Did you know that 80% of businesses plan to switch all their systems to SaaS by 2025? This is due to SaaS applications’ many benefits, from automation to third-party integrated database management. Without a dedicated SaaS application, your business is at risk of falling behind the competition.
This article will discuss how to develop a SaaS application and why it’s so popular in 2022. After reading this guide, you will have an expert understanding of how to keep ahead of the competition through SaaS. However, if you’re just starting out, check out Idea Maker’s guide to 8 surprising micro SaaS business ideas.
What Is a SaaS?
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. They are cloud-based applications that are remotely accessed from any internet-connected device. SaaS applications are typically based on subscription model pricing, whereby users pay a monthly fee to access different levels of functionality.
For example, the e-learning platform TruAcademy offers three tiers of pricing to users, each with different access levels. There is a free tier providing basic learning resources, a mid-tier that provides e-learning essentials, and a pro-tier that offers additional enterprise-level functionality. Flexible pricing models are at the very core of SaaS builds.
To learn more about the SaaS business and pricing model, check out Idea Maker’s extensive guide.
Why Is SaaS Development Popular?
There are many excellent advantages to SaaS applications that make them such a popular development model. Here are just a few benefits that draw businesses to SaaS.
Being cloud-based, SaaS applications are widely accessible to users, both physically and technologically. Firstly, as long as users have access to an internet-connected device, SaaS applications can be used remotely, in any location. Secondly, businesses typically do not need to upgrade their hardware to use SaaS applications due to being accessed in web browsers.
As a result, SaaS applications are the most accessible pieces of software available, making them an excellent way to penetrate markets. You have a solid chance of success if you can offer clients an easily accessible and more affordable alternative to traditional, on-premise software.
Due to the nature of SaaS pricing models, it’s simple to scale software functionality alongside business growth. When users need more features, they can upgrade their subscription to the next tier, unlocking greater functionality.
This makes SaaS a brilliant long-term solution for growing businesses, as it requires little additional investment. As a result, small businesses can focus on channelling their revenue into growth instead of hardware upgrades and even office rent. This is because using a dedicated SaaS app can facilitate remote working.
To learn more about remote working software, check out Idea’s Makers useful guide to custom remote ap agine, due to a lack of installation requirements and based on a fee-for-features model, SaaS applications are a cost-effective alternative to on-premise software. Users only pay for access to functionality they require, saving them money on expensive software containing a surplus of unnecessary features.
What’s more, if you no longer require the functionality provided by a SaaS application, you can cancel your subscription and look elsewhere. You are not bound by a large one-time sum of money, like a traditional on-premise enterprise-level software. As a result of these factors, SaaS applications are a cost-effective option.
How Do You Build a SaaS Application?
Now that you understand why SaaS applications are popular, you are ready to learn how to build one for your own, armed with your knowledge.
It may sound obvious, but the first set in creating a successful SaaS application is identifying a problem that needs fixing with software. This is a crucial part of the process. Without correctly identifying a problem that needs to be solved, you risk your software being redundant.
For example, if your business has a clear need for data management software that handles unstandardized datatypes, a SaaS software development might be the answer. This will mean, whether there are similar products available or not, that your business has a piece of bespoke software with functionality specific to your business.
Check Market Size
Next, you will need to determine the prevalence of the identified issue to establish your market size. Is it an issue companies across the US regularly face? Or is the issue so niche as to be specialist?
If the problem is widespread, there are likely many SaaS solutions available, meaning harsh competition. Contrastingly, if the problem is particularly niche, you risk having too small an audience, meaning a lower chance of ROI on your SaaS platform. As a result, it’s crucial to determine your potential market size, so you know how to best position your SaaS solution and can forecast sales.
Many tools are available to help identify market size, such as Semrush. This cloud-based SaaS application allows users to gain an in-depth overview of their industry’s market with just a few clicks. Alternatively, for best results, you should consider hiring an expert marketing agency.
There are two ways you can develop a SaaS application. Firstly, you can hire a professional SaaS development company like Idea Maker, following our extensive guide. Or you build your SaaS platform yourself, following a seven-step SaaS development process:
- Understand your requirements: Spend time determining the nature of your development. What issue are you attempting to solve, and what functionality does it require?
