Gone are the days when you could use good software only when you had paid for its package in full like Windows and Microsoft Office in the 1990s and 2000s. It has been a while since the industry has shifted to a different business model of selling programs and applications like a service on an ongoing basis.
In recent times, there has been a significant increase in SaaS (or ‘Software as a Service’) offerings in the market. People are trying their luck at SaaS startups and the industry has promising potential to guarantee an encouraging success rate.
But what if you want to begin a SaaS startup? Well, you have landed in just the perfect place. We’ll be looking into some of the most amazing ideas for SaaS startups in 2022 so stay tuned as we dive into this freshly developing world.
What is SaaS?
Software as a Service (commonly abbreviated as SaaS) is a business model for selling mobile and computer applications in the form of a service (similar to a cellular connection) rather than a one-time purchase of a pair of shoes. Under the SaaS business model, companies offer their software products in the form of monthly and annual plans which allows them to sell their products on a continuing basis rather than a one-time sale.
The SaaS business model is not only favorable for entrepreneurs but also for customers who buy the plan of their needs from these companies. While SaaS companies get to generate revenues from the same product for a longer period, the customers get the most up-to-date applications without any additional costs. This might not have been that relevant a few decades but as of today, technology changes in a matter of days. So, if my organization’s human resource management software gets updated automatically, I have one less thing to worry about in my daily hassle.
Moreover, periodic revenues over a longer period have enabled businesses to offer their software services at various basic, moderate, and advanced levels at fairly economical rates. This way you get to choose what plan you want, and the duration you want it for and you can unsubscribe to it whenever you feel like not needing it anymore.
SaaS Market — Current State of Affairs
The SaaS market has silently but skillfully established itself as the ultimate solution for fulfilling software requirements with agility and comfort. Not only do small organizations such as startups use SaaS, but larger corporates have also either already partially shifted or are considering integrating some level of SaaS applications in their operational framework.
Besides well-established organizations, social media entrepreneurs have scaled their businesses to an extent that they need and use subscription-based applications on a daily basis, and there are literally millions of such entrepreneurs!
For someone who wants to sell software, the SaaS model allows you to remotely offer cloud- your based services from anywhere across the world with real-time updates and support. So, no matter how far you are, your services will run just fine.
Why SaaS products are a good idea for Startups?
Startups are delicate seedlings of the business world. They do not need an abundance of high-quality resources but just the right ones to help them develop and grow into an established company.
Another thing crucial in the early days of any business is managing the cash flow situation. It happens all the time that a company comes into the market but fails to survive because it runs out of cash. You cannot just get in and get selling things, it takes time and experience to get those sales to the top (at least in 99% of the cases). Until you do not achieve your cash surplus, you need to keep your outflows as low as possible.
Subscription-based software services come in very handy for startups for these key reasons:
a.) You can choose software and get it set up in absolutely no time. All you have to do is go to the website, choose a plan, make the payment and you are good to go. This gives you the comfort to focus on what really matters for your startup and not the petty things.
b.) Another convenience that comes with SaaS is the flexible plans offered by SaaS providers. SaaS providers design their plans for a minimum of 2–3 levels so you can choose whether you need advanced features or not and manage your costs respectively.
c.) When you are new in a business, you have a lot to learn. I can assure you from personal experience that you cannot get everything right from the start. You make mistakes and if you have made one of choosing the wrong accounting software that does not show your inventory records as you need, you can always switch to a better one. Just cancel one subscription and start another, it is just that simple.
SaaS subscriptions help ensure that your business gets your attention in just the right areas besides better managing your costs and cash outflows so you have the optimal chance for making your mark in the market.
Top Trends for 2022
Things have changed drastically in the last couple of years during and after post-COVID situation. Businesses are now considering more than ever to have agile operations that can be continued even in a concrete-free setup. SaaS startup trends for 2022 are greatly focused on providing such solutions to companies for seamless operations.
Apart from this, developing technologies of the 21st century have begun to make their way to the mainstream industry where blockchain and data science are geared up to show their colors. Here are some top SaaS startups trends that might interest you to start one of your own:
1. Remote Workforce Management
Up until 2019, companies bragged over their lush offices and high-rise buildings but the scenario has changed since we discovered the economies of remote working as part of an unfortunate pandemic. Remote workforce management services are a no-brainer in this scenario when businesses are looking into efficiently managing their employees from remote locations with the liberty of flexible working hours.
