Tips for Startups
8 Dos and Don’ts for SaaS Startups
When launching a startup, eager entrepreneurs will often hear that inner voice that tells them “Do it!” on every idea that comes to mind. The initial euphoria that comes with every new beginning can be a great drive to work really hard on making a new business flourish. But, if untamed, that excitement can also be a curse.
If you care about making the right choices as an entrepreneur, you need to know when to greenlight strategies that would help your SaaS startup grow and when to hit the brakes on those that would delay its success or, in a worst-case scenario, make it fail.
With that in mind, we’re listing the top eight dos and don’ts every founder should learn for the sake of their SaaS startup’s future.
1. Do Use the Power of Tools That Already Exist
There’s no success without clear planning and organization. You don’t want to scribble notes or make complex spreadsheets for various operations if there is a simpler, more streamlined way.
Instead, use dedicated tools such as Friday, Basecamp, or Jira to plan and map out your projects and keep your entire team organized and 100% engaged.
To measure the performance of your marketing efforts and sales, use web analytics tools. Remember that all social media apps have integrated analytics dashboards that provide great insight into your campaigns’ performance and keep track of your posts’ engagement.
2. Do Use Links to Build Authority in Your Niche
Cultivating online relationships is what gives a brand the power to reach a greater base of customers. SEO is a complex matter to tackle, but modern businesses, and especially SaaS startups, must make constant efforts in that department if they want any visibility.
So, make building quality backlinks for your website a priority within your marketing strategy. Having established experts in your niche to vouch for your brand and services (and link to you!) is how you instill trust in high-value clients. That’s how you build authority and get to rank higher on search engines.
3. Do Get Familiar With Your Customers
As your business grows, it’s wise to refine and evolve your products and services to make them more useful and attractive. But, remember that customers evolve too!
We’re sure you’ve studied your target group before launch and learned what they want so you can cater to their needs, but you need to keep consistent and work on these insights regularly.
A good strategy here is to always engage your customers with online surveys or outreach directly to those you value the most. Studying your analytics tools can also provide key data on how your customers’ buying patterns shift.
4. Do Make Your Offer Straightforward and Accessible
Sure, your product might be complex or simply feature a multitude of functionalities. But to those that are interested in finding simple solutions, complex offers tend to have the opposite effect on their curiosity.
So, explain how your services work in a plain and simple manner. Introduce clean infographics and short, quality content that demonstrates why your product works.
Use this as a rule of thumb: if people outside your niche can easily understand what your solution is all about and learn its value, it means you’re doing it right.
5. Don’t Focus Solely on Your Competition
Learning what your successful competitors do to get where they are should definitely be on your to-do list for building a strong SaaS startup. However, you shouldn’t dwell on all of their tactics without working to figure out an original approach.
Following the exact path your competition took to hit the jackpot will only leave your startup in their shadows. Instead, learn your competitors’ shortcomings and weaknesses and ensure you aim in that direction.
For instance, if they don’t use social media tools properly, use those platforms to get ahead. You can also focus on targeting the keywords that they don’t use to capture a portion of the customers that are being left out.
6. Don’t Leave the Web with Your Marketing Efforts
Wasting precious resources on offline marketing is a terrible strategy for a SaaS startup. Your applications and services are online – and so are your prospects, seeking online solutions to their problems. So why would you even think about offline promotions?
You can always make offline efforts to demonstrate your credibility and put the word about your startup out there, but the online marketing alternatives are far cheaper and deliver way more positive ROI.
7. Don’t Be Greedy with Your Pricing
You need to be perfectly honest about the solutions that you’ve created and are now trying to market. Chances are, your tools have a good share of shortcomings and bugs that need sorting out, especially when your SaaS business is still in its cradle.
You’d want to please your customers as much as possible, so you need to keep your prices reasonable until your brand and products are perfected and ready to ask for big dollars.
Also, don’t perform marketing suicide and offer your services without a free trial. When you’re only new to the game, you can’t expect to gain traction if you’re not willing to let prospects try out your solutions.
8. Don’t Invent Tools That Are Already Out There
Today’s SaaS market is pretty much oversaturated with all kinds of web applications. While that doesn’t mean that your idea is invalid, it won’t see much light if it doesn’t bring something new to the table.
For example, when people need payment solutions for their ecommerce stores, they already have Stripe and Square. There’s no need for more of the same in the myriad of tools in that market.
Even then, you don’t have to invent solutions that no one ever thought of before – you can still keep innovating and refining. Whether it’s a new approach to pricing or another way of achieving substantial team productivity, you can still redesign staple applications and present a new, different way of giving customers an incentive to do business with you.
