Software as a Service
With the explosive expansion of the internet and personal computers over the last thirty years, the number of avenues for the aspiring entrepreneur or business owner to follow have been multiplied by a major factor. As the software and tech industries grew in maturity and stature, so too did many of the ways in which they conduct business. A new type of company arose, one selling software as a service (also known as SaaS). These companies sell subscriptions to high-functioning business and personal software, profiting repeatedly off of licensing agreements rather than a one-time purchase price. If you’re seriously considering an entrance into the competitive world of software as a service, there are a few things you need to do first.
The most obvious objective at the outset has to do with your product. While software as a service does sell a subscription to a piece of software, which businesses then go on to use as a recurring service, there is absolutely a need for product development before the launch of your subscription service. That means software development, in this case. Whether you design and code your own software, or simply hire one of thousands of freelancers available online for fractions of the cost of a traditional software developer, it all starts with your software. Once you have successfully developed and tested your software, you’re just about ready to begin work on the business aspect.
Sales and Marketing
It should go without saying that any SaaS company relies heavily on sales and marketing. You’re likely going to need to hire a few additional sales people, whether on a full-time or contract basis will have to do with the depth and appeal of your software service. Once you bring on a few sales people you can really start to increase your growth. In the past, analysts have often found that software as a service companies hit a sort of high water mark at a certain point in their growth. By this I mean that once a certain number of sales have been made, a certain market share acquired, growth tends to start happening more organically.
Let’s look at two of the largest software as a service companies in our current market as examples. Oracle and Salesforce are both multi-billion dollar companies selling SaaS. Taking a look at Salesforce in particular, they have developed a sales platform that has become the industry standard in terms of CRM (customer relationship management). That means that just about any company looking to do high-volume sales is going to require a subscription to Salesforce. This is the result of years of growth and development, as well as a stellar product. Don’t rule this out for your own software as a service business, all it takes is a little grit and a good idea.
While this is just a brief introduction to the fast-moving world of software as a service, I hope that you have gained a better understanding of this interesting and high-tech sector. There is a lot of money to be made in software as a service sales and development, you just have to get started!