Oleksandr Fesak

Oleksandr Fesak

CEO

SaaS stands for Software as a Service, which is simply a cloud-based application accessible via a smartphone (mobile app) or web interface (web app). SaaS applications have been developed since around the beginning of the 21st century. Among top SaaS companies that we are well familiar with are Dropbox, Slack, Google Drive, and others.

Customers like SaaS because they just work. They are easy to set up, you don't have to install anything in order to use the software. There's a very little risk of data loss due to hardware failures or operational errors.

Investors like SaaS because its economics look much more attractive than selling software licenses. Revenues from SaaS companies are typically regular and easy to predict so business management is easier with them.

SaaS startups are turning into a mainstream in the software development industry. In this article, I will examine the following topics:

  • Why SaaS startups are so popular today.
  • SaaS platform benefits for the customer.
  • Unique SaaS ideas for 2022.
  • Ways to brainstorm your own SaaS ideas.
  • Ways to validate SaaS startup ideas.
  • Recommendations for building MVP for SaaS platform.

Why SaaS startups are so popular today

Pricing models on the subscription basis are increasingly adopted by the companies to satisfy their IT needs, despite limited IT budgets. That's especially relevant for small and medium businesses. Yet, established enterprises don't look down on Software as a Service either. Rather, they embrace an enterprise grade SaaS business model to meet diverse needs with agile, modern solutions.

In fact, SaaS adoption is growing across all industries as it facilitates business management significantly. Here are some stats about SaaS companies today:

  • Currently, the SaaS market is growing by 18% each year.
  • One or more SaaS products are used by 99% of organizations in 2022.
  • Nearly 78% of small businesses already use SaaS software.
  • The adoption rate of SaaS in the healthcare niche is 20% per year.
  • 70% of CIOs claim that agility and scalability are two of the top motivators for using Software as a Service.

SaaS platform benefits for the customers

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SaaS companies provide the following benefits to customers:

  • SaaS software delivers higher strategic value versus on-premise software deployments. By utilizing a SaaS model, software deployment time is reduced from several weeks to a few minutes.
  • Enterprise SaaS solutions provide users with a wide range of options to get the job done. Therefore, organizations are experiencing a higher level of employee engagement thanks to feature-rich SaaS products designed to improve user experience for their customers.
  • SaaS companies are capable of pushing feature updates, bug fixes, and security updates on the fly. With on-premise deployments, these revisions once had to pass through several layers of organizational protocols and governance.

As a result of successful SaaS adoption, enterprises and software vendors have become more capable of delivering the necessary functionalities and features to the end users, resulting in increased popularity of SaaS startups compared to on-premise software development. SaaS companies are constantly working on extending their software capabilities for the end consumers.

7 unique SaaS ideas for 2022

You might think that the best SaaS ideas are already there and running, but in reality, tech world is far from being perfect yet. There is always something useful you can invent and that can later be found among top SaaS tools in the industry. Here are a few startup ideas to consider:

1. Intelligent web search

The idea of such a SaaS product is the development of an AI-powered search tool that saves users time and finally returns only relevant search results.

Problem

Many of us use search engines and spend too much time looking over the search results in order to find the exact information needed.

Search engines display search results based on keyword matches, the number of external links to the page, and some other less important factors. Although Google and other search engines focus on quality content, the metrics they use are mainly based on page size, the number of images, and overall user experience, which obviously doesn't mean the page contains an exact answer to the user's query.

Solution

The idea of such a SaaS product is to create an AI-powered software that will perform a search function more effectively. With the help of intelligent scoring algorithms, users will receive the most accurate, relevant snippets in response to their search queries.

The SaaS startup can keep expanding by utilizing private documents in different niches rather than just searching through public data. A system can also self-educate based on the short Yes/No feedbacks given by users after they perform a search.

Competition

Currently, there exist only intelligent search solutions for enterprises, they work with the data from private documentation only. That data can be massive, but it is not up-to-date data from the web. The idea described above is not yet implemented in any of the SaaS startups or sustained products on the market. Among the intelligent search systems for enterprises I can name Algolia and IBM Watson Discovery.

Demand

According to moz.com, 77% of internet users search for things online 3+ times a day. According to searchengineland.com, more than 50% of Google searches end with with no clicks made on any search results.