Companies offering services such as technical experts and freelancers (to some extent) need such applications for managing their time costs and deadlines. Who knows, you might make a fortune from such a simple product.
2. Online Hiring
The world became a global village about 2 decades ago, but it is quite recently that we have realized the benefits of having a diversity of cultures and thoughts on the same team. Online hiring is gaining popularity where businesses are looking for individuals from around the world. This coupled with organizations’ needs after the COVID redundancies have surged the demand for hiring marketplaces.
There can be multiple implementations of these online hiring SaaS applications; you can develop a website for people to upload their resumes for employers to hire them on a permanent basis or individuals can offer their services on a contractual basis. Your company can vet these candidates and offer them to corporates who are looking for experienced resources to get their work done.
3. Team Communication
Communication tools have evolved from telephonic conversations to video conferences and currently are at a stage where we can connect with people around the globe from our beds. But this communication is not collaboration.
Yes, people talk and share ideas which is precisely what collaboration is. However, there is a dire need for a tool that can also incorporate daily, weekly, and monthly targets, status updates on key milestones as well as enable teams to collaborate whilst maintaining a record of their discussions. SaaS offerings that can incorporate project timelines, status updates, and KPI monitoring can be your jackpot to being a millionaire.
4. Marketing Automation
Effective marketing is crucial to a successful business; your product should not just BE good, it should be PERCEIVED as good as well. Sensing this desperation for a good reputation amongst the customer base, businesses are looking for options that ensure effective marketing whilst saving entrepreneurs from the hassles of digging into individual marketing techniques and tactics.
Marketing automation tools not only include running Facebook and Google Ads, they cover everything from email reminders and app notifications so you can ensure your customer that they do not miss a lead.
If you are a number-geek and know how to extract insights from raw data, incorporating these techniques into a software service can be an excellent business for you. Markets change within a minute and one transaction can turn your turn profits into losses and vice versa. This requires an efficient data analytics tool that can incorporate the normal information system already established within running businesses and provide live analysis and projections.
6. Blockchain Products
Whenever someone says ‘blockchain’, we immediately recall cryptocurrencies but blockchain in fact is much broader than crypto alone. This is a technology that can revolutionize how we prepare, maintain and store data and documents. An agreement or transaction done in the blockchain world is written in stone and it is practically impossible to tamper with it in any form. In a world where businesses face cybercrime attacks every minute, your blockchain solution can be the perfect thing that companies need.
7. Live Streaming
Say I am a gamer who wants to stream my gameplay over the internet but I have a problem. I do not have an extravagantly resourced setup that can run and stream my game both at the same time. This calls for the need to combine cloud computing and remote processing power that can stream my game on multiple platforms live and ensure that I get to play my game in the best of its form.
Yes, there are streaming services on the market but the potential for the industry to grow is huge and you definitely do not want to miss out on this.
I would surely love to travel to Europe or America to learn from the best experts and researchers in my profession but traveling and accommodation are a huge concern for students who are considering moving abroad to study.
Learning platforms have begun and are continuing to relieve curious minds of this burden and are offering courses from the highest qualified professionals from institutions like Harvard and King’s College. If you are considering a SaaS business like this, it is about time that you start elearning services through your platform so you can reap the profits when these businesses reach their prime.
9. Project Collaboration
Remote working and diverse teams are a reality today but they need something to manage their communication and achieve their milestones. Project collaboration tools are just the thing you need in such scenarios where you can assign and move responsibilities between teams. Such software services can allow companies to monitor projects happening anywhere around the world at any time of the day and stay up-to-date on the progress. You might want a piece of this business.
We all have received marketing newsletters but what if we could subscribe to our favorite writer or poet or industry expert and he/she would send us a newsletter every month. Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? Well, you can develop a SaaS business of your own (just like OnlyFans) where people can subscribe to their favorite celebrities and you can get a portion of their subscription, the perfect win-win for everybody. In fact, substack has already made quite a few inroads in this.
SaaS is getting attention from both investors and customers. Bringing a startup to life that can capitalize on this attention can be the jackpot you need. So, why not? Get up and get your service out there. It might just be the next Fortune 500.
Note: This article first appeared at: 10 Amazing Ideas for Building SaaS Products in 2022