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How to Build an Enterprise SaaS MVP

If you want to build a Software as a Service (SaaS) product for your enterprise customer, then you must first think of a way to streamline the process. Building complete enterprise products from start to finish can be ultra-demanding from both a security and functionality point of view, and will require you to first conduct a deep dive into the specific industry workflows.

So, to do this you need a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), to validate the value proposition of your product with a minimal development effort. With MVP a new product or service is developed with core functionalities, to test how the target audience would respond. Then, the actual product, with a full set of features, is developed after feedback is received from the early adopters.

Here’s our step by step process to help you build an initial version of your Enterprise SaaS product, and some of the biggest potential pitfalls.

Identify the Problem

Really take your time to narrow down your focus to one important problem affecting the industry your customer is in. Really hone in on identifying a specific niche, a workflow process, or a department where your solution could really make its mark. By identifying a real problem, you would have created an opportunity for a viable SaaS solution.

Do your Research

Regardless of whether you are a startup or an established software vendor, it is critical that you conduct market research. You may think that your idea is the best thing since sliced bread, but is it actually? Might sound harsh, but in order to answer this question, you have to get in the heads of the people who may one day be your clients. Otherwise, your application most likely won’t take off.

Part in parcel with doing your research is, of course, evaluating the competition. Researching your competition also helps you define your own product, and analyzing what features your competition does or does not offer can be very useful in deciding how to design your application to make it better.

Keep the End-User top of mind

Once you’ve identified the problem you’d like to solve with your MVP, the second step would be to learn about the people whose work environment you’re about to improve. Who is the person or people that are most frustrated with the identified problem? Let’s say it’s a human resources manager in charge of drafting contractual agreements. How is this department going to benefit from the SaaS product?

Understand Team Dynamics

Employee tasks are very rarely performed in isolation. Usually, they are dependant on factors from other departments, meaning that one person’s task may be affected by another person completing theirs. Learning about the existing processes will help you design an Enterprise SaaS MVP in a way that can be harmoniously merged into the department with minimal changes to the team dynamics.

Think back to the HR example: an HR assistant is in charge of drafting a contractual agreement, but the creation of this work contract would also involve collaboration with top management and the finance department. Thus for MVP to be successfully adopted, it needs to account for other employees, while designing a solution to the problem.

Formulate the MVP Prototype

Once you have identified the problem and got super familiar with the team dynamics and workflow, it’s time to sketch out what your MVP would actually look like, which basically means formulating a prototype.

While this is not a full-fledged model of your product, a prototype is the first step in reaching your goal. It will help organize your ideas in a visual way and can be used to test the viability of individual features.

Develop the MVP

Now for the most time and resource-consuming part of your MVP’s lifecycle – the development phase. This stage involves getting designers and developers to work together to move your MVP from the design-and-prototyping phase into development. Having a good prototype ensures the developers to hit the ground running, as your application’s structure is already set up and all the design elements are ready for implementation.

In order to build the smallest functioning version of our product, we need to identify the core features that we can’t do without, and the ‘nice to have’ features we need to save for later iterations. To do this effectively, cut out features that are not solving a key problem and deploy the solution with minimal design. Focusing on the impact the MVP will have, rather than the number of features, will help to effortlessly prove to your end-users that it makes their lives easier.

Analyse and Tweak the MVP

Now that your MVP is ready, have the intended user’s test drive it and monitor how they respond to it. Gather and analyze all the feedback and data to make iterations and changes, prioritize feature suggestions, and track usage patterns to inform the next steps of your MVP roadmap.

Enterprise SaaS is not just a product, it is a package. One of the great advantages of building an MVP and adopting an agile approach to development is that you involve actual users in the process, creating the basis for your future vendor-client relationship.

As mentioned at the outset, achieving success with Software-as-a-Service applications can be full of pitfalls, but by following these steps, your chances of success are a lot higher.

How Much Does It Cost to Create an On-Demand Delivery App?