The challenges that we’ve talked about above are almost inevitable in the first few years of managing your SaaS startup.
Following the simple rules and implementing the tips that tackle each of these challenges will not only secure a lifeline for your business but build a foundation for a successful company for decades to come.
Tips for Startups
Ways to Make Your Startup Hit the Ground Running
Few things are more exciting than being involved in a startup company. You feel as if there is nothing that this business cannot achieve and you are full of optimism. Of course, this excitement is likely to come with a lot of nerves and caution. There is no guarantee in the slightest that this business is going to succeed. However, you have to remain hopeful and positive.
Getting off to a good start is important for your new business. After all, there is a good chance you put a lot of money into this startup. So, you want to start trying to make that back as soon as you can. Hitting the ground running is essential for a new business. So, you should be trying to do everything you can to make that happen. If you need some advice on how to attain that, consider the following.
Team Building Before Opening
Teamwork is an essential part of any company, group, or organisation. Of course, when you are a new company, there is a good chance that you are all a group of strangers. Opening your doors on the first day with no sense of teamwork is going to end in disaster. This is why it is going to be good to start some team building well in advance of your opening date. This means that when it does come to the time to open your doors, you are all familiar with one another. Although team-building exercises can at times seem childish, they are going to help out a lot. When there is a sense of unity within your staff, this helps you to get through a tough opening period, as well as improves the start of your new journey.
Right Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy should come well in advance of your opening date. This helps to generate a lot more excitement for when that big opening day does come. Get active on social media and build up a following. Having countdowns to the big day might seem like a small thing to do. However, it is going to make it feel like a big occasion. Even when it comes to the likes of nonprofits, you are going to want to get people excited about your cause. Nonprofit fundraising software can help out with this massively. Having this sort of strategy is going to get people more engaged with your cause.
Plan an Opening Event
Hosting a launch gives your startup the opening that it deserves. Not to mention it gives your potential consumers something to look forward to. An opening event should feel like a big deal. After all, it is going to be the start of a new journey for you and your team. Having a DJ, food, deals, etc all give people a reason to come and check out your new company. This is also going to give an extra edge to your marketing, which is something you should strive for.
Tips for Startups
Save on Startup Costs by Choosing the Right Energy Provider
Energy costs are often underestimated when calculating startup cash flow and expenditures. Since energy prices continue to increase, expenses rise, and customer purchasing power rapidly declines, startups can struggle to meet their financial obligations.
Several energy providers, including Ofgem, predict that the rising cost of utilities will force many businesses to operate below the fuel line. However, the impact can be reduced by switching to a more affordable energy provider and improving energy efficiency. You may want to read more to find out how you can easily switch business energy suppliers and save money on your energy bills.
Electricity Service Basics
Your power supply and delivery are both parts of your overall service. Your local utility controls the delivery system and owns the cables that enter your property, so changing it is not an option.
Your choice of energy provider is, however, somewhat flexible. The local utility is the default supplier for business owners, and they typically charge a monthly variable rate. The default supplier for business owners is the local utility, and they typically charge a monthly variable rate. Here’s where business owners should consider switching energy providers to save big.
Switching Energy Suppliers
Ofgem introduced Faster Switching in July 2022. The regulatory project is designed to assist domestic and non-domestic consumers in switching from one energy supplier to another, making the process easier, faster, and less expensive.
You can easily and quickly find the most affordable rates by comparing prices online or working with an energy broker. Companies often choose the most inexpensive electricity or gas because these are commodities.
When your existing contract expires, you can choose your new tariff. Suppliers handle all the paperwork for the new system during the transition, so there is no sense of helplessness.
What To Consider Before Switching Energy Suppliers
It is important to consider several factors before switching energy providers.
How Soon Can You Switch?
You can usually switch your business energy when you have a deemed or a default energy contract. In most cases, it applies if you are moving to a new location, if your fixed-term contract has expired, or if a new contract has not been signed.
Furthermore, you are not bound by any terms under your business energy contract if it has expired. Some contracts for business energy require notice. If you’re unsure about your notice period, check your terms or contact your supplier.
Getting a Competitive Energy Rate for Your Business
It is crucial that your startup gets the best deal when switching energy suppliers. Using a comparison site or working with an energy broker to find the best energy provider for your startup could result in savings on your energy bill. There is a good chance that the variable rate your utility charges will often be considerably lower than the competitive rates offered by suppliers competing for your business.