Evidently, internet users require high-quality internet search, whether for personal use or commercial content management needs. A segment of them would prefer a subscription-based search of premium quality.

2. A smart assistant that aids in building an action plan to achieve a particular goal

An AI-powered tool will analyze the web and compose an action plan based on a user's final goal.

Problem

People may encounter two common problems when composing an action plan. The first problem lies in missing a really important detail in the plan, while the second one is a completely wrong direction. Each of these problems can lead to disappointment and poor results.

Solution

An intelligent tool will thoroughly analyse the public information from the web to provide an accurate and precise action plan for the user.

Competition

There is a very popular intelligent tool called Jasper.ai, but its purpose is different. It is used for creating unique auto-generated content based the on the public information, that has been researched in the web and structured. The idea described above is similar to Jasper, but can be used for composing action plans only. There are no such tools available yet.

Demand

Currently, people do not search directly for such tools. But everyone understands the cost of mistakes and wants to reduce the number of errors made during the planning process. So this is where the opportunity lies.

3. B2B SaaS product for capturing user feedback via voice rather than text

A SaaS survey app to allow businesses collect feedback via voice rather than text. It will then extract the sentiment via AI and present a report with the analysis. This and a few other ideas for SaaS startups have been taken from partnerkin.com blog.

Problem

There is a part of consumers that do not want to leave text feedback as they would rather leave it in voice. In that case, businesses miss out on the value they could have got if there were appropriate tools available.

Solution

A SaaS product can provide businesses with the necessary integration, needed for additional marketing automation. It will have such features as receiving voice feedback, analyzing it via AI algorithms to extract the sentiment, data aggregation for providing statistics necessary for the business manager.

Competition

There are several different SaaS startups that help businesses receive feedback for a particular product or service, and also calculate a customer satisfaction score. But there are no capabilities to easily get the voice feedback from consumers, and this is where the opportunity lies.

Demand

Such businesses as Ecommerce are always in need of getting continuous feedback from their end users. They would be able to collect more reviews through the proposed B2B SaaS product and thus make better-considered decisions regarding the quality of their service.

4. A tool for procrastinators

A project management micro SaaS app that charges only when you don't complete a task.

Problem

Procrastination means delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute. It can have a major impact on your job, business, and private life.

Solution

A simple project management software can be created, where the user pays for each incomplete task. This could businesses end procrastination among employees once and for all.

Competition

There are some existing SaaS startups aimed to beat procrastination, like RescueTime, but none of them have the motivation model described above.

Demand

Procrastination among employees is a common problem, there is a huge amount of Google searches about that, and there will always be a demand for services that help to deal with it.

5. Intelligent brand development tool

User only needs to enter certain parameters and the AI-powered tool will provide them with a full brand statement, functional benefits, brand personality, and even taglines.

Problem

Usually, business owners or marketing departments spend too much effort writing the texts for their brand, like goals, target customers, mission, competitive advantages, and so on.

Solution

This SaaS idea is about creating an AI-powered tool that creates relevant brand statements based on certain input parameters. In the course of the analysis, the algorithm will also utilize public information from the web.

Competition

Currently, there are several brand statement generators available online, but they are focused on particular brand statements only, like a mission, privacy policy or terms of use. In addition, the quality is below average.

Demand

Business owners want intelligent assistance so they can concentrate on their business management and get some decent content management help. Ultimately, their revenue depends on it.

6. Time management SaaS solutions for a specific audience

A SaaS time management platform that provides certain tools to specific users, such as truck drivers.

Problem

There are hundreds of industries, and thousands of total activities that the employees should perform on time. The problem is that very few of them use the generic time management software, but rather schedule all the actions manually.

Solution

This management software would remind them when to take breaks, sleep, or perform other industry-specific activities. It would be highly useful due to increased automation, and the users would not need to manually schedule the activities.

Competition

There is a huge room for maneuvering because there are hundreds of industries and a number of specialties within each.

Demand

Just like with the high demand for generic time management platform, we can predict that the demand for industry-specific time management system would be the same. However, the exact industry and specialty are the areas for further research for this SaaS idea.

