If you’re contemplating starting a business, there’s a good chance you’ve considered starting it in the SaaS space. As consumers, we’re familiar with the ease of creating a login and having a solution at our fingertips within seconds. At one point, you signed up for a team communication app and were messaging with others moments later. Another time, you inputted your email address and were on your way to managing your time better with a new productivity app...at least until the latest meme caught your eye.
Regardless, the magic of SaaS extends to the creators of cloud computing software too. Two of the major benefits of building a SaaS product are a highly scalable business model and monthly or annual recurring revenue. SaaS is an easy sell for aspiring entrepreneurs. The hard part is coming up with SaaS business ideas that you can turn into viable ventures.
What’s your problem?
Good news: your problems can help you. One of the simplest ways to deliver a solution that the market wants is by attacking an issue that you personally face, or, as it’s commonly said, “scratching your own itch”. This is how Baremetrics was born!
Consider the following questions:
- What problems are disrupting your personal life?
- What solutions would pull you out of a professional rut?
- What’s a project you’re working on that’s stalled or indefinitely delayed? Why?
- What’s a tool that could help you achieve better health?
Get better at translating your problems into business ideas that can be adapted into a cloud solution. Start a note on your phone or carry around a journal to jot down the pain points you experience throughout a day, week, or month. Then, brainstorm the corresponding SaaS business idea.
Wait, what was that?
If you can’t come up with one problem to tackle, much less ninety-nine, it’s time to practice active listening.
- What’s a reoccurring problem a friend or family member is up against?
- What’s upper management at your job dealing with?
- What existing software solution is failing so solve your colleagues needs?
If you’re interested in SaaS, chances are you spend a good amount of time online. Web communities and social networks make searching for problems easier than ever.
- Check out Ask Product Hunt for the solutions people are seeking out
- Scan through posts in various subreddits on Reddit for the issues users are discussing.
Let’s get real: the internet is filled with people complaining about their problems. Zero in and pick one that speaks to you.
Good Problems, Bad Problems
Rather than thinking about what constitutes a good solution, consider what makes a good problem. Not all problems are conducive to SaaS business ideas. Here’s what makes a good problem in the world of SaaS:
Specific - As a rule, look for problems that are specific rather than general. Sure “project management” is an issue. But for professionals in what industry? What’s specific about their issue that can’t be resolved with existing tools? Asking the right questions and build for the solution is the difference between product adoption and zero traction.
Long-term and Recurring - One-off issues and temporary conundrums aren’t ideal candidates for SaaS business ideas. Think of problems that persist over a long period of time. For instance, “the stress of planning a 200-guest wedding as a bride” loses out over “the complexity of running a boutique event planning agency that plans 40 weddings/year”. The bride is planning a wedding for a finite amount of time: until her wedding day. An agency has the potential to run for decades.
High-Growth Space - Like any other business idea, consideration should be given to whether a problem exists in a growing or fading space. Find a middle ground between problems that exist in dying industries and saturated sectors.
The Right User - As simple as SaaS has become for end-users, there are people who will never move away from old school solutions like excel or good old fashioned pen and paper. Ensure that anyone you build for has a willingness to try new SaaS products or is already doing so.
Trust the Process
It’s unlikely that you’ll find the perfect problem to solve for immediately. If you do, make every attempt to find the flaws in your solution and get potential users to do the same. This shouldn’t be easy.