Whether you’re eating an ice cream cone or starting a business, timing is everything. The right timing allows you to achieve higher rates of productivity while continuing to meet your organizational benchmarks. Enter the market too early, and your business idea could crash and burn. Enter too late, and it may have lost all relevance.
It’s all about finding the sweet spot. How can you stay competitive in today’s market but also in the market of the future? Here, we’ll explore the importance of adequate preparation and timing when it comes to building your SaaS business.
SaaS businesses, which cater to consumer preferences for on-demand, convenient software solutions, have taken over the market in the past few years. With the SaaS market growing at a rate of 18% annually, you’ll need to consider both past industry performance and future projections before launching your venture.
Before opening your business, your team will also want to utilize technical writing to prepare user manuals, legal disclaimers, and website help centers. In the software business, technical writing is the best way to break down complex processes and concepts so that they can be understood by the layperson.
Those are just a couple of the preparatory actions that must be taken before opening your doors for business. Launching a SaaS business in today’s market can be quite stressful for your team, making it important to prioritize stress management techniques to maintain a good organizational system and stay on top of things financially. It’s also no secret that you can’t launch a business without a market-ready product or service. Don’t cut corners when it comes to testing and performing market research, or you could end up paying the price down the line.
Bill Gross of Idealab gave a TED Talk in 2015 in which he delineates timing as one of the top five factors that determine the success of a startup. The other four factors — the concept, the collaborators, the funding, and the business model — don’t even come close to timing in importance.
Factors like timing are rarely considered because they seem out of your control as a business owner. When it comes to the fast-paced world of SaaS, however, the ability to predict future technological trends and identify current market gaps is key to a company’s success. Successful SaaS innovators have mastered the art of solving today’s problems with tomorrow’s technology. And they’re always a few steps ahead of their competitors.
Just think about it: YouTube entered the market at a time when cell phone bandwidth had expanded and internet accessibility was soaring. Airbnb saw the need for safer housing solutions, taking all the best attributes of Craigslist and combining them into a modern, secure website. When it comes to building your own SaaS business, it’s vital to find the glaring market gaps that your company can fill.
Once you have a solid business launch plan and have adequately prepared, it’s time to flesh out your business and grow your brand reputation. As a new business in the SaaS space, building credibility isn’t always an easy process.
Traditionally, brand trust is built over years or even decades. But the business landscape has changed, and SaaS startups now need to quickly build credibility, with launch dates often looming overhead. That’s why collecting unbiased reviews, using trust seals, making use of content marketing, and offering special deals are especially important for your business launch.
SaaS company and business communication platform, Slack, offers a prime example of how to perform a successful marketing campaign that keeps the customer as its central focus. After two years of organic growth, the company turned to user surveys to determine how best to meet the needs of their current and potential future customers. The result? In 2013, Slack had just launched its platform, and in 2020, it sold for $27 billion. That’s good marketing in action.
Of course, you’ll also want to avoid some of the biggest pitfalls for SaaS startups if your business has any chance of taking off and becoming the next Slack. Common startup mistakes like performing insufficient market research and rushing your service to market could land your business in the red. Creating a business from nothing is hard work, but that’s no excuse for cutting corners. Placing the customer at the heart of your business decisions will give you the highest chance of securing a steady stream of clients for years to come.
When you’ve got a service ready to go and financial goals you’re eager to meet, it can be tempting to launch your product as soon as possible. While it’s better to be early than late, ideal market timing is a crucial component to your long-term success as a SaaS business.
Your product should be vetted and ready for market before your launch, while your team should be well prepared to meet and exceed the needs of customers. Focusing on optimizing the current economical and technological environment will give your startup the cutting edge it needs to carve out a niche in today’s hyper-competitive SaaS industry.