5 tips for starting a SaaS business on a budget
When develop your SaaS activity, development costs can be one of the biggest expenses, ranging from $ 15,000 to $ 100,000. The reasons for such a scale are factors such as the size and complexity of the project, which you outsource SaaS development or choose to create your SaaS in-house, and many other considerations.
Most software development companies find themselves somewhere in the middle with development costs. However, what if you are on a tight budget and need to minimize your development costs without compromising the quality of the code? Here are five tips to follow.
1. Better prioritize
The sooner your SaaS starts generating revenue, the less your budget will be a limiting factor in all areas of your business – from the product itself to marketing and operations.
With better prioritization of features and launch a minimum viable product (MVP), you will be able to monetize your new business faster.
Building a SaaS on a shoestring isn’t about choosing the cheapest vendor to deliver a good enough product. On the contrary, you can work with the best developers while staying allocate a small development budget.
The cost of developing your app depends on how many features you want to include in your product. The more features your development team has to create and the more complex they are to execute, the more you will pay.
Therefore, to reduce development expenses, you need to focus on the core product features that are sufficient for your customers to appreciate the value of your product.
2. Choose the right team
If you are just starting to develop a SaaS, there are two options you should consider: outsourcing the development or keeping it in-house. Building a team of developers may seem like a cheaper and more sustainable option in the long run. However, this might be the wrong choice for a start-up business that is building a tool from scratch and needs to get it to market quickly.
When you compare the costs of outsourcing development and hiring an in-house team, don’t just look at an hourly rate. Keep in mind that building your development team, training developers, and building your product can be time consuming. In addition, you must take into account the cost of renting offices, tools and equipment, public contributions, recruitment and benefits paid. For example, in Germany, 30 days of paid leave should be covered per year.
If you want to monetize your product faster, choosing more experienced outsourced developers may be a better option as they will ship your product faster.
3. Choose the right tech stack
When you compare different technological stacks, keep in mind that choosing the more advanced and the less popular will mean spending more time finding the developers who can handle it. It also means paying a higher price for their skills. This is only a rule of supply and demand!
To monetize your app as quickly as possible, you should consider choosing a technology stack that helps accelerate development. For example, Ruby on Rails allows components to be reused between the frontend and the backend with just minor changes. This helps reduce the time to build similar features from scratch.
Building a tool from scratch takes a long-term view. If you plan to expand the functionality of your product, you need to make sure that your product is scalable. Choosing a technology stack that allows for greater scalability is crucial in such a case. This will help you save money on future modifications to your software or avoid rebuilding your product.
Bugs are another issue that your technology stack should be able to deal with effectively. Bugs are one of the main causes of patches consuming developer time and budget. To avoid bugs, you should look for a tech stack that encourages test-driven development (TDD).
4. Get customer feedback
The launch of a new product rarely produces immediate positive results. Your SaaS must first be tested.
Get feedback from your early adopters early in the process. Ask for feedback in the app or through Google Forms. You can also invite your users for an interview in exchange for extending their free trial.
Here are some questions you can ask your users to get feedback.
1) What problem are they trying to solve with your product?
2) What products have they tried in the past?
3) How are they using your product?
4) How well does it do the job for them?
Product development doesn’t stop there, as your product will need to go through a few iterations. Collect customer feedback over time after reaching product-to-market adjustment is a great practice.
5. Collect reviews before developing lead generation
After validating your product with your target market, it’s time to create a rock-solid marketing plan and scale your lead generation.
Before launching paid campaigns, work on your company’s social media channel by collecting testimonials from your new customers.
Here are two basic questions you might want to ask them when submitting a request to review your SaaS tool.
- What problems has this product helped you solve?
- How would you feel if you suddenly couldn’t use this product?
To make it easier to collect reviews, consider using online review platforms, such as Trustpilot or Capterra. Using these services can also have a positive impact on your SEO.
Building a SaaS product on a tight budget can be a difficult task. You need to get your product to market as quickly as possible to get customer feedback.
If you also have little time to complete the task, outsourcing is faster than building an in-house technical team. In addition to choosing the developers you want to work with, you need to select the technology stack to quickly scale your application in the future.
Once you launch your product, collecting customer feedback and documenting it is essential to creating a product that grows with the needs of your users. When you believe that your SaaS has reached market validation, it’s time to step up your marketing efforts, so that you can maximize the sales of your products to their full potential.