6 key steps to start building your SaaS engine
When developing your SaaS product, be sure to set things right from the get-go. Remember that the idea is to offer a ready-made solution, upgrade it constantly, and maintain it 24/7.
1. Do market research
Research, research, and research. Part of this research should include defining the competition. Your competitors can provide useful real-world evidence of what's working and what's not. Look for gaps in their product that yours could fill.
Research trends, rising needs, etc. Identify the latest technologies that can give you a competitive edge in the market. The SaaS industry depends on niche innovations and tech trends when serving businesses. So be sure to perform in-depth research into the happenings of the tech world.
2. Identify product-market fit
Before starting with SaaS product development, it's incredibly important to ensure that you find at least one product-market fit. If your product-market fit is misaligned, your business will have a difficult time scaling because it will have a negative impact across your entire business model.
Finding product-market fit is not easy, but it's certainly not something you can skip. Below are some key steps to help you get started.
3. Recruit your A team
SaaS developers with solid experience in SaaS product implementations will be a big plus. While you can source developers domestically, it's recommended to cast your net wider. They can perform the tasks remotely, considering the current pandemic situation.
Encourage constant communication to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding SaaS development project requirements and progress. Additionally, adopt agile development practices that promote optimum flexibility and thorough testing.
Most SaaS development projects require the following skills:
Furthermore, though building the right SaaS development team is definitely key, there are other skillsets that play a significant role in launching, marketing, selling, and delivering your SaaS app. So, be sure you're bringing those various skillsets on board. Remember, your team is who will help you scale.
Other roles most SaaS businesses include are the following:
- UX web-designer
- Product owner/manager
- Marketing manager
- Sales manager
- Customer Success Manager
4. Build your MVP
It's now time to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An MVP consists of the central features that you expect to function at the fundamental level. With an MVP, you can find out whether your proposed software can handle the issues for which it was developed.
Once you're confident that it can solve the tasks successfully, the MVP can move into development. This stage also presents you with an opportunity to see how you can develop a product that can outperform your competition.
Be sure to pick the tools and approaches that will enable you to create an MVP for your SaaS application. Here, you need to ask yourself:
- How mature is the programming language or technology?
- Can it fit my MVP's needs?
- What's the programming language's roadmap?
- How well can it support the functionalities I'm planning to build?
- Can I easily integrate technology with other products?
- Is the developer resource pool large enough?
5. Outline your vision
Your software development process is incomplete without an excellent business strategy. The best starting point is to identify business opportunities and how to entice users.
Additionally, outline the values customers will get and consider the specific cloud services' abilities. And think about your marketing efforts way before the product creation.
6. Develop the SaaS
Now comes the actual SaaS development stage. Here, you develop the core features further and scale them to the intended capacity.
Testing is continuously done, especially if the SaaS product is tailor-made to suit the client's exact requirements. You don't want a product that will bring untold headaches instead of solutions.
A/B test is among the often-used approaches to ensure optimum performance. The product will then undergo several iteration and upgrades depending on tests and shareholders' feedbacks.