Hi! We're working on our first SaaS type service but need to raise some cash as we're bootstrapping, but with that notion were holding off trying to raise investor money. Has anyone here sold a SaaS subscription or account use prior to building or launching? If so, any tips or best way for us to do so as well?
Hey Super Star SaaS,
Here's an idea:
30/30/30 - 30% sales, 30% product, 30% wow factor.
Sell the software before you even build it. The cash you get from the sales could be what you use to bootstrap. Build the business with a few select customers until everything is dialed in. Make it profitable, then contact investors for marketing dollars.
Here's a full path to stardom:
1. ID TARGET MARKET: Identify the target market and the massive problem that your SaaS is fixing -- just the one single greatest benefit and who gets it
2. BUILD LIST: Setup a prelaunch page to collect emails - think LaunchRock or something
3. SPECIAL INVITE LIST: Invite people to get in early -- leverage your greater network (particularly your circle of influence)
4. SOCIAL MEDIA: Build social media tools to compliment the pre-launch. Reach out to potential users through social media (if you have time to write custom messages)
5. REVIEW COPIES: Give away review copies to bloggers and reviewers - ask for their feedback (your product better be solid though)
6. GET PRESS: Get the press either through #5 or through a press agent
Another great resource is the $100 Startup Launch Checklist.
If you need help dialing this in - there are a thousand ways to do it. I would be happy to help you craft a plan and execute it.