Software as a Service (SaaS) is a business model that allows the end user to access the product based on a monthly subscription from a centrally hosted location. For a new startup, it’s crucial to get the creation phase right. Planning is every bit as important as the actual development and coding. Understanding your customers needs and plotting the course that gets your software to that end result isn’t something to be taken lightly and should not be conducted by the seat of your pants or in wanton fashion.
This planning phase deserves every attention to detail and if you do not have a seasoned team equipped to handle your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), finding a full-service team can avoid the ramp up and team building that it takes to get the job done. By hiring a pre-built SaaS team, you can move straight to the design/build phase and keep your schedule in tact.
You hear the tragic tales of startups taking bids from firms and they opt to work with the most affordable submission. Overlooking the due dilligence and vetting process of finding the right-fit solution for your SaaS team is a costly mistake that happens at an alarming rate. Making sure the bid is from an established company with a proven track record is an important factor in your outsourcing plans and if this is something that isn’t deemed of importance, the chances of success on your SaaS endeavor are minimal.
A key decision that needs to be made centers around the age-old debate of cost versus time. The question you really need to ask yourself is:
Do you have a budget for your project or is this a shoestring scenario?
There are many approaches to creating an MVP in the world of SaaS. Some developers will take an idea and throw it up against the proverbial wall to see what sticks. Others will be methodical in their approach and go in a more conservative route. Still some will sit on their idea and not even begin to think about actually creating the product until they’ve hit their budget targets.
You have to make the final determination on whether you feel your idea is worth the pursuit and challenges that you will soon face. It’s not an algorithm on a piece of paper and your team will become emotionally and mentally invested in this pursuit, if you choose to take it.
If this is a project that you feel strongly people can receive benefit from having, making sure you have the resources to get the job done to the vision you have in mind is important. If the ideology is more in the lines of “let’s see what we can make happen”, you may lean more towards that shoestring approach.
Another issue to navigate is completion is in urgent mode.
Does your team have plenty of time to create the product or are they under the gun with an ambitious deadline?
If time is of the essence, outsourcing your MVP idea to a full-service team will speed up the process and put you in the drivers seat towards completing the project on time. If time is not an essential factor, you want to think long and hard about each of the features and your customer’s overall user experience. Analyzing your end goals versus their needs can be the difference between something that goes viral or a clouded idea that isn’t well thought out and leaves nothing but confusion.
In most cases, hiring a full-service team can be beneficial because you inherit the years of experience and knowledge that team has accumulated, which is great for enhancing the abilities of your in-house staff. It’s not a cheap, shoestring solution, but the long-term benefits of this scenario far outweigh the restrictions of a project with a less-than-ideal budget.