry to be in, with high hopes for the future.
But what does it take to start and run a successful SaaS business? To get a better idea we spoke with three experts in the industry to ask them for advice on how to create a kick-ass SaaS company.
Do your research, not all hosting providers are the same
Peter Schroeder, the CEO of Telzio, a provider of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) systems for businesses, believes that starting with the right hosting provider is crucial. He says “I would advise SaaS startup founders to look into all the tools the different hosting providers offer (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Digital Ocean, etc.), evaluate their products, and see which ones are applicable to what you’re building. You can often subscribe to their tools and avoid dealing with running the services/servers yourself, which can save you a lot of time in the development phase as well as in production.”
“It’s important to look at what you need now and what you think you will need in the future from the very beginning because it’s not an easy task to change your cloud provider later on down the road,” adds Schroeder.
Set out to understand your clients’ goals
In order to provide a really great Saas offering, it is important to know what your clients are looking to achieve, claims Othamar Gama Filho, Founder & CEO of Talentify, a High-Volume Recruitment Automation service with a strong focus on long-lasting results using AI technology.
“Focus on solving a real pain your industry/client has, don’t just keep adding features,” states Gama Filho.
“Understand what your client wants to achieve and help them get there. Don’t forget User Experience and Onboarding, adoption of new software has a lot of churn, and keeping the users you manage to get is crucial to success,” he adds.
The customer must love the product every time
To really satisfy the customer, they must love the product with every interaction advocates Leo Lax, Executive Managing Director at L-SPARK, an accelerator which gives early-stage Canadian SaaS companies the tools to scale their businesses.
“A SaaS product needs to satisfy the customer every time they touch it,” claims Lax
He adds “Therefore, development of the product must include software that provides continuous feedback on the customers’ use of the product. It is imperative that as a SasS company you use that feedback and continue increasing the customer’s use of your product. It is your job to make sure your customers not only fall in love with your product but continue LOVING IT every day!”