5 Biggest Challenges Of SaaS Companies Today (& How To Address Them)
The SaaS industry is currently one of the fastest-growing markets in the digital world. And starting a SaaS business can be one of the most lucrative decisions any entrepreneur can make.
But like with any other business model, challenges are inevitable when you’re growing a SaaS company. And with such a competitive market, failing to overcome these challenges could have serious consequences.
In fact, Userpilot reports that over 90% of all SaaS startups fail.
And if you don’t want to add yourself to that number, you need to be aware of the potential problems you’ll face and how to address them.
In this article, we will talk about the biggest challenges of SaaS companies and how you can overcome them.
1) Increasing Competition
With the rapid growth of the SaaS market, it’s becoming more and more enticing to businessmen and aspiring SaaS startup founders. Unfortunately, this means that competition is also increasing at an unprecedented rate.
So how do you compete in such a crowded market? Let’s talk about some ways to do that:
Offer An Excellent Product & Top-Notch Services
Your product should be intuitive, easy to use, and as robust as possible. This will give your customers the confidence that they have chosen the right SaaS tool for their needs.
You also need to provide stellar customer support services with fast response time, knowledgeable agents, and on-time resolution. This will ensure a positive user experience and increase your customer retention rate.
Perform A Thorough Competitive Analysis
You can also sit down, do your research, and perform a competitive analysis. This will help you understand your competitive landscape and how your SaaS product stacks against similar ones in your market.
A thorough competitive analysis covers everything from basic company data (such as company size, composition, and others) down to their SWOT data (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).
The idea is to compare their data with your own so that you can identify areas to improve upon and come up with a unique selling proposition that sets your product apart from the competition.
And who knows? While you’re at it, you may find some areas of weaknesses or gaps among your competitors that you can fill. That may give you a strong advantage over them and even draw more customers to your SaaS business.
Speaking of having a competitive advantage, that brings us to our next point.
Highlight Your Product Differentiation
What makes your SaaS product different from the others? Is it an innovative feature they don’t have? Is it easier to use with fewer steps or clicks? Or is it more affordable than the competitors’ offerings?
Highlighting these differences will give you an edge over the competition and help you stand out in a crowded market.
So why not flaunt them in your promotional campaigns, newsletters, press releases, and other marketing materials?
On top of that, be sure to include them during conversations with your leads and other potential customers that you’re communicating with one-on-one. Doing so will remind customers why they should choose your SaaS solution over others.
Expand Into New Markets
Sometimes, when there are just too many fishing boats in one sea, the best thing to do is just sail to another one. Or if you have enough boats, expand your reach.
The same is true for SaaS companies. If you’re facing too much competition in one market, then why not expand into a new one?
You just need to identify a target market with fewer competitors and create customized marketing strategies based on their needs and challenges.
What’s more, you also need to perform a competitive analysis of the new market you’re entering. This way, you can identify potential opportunities for your SaaS business.
Who knows? As you research the existing companies that operate in your newly chosen target market, you may even discover some common mistakes they’re making that you can avoid.
2) Increasing Product Development Costs
Whether it’s due to inflation or the cost of new technology, SaaS application development costs are always increasing nowadays.
If you think you’re facing this challenge, then you have to be proactive in finding ways to cut costs while keeping product quality high.
Here are a few practical tips to do that:
Cut Unnecessary Costs
The first thing you can do is to take a close look at your expenses and identify any unnecessary costs that you can cut.
Maybe you’re overspending on technology or office space. Or perhaps you’re paying for software solutions that are not really crucial to your SaaS application development process.
Whatever isn’t really instrumental to your SaaS business, think about letting it go for now so that you can allot more resources to the things that are essential.
Outsource Some Work
Another great option is to outsource certain aspects of your product development process. Tasks such as development, marketing, or customer support can be outsourced to experienced freelancers who can get the job done faster, better, and likely at a more affordable rate.
And if you do hire freelancers, make sure to stay on top of their output and progress to ensure that everything is done according to your standards.
Maximize Automation Tools
This isn’t really a money-saving tip, but more of advice for being more efficient and maximizing the resources that you are putting into product development.
Taking advantage of available automation tools can make your product development process easier. Automation tools can help streamline your workflows and reduce manual labor, allowing you to free up more time and budget for other tasks.
3) Market Consolidation Among Industry Giants
The rise of industry giants can be a real challenge for smaller SaaS businesses, especially when they’re making acquisitions and dominating the market.
Big companies have larger resources and the ability to attract more customers, which gives them an advantage over startups that are just starting out.
But don’t let this discourage you. Smaller SaaS companies can still survive and even stay competitive, even against big players in the industry.
Here’s what you can do:
Focus On Niche Markets
It may not be as easy to gain traction in highly saturated markets, but there are niches and specific industries where you could really make a mark.
For example, if you create a SaaS solution related to health and wellness, then you can focus on targeting yoga studios or wellness centers. This way, you’ll be able to build relationships with potential customers in that industry who are looking for SaaS products specifically tailored to their needs.
