You might think the development of the software is the difficult part, but I’m here to put that in perspective. There are tons of templates and tools to automate a lot of the development of a standard SaaS (Software as a Service), which allows you to skip (or speed-through) a lot of steps and still deliver a quality product for your customers. Using existing tools will allow you time to focus on building out the business logic, the part that separates you from your competition, and iterate faster, testing new ideas and getting to profitability much quicker. Last but not least, you will have time to do marketing!
As a proof of concept, I have built a fully-functional SaaS in a single weekend, and in this article I am going to show you how. Feel free to copy everything you see here and create a SaaS of your own. Let’s begin.
First, let’s address what we need to achieve in terms of product. Customers of your SaaS have certain expectations, and if you don’t address some of them - you might not have a usable product. Here’s what a typical SaaS needs to get started:
- Business logic - first and foremost, you need a feature to sell - whether it’s API access, an automation, report generation, a fully-fledged platform for agencies, or some other feature that provides value to your customer.
- Authentication - ability to sign up, log in, reset password, perhaps even two-factor authentication for extra security.
- Billing - ability to enter payment details, charge money, and create/display invoices.
- Documentation - your customers need to know how to use your product. Even the most well-thought software needs a help center or API documentation for your customers to get unstuck and get the most value from your product.
- Landing page - your customers need a place to get a first impression and learn about your product before signing up. You will share this page across all of your marketing efforts later.
- Hosting - finally, your business needs to be available to the public. Once you’re done building it locally, let’s put it to the cloud!
I think the above list is a great starting point for a SaaS, and will be perfectly usable for your customers, and all of the above can be built or set up in a single weekend!