7. Personalized video rendering

This SaaS idea can be applied for the entertainment field, it would allow people to generate personalized videos with the use of inserted photos, and share such gifts with friends.

Problem

It is rather an opportunity than a problem if we talk about the entertainment industry.

Solution

The objective of this SaaS app is to use the video template, insert the personalized photos and texts by the algorithm, and offer a video file download for the small price.

Competition

This service is not popular so far, possibly because of the lack of great propositions on the market.

Demand

People like personalized video content if it is great, and there are pretty high chances this SaaS startup will be viral.

Ways to brainstorm your own SaaS business ideas

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To generate your own SaaS startup ideas you should follow these rules:

  • Find people's problems you can solve, rather than SaaS ideas. It is only relevant, though, if the product is not about entertainment in B2C business model.
  • You should consider the demand and growth rate of your future SaaS product. It's important that people use your service and bring you revenue for months, not just occasionally. You should make sure your main focus is not just keeping your product alive. You should focus on building a fast growing SaaS product where the retention of existing customers is a must.
  • Don't invent something entirely new. You aren't big enough to create a market from scratch for your SaaS startups. Find something in your niche that lacks useful features, is based on outdated technology, or that could simply be improved with some additional services.
  • Find the right keywords. Your SaaS startups can be promoted via social media and social engagement like video Ads, but if you have good keywords with volume and fair competition, then why not to use them in your SEO strategy?

Below are provided some proven methods of finding business ideas for SaaS startups.

The Job Search method

Examine job offers in a particular industry. Pay attention to job descriptions. Determine if there are some routines performed by the employees on a regular basis and if you can help them reduce the time and effort spent on that.

As a final step, check if there are related keywords with the sufficient volume. It will tell you if people feel the problem and actively look for the ways to optimize their tasks. If not, then your main traffic source to promote your product is going to be paid social ads, especially in the beginning.

The App Store method

Choose an app store (Apple, Google Play, Salesforce, Chrome, Shopify, etc), select the category, and sort results by ratings. You should analyse 1-star reviews of the top apps in a category. You will see that people discuss their problems there. Based on this information, you can compose a list of problems and turn it into the best SaaS startup idea.

The What-they're-using-Excel-for method

Research what people use Excel spreadsheets for. You can take advantage of public surveys to do this. Many competing approaches might be available to solve the problem, some of which involve employee time and paper, others involving spreadsheets, while there may be some that involve one of several competing software solutions, none of which has a dominant market share.

The Meat Grinder method

According to the Meat Grinder approach (by Tyler Tringas), you should come up with five business ideas for SaaS startups every day. This part should be basically effortless. A successful business idea is a result of running hundreds of ideas through the meat grinder of questions. There's an active effort to find holes in the idea and stress test it. Beat it up, try to find the ways to discard it, and move to the next one. In brainstorming, the quantity is more important than quality.

The worst thing you can do is stick to seemingly the best SaaS idea, which is actually fatally flawed, talk about it with your friends for decades and never actually getting to the one that you could have actually built and launched to bring a growing SaaS product to life.

Ways to validate SaaS startup ideas

There are 2 proven ways to validate your best SaaS idea before the development begins:

  • Ask your potential clients about that by creating a questionnaire on Reddit, Facebook groups, or forums.
  • Create a simple landing page for gathering pre-orders for your software product. You should run an Ad campaign to quickly collect about 100 pre-orders, either free or paid. Based on the conversion rate you can determine the viability of your idea.

Recommendations for building and launching MVP SaaS Platform

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MVP stands for Minimal Viable Product. It isn't necessary to develop a full-fledged product before you understand how marketing is going to work for you if you do something larger than a micro SaaS. There are 3 reasons for building MVP for your SaaS startups:

  • You will obtain additional proof of concept for your startup ideas.
  • You will get market experience with feedback from your users before scaling the MVP to a fully-functional SaaS product. It is evident that a final product with the preliminary created MVP and client feedback will differ from the one created without the MVP.
  • You will be able to create a product website with blog content that will index early.

