There are many opportunities to build successful SaaS businesses. Find out if your idea has real potential by getting to know your potential customers in three steps.
Building a SaaS business takes a lot of work. Before you even start investing your time, energy and money into setting it up, spend a couple of days to find out if your SaaS idea has real potential to turn into a successful SaaS company. All you have to do is use the power of hustle to validate your idea.
Go out and talk to people who could be potential customers. Spend a whole afternoon walking into 10 different businesses, and say, "Hi, I'm [your name], can I talk to the manager/owner." When you meet the owner, say, "Hi, I'm an entrepreneur about to start a new business to fix a problem that I think you have. Can I get three minutes of your time to see if this is something that you might want?"
This is the best way to get started. The big advantage here is that you're going to be able to get very valuable feedback by being able to see people's responses. It's very visceral and you will get a real sense for how they run their operations. Although you can't do this kind of market research on a big scale, the quality of the responses/insights you get is really powerful.
The next thing to do is to call potential customers. Even though you're missing out on a lot of visual clues about them and their business, you still get to have one-on-one conversations that will help you understand their wants and needs really well. This obviously scales better than in person interactions.
The next higher tier is to email people. You can email a lot more people, but the quality of the insights you get will be different.
You'll be able to see open/response rates and read people's responses. Written feedback often times is a bit more "filtered" than what people would tell you over the phone or in person. The great thing is that you can aggregate and analyse results at scale.
When you're an entrepreneur just starting out, lots of people will tell you that your idea is great, just because they like you or want to encourage you. But there’s a big difference between saying they would buy your product and actually paying money for it. How do you find out if they would have real intent to buy?
Here’s a simple question you can ask people to find out if they have real buying intent: “What are all the steps I have to take for you to become my customer?”
I call this the “virtual close”.
Listen carefully, watch out for red flags and make sure you get a very specific answer. Once you’ve reached a point where the “virtual close” has occurred, do a test closing.
There are different approaches to do a test close, find one that works best for you:
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