What consists a non-product part of the SaaS-business of?

Hi, I'm working alone on a small product for online presentations. A friend of mine told me that building a product is only 25% of the whole work. I wonder what did you guys bump in besides building and promoting the product on the early stage.

I understand that you have to keep in mind the following.

  • Preparing all of the agreements (terms of service, privacy agreements, gdpr).
  • Set up payment system (I guess the best way is to use some SaaS-provider to not worry about VAT, payment cancellation and all other similar stuff).
  • Maintaining legal entity (like choosing a right state to register your company, talking to your attorney, putting together all your documents).

Anyone welcome to add up another aspects, suggest nice shortcuts/reasonable services to let a founder to focus on the product part.

  1. 3

    On top of your list, I would add the following:

    • Branding (important for you to get more traction)
    • Marketing (paid and organic). Organic implies creating original content - some of it 'advertisement' type, some of it 'useful' type (e.g. white papers, newsletter etc).
    • Finance - you need to track your expenses, run your books, hopefully record your sales/revenue.

    A great product doesn't go too far without some visibility and market penetration activities (a.k.a marketing).

    Good luck!

  2. 2

    community is a huge part, imho. which includes things like customer support, service, etc.

    building product is a big part, of course, but making a customer happy is much more work on the whole.

  3. 2

    @SmileIJP Thanks so much for sharing this – it's so eye opening to think how much there is to SaaS than "just" building the product!

    It's something that I have felt a ton throughout my career, and continue to be amazed at. A few of the things that I know kept us up at night when we were starting GoSquared:

    • Assuming you start building a team – that's a whole other vector for "stuff" – payroll, internal comms, org structure, goal setting, all manner of other things that are almost endless.
    • Before you start building a team, there's the "stuff" around the product – like the marketing site, the signup flow, the way you present your pricing, the support documentation, the email communication with customers.
    • Onboarding is a whole part of product that often gets overlooked too – how you take a new user from that lovely signup page to being confident and successfully using your product – onboarding can encompass so much from emails, in app messages, to empty states, to interfaces for gamification, to demo calls, to so much more!
    • I'd also add that the "product" part comes after a lot of other work – customer interviews, truly understand customer needs and pain points, and experimenting tons with possible solutions that may or may not involve the product you may WANT to build.

    Hope that is of some help there – it's a problem space that we're actually really keen to help with at GoSquared – very happy to share more on this if you want!

    1. 3

      Thanks a lot for highlighting these aspects! I'm just in a way to figure out whole path. :)

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