How to Get Your SaaS Idea Off the Ground Without Going Broke

By Jason Swenk on October 4, 2017

Have you thought about productizing your SaaS idea or tech solution? Is a SaaS company the way to go? It might be! As agencies, we provide solutions and create tools for clients every single day. So, why not monetize them? But first, learn the right way to build a profitable SaaS company.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • How to create a profitable SaaS product.
  • What agencies are doing wrong when it comes to productizing.
  • How to avoid common mistakes creating your SaaS product.

This week’s guest is Dan Martell, a former agency owner and current coach to SaaS companies. His passion has always been in the tech space and he’s here to share insights on how you can get your incredible SaaS idea off the ground and be profitable at it.

How to Create a Profitable SaaS Product

Successful SaaS creates a technology solution for:

  • Your customers -so they can do something themselves.
  • Your industry – so they can do something easier.

B2B SaaS is the most tried and true type.

There are 5 categories:

  1. Alerting or monitoring tools
  2. Reporting tools
  3. Workflow tools
  4. Collaboration
  5. CRM (customer relationship management)

4 Steps to getting your SaaS idea off the ground (without going broke!)

#1: Create a clickable prototype – create a spec model, no coding necessary in order to test your idea.

#2: Identify early adopters – techies crave innovation and like to be first to jump into new using new solutions and tools.

#3: Accept pre-orders – take advance orders from the early adopters by offering an amazing deal (like 50% off) if they order and pay in advance.

#4: Build your team – usually once you have taken the first three steps, the team falls into place.

3 Mistakes Agencies Are Making with SaaS

A lot of agency owners stumble into the business accidentally. When they are struggling or unhappy they often think the “grass is greener on the other side” and want to develop a SaaS product. If that’s the case for you, that’s OK. But remember: the grass is greener on the side you water.

1- Product: Make sure the idea is something you can get behind. The best products are at the intersection of what people will buy + something you’re passionate about + your area of expertise. So the goal is to find a sweet spot between all three elements.

Mistake to Avoid: Don’t spin your wheels on something you don’t love or don’t know enough about.

2- People: A lot of agencies decide to productize a solution so they start using their existing team to develop it. This is a bad idea because that same team is also responsible for working on billable projects. Given the choice, billable work will always take priority over the new SaaS project causing a major stall.

Mistake to Avoid: As tempting as it is, keep the teams separate. And, find the right person to be in charge of it. Use what you know as a springboard but bring on the right person to actually push the boulder up the hill.

3- Profit: With little to no resources to start, agencies tend to pull funds from the existing business in order to get the SaaS up and running. While focusing on SaaS they neglect the growth of the agency. The end result, is two struggling businesses.

Mistake to Avoid: Keep agency and SaaS funds in separate silos. Follow the steps for launching SaaS to the early adopters in order to fund the project.

Related:  The Ins and Outs of Going from Agency to SaaS Company

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Want More Advice?

If you have more questions about your agency from the good to the bad like how you can get through hard times in your agency, I can help. Through my many years of experience, I can share advice on topics including how to start an agency from scratch to reasons you should sell.

You can check out all my tips, tricks and everything you need to know in my blogs. I have covered a wide variety of topics as well as answering your questions in more from my Ask Swenk series.

Are videos more your thing?  You can check out my AskSwenk series and more of my videos on my Youtube channel for advice from myself and other agency experts.

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