If you’re an entrepreneurial spirit who wants to improve the world and offer ease and convenience which could lead to a financial windfall for your efforts, you may have considered developing a digital product, such as a web or mobile app.
Developing a great SaaS product, or software as a service, is one of the greatest ways to provide value to your market, but it can be harder than expected. There are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself so that your vision can be fully realized.
Identify Your Market
Identifying your market is the first place you’ll need to start! What problem have you observed that needs to be solved and how is your product going to solve that problem? This is obviously the first step when trying to develop a new piece of software because it operates as a guide for your efforts throughout the process.
You should use the answers to these fundamental questions to give you a roadmap for the finished product. If you want to help alleviate payroll stress or make working from home easier for employers, you’ll end up with a much different process and product than if you want to offer data analytics technology. The customer base for your product should be at the forefront of your mind throughout your software’s development. In order to build a super successful product, you should be obsessed with delivering value to your users.
Identify Key Features
Every piece of software has different features which suit different needs. You’ll need to identify your audiences because you’ll need to build up these features for your future customer base. For example, if you want to help people communicate, you’ll naturally need a form of messaging built into your software, one which hopefully differentiates itself from other messaging platforms on the market.
If you’re trying to help people find and buy real estate, a home search feature is a must; if you’re building scheduling software, you’ll need to build in appointment and meeting benefits. The list goes on and on.
The key to understand is that your final product will have to have the proper features and benefits for the problem you’re trying to solve. If you have only a broad and undefined idea of what you want your software to be, a meeting with product managers, designers, developers, or solution strategists could help you refine and specify your idea. We call this process gathering requirements.
There are some specific hurdles you’ll have to overcome on your way to making a great, realized product as well. Front-end engineers will need to see wireframes or high-fidelity designs in order to fully understand your vision and estimate what it will cost. In addition to speaking and meeting with developers, a meeting with a branding or marketing agency can help you develop and fully realize the logo, colors, and other marketing considerations for your final software.
These are sometimes just as vital as the function of your software, as a professional package will help you sell your product far easier than a sloppy or amateur presentation. When you have your objective, brand ideas, and a meeting with the marketing team, you’ll be ready to meet with a designer to lay out wireframes on how your software product will ultimately work.
The designer will create designs that incorporate your logo, colors, typography, and brand to create a sort of blueprint for engineers to work from. These designs are essential, as you cannot move into development without a working blueprint of the final product.
You’ll need a lead engineer with experience and expertise in the field who can review the designs for feasibility and budget. Some features could theoretically be designed in such a way that they would be less expensive to implement while still delivering the same value to your users. The help of a solid lead engineer can help you find these savings.
The final step is a project plan, which includes tickets or user stories written out, either in Excel or a more professional platform like Jira, Asana, ClickUp, or Monday. Tickets should be clear and concise and include a description, acceptance criteria, and design. They’ll be used by designers and your quality assurance team to make sure everyone is on the same page. Your quality assurance team will use the acceptance criteria in the ticket as a way of assuring quality.
Taking the Next Step to Your SaaS Product Development
If you’re ready to begin your SaaS product development, the next step is hiring the right team. At Red Hook, we’re passionate about taking your dream SaaS product and making it a reality. See how our custom software company can help you. Reach out today!