Can one person operate a small SaaS platform?

by iPeter
7 replies
Hello warriors. I'm considering creating a subscription-based SaaS platform that is mainly operated by a single person (me). My goal with this would be a revenue of around $5,000 per month, or in other words that's 1,000 paying customers @ $5 each, or 500 customers @ $10, and so on.

In my mind, there are three main aspects that I will need to work on - software development, customer support via email, and marketing. I think I can do all three.

Do you think that this is feasible at all? On paper it does seem pretty straightforward to create and find customers for a small SaaS platform. Is it any different in reality? Am I missing anything?

Thank you!
#operate #person #platform #saas #small
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Originally Posted by iPeter View Post

    I think I can do all three.

    There's a lot of doubt there. Either you can or you can't. I guess the key thing is being able to write software.

    SAAS is not hard to write but you'll find some customers want something and other customers do not. So it can be hard to come up with a feature list that pleases everybody.

    Also you're targeting the bottom end of the market, and those customers are more of a hassle to work with. So you'll have a lot more support issues.

    Don't be afraid to charge more. When I had my software business I wish I had had the confidence to double my prices.
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  • Profile picture of the author iPeter
    Here's where the doubt is coming from. I know I can write nice software and provide customer support, I have years of experience with both. However, the marketing/sales aspect is where I'm unsure of my abilities. I've never done this and I don't know if I'll be able to find customers.

    The pricing I mentioned is just an example as to how many customers I would have to get at each price point in order to reach my goal of $5K of revenue. I haven't decided on the pricing yet. Thanks for the tip, I will keep that in mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rank Watch
    Nothing is Immpossible, but starting a SaaS firm and managing it single handedly can be a very tough ask.
    There are a few things that would need your attention,

    1. Customer Support
    No matter how small your busines is, your customers would need support 24x7. And if you have planned to take your business to globa level, you woul need to take care of the timne zones

    2. Programming
    Assuming that you have knowledge for frontend and backend programming but still it is something that takes a lot of your time. Managing time with programming can be cumbersome task.

    3. UX & UI
    This part of running a business is something that can be ignored, I hope you can manage it well.

    4. Developement and Testing
    Enhancments & updates will require huge efforts in terms of analyzing and getting feedback of existing users going through development and testing without impacting existing users.

    5. Marketing
    Even getting your maiden customer would require you to market your product first and marketing is soemthing that should never stop thus marketing you SaaS, getting leads and penetrating the market with a competitive edge can be tough task if you are only resource.

    All the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author poweredspeaker
    Yes for sure. A single person can operate small saas platform, because it is not a difficult process. All you need to do is research.
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  • Profile picture of the author georgica
    you can start it alone but I'll find yourself hiring people in no time. I did. it's hell - you dont even suspect the number of tasks you'll need to do. hard work is a understatement here. get a team!
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  • Profile picture of the author GoranDuskic
    Hey iPeter,

    I operate a small SaaS company, it's possible, but it's not easy. Also, I am not alone. I am not an engineer, so I do get some technical help. It's never really the problem to build something if you have the necessary skills. Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself.

    Building something from scratch is tough as hell, especially if you don't have any experience. Just read here about some of the hardships small SAAS owners go through.

    Not sure what your reasoning is behind "doing this alone", but if that's a must-have for you, you will have to be a jack-of-all-trades, and you know what they say about them. Anyway, get ready to: develop, design, sell, market, customer service, run the business, etc.

    By far the hardest thing will be to decide what you are going to build in the first place. You will have to do some market research, check the demand, instead of just going by your gut feeling and follow the "build it and they will come". So to answer your quesion about creating something and finding the clients for that is wrong approach. Once you understand that, it's going to get better.
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  • Profile picture of the author akshay7
    You can build a product alone but not a business. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't/can't start alone. But don't be hesitant to hire help later. You'll need it.
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