Top Ten Dos and Don'ts of SaaS

Build a successful software-as-a-service business

Copyright 2009 by Joel York at Chaotic Flow.

saas top ten dos and don'ts

Save it or share it with a colleague.

Click the image above to download the SaaS Top Ten PDF.

For more SaaS business strategy tips,visit or subscribe to Chaotic Flow by Joel York

Or, click below to read the SaaS Top Ten Dos and Don'ts online...

The Top Ten Dos of SaaS Success

SaaS Do #1 - Choose a Large Market

SaaS Do #2 - Create a Hub on the Web

SaaS Do #3 - Accelerate Organic Growth

SaaS Do #4 - Craft a Compelling Story

SaaS Do #5 - Build the Business into the Product

SaaS Do #6 - Reach across the Firewall

SaaS Do #7 - Monetize Creatively

SaaS Do #8 - Enable Mass Customization

SaaS Do #9 - Open Up to the Cloud

SaaS Do #10 - Leverage Your Community

The Top Ten Surefire Ways to Fail at SaaS

SaaS Don't #1 - Chase Elephants

SaaS Don't #2 - Waste Money Marketing Offline

SaaS Don't #3 - Launch without Online Trial

SaaS Don't #4 - Cover up Shortcomings with People

SaaS Don't #5 - Invest in Channel Partners too Early

SaaS Don't #6 - Bleed Cash Indefinitely

SaaS Don't #7 - Ignore the Long Tail

SaaS Don't #8 - Think You Can Control It

SaaS Don't #9 - Fail to be Creative

SaaS Don't #10 - Depend on Network Effects

Chaotic Flow

Streamlined angles on turbulent technologies

Software-as-a-Service Success

The Top Ten Dos and Don’ts of SaaS Business Success

The Dos: Ten Proven Strategies for Software-as-a-Service Businesses

SaaS Do #10 Leverage Your Community

This section is intentionally titled “Leverage your community” instead of “Engage your community.” Community engagement is great, but if you are in a for-profit business then any action you take should ultimately result in either increased revenue or reduced costs. A recurring theme in this list of dos and don’ts is that software-as-a-service businesses must take advantage Web-based automation and network effects to reduce costs, especially labor costs. So what is the true economic value of your community to your business? Free labor. Honest labor. Loyal labor. Viral labor.

By reaching out to your advocates and supporting their goals be they back-office or blogging, you are putting feet on the street. If you are a startup with a sales force of two, all of a sudden you find yourself with a sales force of hundreds or thousands or millions! When you open up your application and encourage your own customers to crowdsource improvements, then you can check items off your roadmap without writing a single line of code. There are plenty of books out there that will give you tips and tricks on how to do this. The point of this rule is simply to emphasize why a software-as-a-service business absolutely must do it as a matter of survival.

[back to table of contents]