These niche markets usually have less competition than other areas, so it will be easier to offer specialized solutions that specifically match their needs.
Form Strategic Partnerships
There is strength in numbers. And that’s also true when it comes to running and growing a SaaS company.
Building strategic partnerships with complementary companies in your industry could be beneficial for both parties. This way, you can take advantage of each other’s resources and customer base to drive more sales and growth.
For example, if you partner with a SaaS company that provides advanced analytics solutions, then you can offer their tools as part of your SaaS platform. In the same way, they will also add some of your SaaS product’s tools to theirs.
Not only will this add value to your product, but it will also help increase the visibility of both brands in the market.
One very effective way to get an edge over your competitors — even the big players — is to have technology that they don’t.
Keep innovating and looking for ways to optimize your product with the latest technology. This will help you remain competitive in a market that is constantly changing.
This is especially true if you manage to develop proprietary technology that you can keep exclusive to your SaaS business.
With the right innovation, who knows? You may even attract the big players to acquire YOUR SaaS business. The “big dogs” don’t always have to be the bad guy of the story, you know.
Speaking of innovation, let’s move on to the next big challenge that most SaaS companies face today.
4) Rapidly Changing Technology
Ten years ago, producing a complex image in a matter of seconds was impossible. But now, the SaaS market is filled with AI-powered tools that can do just that.
This is just one example of how quickly technology changes, and it’s something that you, as a SaaS provider, have to be prepared to address. If you fail to do so, then you would risk falling behind the times.
So how can you cope with the rapidly changing technology in the SaaS industry? Here are a few tips:
Foster A Culture Of Innovation
To be an innovative company, you need to start within and foster a culture of innovation in your business.
One thing you can do is to encourage your team to stay up to date on the latest trends and challenges in the industry. You can also provide them with opportunities to learn new skills that might be helpful in the future.
What’s more, you can also host hackathons or challenges within your SaaS company to brainstorm ideas for new tools that could improve your product and/or other services.
Double Down On Research & Development (R&D)
R&D is key when it comes to being competitive in almost any type of tech-related market. Investing money and resources into researching the latest technologies and how they can be applied to your SaaS products will give you an edge over other players in the industry.
What’s more, don’t be afraid to reach out to experts in the field for advice and feedback. This will help you understand how you can leverage new technologies to your advantage.
Build A Flexible & Scalable Infrastructure
Having an infrastructure that is capable of scaling up quickly and seamlessly as your customer base grows is integral for any SaaS company.
But more importantly, having a flexible software development infrastructure can make it easier to integrate new technologies or tools into your SaaS product.
Adopting a flexible, scalable architecture for your software will help you stay relevant with the latest trends in the industry, while also being able to grow as needed.
5) Lack Of Capital
With the high costs of running and maintaining a SaaS business, it can be hard to get the necessary funds to grow and expand.
How do you get a hold of more capital to fund your growth?
Raise Capital From Investors
One way to address this problem is by looking for venture capital funding or even angel investors who are interested in investing in your SaaS product or company.
However, this can take some time as you have to convince them that your product is worth the investment. You would need to come up with a solid business plan that will showcase how much potential your SaaS company has.
What’s more, if they do invest in your SaaS business, it means they would get equity in the company. Not only does this mean sharing some of your future revenue with these investors. It can also mean not having full control over your company’s direction and decisions.
If you don’t have an interest in giving away equity, then crowdfunding is another option. This involves setting up a platform or campaign on a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo and convincing people to invest in your project.
Of course, offering some equity to your crowdfunding investors is still an option. But you may also want to offer non-financial incentives, such as exclusive access to some capabilities of your SaaS product or other benefits.
Launch An Lifetime Deal (LTD) Campaign
A lifetime deal (LTD) is a popular form of SaaS startup bootstrapping where you offer a lifetime subscription to your SaaS product in exchange for a one-time fee.
This can be an excellent way to raise significant capital without the need to give away equity. Plus, it can also be a great way to build brand awareness, grow your customer base, and gain feedback on your SaaS product in the process.
However, keep in mind that the customers you acquire through an LTD will only pay you one time. That means they won’t be adding to your recurring revenue (unless you manage to convert them into subscription-based customers down the road).
That’s why launching an LTD campaign is only recommended for raising capital so you can fund your SaaS company’s growth and boost your recurring revenues.
Preparing For Your SaaS Company’s Biggest Challenge
Running and growing a SaaS business does have its challenges. And if you fail to prepare for them, it can put your company in a difficult position. Or worse, it can take it out of the picture altogether.
But as the proverb goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
By being aware and prepared for the potential challenges you may face, you can ensure that your SaaS business is ready for whatever comes its way.
Still, each SaaS business is different. One SaaS provider may be facing a different set of challenges than another.
So take the time to assess what challenges your SaaS company is likely to face and find out how you can address them.
Looking for more guides to help you grow your SaaS business? Check out our blog site here.