Has anyone here actually started a SaaS?

I’ve been trying to kick off a decent SaaS product for quite some time, and one of the most significant challenges I’ve encountered is identifying worthwhile solutions for people. It can be incredibly challenging to pinpoint customer pain points within a niche market.

I’ve created this survey to see if other SaaS founders are having the same issue.

Talk to the customers.

Your survey has a lot of things about pain points, so I’ll just state it here. Maybe someone will provide a bit of feedback.

I live with a pinpoint virtually every day. There is an app I use in my business which is more or less THE SaaS app that people in my industry use.

The good part is that it works well.

The bad?

  • Prices have gone up dramatically TWICE in the last few years. I’m talking like 33% increases.
  • They really have not been doing a lot to improve the app or add more functionality that the users can take advantage of.
  • They can be pretty slow when it comes to actually making changes at all.

How do I find out about other users’ pain points? That’s remarkably simple for me. The app also has a Facebook page where users can post questions to both the app developers as well as others using the app. So it is a virtually unlimited field for getting feedback on how other users feel about the app.

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Your example sounds like one of the classic cases of “Solve your own problems”.

I feel like identifying my own problems is somewhat difficult, I’m sure I have some but I can’t think of many let alone problems that would need a software solution.

This is, unfortunately, probably the best way to hear about pain points.

But it’s also like being a doctor. You may have to ask a billion questions before the doctor gets around to what their problem really is.

So it may take a lot of time to get from statements like “Yeah, it takes so long to log on” or “I have to go through 4 pages to get to what I need” to statements like “The app is too built around a strict manager/worker paradigm. It needs to be flexible enough to give the workers more control their daily work orders because we know how to get it all done faster than the managers do!”

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Very informative video, thank you.

I’ve started every SaaS as an offshoot of a main business I’ve had. For example, my company originally built E-Commerce websites… and we heard them saying “it’s so hard to make a scheduled sale”… so we invested $50,000 in an E-Commerce app and it now produces $6400 gross, $5200 net each month. We broke even last year.

It’s a constant struggle though - Competition has crept in… the app gets more complicated… and we’ve had some really challenging customers lately who leave bad reviews for something we can’t help (one lady put up a review saying we asked to screenshare to see her issue and that was absolutely off limits and offensive to her and that we lacked the capability to “fix” our app… wanna know what happened? The E-Commerce platform contacted us and told us it was because she set her products up incorrectly… Oops… lol)

P.S. Our app was not built on Bubble. It probably could’ve been… but it handles millions of API calls every week… I’m not sure I’d trust that with Bubble.

One recommendation I’d have is to look at forums. We actually find quite a few ideas in the E-Commerce platform forums of pain points people are having - And have a few new ones in the works from ideas people have had.

Also, “Talk to your customers” only works… if you have customers. If you don’t have any, Reddit is a good spot to dig around… and other industry specific forums. I also like to Google topics every now and then for things I know I could build and look at the competition’s site and offerings… Bubble is great at building things like property management tools.

Just some thoughts. :slight_smile:

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I’ve started every SaaS as an offshoot of a main business I’ve had. For example, my company originally built E-Commerce websites… and we heard them saying “it’s so hard to make a scheduled sale”… so we invested $50,000 in an E-Commerce app and it now produces $6400 gross, $5200 net each month. We broke even last year.

When they built the tool to solve that was it just meant to solve an internal problem and then later sold or did they try and validate that idea as well before selling it?

Appreciate the insights, I have decade of experience in traditional software development.
Trying to find something worth building is like looking in the dark with a flash light…

So, true! Almost every talk I attended always assumed this! When asked, I sort of got the loop-back explanation to “talk to your customers”. Could never really get the answer to “where do I start?” Thank you, for your insight :slight_smile:

By talk to your customers, I mean that if you have no customers you should be talking to the people who you want to become your customers.

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For me and my company over them any years we’ve owned SaaS businesses we have tended to solve our own problems. But one habit I developed years ago was when I was talking to friends or clients, I was always curious what THEIR problems were at work, or personally on their computer.

By asking them I’ve found that almost universally people will share some tidbit about what frustrates them that could form the genesis of a SaaS. Always be asking and listening.

Currently our big project revolves around the surgeons I have worked with as a management in that venue. The tools that I wrote to help me do my job and increase the efficiency with surgical units has spawned into our med-tech startup that is beginning to garner investment attention from a variety of funds. But it all started with solving my own problems.

Our product is SaaS. My 20 years in Construction informed the initial product development. With that, I joined a 6 month startup incubator, and that led to an entrepreneurial marketing study performed by my local university. Yet, don’t forget all the customer discovery interviews, Product demos etc and one needs to do in order to even begin to understand the full dimension of the problem. That led us to discover that our workflow, originally intended for construction, resembles that of Architects, engineers, designers etc etc. It’s a process, and any shortcuts could send you back to step one all over again.