On-demand delivery apps – the model which has been popularised by Uber – have become commonplace across many industries. Features of these apps include the:

  • Ability to place orders

  • Capability to schedule deliveries

  • Facility to track deliveries on a map

  • Ability to pay for deliveries

  • Facility to rate or provide feedback on deliveries

Many businesses are hopping on the bandwagon, secure in the knowledge that this is exactly what users are looking for. These apps are a fantastic way to get your company on the map and make sure that you’re (quite literally) in your customers’ back pockets.

Is it worth it? How much does it cost?

Let’s take a closer look.

Several Industries Have Been “Uberised”

Uber isn’t alone in the on-demand sphere. These apps are taking almost every industry out there by storm.

Package Delivery:

The model that certain companies in this industry (such as Shyp, Uber and Doorman) have adopted – in order words a driver going to a pick-up location for a package – is not cost effective. As such, they have not been successful.

However, there have been companies (such as Hitch and Roadie) in this space who have been successful. Their model uses people who are going in the direction that the package needs to be delivered to drop off the goods.

Local Food and Grocery Delivery:

Two companies who play in this space are Instacart and Postmates:

  • Instacart which provides same-day grocery deliveries from the stores that you already shop at. The app hires personal shoppers who purchase the goods for you and deliver them.

  • Postmates works similarly but instead of using personal shoppers to deliver the goods the app uses their own delivery people.

Delivery for Retailers:

With the popularity of online shopping on smart devices, many retailers have jumped on the bandwagon and have developed apps in order to facilitate their customers’ experiences. Amazon is one such retailer.

Other apps – such as Deliv – work on the same model as instacart and Postmates – but in the retail space. Apps that focus on food delivery or grocery shopping should include the following features:

  • Wish lists

  • Product search

  • Real-time messaging or calls.

The popularity of these genres of apps is not waning. In fact, it’s growing exponentially. According to Appinventiv:

  • 86.5 million Americans have used a service which operates along the same lines as Uber does,

  • 45 million Americans have been, or are, service providers in the on-demand service industry, and

  • 22.4 million people spend $57.6 billion – every year – on on-demand services.

And these are just on-demand delivery apps in the U.S. In other parts of the world, similar industries have been revolutionised using the always-on mentality. However, in order to ensure a successful business it’s not enough for on-demand delivery apps to create me-too businesses that mimic Uber.

In fact, Uber itself fell into the trap of mimicking their model too much when they innovated new products:

  • Uber developed UberRUSH which was an on-demand delivery service. It was based on the assumption that consumers want their packages delivered fast but they don’t mind paying extra for this. However, what they failed to do it realise that consumers do indeed want packages delivered quickly but they don’t want to pay extra for this.

  • The tech company took what it learned from UberRUSH and developed Uber Eats, the food-delivery service that uses the Uber network of drivers to deliver food from a restaurant to a customer when an order is placed.

What Makes an On-demand Delivery App Successful?

Before we answer the question of how much it costs to develop an on-demand delivery app, we need to look at the three factors that you’ve got to get right to build a successful on-demand delivery app. These are:

  • User acquisition

  • Transportation

  • Delivery costs

User acquisition

In order to build a successful on-demand delivery app, you first need a good base of users who will use the app’s services. This is because on-demand services apps’ competitive advantage is cheaper and faster delivery.

Here are some tips to building your user base:

  • Start small: Begin servicing a small area that is densely populated. If there is a massive uptake, you can start expanding your area. If not,

  • Start marketing before you launch. Examples of ways you can do this include social media, public relations and referral programmes.

  • Create strategic partnerships. Creating strategic partnerships with the companies – whose services you’re going to be delivering – is another good marketing channel.

Just as it is important to acquire new customers  for an on-demand delivery app it’s vital for you to keep your business attractive to customers. Here are some ways that you can do this:

  • Be responsive to customer queries. This will make them feel that they are important to you, that you value them. As such, they will remain loyal to you.

  • Create a rating system in your app so that customers have confidence that they are getting service that is the best of the best.

  • Make it known to your customers that you are meticulous about screening your contractors. This will give your clients added confidence when using you.

  • Institute a loyalty programme. People will keep using you if they know that they will be rewarded.

