Starting a software-as-a-service business or micro-SaaS company can be profitable. First, you need to come up with the right idea. In this blog, we'll show you why Idea validation is important and guide to validating your idea. From finding the right market, checking whether the product idea has a large enough demand and figuring out if it's worth taking proactively.
Let’s get started!
What Is SaaS?
SaaS is a type of application that can be used by customers remotely or over the internet. This means it isn’t downloaded and installed on a device, but instead accessed remotely.
SaaS solutions are booming. Slack, Dropbox, and Salesforce are some of the most popular examples.
Every SaaS business has a few telltale characteristics, and here's what they are:
- Software is usually paid for one month or year at a time so that customers can use it as much as they want to.
- They're cloud-based, so you can access them from anywhere with internet access.
- Free models often come with a much more limited selection of features, but you can upgrade to the premium paid version for more control.
Combined with the potential for recurring revenue, scalability, and free-to-paid demand generation, the SaaS model is popular among entrepreneurs.
What is Saas ideas Validation?
Validating your potential customers is a crucial step in SaaS product development. We are going through the process of finding out who is willing to pay for your product and how many of them there are.
It can be quite tempting to believe you have the next web sensation on your hands when everyone around you is confirming that your instincts are spot on. It can also be easy to get overly optimistic about large amounts of website traffic. That being said, it's crucial not to get caught up in the hype & avoid falling for scams.
Getting validation right can make a big difference in conversion rates.
Why is Saas ideas validation important?
Being an entrepreneur requires you to have a lot of risk tolerance and a sense for adventure. But even if you have this, it is sometimes helpful to have someone with expertise offer some input to help refine your ideas.
In any business, you will need to make assumptions which can be fed into a data-driven decision model. But by utilising validation techniques you can be more confident in your evaluations and shape your model to meet your needs. This not only saves time and effort; it also means invaluable insights that can
When you make a product that truly meets a need of your audience and you can validate it, then they will overlook the bugs at launch. Customers are much more likely to remain if you provide a high-quality product, but there are just a few minor tweaks that can make all the difference between success and failure. Feedback is one way to keep people loyal.
How to go about validating your Saas idea?
Starting a business is hard work because it demands that you master many skills in order to create something valuable. The key to avoiding the risk? Solving real problems for people – problems that they’re motivated about enough so as to actually pay you for your solution.
There are many different ways to generate SaaS ideas. We’ll dive deeper into these strategies in a moment, but whichever methods we use, we will follow a similar process from brainstorming through to prototyping:
- Think about who your product is best suited for and make lists of potential segments to target.
- Brainstorm a list of potential problems or challenges that your target markets might face. These include things like the following:
- Once you have a list of potential problems, try to come up with software solutions that can address those issues.
- Before you come up with your next idea, evaluate it. Is it something that can be pulled off by you? Is there enough demand for this product? Will people pay to have this problem solved?
Using this framework has a lot of advantages, including:
- You know your target customer in order to identify their market and needs. This gives you a clear direction when it comes to user research as well as marketing initiatives.
- You will know what the problem is that you are solving and be able to establish that there is a real need for it.
- You’ll validate that there's demand in the market
- You’ll confirm your capacity to provide the desired result
One way to make sure that your idea is a good one is to discuss it with some people. This will ensure that it's problem-focused and that you've done some market research before spending too much time on validation.
The inputs we have available to us will always be there, but this is the framework we’ll keep coming back to when generating and vetting SaaS ideas. Here’s a checklist for it. After validating, we come to….
Building a Prototype
Though a prototype is usually considered an early version of a product, it can also mean the pitch that accompanies your idea. A prototype is not fully functional or polished but it can present and pitch your product quickly and effectively.
Building a prototype is quick and starts with anything from a sketch to a 3D model. An advanced form of a prototype, then, is an MVP - which is the almost finished version of your idea that you can use to show off what it's all about.
Read more: Difference between MVP and Prototype; Which one to choose?
For example, if you were developing an online course, an MVP could be a YouTube tutorial or a blog post. It won't feel as polished or feature-rich as eLearning platform software but it can achieve the main goal of teaching people how to do something.
Since it takes more time and effort to create than a raw prototype, an MVP will yield better feedback. It is more specific and actionable which allows the feedback you get to be more refined and focused.
Generally, you can create an MVP only after a series of tests to determine if the idea has traction. Tests will find out whether or not there is an audience and what they want/need. Once you've done the research, you'll have a much deeper understanding of what makes your customer tick. This understanding can then be used as the inspiration for your product, which you can then refine based on feedback from potential customers.
These days, it doesn’t take much time or resources to build a successful MVP, thanks to the digital space. There are several platforms that provide various options for off-the-ground products and for quick deliveries at low rates.
It's important to remember that a prototype or MVP doesn't contain the full function of your product idea. Spending too much time trying to create the perfect one is not worth it during this stage. Your goal should be to identify what is working best and then improve on it as you iterate on your product idea.
Prototypes can be really helpful throughout the validation process. To name a few examples, they help you get information from the target audience and pitch our project to investors.
Saas idea validation is more than the sum of it’s parts
Saas idea validation is not just a process you follow before launching a product. It represents a philosophy of innovation. How to innovate, what's important, and how to turn your dreams into reality. The key to success is to innovate in a sustainable way and make sure that your changes are making the world a better place.
“Our major focus has been to make the company itself highly scalable and sustainable so that, in the future, it can support a billion people with our product.”
- Peyman Hosseini, Co-Founder of Peek
It’s better to validate your ideas before you create them, of course, but it’s also important to be open to changing the direction when needed. “Better late than never” could apply in this situation. Before wasting more time & money on a pet project, ask your audience. Understand who they are and what their problems are. Check that your product offers a real solution and that this solution is valuable to them.
There are many online tools out there that make these unknowns a little more tangible. From surveys to sample groups to competitive research, any steps taken to validate your product are likely in turn to improve your productivity. Just think, if more startups included a succession plan and the importance of mentorship in their startup approach, the failure rates might be much lower.