How to Build a SaaS Product: 5 Tips from Successful SaaS Businesses
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. These words of Benjamin Franklin can serve as a verdict for startups who build SaaS products without careful planning and market analysis. To conquer the world with your SaaS solution, you surely need to come up with a clear and efficient strategy.
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You may wonder, “Ok, how can I get to know what steps should be taken to succeed for sure?” See, the SaaS market is full of triumphant businesses that can be good teachers for you to start. What you need to have is some of your passion for keeping learning and a bit of spare time.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to learn. Wetelo is an expert in SaaS product development. So, we’d like to share some tips on building SaaS apps that will be popular on the market stall. Hopefully, they will lead you in the right direction.
5 tips on how to build a successful SaaS product
On the surface, it looks like SaaS product development is an effortless process that only takes a brilliant idea, a pinch of courage and boom – your SaaS unicorn is born. But as you may have already guessed, it’s too good to be true. So, to help you set the course, here are some tips on developing a SaaS product.
Tip 1: Identify a pain point your target audience is facing
“No pain, no gain”, says an English proverb. And SaaS businesses can’t agree more, as in every user’s pain they see a “gain”, or rather an opportunity to solve it. But how can you identify your customers’ pain points? For that, we highly recommend conducting comprehensive market research.
You can use either a survey with close-ended questions or face-to-face interviews to learn more about your target audiences, what tools they use to solve their challenges, what they like about them and what they don’t – any information of this kind will be valuable.
Let’s take Notion as an example here. The idea to launch a collaboration app was born after the company founders revealed that the SaaS market was full of tools with just a single purpose. Those team apps couldn’t do many things and made users use multiple apps for different tasks. Sounds somewhat inconvenient, right? Notion founders thought so too and came up with an idea to create an all-in-one digital workspace, which can be customized by users how they want.
Notion user interface
At Wetelo, we have a similar story to tell. Like many other companies, we used Slack, Jira, and similar tools for project management. But over time, our employees found it hard to switch between instruments to manage several projects at the same time and handle tasks stress-free. So we solved this pain point by launching Avanga, an internal team app for efficient project management and communication.
Avanga user interface
To spice things up a little, we powered our solution with AI technology. This way, our internal app is more tailored to the employees’ needs and allows them to optimize their workflow even better.
So, the thing we’re trying to say here is that you don’t have to be a product seller – become a solution provider and turn the most common customers’ pain point into a brilliant SaaS product.
Tip 2: Find your competitive advantage
As the SaaS market is blossoming with various solutions, it is becoming harder and harder for SaaS companies to stay afloat. That’s why finding your competitive advantage should be a second task in your to-do list.
The most rational move, in this case, is to study your closest rivals. Pay attention to what their users are saying, especially when it comes to a negative experience. Finding your opponent’s weakness and turning it into your strength is a tried and true method of creating your competitive advantage, so don’t neglect it.
Now, I’d like to compare two well-known tools for project management, Trello and Asana, to demonstrate you how you can find your competitive advantage. At glance, it seems like both solutions don’t differ that much, but not quite. The main strength of Trello, for example, is that it’s very, very easy to use. The tool offers a simple Kanban system, which is very attractive to people who don’t want to spend too much time on learning how to work with it.
When it comes to Asana, on the other hand, this PM solution is much more versatile and lets you keep track of your projects and tasks in a less linear fashion. Compared to Trello, Asana offers more features for project management, and when you have a big team that has to work on multiple tasks simultaneously, Asana is a better fit.
Overall, both solutions are great and deserve their share of success. But while Trello puts stress on the simplicity of personal use, Asana outshines other tools with the multifunctionality big teams are looking for.
So, when you want to stand out from the crowd, having your own competitive edge is a must.
Tip 3: Find a skilled development team
No ship can sail without a crew, so the next thing you have to care about when building your SaaS product is to look for a team of engineers you can trust. There is a number of criteria to consider when finding a skilled development team. First, check out whether developers have the right expertise and worked on similar projects. Second, don’t employ amateurs as you risk losing both time and money. Pay attention to developers’ experience, skills, and number of projects to be on the safe side.
If you want to find a skilled development team for launching your SaaS app, feel free to reach out to the Wetelo team. Having a dedicated team of PMs, QAs, backend and frontend developers, we have been developing SaaS products for 8 years. So you can trust your project to us and we will turn your idea into reality.
Tip 4: Start with a minimum viable product (MVP)
No startup wants to spend a lot of time and effort on product development to then learn that users are looking for something else. That’s why we recommend starting with an MVP. An MVP is a working product with only core features that allows you to attract early adopters, and test your assumptions. Unlike full-scale software development, building an MVP can be developed much faster with less resources spent, and also lets you make additional changes based on user feedback.
And sometimes, you don’t even have to develop an MVP to attract customers. Dropbox is a unique example of offering a SaaS product to users without actually having one. Instead, the company created a video demo that explains how the solution works and provided a link to sign-up for beta testing once it’s out. And it worked magic: overnight the video went viral and around 75, 000 users signed up.
Dropbox MVP demo
Tip 5: Keep improving your product to survive the launch period
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 20% of new businesses fail within their first year. So when your product is out in public, we don’t recommend you start celebrating (well, maybe just a little). Instead, you should look at what users say about your product, and when you notice some areas that could be improved, start right away.
Placing your users in the center of product development is a wise thing to do. By learning what your users to see in future updates and implementing it will show that you care about their experience. This will eventually help you build a loyal client base with many brand advocates recommending your SaaS solution to others.
Let’s look at how Loom gathers client feedback to further improve their product. There are two ways how Loom collects feedback: product roadmap and idea submission. The roadmap allows users to see what features the company is currently working on and upvote the one they’d like to see in the near future.
Loom product roadmap
The idea submission is even more straightforward. When the user feels like the solution lacks a particular functionality that is important for them, they can submit it using a separate form.
The tips we provided are real-life lessons coming from industry big players. So when you are looking to develop a SaaS app, you can follow them and add something from yourself to develop a brilliant SaaS solution that your customers will fall in love with.
Looking for a professional team to lend you a helping hand and build a successful SaaS solution? Look no more! At Wetelo, we can help you with defining what product to build and conduct product discovery to ensure a product-market fit. We are ready to share your ambitions and turn them into the best possible products. Just send us a note and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you build a SaaS product step by step?
- Analyze the SaaS market to understand whether your future solution is a market fit.
- Study your competitors to define your competitive advantage.
- Find a skillful and devoted development team to ensure project success.
- Build an MVP to test your idea and improve it further.
- Test your ideas with users and keep improving your product.
How to build a SaaS by yourself?
You can build SaaS alone. The main thing is to have an understanding of what it takes to build a SaaS application or find a developer who can help you with app building. Learn more in our article.
What is required to build a SaaS?
How do you design SaaS products?
- Make sure that your sign up and sign in are easy.
- Offer engaging and user-friendly onboarding.
- Use game elements to reward users for their achievements.