Moreover, MVP is an essential part of a lean startup business model. It is stated in this methodology that there are several repeating cycles of improvement in the IT product development process. Here is a list of primary recommendations for building MVP for your SaaS startups:

  • You should focus on building the core, and get it out there as quickly as possible.
  • Make it budget-friendly.
  • The MVP should provide the possibility to collect potential users' opinions, and what they want to see in the final product.
  • Focus on your users. Nobody cares about your quota, your payroll, bounce rate of your SaaS startups, etc. No one. Only the problem you solve for them matters.

To validate your MVP, there are 2 methods available:

Method 1. Create a landing page for your SaaS business and take advantage of paid traffic to generate leads for your SaaS startups. You should be aware that a paid search and social traffic require completely different strategies for your marketing, including Ad content, landing page content, targeting, social media, and some other aspects.

Method 2. Use the websites from this list below, they are solely focused on getting exposure for a product on its initial stages:

  • Product Hunt
  • Indie Hackers
  • Hacker News (Show HN)
  • BetaPage
  • BetaList
  • SaaS Hub

The second method I do not consider reliable for promoting SaaS companies, because you need to rely too much on the audience of those services. With the paid traffic and even SEO you have a higher level of control over your strategy. For the majority of top SaaS companies, when a product is already sustained, the main traffic source is SEO, and they make an additional boost by paid campaigns. There are also offline methods of promoting SaaS startups through personal meetings, which are especially relevant for corporate solutions.

Building top SaaS startups: Final Thoughts

SaaS business appears to be very attractive for startup companies: ease of entry, flexible pricing, and great accessibility are the key reasons why users choose web-based tools and services over traditional software. Though SaaS software development is brighter than ever, there are many challenges and pitfalls to overcome.

Among these problems is the increased demand for proper high-tech knowledge. To create fast-growing SaaS startups, you need a software development team that is proficient in web development and has experience building scalable cloud-based solutions. Also, it will be a benefit if your development team has a track record of building successful SaaS startups that bring revenue and also provide outstanding technical support. EcDev Studio is experienced in building high-performing SaaS products that are successful on the market and follow high standards in security, data integrity, UI/UX, speed, scalability, and other important factors.

Frequently asked questions

Let's say you were passionate about a seemingly brilliant idea, developed it but later realised it is not bringing any revenue, it is hard to promote or users simply prefer some more popular alternatives. Possibly, you should consider other methods of promotion or target other audiences. If the problem lies in decent competition alternatives, you can still think of the features that can make your product look superior compared to them. Constant product upgrades is a common practice, even for top SaaS products.

The most common problem that many SaaS startups face is the lack of confidence at the beginning, when they just start spreading the word about their business and the results might seem too poor compared to what they expected. So it is important to make sure you do proper marketing, reach out to right people and explain clearly what the key strengths of your solution are.

Initial SaaS concept is undeniably a key to success. However, too many small details might bury your idea on the early implementation stages. For this reason, they need to be addressed in advance. In our company, when either new or existing customer comes to us with an idea, we take it very seriously. We involve a business analyst, senior software engineer and UX lead to go through the project idea in detail, evaluate all the risks, ensure there are no technical limitations. In the course of analysis, the team comes up with a number of features that can be added to your product and thus make it more competitive. Of course, you can just hire remote developers for your SaaS startup and handle all the analysis on your side, but for the best SaaS concept, you will only benefit if you also rely on the established experts, whose opinions have helped multiple business owners build fast growing startups and generate more revenue out of them.

SaaS products are usually multi-tiered and include mobile applications, web applications, business layers, APIs, and storage. For mobile development, React Native or Flutter can be used. For web application development, one of the best technologies to use are React and Vue.js. For the back-end, such technologies as Python, Java, Golang, and JavaScript with Node.js can be used. For infrastructure, it is good to use AWS cloud, Digital Ocean or Heroku. Also it is very much reasonable to use cloud databases such as Amazon RDS or DynamoDB.

If you decided to work on your SaaS concept from scratch, you will work closely with a UI/UX designer, business analyst, project manager. When the concept is approved, a few more team members will start working on your SaaS product. These are the software developer and QA engineer. Depending on the project size, more than one UI designer and software engineer might be needed to meet the project plan and deadlines.

Vetted experts, custom approach, dedication to meet deadlines

As your reliable partner, our team will use the right technology for your case, and turn your concept into a sustainable product.

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