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How to build a SaaS business - everything you should know 

What makes an IT project successful

Let us tell you how to identify that your IT project is going on successfully. You could say that the following three conditions have to be met.

A project has to be delivered according to the specification, within a definite budget, and on time. 

But is it enough for a project to be deemed successful? According to the Project Management Offices, there's one more thing missing here: meeting certain business criteria.

Based on the most common causes of project failures, we've proposed 8 tips you should follow at every stage of your project. 

Preparing for a discovery call 

During the discovery call, you'll likely be talking to sales reps and potentially people responsible for project delivery. At Apptension, we always do some research about your business before they call, but we still might have some questions about your company to better understand your needs, for instance:

  • what makes your company unique in the industry?
  • what are the pain points you're trying to solve?
  • who are the key stakeholders?

Understandably, the bulk of the discovery process has to do with the project you want to deliver. The main insights a tech company needs to have are the scope of the project, the timeline, and the budget.

How to reduce startup burn rate? 

Luckily, there's a way to keep an eye on your spending, especially if money is tight and it's your startup's burn rate. Burn rate indicates a pace at which a company is losing money before profits cover your losses. Monitoring this metric will help you to decide which activities may not be necessary at the moment, as they don't produce the desired ROI. Let's say that your monthly gross spendings reach $100,000, covering your office rent, employee salary, equipment lease, etc. This amount of money is your gross burn rate. To calculate your net burn rate, use this simple equation:

Net Burn Rate = Gross Burn Rate — Monthly Revenue

If you already have some beta version of your product, which already makes $10,000 a month in profit. Your net burn rate is then $90,000. If you've managed to secure series A funding totaling $450,000, your net burn rate allows you to operate for five months before running out of cash.

How to start an online business

Suppose you want to start an online business. In that case, there are various things you need to consider, including coming up with the idea, researching the target customers, developing a website, and then promoting it so people use it. On the Internet, the website is a storefront of your business. It must be compelling, easy to read, understand, fast, and trustworthy. But even the best website won't get you the ROI out of your investment if there is nobody out there to use it. Or if your idea doesn't fit any need, solve a problem or bring value. Starting an online business, we recommend to:

  • define your product or service
  • specify your target audience
  • define what elements you need to have on your website
  • hire website developers
  • promote your business

It will help you to better outline and execute your idea and launch your online business successfully.

How to calculate the cost of your project? 

To calculate any website's cost, software developers need to translate the idea into technology. And I don't mean a rough idea behind your project; I mean a detailed list of user stories. If you already have your website's user stories listed, include them in your brief. Otherwise, you can team up with your potential tech partner and use their expertise during kick-off workshops to develop such a list.

In this post, I'll walk you through calculating the cost of web development we use at Apptension. What follows is a glimpse into what we consider when it comes to design, frontend and backend development, QA, and DevOps.

How to improve your startup condition as a non-technical CEO

This article shows you how to improve your startup condition and work on your technical approach while remaining a non-technical CEO. There are many reasons to think that a good CEO should know how to code. Most of the great CEOs either received formal engineering education (like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg) or learned programming by themselves (Instagram's CEO Kevin Systrom). It is very tempting to be able to develop your product by yourself and adequately review the performance of your dev team. Hoping to be the next Silicon Valley luminary, you might think that learning programming is the one final step you need to make to take your startup to another level. When reality sets in, however, it turns out you don't have that much time you can dedicate to coding or that this is not your thing. You're officially a non-technical CEO, and it's not the end of the world (or your startup). This is not another blog post that lists all of the resources that allow you to learn how to code. Sure, it's not too late for you to start programming, and it's not rocket science (unless it is, but I assume you're not into aerospace engineering). I believe, however, that not every CEO has to be a coder and that there are ways to stay relevant and effectively communicate with your tech team without this commitment, and this is what this blog post is about.

How to recruit programmers for a startup? 

Recruiting programmers is one of the key processes when running an online business. Ideally, it would be best if you had reliable, dedicated people and excelled at their technological domain. But, is it possible to achieve? I'm the CTO at Apptension, a creative software house that grew from 3 founders to a team of almost 50 people. I've skimmed hundreds of resumés, interviewed all developers who applied to work at my company, and evaluated many test tasks. Even though there's no cookie-cutter way of assessing whether someone is the perfect fit for your team, I believe there are some ways in which you can increase your chances of a successful hire. In this article, I want to present my take on hiring web developers, which should be helpful for people responsible for technical recruitment in startups and small companies.

How to pick a technology partner? 

Starting a technological startup requires not only financial but also technical support. So, if you have a groundbreaking idea but lack the technological background, good news - you can still open a billion-dollar tech company. All you need to do is to find the right technology partner. So, if you'd like to know how to build a web application, mobile application, or explore other technologies without advanced IT knowledge, check out our guide and start your successful tech partnership.

Which resource management to use? 

We took eight months to craft one solution that would satisfy all those needs expressed, and that's how teamdeck came into being. The app comes with a 14-day free trial to test it to your heart's content before committing. To rev up your experience, grab a free copy of our ebook on best practices in resource management. And if you'd like to get a tour around the teamdeck, you can always book my time. Bonus: if you use Podio for project management, you can kill (metaphorically!) two birds with one stone: teamdeck's had Podio integration from the get-go because that's our PM weapon of choice.

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Hanna Dawidko-Chudziak
Hanna Dawidko-Chudziak
Head of Marketing
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How to build a SaaS business - everything you should know 

April 22, 2022
7
minutes read
audio description available
TL;DR

Are you in the middle of creating your own SaaS product and just have a ton of questions without answers? In this article, we gathered all the knowledge we have on the topic and sorted it out for you. 

