Software as a service is
taking the web by storm, and no one can blame you for considering whether or
not you should take your business in that direction. However, before one line
of code is written, there are some things you should consider carefully.
Your Business Direction Is Going To Change Drastically
In a traditional model, you are focused on getting that first
purchase. Repeat purchases are valuable, but getting people to buy is your
major focus. SaaS businesses are also focused on getting to people to buy, but
the lower up-front cost makes onboarding new customers a bit easier. Instead,
you need to dedicate more of your website towards retaining existing customers.
A single month of service isn't going to generate the same amount of revenue
that an up-front purchase does, so you need to keep people engaged and happy
month after month.
Sometimes You Have To Say No
A Software as a Service product is most successful when it
does one core thing really well. Additional features can be a selling point,
but without that core, it will hard to keep people subscribed. Developing
features while maintaining that high quality of service takes time and money,
and not every customer will get the features they want. This can be mitigated
by creating connections to complimentary services, or allowing customers to
customize their experience through an API, but there will be times where you
have to tell a customer that you won't be able to accommodate their request.
Is A SaaS Model Right For Your Product?
SaaS products are by their very nature standardized. If you put
in the time during development, you can allow some level of customization, but
it is far from the amount offered in a custom product. Many online services can
be converted to this model, but not all. If your product needs heavy
customization to be effective, a SaaS model is going to be difficult to
execute. Before making the switch you need to think carefully about whether the
switch makes sense for your product.
Software as a service is a solid business model for many online
businesses, either as their primary or secondary source of revenue. If you
think that this might be the next step for your business, contact us and
rest assured it will get done right.