What makes a great SaaS website?
SaaS founders often make basic mistakes when it comes to their startups. The mistakes generally arise due to time, budget, expectations and loss of focus, which result in the poor execution of a project.
These avoidable mistakes can eventually lead to the failure of a SaaS product before it’s even got off the ground. SaaS teams are giving it their all to break into a market which is continually growing in popularity, and while they think they might be on to the next big thing, it’s all too common that mistakes creep in.
Here are five mistakes to avoid in your SaaS startup:
1. Poor research and strategy
Thorough research and a clear strategy are fundamental to success in any project, but when it comes to SaaS it’s even more important to focus on getting your foundations in place.
You must understand the magnitude of the task at hand, SaaS is doable, but if it was easy everyone’s products would be a success… and we can guarantee you’d find plenty of stories around failed products by spending just a handful of time researching.
Here are just a few basic elements you should know:
- What is the product?
- Who is the product for?
- Why is it the solution your target audience needs?
If you can’t answer these three basic questions then you need to slow down and refocus.
Understanding the market your product sits under is important. You need to be able to niche your product so that you can continue to improve as you go, rather than having to rip up and start again.
2. Developing your product before finding your market
Following on from the above, you should never be developing your SaaS product before finding your market – otherwise how do you know there is a place for it and that people will buy-in?
Think of it this way; you are going to be selling a product that provides the solution(s) to a problem(s) – so how will you know what’s required if you don’t know what the market needs?
You won’t know the answers to these simple questions if you have a developed product before finding your market. You don’t want to end up creating an amazing SaaS product that you can’t sell.
Not staying on top of your budget and time investment is a critical mistake. What generally happens here is funds run out and your SaaS startup halts or falls flat on its face.
It is easy to get carried away with over-developing your SaaS product, especially if you feel things are going really well… but don’t lose sight of marketing and sales. Founders and developers of a SaaS product have a key focus on creation, but there aren’t going to be any buyers if no one is hearing about or seeing the product.
The answer here is simple, allocate appropriate budget for marketing resources. Always refresh yourself of your initial strategy so that you can ensure the product gets out there through the likes of; PR campaigns, advertisement and building up a resonating audience for your brand.
If you’ve got to a stage where you’re getting no buy-in to your product or just can’t seem to get it off the ground, it might be that you’ve been unoriginal either with the product itself or the way you’re presenting it.
As a SaaS startup you need to set yourself apart from the masses. Here’s a few things to consider:
- What people should know about your company
- Why your product is great
- Why they should use your service
You should look to avoid basic throwaway terms like ‘innovative, seamless, groundbreaking’ and instead focus on the real value driven information around your product so you don’t just blend in.
5. Trying to create a perfect product before launch
We’ve said it before, SaaS isn’t easy – there will be bumps along the journey… and that’s fine. Trying to create a perfect product before launch will leave you short in several ways, but most importantly it’ll mean you aren’t learning from potential users.
Ideally, with no limitations on budget or time you’d cover every finer detail of your product, but that’s not realistic. Instead you should focus on creating a functional and comprehensive product to get it on the market so that you can start making sales to fund further improvements and build up client rapport.
A market-ready product will need to have:
- Good UX
- Functionality to solve the problem for your audience
- Clear and understandable messaging
If you’re serious about SaaS then you’re obviously willing to put in the work required to create a successful product. Your research and strategy will lead the project and ensure you don’t lose focus of the end goal, rather than trying to jump from start to finish.