A business startup is so much more than forming an LLC or corporation. Each startup is unique, but many encounter the same needs for various business software. Service Providers like AppSumo offer affordable Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms with hundreds of partnerships from top developers like Twilio, Stripe, and MailChimp, all at discounted rates. Whether you’re a startup or have even been in business a while, it pays to shop around for tools to improve systems and processes. In this article, we’ll explain why business software is important, how to get started, and 5 tips for finding the right SaaS solutions for your business.
SaaS is an acronym for Software as a Service. If you’re working with a remote team, or use communication tools like Slack, you may already be using SaaS. All you need is a web browser and an internet connection to use these programs, and businesses of all sizes are turning to SaaS platforms to save time and money. With the Internet, we have access to these cloud-based services without having to install and run applications. Many SaaS programs are available on a monthly or annual paid basis, but there are some that charge a one-time fee to access forever. AppSumo has tons of Business-to-Business software at affordable prices.
Working with the right SaaS systems can drastically improve productivity, and help to centralize your overall operations in the cloud. Since SaaS companies hang onto their software, they’re always updating security protocols and features, which means you don’t have to constantly upgrade or reinstall the latest version. Some of these systems can be costly for a small business, so using a SaaS platform like AppSumo can save a considerable amount of money. If you are a solopreneur, SaaS programs can take the place of additional staff while you’re building your business startup.
Programs for bookkeeping, email, workflow automation, and so much more are critical to keeping business startup costs low. You can build an entire office system with various SaaS options. You might find that once everything is set up, you won’t want to replace them. Utilizing these cloud-based programs can keep your business startup rolling so you can spend more time building and growing your business.
The most crucial departments or components to any business are listed here, along with a sample of some SaaS solutions.
No matter what kind of business you own, someone has to manage these areas to be successful. SaaS solutions have been developed for everything from business management, to accounting, and literally everything else you would need to run your business. If you use any applications like Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace products, you’re already familiar with some Software as a Service apps. As these types of programs gain popularity, the list of new tools and resources will continue to grow.
Any founder can sign up for a SaaS platform like AppSumo for free. They don’t charge membership fees, and you just pay for the apps you want. SaaS providers have websites that are easy to shop by category, plan type, customer rating, and so on. While you might find one software solution to meet all your needs, putting together a suite of 2-3 solutions could save time and money. It’s worth shopping around to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Project Management SaaS solutions are helpful for everything from remote communication to managing client services. Solutions like Teamwork, Zoho Projects, and Wrike are top-rated for Project Management. They even have other features available, so you’re working with one integrated solution.
Productiv, Robomotion, and Agiled are just a sampling of the SaaS solutions for business operations and administration. Some can even be programmed to manage repetitive tasks so you don’t have to. Deskera is an app that covers accounting, invoicing, payroll, HR, and Customer Retention Management (CRM), all in one place.
Determine what you can spend.
Some SaaS may work together well, while others perform better on their own, so it’s important to account for what you’re getting versus what you’re putting in. Remember, a business startup relies on its founder, so we want to make sure we’re making the best use of the right products for our business (not someone else’s).
Some companies have high security standards and must use on-site applications, so SaaS solutions may not be a good fit. If you’re considering SaaS to replace software or centralize your data, ask yourself if the move to these new services will be profitable and beneficial after the switch. Setting up some of these apps takes quite a bit of time, so you’ll want to be sure your new apps serve you now and support future growth.
How do you know what you have to spend? Perhaps you have already budgeted for software in your startup plan, but it’s ok if you didn’t. There are many, many popular SaaS solutions for under $50. Before you start shopping, make a list of all the tasks in various departments that you need to manage. You may need to buy more than one software solution, but you’ll make your money back by using your time to scale your business. One of the benefits of using SaaS solutions is that many charge a “lifetime” subscription fee, so you pay once and that’s it! All future updates are included in your purchase.
IMPORTANT: Make sure the products you’re considering are from established companies with verified, positive reviews. Read around for user experience and overall performance, and weigh them against your expectations before making a commitment. Some solutions bill themselves as SaaS, but they still want you to install something on your computer or server. A true SaaS only requires an internet connection and web browser to run. Experiment with free trials to get a good feel for the apps you’re researching, and ask your peers for recommendations.
Even with the best of research, a good plan can still fail. You may find the best of everything you need in a software solution, but businesses change course or even close altogether sometimes. It’s a good idea to make a plan to move all your data and to continue operating if for some reason your SaaS solution discontinues service.
After all the time spent researching and setting up these solutions, you don’t want to lose your work to a bad experience or the SaaS provider’s close of business (it can happen). Before you buy an app, find out what you’ll need to do to collect all your data if for some reason the solution doesn’t work out or you decide to move on. You’ll want to have access to your information so you can move to a different platform.
Now that you know SaaS solutions are right for your business, you can make your purchases and set up apps. For best results, take your time and follow directions exactly. Some solutions take more time than others to set up, but you don’t want to waste time re-doing your work. If you’re setting up multiple solutions, work on one at a time. Take the time to teach yourself how to use your new solutions. Many providers have excellent support via phone, chat, email, even video. There are also many helpful YouTube video tutorials to select and set up SaaS apps.
Now that we know what SaaS is, we understand how these cloud-based solutions can save time, centralize operations, and improve productivity. Letting the software do the work frees up your time so you can work on scaling your business and still manage all the functions of your company. There are many types of Business Startup SaaS, for everything from accounting, client management, communication, and more. If you decide that SaaS solutions are right for your business startup, you can then start researching and decide how much money you’ll need to spend. By considering your whole operation before making purchases, you’ll save valuable time and money. Setting up your new SaaS solutions can take some time, so make sure you have a good block of time to devote to the process. If your software solutions are set up correctly the first time, you won’t have to go back and clean up messes later.
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