Archive for the 'business planning' Category

SaaS Business Planning

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If you’re starting a SaaS business, it’s a good idea to start your business plan with a template.  This template provides a lot of useful tools to help you plan out your SaaS business idea.

http://www.software-marketing-advisor.com/software-development-business-plan-2.html

 

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Big Data – How Can Your Software Company Benefit from the Opportunity?

The tech media is all abuzz about the “big data” opportunity. If you manage a software or SaaS company, have you given some thought to how you can benefit from the opportunity?

What are some ways in which software companies can provide additional value to their customers by leveraging big data?

The first question you should ask yourself is: What is the opportunity your customers have from big data?

Second, how can you provide software or services to enable them to realize that opportunity?

These recent articles by Drew Robb at EnterpriseAppsToday.com show a few ways in which software companies are providing “big data” value to their customers: http://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/business-intelligence/5-buzz-worthy-big-data-analytics-apps.html and http://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/business-intelligence/5-more-buzz-worthy-big-data-analytics-apps.html.

Update your Business Plan for the New Decade

It’s now 2012… do you have an updated business plan or marketing plan to address the new decade?

If you’re a software company, the industry is changing with the move to SaaS, mobile apps, outsourcing and other trends. It’s important to make sure you have a current business plan to make sure you’re positioned to take optimal advantage of these changes.

Check the links to the right, and take advantage of our SaaS business plan template, or the Software Company business plan template, and get started optimizing your business today!

Using a SWOT Analysis to Fine-Tune Your Marketing

SWOT AnalysisA SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is an effective way to make sure your marketing activities align with your business strategy.

Why is that a good thing?

It means that the money you spend on marketing is more likely to produce the business results you’re looking for (more customers, larger market share, increased revenue… whatever your particular objective is).

When you do a SWOT analysis, you brainstorm and list out your company’s

  • Strengths (what are the positive attributes of your company, product or service?),
  • Weaknesses (what are the negative attributes of your company, product or service?),
  • Opportunities (where are the market opportunities for your product or service?),
  • Threats (what are the main threats to your company?).

The SWOT analysis can help you find a way to use your company or product strengths to take advantage of market opportunities, and identify and work on weaknesses that might inhibit your ability to take advantage of those opportunities.

To be successful, it’s important to always be on the alert for market threats. Leverage your strengths to either eliminate or reduce the impact of threats, and work to address any weaknesses that may increase the criticality of threats.

Finally, prioritize marketing activities and messaging that highlight your strengths, and help you take advantage of opportunities.

For more on doing a SWOT analysis, take a look at this article: “Doing a SWOT Analysis to Focus Your Marketing Strategy.”

SWOT analysis is also included as part of our Software Company Business Plan Package and the SaaS Business Planning Package.

Update your Business Plan for the New Decade

New Year start business planning It’s now 2010… do you have an updated business plan or marketing plan to address the new decade?

If you’re a software company, the industry is changing with the move to SaaS, outsourcing and other trends. It’s important to make sure you have a current business plan to make sure you’re positioned to take optimal advantage of these changes.

Take advantage of our SaaS business plan template, or the Software Company business plan template, and get started optimizing your business today!

Keeping Your Focus…

What’s the most important factor in product planning and sales/marketing for a technology startup?

In one word: FOCUS…

As a startup, especially in the technology space, it’s too easy to start thinking up all the exciting new usage models using your technology. Before you know it, you’re running three businesses when you should be focused on getting one off the ground.

How to deal with all those cool ideas that come into your head at the most inopportune moments?

Keep a notebook… that way, when you’re ready to grow the business you have some seeds of ideas to use as a starting point. But when you’re just starting out, it’s key to just pick one and FOCUS on it until it’s a paying business.

Why Having a Marketing Strategy Can Save You Money

When it comes to planning your marketing activities, do you take a strategic or a tactical approach?

Or in other words… Do you have a plan for how your marketing will really impact your customer purchase decisions? Or do you just “shoot from the hip” in your marketing decisions?

Too many companies fall into the second category, especially technology focused firms (to whom marketing may not be second nature).

It may seem like a waste of time to sit down and plan out your software marketing strategy, but the fact is that doing so will make your marketing signficantly more impactful and will save a lot in your marketing budget in the long run.

Trade shows are just one excellent example… they’re very expensive, but many tech companies continue with that large expense in their marketing budget just because “we always have” and “our competitors have a booth there.” Neither of those are good reasons, unless you’ve really done the strategic analysis of how your presence at the tradeshow can influence your customer purchase decisions in your favor.

Ask yourself whether the tradeshow is an important part of your software marketing plan. Maybe it is better to pass on the booth, and focus instead on networking and customer meetings during the show? If you don’t have a strategy, you will never know which is the better choice for your business…

Make your marketing work for you, by regularly updating your business plan and marketing strategy, and using that to prioritize your marketing activities. You can get a head start by using our templates for business and marketing planning for both traditional software companies and SaaS providers.

Procrastinating Your SaaS Business Plan? Five Reasons to Get It Done!

Our latest article, “SaaS Business Plan Tips,” on Software Marketing Advisor is about SaaS business planning… how critically important having a solid business plan is for software-as-a-service providers.

You may ask: why should I write down a lengthy business plan? Sure, there are too many things to do already when you’re trying to start or grow a business, and often business planning does not seem as critical as the other urgent calls on your time.

SaaS companies should not make that mistake… Here’s a quick summary of the top 5 reasons why you need to write that SaaS business plan now:

  1. SaaS involves selling and delivering a standardized solution that solves a customer need broadly without too much expensive customization. Getting that right requires up-front planning: there’s little opportunity to customize during the sales cycle or during installation and still make money.
  2. SaaS usually requires more up-front capital than a more traditional software startup. That means investors are going to be looking more closely at that SaaS business plan and financial projections.
  3. Because it is newer, the SaaS business model is less proven, requiring more ongoing analysis and adjustment as the industry matures. It’s hard to determine which assumptions worked and which didn’t if you don’t write it down.
  4. One of the most important SaaS metrics is low customer acquisition costs. Without a SaaS business plan, it is too easy to over-invest in lead generation or focus on the wrong leads, leading to unsustainable marketing and sales costs.
  5. There is additional complexity to SaaS business metrics that necessitates an ongoing plan to forecast and track them reliably. It is not sufficient to simply forecast and track quarterly bookings, as with licensed software.

So stop procrastinating… and start writing your business plan! This SaaS business plan template can be a useful place to start.


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