Consider Switching From Variable To Fixed Rate
Consider the situation where you are unaware of your energy options and don’t select the electricity provider that meets your needs. In that case, you will most likely be charged a variable rate since your local utility will supply you with electricity by default.
Depending on the month, the variable rate may fluctuate significantly. Hence, switching to a fixed-rate plan gives you the peace of mind that your rate will remain stable for the duration of your contract.
When Should You Not Change Your Energy Supplier?
If you have to pay the exit fee or penalty to end your current contract and the penalty is greater than the savings you might realize, you should not change energy providers. While evaluating whether there are better energy suppliers for you, do not change suppliers before your contract has expired.
If you are considering switching to renewable energy sources like solar panels, the financial savings from switching to renewable energy might outweigh the marginally higher price or exit fee.
If your current energy supplier goes out of business due to the current energy crisis, Ofgem will automatically find a new provider for you. Continue taking meter readings while Ofgem coordinates the switch.
If you’re wasting energy, your bill will remain high even if you switch energy suppliers and get the lowest tariff. You can significantly reduce your energy bills by switching out light bulbs, using a programmable thermostat, and using energy-efficient equipment.
Tips for Startups
Easy Hacks To Overcome Startup Lead Generation Pitfalls
Startup entrepreneurs encounter several common challenges during the early stages of business. From cash constraints to operational bottlenecks and recruitment issues, everything seems to go against them. But the sheer dream of launching a startup keeps them going. Lead generation is another concern you may face when new in the business landscape. After all, convincing buyers to choose you over established brands can take a lot of work. But it is one thing startups cannot survive and grow without. Fortunately, you can embrace an actionable plan to build a robust sales pipeline for your business. Let us share a few easy hacks to overcome startup lead generation pitfalls.
Gather audience data
Relying on guesswork is the worst way to generate leads for your startup because it may never pay. Moreover, not getting them in the initial stages can topple your growth plans and hit your motivation levels. Gathering audience data is the key to your customer’s heart as it enables you to target the right audience at the right time. Besides following the correct data, you must keep up with the timelines. Failing to reconnect with leads within a reasonable amount of time is a surefire way to drive them away for good.
Think beyond referrals
When you just land in the market, you tend to rely on referrals. It seems the most sensible thing as people hardly know your brand, and you have a minimal marketing budget. Undoubtedly, the word-of-mouth marketing tactic plays a significant role for startups, but it is not enough. You cannot rely on it to get authentic leads, and it may cost more than you imagine, as people expect incentives to spread the word. A small but strategic lead generation campaign puts your business in a better place. The best part is that you can scale it over time.
Since launching a campaign is essential, you can consider outsourcing expertise instead of hiring an in-house team for the job. The good thing is that you can find custom lead generation services at a fraction of the cost of recruiting and managing an in-house team. Since these are seasoned experts, they can get your pipeline flowing sooner than later. You are in a better place to give your business a great start with specialists handling your lead generation process from the outset.
Prioritize quality over quantity
Startups should focus on prospects that are more likely to convert instead of chasing a broader audience. Spreading your net too wide can deplete time and resources, so it is always better to take a targeted approach. Fortunately, lead generation experts can help you prioritize quality over quantity. Your sales team can take on from there and achieve more with less with a list of prospects with high conversion potential. At this stage, it is easy to personalize campaigns according to the pain points and expectations of the target audience.
Nurture new leads
Generating new leads for your startup is only half the work. You also have to nurture them to make the most of the list from your outsourcing partner. Everything boils down to engaging consistently with your customers. It convinces them that you have the best option to resolve their pain points, so they definitely reach out for solutions to their future concerns. Besides boosting sales, nurturing your customers also strengthens your startup brand enough to compete with the top players. Creating valuable and interactive content is the key to lead nurturing, so ensure having it ready.
Track ROI for your campaigns
Tracking the ROI of campaigns is crucial for all businesses, even more for startups running on tight budgets. You must absolutely do it to learn about the gaps in your campaign and ideate ways to correct them for a better conversion rate in the long run. You can measure the campaign ROI by defining key metrics and using tracking tools from the start. Analyzing these metrics enables you to find pitfalls along the conversion funnel and address them with relevant strategies. A little effort is often enough to fine-tune the campaign for better outcomes.
Startups often struggle to get new leads and convert them into customers because they fail to take a strategic approach from the outset. But it is easy to define a strategy and get the best results if you follow these simple steps. Most importantly, let experts do the heavy lifting so that your sales team can focus on driving real results by chasing only the deals that are most likely to close.
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