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

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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

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Software-as-a-Service Success

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

The Don’ts: Ten Surefire Ways to Fail at SaaS

SaaS Don't #7 Ignore the Long Tail

It is virtually impossible to move down-market once you are locked into a high price, high-touch, high-cost business model. You must “dumb down” your product offering, reduce selling costs and frequently cannibalize revenue. However, if you create your business with a vision of profitably servicing the long tail, i.e., market segments with the lowest average revenue per customer, then you will have no problem profitably servicing higher revenue segments.

When your business is built to service the long tail of your market, you derive the immediate benefits of organic inbound demand and self-service revenue—there is no other way to service the long tail. This inbound lead flow will fuel for your core business. And, once you have your basic product offering and cost structure in line, it is much more straightforward to add advanced product functionality, strategic selling capability, and professional services to move upstream profitably. In short, it is easier to increase revenue and costs than it is to reduce them.

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