The SaaS industry is now worth more than $145 billion worldwide, and forecast status that it will reach about $171 billion this year.
And that’s a trend we see here at Altar.io. We help entrepreneurs and business leaders bring new technology products to market – and more and more of those products are some form of SaaS.
But what does it take to build a successful business in the SaaS industry?
In this article, I’ve summarized my experience building SaaS products into a 5-step plan to increase your chances of success.
Step 1: Develop your value proposition
The first step in creating a successful SaaS product is defining how it will deliver value to your users.
It all starts with the problem you’re trying to solve, the people you’re solving it for, the competition in your market, and how your solution is better than that competition.
Here’s how to do it step by step:
- First, define the problem you are trying to solve.
- So how will your SaaS product solve this problem?
- Who are your target users? Here I recommend creating UX personas using demographics, psychology and behaviors
- How are your target users dealing with the problem today? Know what your competitors are doing to serve your market.
- Why is your product better than the current solution? What can you offer that the current solution does not?
- Create an Elevator Pitch – using all the information you have determined, create a simple, clear pitch that sums everything up succinctly and precisely.
Here is a template you can use for your presentation:
[Name of your SaaS product] was created for [your target stakeholders] who [state the problem they face]. [Name of your SaaS product] is a [statement of its vital value]. Unlike current solutions, we [explain what differentiates you from the alternatives].
Step 2: Define your key assumptions
Your value proposition, at this point, has some assumptions surrounding it.
You assume people have a specific problem and yours is the solution they need.
Write a list of the assumptions you have around your product.
The easiest way to validate assumptions is through research. Starts with look at your competition to see if they have already proven the hypotheses on your list.
For the rest, you will have to validate them by building your product – usually using the MVP, POC or waterfall model.
Step #3: Validate your assumptions
You must now validate the assumptions you defined in the previous step by creating the first iteration of your SaaS product. Again, I personally would like recommend MVP model to do this.
Using your list of assumptions, define the features you need to build to ensure you validate them as soon as possible.
When you have a concise list of features, you’ll be ready to move on to the first stage of development, choosing your technology stack.
If you choose to create an MVP, don’t just focus on the ” minimum. »
Step 4: Choose the technology stack for your SaaS product
If you are a non-technical entrepreneur, I recommend speaking with a technical speaker before committing to any technical decisions regarding your SaaS product.
Here are the most popular technologies used in a SaaS product tech stack to help you get started.
- Backend development: Node.js or Django
- Database: PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB
- A SaaS host: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure
Step 5: Join a development team
If you are a technical founder or have already assembled your development team, congratulations, you have everything you need to build the first iteration of your SaaS product.
For my fellow non-technical founders, you have three options for finding software development for your SaaS product.
You can either find a CTO/Technical co-founder, hire a team of developers (who you will have to deal with) or work with a software development company.
I’m not going to go too deep into this subject here. However, my co-founder, Rui Lourenço, wrote an entire article How to Build a Successful Minimum Viable Product on [https://altar.io]and it covers this topic in more detail.
If you can find the right technical CTO or co-founder, onboard them as soon as possible.
It is best to integrate this senior technical responder into your team as soon as possible.
That being said, finding that person often takes a lot of time and effort. The other options can help you maintain a faster time to market. Just be sure to hire professionals who follow best working practices.
Image Credit: Pavel Pavel Danilyuk; pexels; Thank you!