7 reasons why you’ve not built a SaaS yet and why they may just be excuses.
6 min read
You’ll be surprised by the comments in a recent popular tweet I wrote, asking “Who’s building a SaaS in 2022?”. I know I was.
Before we look at each comment in more detail, I know that acronyms can be scary, so let’s debunk the myth of what a SaaS is.
A SaaS is a ‘Software as a Service’. But what’s that?
A SaaS is a piece of software that solves a specific problem.
This solution is sold to your customers, normally on a monthly or annual subscription.
This makes SaaS a popular income stream due to the recurring revenue model, also known as MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) or ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue).
Now you know what a SaaS is, let’s take a closer look at the 7 top reasons for not building one.
I don’t have any ideas for a SaaS.
You’re right, all businesses start with an idea.
The thing is, we all have ideas, we just need to learn how to tap into them.
Grab a pen & paper then write down any issues you persistently experience in your daily life.
Big or small, it doesn’t matter.
Once you’ve exhausted your list, think about solutions to those problems and specifically what software could be built to help you achieve this.
Focus on finding the most simplistic solution, also known as the MVP (Minimal Viable Product).
Your ideas will fall into one of two 2 categories:
- New market
- Existing market
From the comments made in the tweet, there was a common misconception that to build a successful SaaS, you need to create a new market.
This isn’t true. This conveniently brings us to the next reason.
All my SaaS ideas have already been built
It’s an exciting feeling when a new idea pops into your head, provoking dreams of building the next unicorn.
But if you look hard and long enough, you’ll no doubt find that the idea has already been built in one form or another.
Filled with disappointment; it’s easy to give up.
If the problem has already been solved, this is a great sign that other people have experienced the same issues and that there’s likely already a market for your service.
This is validation.
Getting validation for an idea is half the battle. Think of it as a bonus that the work has already been done by your competitor.
This frees up more time for you to figure out how you’re going to compete.
I can’t code a SaaS
Coding is one of the most valuable skills to learn in 2022.
With job openings and salaries at an all-time high, I'd recommend you consider at least learning the basics.
But I get that it's not for everyone.
Even if you have no desire to code, there are several other options you may consider.
- No-code platforms
- Find a co-founder
- Hire a developer
I traditionally build all of my projects with code. There are, however, several no-code solutions that are gaining traction in the tech world.
These no-code platforms lower the barrier for entrepreneurs and business owners to build their solutions without having to learn to code or hire a team.
Another option is to partner with a co-founder. Bringing together complementary skills can be a real advantage when building out a service.
It’s also great to have someone to bounce ideas off too.
The final option comes at a cost, but depending on your financial situation, you could hire a developer to build the solution for you.
Hiring someone else to carry out the work also frees up your own time, which leads me to the next reason.
I don’t have enough time to build a SaaS
Time is your most valuable asset. So why waste it building a SaaS?
Sure, when building any product or service undoubtedly there’ll be an investment of your time required. But that’s just what it is, an investment.
An investment that will pay you back in the long run, allowing you to effectively buy back a large proportion of your precious time in the future.
The subscription model of a SaaS business allows you to build recurring revenue which means it is not tied directly to your time.
This allows you to scale exponentially without working more hours.
I don’t have an audience for my SaaS
I’d agree that having an existing audience for your product or service can be a huge advantage. But we don’t all have this luxury at the beginning.
The good news is that building a SaaS helps you build an audience.
To boost your following, you may consider ‘building in public’.
In other words, be open and transparent about what you're building, sharing progress and insights along the way. This naturally and organically attracts attention and interest in your product or service.
Learning to engage with this fledgling audience, you’ll also be able to glean invaluable feedback that will help shape the roadmap for your SaaS and increase your chances of success.
My SaaS failed last time
Failure is just one step on the path to success.
Or, as the old proverb goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”.
Building a SaaS is an enormous learning curve, but these lessons can only truly be accessed by doing.
If you want to reach the final destination, you need to go on the journey, sometimes more than once and that's okay.
Check out this Twitter thread on my own failed SaaS business and all the lessons I learnt:
My SaaS idea is too complicated to build
Becoming overwhelmed can be the biggest trigger for procrastination and quitting altogether.
But believe it or not, not every SaaS has to be complicated and monolithic. Certainly not to start with anyway.
Focus your efforts on building the MVP (Minimal Viable Product), building only the features that are essential for the service to exist.
Not only will you save time and energy but you’ll quickly have something tangible that you can get in front of your users to get their feedback on.
Getting user feedback as early as possible in the development of a service is paramount.
You may think you know what your users want but asking them to tell you what they need, is often more valuable.
SaaS businesses are a great opportunity to learn new skills and they offer great potential to secure yourself an additional source of recurring income.
No, they’re not for everyone but just make sure you’re not missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime because you’re making excuses.
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