Taking a SaaS product to the market is a big undertaking. There are many little details involved, each one crucial to the success of the project. On top of this, you likely have competitors to worry about, and a single mistake could set you back. To help make your SaaS project development process as smooth as possible, here are some tips you can use to get started on the right foot.
Have a Solid Idea
Before you can start to work on your SaaS project, it’s essential that the idea behind it is solid. You don’t want to finish creating your product only to realize that the world doesn’t need it or that there is no market for it. Now is the time when you’ll want to conduct some research and answer the following questions:
- Who is this product for?
- Does this person/group actually need this?
- What problem is your SaaS product solving?
- How is your SaaS product different from what’s already on the market?
Answering these questions will not only help you decide if your project is worthwhile, but it will help you refine it. It’s a good idea during this phase to brainstorm with other people and get their feedback. For example, if you’re developing a SaaS product for marketing firms, and you know someone in marketing, run the idea by them. Getting feedback early will help you decide if this idea is worth pursuing.
Lay a Foundation
With a solid idea in place, now you should start laying the foundation of your SaaS project. It’s tempting when you have a great idea for a product to just rush ahead, but it’s essential you slow down. You need to take the time to lay the groundwork, otherwise, you’re likely to run into problems down the line.
Start by planning out the basics of your project. There are 4 things, in particular, you’ll want to work out the details for:
- Customization options
What sort of features is your product going to have? How will you protect user data? Will your product be able to integrate with others? And how can you grow it in the future? These are the sorts of questions you’ll want to ask yourself before proceeding. By doing so, you’ll be able to make better decisions when it comes to things like the programming language you’ll use, who you’ll hire, and more. These basics are also what your initial customers, investors, and anyone looking for a SaaS business for sale will look for.
You should then think about what your minimum viable product looks like. Essentially, what is the bare minimum you could put out into the world to start getting feedback? This product will have your key features in it, but probably not all the bells and whistles you plan on adding later. It’s your minimum viable product that you’ll build towards first, so you should know what it is before you start.
Decide on a Budget
Another important factor of your SaaS project is the budget. Unless you have an unlimited amount of funds with which to work, you’ll have to make some decisions about where to allocate your money.
How much are you going to spend on a development team? How much on marketing? No matter how great your idea for a SaaS product is, if you run out of money after a couple of weeks, you won’t be able to launch it.
When deciding on where to spend your funds, we recommend putting more of your resources in your team. It’s much easier to market a great product even with a smaller budget, rather than spending most of your resources promoting something sub-par. But if you can get the right team into place, this will produce dividends for a long-time to come.
Pick the Right Team
Speaking of which, you should spend plenty of time picking that team. You should start by looking for developers who specialize in the programming language you want to use. See what other projects they have worked on and how closely they relate to your own. After that, you should look to see how many years of experience they have.
To find candidates, you have several options. If you plan on working in-person, then you’ll want to post about your job on local websites. For instance, you could list your open position on sites like Indeed or Craigslist. You can also do this if you plan on working remotely, but you aren’t limited by geography.
Thanks to freelancing websites, you can now hire people from all over the world. This allows you to get the best possible person for the job within your budget. A great place to start your search for coders is through Codementor. To learn more about this service, check out this Codementor review.
Set Your Prices Early
A lot of SaaS teams decide on their price as they are finishing up development. However, it’s a better idea to figure this out as early as possible. The reason for this is that you’ll use your revenue to continue to fund your business. You need to be able to estimate how much revenue you’ll be bringing in when your product goes to market, and for that, you need to set a price.
Take a look at some of your competitors and see what they are charging for their SaaS product. Then think about what sort of pricing model you want to use. For example, you could sell the product for a one-time fee, as a monthly/yearly subscription, or have different pricing levels for different features. Knowing all this in advance will help you plan out your project better and set you up for long-term financial health.
Have a Strong Communication System
Finally, you need a reliable way for your team to communicate. SaaS projects have a lot of different parts to them. More often than not you’ll have different team members working on separate areas of the project at the same time. They need to be able to communicate effectively with one another, otherwise, there are going to be mistaken.
Set your team up with some great communication tools, like Slack. Then you’ll want a workflow management system – here are some great options to get you started. Communication is key, especially when you have multiple team members all working on one project, so research different tools and see what works best for you.
Don’t Rush Your SaaS Project
The key to a successful SaaS project is not rushing the beginning steps. You need to take the time to think through everything, bring in the best people, and lay a solid foundation. Many SaaS project leaders get too excited and rush ahead without proper planning, and the result is more mistakes along the way and longer delays. Avoid these pitfalls by investing the time now and you’ll get your project started off the right way.