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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.

How To Measure And Increase Your App Users’ Happiness

As a mobile app maker, if this question hasn’t crossed your mind from time to time, it really should:

Am I doing everything in my power to keep my customers engaged and happy, all while leaving them with a positive and memorable experience?

If you’re wondering why user happiness ranks above all other metrics, it’s as simple as this – if your users are happy with your app, they will engage more, convert more and spend more. They will talk about your app to friends and family, forgive the occasional technical glitch and most importantly, these happy app users are going to be the ones who become loyal customers. Let’s unpack some of the ways that you can ensure your app users are happy with your app.

Make onboarding painless

First things first – users downloaded your app for a reason. Help them address that reason as quickly as you can. Onboarding is a crucial process for app developers to get right: no bugs, no crashes, no usability problems allowed. The faster they get to using your app and fulfilling their needs, the better .

If they are there to play a game, then don’t have a billion pop up screens telling them about your other apps. Skip the upselling get the game started right away. Get to the point quickly, and first finish the primary task they downloaded your app for. All the other chores like logging in, creating an account and learning the new features can be done later.

Check the Metrics

One of the easiest ways to check that your onboarding process isn’t sending users away is to check the action cohorts tool, a visual that shows the relationship between one event in the app and another. By setting a filter to see how many users signed up for the app and then went on to complete a purchase in the same week, you can really measure happiness.

You can also keep an eye on app sessions, which will show the level of session user engagement. Keep in mind though, a shorter session duration does not necessarily have to mean a bad app. If the user got what they were looking for in your app fast, it can actually be a good thing.

Ask with Intent

When formulating survey questions, don’t ask about features that you don’t actually plan to develop for the app. That will just let the app user down as they will be expecting you to activate this feature in the future. Ask questions with intent, with the end goal being to improve the end users experience.

Short and Sweet Surveys

When surveying consumers on if they like an app, remember they don’t want to be given the 3rd degree. Get to the point with short precise questions, such as: Do you like this x and y feature? If the app is more complicated in terms of functionality, then in the next session on the app, ask another question, like: “Would you recommend this app to a friend?”

Reward Participants

There may be times where app users are not opting in to give you feedback. You could give them a nudge by offering incentives like a month free of the premium version of your app, or extra credits or points that can spend in-app.

Customer Service is Key

It is vital to make your support team easily accessible to the users at all times. Live chat, phone support, whatever means available to chat to consumers, just be there when the users need you.

Many consumers will uninstall an app that provides no support or is slow in replying to user queries. In online spaces like social media, public forums and app store reviews, how well you interact with a user will establish your persona with every other user who sees it. Answer questions, resolve problems and offer solutions promptly to make users happy. A mobile app with tons of poor reviews and dead silence from the developer spells trouble.

Another way to improve customer service is to create a community who can chat to each other or even solve each other’s queries within the app. By creating a community for your target market within the app, you can listen to your customers and then deliver.

Make Sure the App is Working at all Times

This is the most obvious way to increase the app users happiness – making doubly sure that the app works flawlessly. Make sure it is up to speed, loads up quick, no bugs and crashes. If you secure all ends and get the work done, your users will stay happy. Besides the obvious workings of the app, keep content short and sweet, and avoid practices that make reading on a small screen harder to do, such as columns of text or lengths of text that involve a lot of thumb scrolling.

Happy users make for successful mobile apps, which is why it is of paramount importance to make sure that above all the dozens of KPIs you manage, user happiness remains your core focus. Use the above guides to effectively measure and increase your users’ happiness and keep your app thriving in what is always going to be a competitive space.

How to Make a Successful New App With a Used Idea

App creation has taken the world by storm and all but changed the very fabric of how we see the world around us.

For the last eleven years the world has gone from enjoying the simple pleasures of the infamous Snake app on Nokia phones, to using an app for practically anything you can think of; from checking the weather and news events all the way to monitoring bodily functions, shopping, and socializing.

In fact, app creation has become so prolific that startups can understandably feel daunted and pressured when wanting to make their own mark in this vast industry.

Measuring Up Against The Giants

There are so many big players on this court including Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Twitter, all offering numerous facilities that wow the masses already – how could you possibly hope to compete? The answer is simpler than you think.

As massive and glorious as these developments may seem, they all started in the same place and the shocking truth is that these corporate giants weren’t actually the first ones! Facebook stole the limelight from predecessors including Myspace and Friendster. Twitter did the same thing to former apps including Hipstamatic and Instagram.

With so many methods already mixing together in this pot of profit, it’s extremely difficult to invent something completely new. And honestly, in most cases it’s unnecessary. The trick is looking for loopholes or ways to do something common better than before. Tricks And Tips For Successful App Development

Tricks And Tips For Successful App Development

Working with a used method can take a little more effort and forethought, but with the right steps you can take any idea and make it your own. This avenue can also grant you the added benefits of a tried and tested industry and audience, and when done right it can be more beneficial and faster than starting completely from scratch.

Here’s what you need to do:

Find Your Gap

No matter how good an app may seem, there will always be pain points or weak areas that could be improved on in one way or another. One of the first steps to getting into this industry is finding these weak spots and looking for the opportunities within them. This is a fantastic way of taking a used idea and making it an improved facility in your own creation.

Create Better Designs For Limited Options

Product design has always been one of the most fundamental aspects of a successful app. However, there will invariably be one or two aspects that could have been designed differently or more proficiently.

One of the main reasons why Facebook has done so well and risen to the very top is not because they are new and exciting; they actually use the same concept ideas their predecessors did. The difference is that they designed their app better and developed it for a little longer. So, while they may have been out of the gate a little late, the way their app has been designed is their biggest success. Right from the beginning it included syncing features earlier apps lacked and ran much smoother than any others did. Faster development is not always better.

Tailor-Made Monetisation Strategies

Now as different as you may want to be, some app details will always stay the same. Making money is making money after all. On a general basis, there are already numerous ways in which businesses are using apps to generate extra income, including sign up fees, click baiting and adverts, upgrading packages, and content packages.

The trick to making your own mark is finding an income strategy that not only suits your product concept but is also user friendly. A great example of this is image editing apps that offer professional content for a select price by simply purchasing in app. It’s convenient and therefore users tend to be more open to paying.

Multiple Platforms

If you take a closer look at master apps like Facebook and Instagram, you’ll notice they are never just on their own platform or a singular platform. The more platforms your app is featured on, the better known you will become. Just because you are trying to outdo the big boys doesn’t mean you can’t use their platforms to give yourself a bigger boost. Advertising is still the majordomo and thanks to current upgrades, syncing is the new big thing. Placing links of your app on other more popular apps can lead to higher user traffic.

Relevance Is Key

One of the most important facts about supply and demand, even when it comes to apps, is that relevance is everything. You could have the fanciest hardware, the most complicated programming, and the most streamlined user interface and still not achieve your goals. If your audience can’t relate to what you’re offering, chances are they will be less interested and this will reflect in your app’s popularity.

A general rule is that keeping it simple yet capable is the best way to go. Just because you are using an old idea doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with your delivery to make up for it. In most cases convenience will always trump a flamboyant approach.

Realising Your Success Success

As of 2019, there are over 2.1 million published apps available to the public. With such a massive shoes to fill, tip toeing will not get you far.

It is possible to create an app of your own even if the idea has already been used by dozens of others. It all comes down to how you do it and more importantly how you make it your own.

Don’t let the numbers scare you. If you want to make an app then go right ahead and make it. Just do it well.