Anyone who says, “their business will run itself” is absolutely crazy…
If you have ever started or owned a business, you know that is far from the truth.
From the initial gathering of funds, wearing all the hats until you can afford to hire a full staff, and then, everyone will still be coming to you for questions. There is simply no way to own your own business without ever lifting a finger…
But, thanks to software, running a business is much easier – so anyone who rarely has to lift a finger to run their business has successful software businesses to thank.
The beauty of software is that it can be created to make several day-to-day or business tasks much easier. So, what is your biggest problem when it comes to managing your business? Build or find a software that can fix it.
Why a software business?
Over the years, businesses have warmed up to cloud-based services and the like.
Then, following Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn in 2016, the business world saw a major spike in the interest of SaaS (software-as-a-service) businesses. Since that time, the SaaS industry has continued to grow and evolve – leaving several new business owners to crave a chance to dabble in the market.
Thanks to software, Microsoft SQL servers are transforming your databases and more.
If you are looking to jump into entrepreneurship and help grow the market by building a successful software business, let me give you a few tips:
1. Provide software according to consumer needs.
Do all your clothes come in one-size-fits-all? No.
In fact, most hats don’t even come in a one-size-fits-all and that is one of the most basic articles of clothing. Neither do socks, underwear, bras, etc.
So, why should your software only maintain a one-size-fits-all mentality?
Let me answer for you – it shouldn’t.
Rather than going for just a single version of your software filled with everything you offer where some users will love while most might not ever take advantage of, consider offering several packages.
Offer consumers parts of your software with low-end features and other options with the more high-end features for the more involved user.
Pro Tip: Offer the entry-point for free to intrigue the consumer, but limit the usage volume, functionality, and/or time allowance.
2. Follow the KISS mindset.
KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
This is a technique you have probably heard many times over the years…
Once things start getting too complicated, especially for the average person, they start to go downhill. Fast.
Because SaaS products often sell themselves, they should be simple, clean, highly intuitive, and overall, self-explanatory.
If it is too tough for the average user to learn, it can easily be skipped altogether. However, you can intelligently design even the toughest action to look far simpler than it actually is, effectively attracting users all around.
3. Invest in the growth of your company
Making a software alone will not gain you popularity, while it might appeal to the first few people who hear about it by chance, you still need a marketing strategy in place to build a successful business.
Invest in the web developers for your software, the ads for your software, and other various marketing routes you might decide to take. Never take a step back to invest for the growth of your company.
4. Analyze and Improve
Before you release your software to the world or even just an update to your users, remember one thing:
The more you test it ahead of time, the fewer problems the users will experience.
A simple test and collecting some data on your software or update can reveal areas that still need to be improved – areas that would be quickly determined by users once they got their hands on it.
Glitches are just annoying for consumers – they don’t know how to fix it so they have to reach out to you for help and then play the waiting game.
It shows dedication to your industry, your software, and your customers if you do your best to always put your best foot forward.
5. Provide plugin space
Don’t offer your consumers software with binding features…
Instead, allow them the accessibility to add other functions to the software in order to meet their needs.
Plugin functions should be pre-molded inside the software infrastructure for easy accessibility.
6. Cultivate an ecosystem
Most successful products also consist of open and flexible APIs that enable smooth integration with third-party software. And the even better ones accumulate them with a community of developers and other third-party plugin promotions.
By cultivating an ecosystem, you create a sort of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” system with fellow software businesses.
7. Focus on your customer’s success
In addition to bringing in new customers, your job as a SaaS company is to defend and grow the recurring revenue from your existing customers.
They have already committed to using your software – show them why it is still worth it. As a business owner, one of the worst things you can do is let a loyal customer down…
Work to continuously monitor customer’s usage levels and their satisfaction surveys. Keep them involved and keep your ears open for their suggestions and concerns.
Aside from basic customer service and basic marketing, a successful software business is all about offering your consumers something they need, something they want, and something they understand.
With dedication and these 7 tips, you will be on your way to building a successful software business that will go on to help users and other business owners in their day-to-day lives.
Have any other tips for building a successful software business? Let us hear from you in the comments.
David Smith is a blogger and world traveler, with experience in China’s manufacturing industry, as well as content marketing manager in his hometown of Los Angeles, California. When not staring into a computer screen, David is an avid badminton player and photographer of natural landscapes.