So you want to start a SaaS?

photo-1470145318698-cb03732f5ddfWell, there’s one really important thing that you need to know.

This is NOT passive income. Not even slightly.

So often, when people talk to me about starting a new SaaS or app, they are so wrapped up in what the system will do that they forget that they are not just building an application, they are building a business! And businesses require a lot of work, maintenance, and attention. Essentially, a business is like a child … your child.

Imagine that you want to open a restaurant and are determined to serve the best food out there! Good for you! But, have you considered where the restaurant will be located? Who will staff it? Who will cook that amazing food you keep talking about?

Well, starting a SaaS is basically the same.

Here are a just a few (definitely not all) questions you should ask yourself if you’re looking to start a SaaS:

Who is going to answer the phone?

Before you start volunteering yourself for this task, take a step back.

Do you currently have a full-time job? If so, how are you going to juggle both? Will you need to hire someone to handle this for you? Can you even afford to hire someone else?

photo-1465515779535-63e31c612e53Let’s look at the options:

  1. Do it yourself – Between your full-time gig, a social life, relationships, and just doing life in general, eventually something will have to give. You may be able to keep this up for a while, but you’re going to exhaust yourself.
  2. Hire someone locally – Maybe this person has experience with SaaS startups, or maybe you just hire anyone who can answer the phone. But if you don’t find someone who can actually answer the questions coming in, you may end up doing all of the work yourself anyway.
  3. Outsource – An outsourced team will likely know exactly what they are doing, but you want to make sure that whatever team you outsource won’t drop the ball. However, with the help of an Information Architect, you can find the right team for your project and trust that everything will be taken care of effectively.

Take a moment to really consider your options here. Don’t just jump in blindly.

What insurance do you need?

“What?! Insurance?”

Those are the first couple words out of most clients’ mouths when I bring that up. Well, you probably need to look into that one.

Hate to break it to you, but you need insurance. Sorry about that.

Who is going to maintain the system once it’s up and running?

starting a SaaSYou? Someone else?

Then we get back to the “Can you even afford to hire someone?” question.

Software is never done. There is always a new feature, a new request, the next version, some issue that needs to be fixed, etc. and software doesn’t build itself. So, someone (you or otherwise) will need to keep working on this thing once it’s built.

Can you even afford that? How much revenue do you need to bring in to keep adding on or fixing things? What kinds of costs are you looking at?

There’s a lot to think about.

And this is just scratching the surface of questions you need to ask yourself.

Don’t worry, I’m gonna pose a few more questions you may not have considered. Stay tuned for my next post. And if you have a question, leave a comment and I will address it in my next blog!