Launching a new SaaS startup in a cutthroat market is challenging. But the end result can be rewarding when properly executed. There is little forgiveness for mistakes and miscalculations. This article will explain when and how you should scale your SaaS startup while avoiding common pitfalls.
Don’t scale too early, when you aren’t ready for it. If you are still operating in any of the following phases, stop now. Go back to work, and acquire your first ten customers before you even think about scaling. Let’s walk through these pre-scaling phases:
If you have already gone through these phases, congratulations! You are now ready to begin the initial SaaS scaling process. Otherwise, do everything manually. This includes customer support, application deployments, and billing. Continue until you validate your market and acquire paying customers. I recommend reading this article to understand the SaaS startup phases.
It’s vital for SaaS startups to think of scaling as a gradual process. I’ve witnessed many startups living in the dream that their software will become viral overnight. They pour time and resources into getting ready for their “big moment.” That moment never happens, and even if by magic or extraordinary circumstances it does, it will not meet your expectations. I’ve learned this the hard way.
The scaling process is gradual. Don’t scale your entire business at once, and don’t scale until you need to. Each scaling stage will cost you time and resources, so it’s best to prioritize your needs and scale accordingly.
At ServiceBot, we usually target three areas when we look to scale a SaaS startup. Billing, customer relations, and cloud infrastructure. Each area targets a different function of your SaaS business. The order in which you decide to scale is based on your current customer feedback and operation pipeline. One might speak to you more than others based on your current needs. Let’s go through these areas.
Most SaaS businesses adopt the subscription billing model. If you are spending time sending manual invoices and reminders to your customers. If you are manually tracking free trials, and aren’t providing tiered SaaS offerings, you may want to start scaling your billing system first.
Scaling your billing processes is dependent on your billing structure. But there are some common improvements any SaaS business can implement to scale their accounting:
Other features consist of giving refunds and credits to the customers. It is also able to apply additional charges to a running software, and giving customers payment approval rights.
If you are ready to start scaling your billing system, write down the functionalities that are necessary for your SaaS business. There are many applications that could help you scale your SaaS billing system, such as Stripe, Chargify, or ServiceBot.
You may have already started off with a customer relation management system to manage all your customers. But CRM goes a lot further than just managing customers. Your relationship with your customer starts the second they land on your website. If you aren’t gathering enough user data, then you are losing customers.
There are some common features to think about once you are ready to scale your customer relationship system:
Scaling your customer relationship system can help you increase your conversion rate. There are many tools on the market that can help you scale your CRM system. Intercom and Inspectlet integration with ServiceBot is a great start to scale your SaaS CRM.
Scaling deployments requires proper architecture and planning. During this phase, you will be adding an auto deployment system. There customers can instantly get access to your software without you doing any manual work.
To automate and scale your deployment system, you should think about the following steps:
To learn more about stabilizing your cloud infrastructure, I recommend this article.
Don’t start scaling until you have gathered all your requirements and understand the full scope of your SaaS scale processes. Give yourself enough time to scale; no software ever works well when development is rushed. Make sure there is proper architecture in place prior to development.
Take advantage of the tools that are out there for you. ServiceBot SaaS management software is a great place to start scaling up your SaaS startup.