- Prototype your project: Create a prototype of your application so you can visualize functionality. This is best done through wireframing, using a tool such as MockFlow. Wireframing allows you to see a clear outline of your SaaS platform’s features before it’s fully developed.
- Add UI/UX design: Once you’ve prototyped your project, you’ll need to add style and aesthetic design elements. No one wants to use an application with a poor UI/UX, so using styling tools like Figma, or hiring an expert designer, is essential.
- Program your application: Next, you’ll need to code your software using a SaaS development framework like React Native. Alternatively, if you do not have a professional level of development experience, you can use a no-code service like Bubble.io.
- Test: After your software is programmed, it will need to go through robust beta testing. You can learn more about beta testing through Idea Maker’s helpful guide.
- Deploy cloud-based SaaS application: Finally, once all issues have been ironed out, you can deploy your application to users. Keep in mind that your software will require constant maintenance and bug fixes, so it’s vital to stay vigilant for errors.
Following this process will enable you to build a robust SaaS application that provides the functionality users require. For a further example of a solid process, check out Idea Maker’s development procedure.
Make It Scalable
As your SaaS app development grows in popularity, users may require additional functionality. As a result, you must ensure your software is positioned for scalability. This means allowing your users to unlock more features when they need them, usually through upgrading their subscription tier.
Choose Pricing Structure
To enable users to scale up the functionality of your SaaS, you must carefully choose your pricing structure. The main three pricing structures used by SaaS companies are:
- Tiered: The tiered pricing model has several subscription choices with varying features—the more costly the subscription, the more features it offers.
- Usage-based: Users only pay for the services they utilize in this model. On many platforms, such as Chargify, users do not have to pay a subscription fee. Instead, they pay a commission on revenue generated through the platform.
- User-based: A monthly subscription fee is paid by one individual, and the price rises when a new member joins the software.
To learn more about SaaS pricing structures, take a look at this in-depth guide to the SaaS business model.
Nurture Your Early Adopters
Once your platform is live, it’s essential to maintain the relationship with your early adopters. This means providing high-quality round-the-clock customer support. You can do this by employing a small customer service team or developing a live chatbot within the platform.
Live chatbots generally require professional development expertise to build, so your best option is to hire a SaaS development company to create such a feature. However, many third-party plugins provide customer service chatbots, such as ChatBot for WordPress.
After your SaaS project is live for a while and has built a solid userbase, you should start collecting user feedback. This can be done by reaching out to users directly through email or implementing surveys into your platform. For example, when a user logs in, you can prompt them with a short questionnaire.
Not only does this help you improve your product and spot bugs, but it also makes your users feel valued. This enables you to nurture your client relationships further, keeping them engaged with the platform.
Once feedback is collected, you can then enhance your product accordingly. This may include adding new features, changing your pricing model or overhauling the UI/UX. If you’re working with an outsourced SaaS development agency, they must provide post-release support options to implement these changes swiftly.
The last step in creating a successful SaaS development is advertising your product to build a strong userbase. There are many ways to promote your SaaS development. This includes:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your web applications’ rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). This is done through several methods, such as on and off-page optimization. Though an SEO campaign can be conducted freely, consider hiring an expert marketing agency for the best results.
Social media marketing is the process of using digital networking channels to generate online exposure. Substantial results can be achieved for free if the proper promotional techniques are employed correctly. To learn how to advertise your website using social media, check out Idea Maker’s extensive guide.
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are promotions placed online, usually on blogs and social media, whereby businesses pay a fee each time a user clicks the ads attached link. They are an effective way to generate inorganic traffic but are costly if misused. Check out this guide to PPC ad strategy for more information.
After reading this guide, you now know how to build a successful SaaS development. This article covered the following:
- What is SaaS?
- Why is SaaS development popular?
- How do you build a SaaS application?
Now you are ready to start developing.
SaaS Application Development with Idea Maker
If you need help developing a SaaS product, look no further than Idea Maker. Our team of experts are dedicated to providing you with professional SaaS solutions. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more.