How to use this guide? Just navigate through the article with the table of contents (on the left), and click the necessary subheading to read the detailed info about the topic. 

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How to build a SaaS business - everything you should know 
How to build a SaaS business - everything you should know 

What makes an IT project successful

Let us tell you how to identify that your IT project is going on successfully. You could say that the following three conditions have to be met.

A project has to be delivered according to the specification, within a definite budget, and on time. 

But is it enough for a project to be deemed successful? According to the Project Management Offices, there's one more thing missing here: meeting certain business criteria.

Based on the most common causes of project failures, we've proposed 8 tips you should follow at every stage of your project. 

Preparing for a discovery call 

During the discovery call, you'll likely be talking to sales reps and potentially people responsible for project delivery. At Apptension, we always do some research about your business before they call, but we still might have some questions about your company to better understand your needs, for instance:

  • what makes your company unique in the industry?
  • what are the pain points you're trying to solve?
  • who are the key stakeholders?

Understandably, the bulk of the discovery process has to do with the project you want to deliver. The main insights a tech company needs to have are the scope of the project, the timeline, and the budget.

How to reduce startup burn rate? 

Luckily, there's a way to keep an eye on your spending, especially if money is tight and it's your startup's burn rate. Burn rate indicates a pace at which a company is losing money before profits cover your losses. Monitoring this metric will help you to decide which activities may not be necessary at the moment, as they don't produce the desired ROI. Let's say that your monthly gross spendings reach $100,000, covering your office rent, employee salary, equipment lease, etc. This amount of money is your gross burn rate. To calculate your net burn rate, use this simple equation:

Net Burn Rate = Gross Burn Rate — Monthly Revenue

If you already have some beta version of your product, which already makes $10,000 a month in profit. Your net burn rate is then $90,000. If you've managed to secure series A funding totaling $450,000, your net burn rate allows you to operate for five months before running out of cash.

How to start an online business

Suppose you want to start an online business. In that case, there are various things you need to consider, including coming up with the idea, researching the target customers, developing a website, and then promoting it so people use it. On the Internet, the website is a storefront of your business. It must be compelling, easy to read, understand, fast, and trustworthy. But even the best website won't get you the ROI out of your investment if there is nobody out there to use it. Or if your idea doesn't fit any need, solve a problem or bring value. Starting an online business, we recommend to:

  • define your product or service
  • specify your target audience
  • define what elements you need to have on your website
  • hire website developers
  • promote your business

It will help you to better outline and execute your idea and launch your online business successfully.

How to calculate the cost of your project? 

To calculate any website's cost, software developers need to translate the idea into technology. And I don't mean a rough idea behind your project; I mean a detailed list of user stories. If you already have your website's user stories listed, include them in your brief. Otherwise, you can team up with your potential tech partner and use their expertise during kick-off workshops to develop such a list.

In this post, I'll walk you through calculating the cost of web development we use at Apptension. What follows is a glimpse into what we consider when it comes to design, frontend and backend development, QA, and DevOps.

How to improve your startup condition as a non-technical CEO

This article shows you how to improve your startup condition and work on your technical approach while remaining a non-technical CEO. There are many reasons to think that a good CEO should know how to code. Most of the great CEOs either received formal engineering education (like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg) or learned programming by themselves (Instagram's CEO Kevin Systrom). It is very tempting to be able to develop your product by yourself and adequately review the performance of your dev team. Hoping to be the next Silicon Valley luminary, you might think that learning programming is the one final step you need to make to take your startup to another level. When reality sets in, however, it turns out you don't have that much time you can dedicate to coding or that this is not your thing. You're officially a non-technical CEO, and it's not the end of the world (or your startup). This is not another blog post that lists all of the resources that allow you to learn how to code. Sure, it's not too late for you to start programming, and it's not rocket science (unless it is, but I assume you're not into aerospace engineering). I believe, however, that not every CEO has to be a coder and that there are ways to stay relevant and effectively communicate with your tech team without this commitment, and this is what this blog post is about.

How to recruit programmers for a startup? 

Recruiting programmers is one of the key processes when running an online business. Ideally, it would be best if you had reliable, dedicated people and excelled at their technological domain. But, is it possible to achieve? I'm the CTO at Apptension, a creative software house that grew from 3 founders to a team of almost 50 people. I've skimmed hundreds of resumés, interviewed all developers who applied to work at my company, and evaluated many test tasks. Even though there's no cookie-cutter way of assessing whether someone is the perfect fit for your team, I believe there are some ways in which you can increase your chances of a successful hire. In this article, I want to present my take on hiring web developers, which should be helpful for people responsible for technical recruitment in startups and small companies.

How to pick a technology partner? 

Starting a technological startup requires not only financial but also technical support. So, if you have a groundbreaking idea but lack the technological background, good news - you can still open a billion-dollar tech company. All you need to do is to find the right technology partner. So, if you'd like to know how to build a web application, mobile application, or explore other technologies without advanced IT knowledge, check out our guide and start your successful tech partnership.

Which resource management to use? 

We took eight months to craft one solution that would satisfy all those needs expressed, and that's how teamdeck came into being. The app comes with a 14-day free trial to test it to your heart's content before committing. To rev up your experience, grab a free copy of our ebook on best practices in resource management. And if you'd like to get a tour around the teamdeck, you can always book my time. Bonus: if you use Podio for project management, you can kill (metaphorically!) two birds with one stone: teamdeck's had Podio integration from the get-go because that's our PM weapon of choice.

Hanna Dawidko-Chudziak
Hanna Dawidko-Chudziak
Head of Marketing
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