Keeping your contractors happy is extremely important too. Here’s an idea how you can do this with you

on-demand delivery app:

  • Pay your contractors competitively. This will keep them happy and prevent them from looking for work elsewhere.

  • Consider subsiding fuel costs. Even if you pay your contractors a competitive rate, if most of the earnings go towards fuel costs they might reconsider working for you.

  • Find ways of motivating your contractors to constantly achieve more and give the best service that they can.

Transportation and delivery costs

Here are a few tips to cut delivery costs:

  • Synchronise your routes and don’t make contractors travel more than they should. For example, Uber drivers are only alerted of ride requests in the area that they are currently in.

  • Decrease the delivery radius. This also saves on time and fuel.

  • Another way of decreasing fuel costs is to adopt greener forms of transportation. For example, start a bike delivery service.

Costs Involved in Developing an On-demand Delivery App

In order to calculate the total cost of developing an on-demand delivery app, you need to multiply the number of hours by the vendor rate. It’s estimated that the time it takes to develop iOS and Android apps is roughly the same – between 3 276 and 4 794 hours.

The costs of delivery are high so make sure that your profitability models cover all of your expenses. Remember that you need to ensure that you walk away with a good amount of profit that justifies the time, money and effort that you put into the app.

The Piggy Back Hack📱: 4 Guaranteed User Acquisition Techniques for Apps

How did Snapchat, YouTube, Airbnb, Instagram and WhatsApp ‘piggy-backed’ acquisition of new customers?

These days, it seems like some tech companies go from zero to a million users overnight. The growth of these firms like Snapchat and YouTube can seem magical… but it’s not. 
Did you know a small tweak within the platform can make all the difference between being a million or a billion $ company? 

This the ‘piggy-back’ growth hack to gain users, We call this the ‘piggy-back’ hack, as these platforms rode on someone’s shoulders to grow their user base.

4. YouTube’s Embed Code Hack
Back in 2005 – 2006 YouTube chose to focus on MySpace as a means of reaching its target audience. At the time, in 2005, with nearly 25 million unique users, MySpace was the top social network, particularly for bands and their fans, but sharing videos on the site was next to impossible.

Other video sites like YouTube had avoided allowing blogs and other sites to embed videos on their sites. To avoid paying substantial hosting costs associated with supporting traffic to other people’s sites. Instead, YouTube shouldered the cost in exchange for a huge boost in brand recognition and grew average users to nearly 20 million visitors per month. That initial traction helped it grow into the powerhouse it is today, with over a billion users. 

3. Instagram’s Cross-Posting to multi-platform
Launched in October 2010 it quickly became a fast, beautiful and fun way to share life with friends and family through a series of pictures, beautified using filters. Instagram took the platform hack to another level. They made it quick and easy for users to cross-post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, and more by push of a button. 

This was undeniably good for users, who struggled to post mobile photos to Facebook in those early days, but it was also good for Instagram, whose distinct-looking photos started popping up across various social platforms, serving as a free advertisement for the app.

2. Airbnb’s Craigslist Cross-Posting
Yet another example of a platform hack is a simple yet brilliant tool within Airbnb, which allowed users listing their properties on the app to cross-post them to Craigslist in one click. They asked the user to post their home that they wanted to rent out by filling a pre-filled form. It made it simple for the user to cross post their listing to Craigslist. (Image: https://www.quora.com/How-did-Airbnb-avoid-liability-when-they-implemented-their-growth-hack-with-craigslist-1)

Taking advantage of Craigslist’s well-established user base not only allowed Airbnb to get its name in front of as many new users as possible, but it also helped to ensure that the properties they listed for rent were booked more often—making listing with them more lucrative for users.

1. Snapchat’s Snapcode
Snapchat launched Snapcodes in early 2015 after they purchased a QR code company called Scan.me. While brands and marketers attempted to make QR codes hip for years, it was Snapchat who ultimately turned them into influencer currency. Snapchatters could then easily add friends by taking a snap of their profile picture. 

Also, By changing a Twitter profile picture to a Snaptag, users were able to encourage their Twitter following to add them on the new instant messaging platform.