At Work

Building a Startup around a SaaS Platform

SaaS founders seem to be sprouting up like mushrooms after the rain, and the market is becoming increasingly competitive.  But, it takes more than good ideas and fancy premises to get a small business off the ground. Some startups like WhatsApp and Instagram managed to skyrocket in no time, but this was not the result of a spectacular streak of luck.

It takes a lot of time to get the products right, but it is only then that the real work starts. The sales, marketing, customer service, there is no shortage of activities that can occupy your day and trouble your mind.  Getting the recurring revenue and initial traction takes a great deal of commitment and some strategic planning.  

Serving for the win

SaaS platforms involve a subscription-based licensing and central hosting. They have become a popular delivery model for business applications and many software companies incorporate it in their operations. One of the benefits for users is reduced IT costs because maintenance is outsourced to a SaaS provider. For the latter, this results in more work dedicated towards making customer’s life easier.

Online Work

The initial phase includes developing and designing. You can choose to allow other developers to build on top of your platform, adding new value to your product. Another way to boost your chances and offer added value to customers is via key integration. Keep in mind that application with limited features can easily win acclaim, provided that it is user-friendly, fast and that it solves problems for your clients.

In any case, be prepared to adjust on-the-go and change your strategy more times than you can count. The SaaS business model is all about flexibility and responding to market shifts. Furthermore, SaaS-based companies must provide around the clock support to establish lasting connections with the customers. Helping out new clients in the onboarding process essential, so offer free guides, video tutorials, write handy blog posts and host webinars.

To attract a new audience, you can offer a freemium model, which is usually better than time-limited trials. Of course, what matters is scaling the free accounts up and turning them into paid ones. To pull this off, take advantage of marketing automation via tools like Marketo or Hubspot. The goal is to move to a position where the feedback you are receiving is predominantly positive.

Prospecting and exploring

Now, even the greatest products do not sell themselves, and must be backed up by promotional activities. At first, a bulk of startups was looking to team up with big names in the industry and sign the “Marketing partnership program”. The results did not meet the expectations, and many founders turned to other means. One of them is putting your application on major marketplaces for desktop, or App Store and Google play for mobile devices.

Still, there is no better way to enhance your online endeavors that to build a solid website.  Filling it with quality, relevant content, and engaging in SEO is what comes next. All your efforts here gravitate around the search engines’ axis, as these are the imposing gatekeepers of the virtual realm. Moreover, do not neglect the link building process, as it will help you boost the site’s rank. The truth is, however, that this is something that could take a lot of time and distract you from other important tasks.

Cloud business

On the brighter note, there are also link prospecting startups that can help you get your own startup project of the ground and promote it with more success. The latest SEO tool from Four Dots called Dibz seems promising, even in the beta phase. It makes the whole link building process less time-consuming and enables you to adjust your search results to show only sites that are spam-free. This fresh example also demonstrates the importance of securing a proper domain name (dibz.me), which is one of the key aspects of the online brand building process.

A long lasting success

When you are only in a phase of developing and designing a product, a road to success ahead can seems obscure and bumpy. Some startups explode in a matter of months, but others bite the dust in the same amount of time. To make the first scenario more probable, you need to show commitment to customer service excellence. Success does not happen overnight, so be prepared to be in for a long haul. Make a lasting first impression and make sure you get the last word with your software solution.

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