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Totally confused about Idea/Solution validation for SaaS. Please help out

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Idea threads

codequaza

New Contributor
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Nov 11, 2019
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Hi all,

I'm a software engineer and I want to start my own SaaS business. I've understood that I should validate the idea before writing a single line of code. And here the nightmare begins for me.

Last time I had a business idea:
- I don't know, how I could convince a business to use my MVP, instead of a fully built app by someone else. How do I approach this?
Also, I often read that I should create some mockups. But seriously: Who gives a F#@! about mockups. They want a prototype. I really question how this works, because people would surely laugh at me if I would only show them some UI mockups and no real app.

- There are lots of ways to validate an idea, but when I did try to validate my previous idea the last time, none of them really worked.
I tried cold emailing, writing dm's to businesses on insta, creating surveys(which no one filled out), collecting emails on a landing page. But none of these worked out, and even if they did. How can I be sure that someone will actually PAY? Collecting money before a service exists, is in my country a really weird thing to do. How can I seperate luke warm interest from actual buying interest?

Let's imagine that I own a real estate business with 1000+ properties and some guy wants to sell me his SaaS real estate app by showing some mockups or a really small MVP. I mean, I wouldn't take him seriously. I have properties to manage, a business to run. How should someone like him convince? I'm thinking about myself in the position of the guy who wants to sell the real estate SaaS.


In such a fast paced environment today. I'm really overwhelmed on how to validate my idea and get the first few customers. No one will take the time to respond to a survey, because they won't get anything out from it. Nobody is responding to my cold emails or insta dm's. I don't know if I should shoot my shot and just develop the solution for 6 months.

If you're a successful SaaS founder: What is your opinion on this? How did you do it? How do you know who wants to buy from you? Which channels work best for you?
Can you maybe share your step by step process/framework please?

Thanks for your help!
 
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Djenis

New Contributor
Apr 24, 2021
3
10
27
Belgium
Hi there, full disclosure: I don't own a successful SaaS business. But like you I work in the software field, more specifically as a freelancer in data analytics and have sold several services to non-software clients. As developers we are liable to focus too much on our solution (our baby after all) and not enough on the client's problem.

To me it sounds like you focus a lot on validating your solution (be it an MVP or mockup) without being sure you are really solving a problem that your target audience actually has. If I own a real estate business with 1000+ properties I don't care about software, apps or SaaS and would not schedule a meeting to look at one (mockup, MVP or finished).

I would however be very interested in talking to you if your app (or whatever) allowed me to either (A) reduce my costs (e.g. smarter maintenance, better tenant screening) or (B) increase revenue (identify areas where property values are likely to appreciate). I personally completely drop any technical language (software, app, cloud, data, etc. ) when I talk to clients and only speak their language (rent, defaults, mold, bed bugs, maintenance, repairs, crime, etc.).

If you are only getting luke warm interest, are you sure that the problem you're solving is sufficiently important to your target audience?
 

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
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May 29, 2013
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Louisville - Kentucky
Hi all,

I'm a software engineer and I want to start my own SaaS business. I've understood that I should validate the idea before writing a single line of code. And here the nightmare begins for me.

Last time I had a business idea:
- I don't know, how I could convince a business to use my MVP, instead of a fully built app by someone else. How do I approach this?
Also, I often read that I should create some mockups. But seriously: Who gives a F#@! about mockups. They want a prototype. I really question how this works, because people would surely laugh at me if I would only show them some UI mockups and no real app.

- There are lots of ways to validate an idea, but when I did try to validate my previous idea the last time, none of them really worked.
I tried cold emailing, writing dm's to businesses on insta, creating surveys(which no one filled out), collecting emails on a landing page. But none of these worked out, and even if they did. How can I be sure that someone will actually PAY? Collecting money before a service exists, is in my country a really weird thing to do. How can I seperate luke warm interest from actual buying interest?

Let's imagine that I own a real estate business with 1000+ properties and some guy wants to sell me his SaaS real estate app by showing some mockups or a really small MVP. I mean, I wouldn't take him seriously. I have properties to manage, a business to run. How should someone like him convince? I'm thinking about myself in the position of the guy who wants to sell the real estate SaaS.

In such a fast paced environment today. I'm really overwhelmed on how to validate my idea and get the first few customers. No one will take the time to respond to a survey, because they won't get anything out from it. Nobody is responding to my cold emails or insta dm's. I don't know if I should shoot my shot and just develop the solution for 6 months.

If you're a successful SaaS founder: What is your opinion on this? How did you do it? How do you know who wants to buy from you? Which channels work best for you?
Can you maybe share your step by step process/framework please?

Thanks for your help!

Any this is exactly why people should not do any of the things you listed in your post when trying to validate a SaaS.

Check out my sig for more
.
 

codequaza

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Nov 11, 2019
15
15
Hi there, full disclosure: I don't own a successful SaaS business. But like you I work in the software field, more specifically as a freelancer in data analytics and have sold several services to non-software clients. As developers we are liable to focus too much on our solution (our baby after all) and not enough on the client's problem.

To me it sounds like you focus a lot on validating your solution (be it an MVP or mockup) without being sure you are really solving a problem that your target audience actually has. If I own a real estate business with 1000+ properties I don't care about software, apps or SaaS and would not schedule a meeting to look at one (mockup, MVP or finished).

I would however be very interested in talking to you if your app (or whatever) allowed me to either (A) reduce my costs (e.g. smarter maintenance, better tenant screening) or (B) increase revenue (identify areas where property values are likely to appreciate). I personally completely drop any technical language (software, app, cloud, data, etc. ) when I talk to clients and only speak their language (rent, defaults, mold, bed bugs, maintenance, repairs, crime, etc.).

If you are only getting luke warm interest, are you sure that the problem you're solving is sufficiently important to your target audience?
Hey, thx for your answer :)
I want to develop an appointment app, which is basically a standard now in the hairdresser business in my country. I see huge sums being paid for this software. I wanted to implement one as well, with a cheaper price (but still high enough), and add automatic appointment suggestions (e.g. every 2 weeks on Friday or Saturday at 4 pm).
I talked to almost all friends and 60% of them said, that they go in regular intervals to the hairdresser and some of them even had a fixed appointment.
So that would help the business owner to get a secure predictable income and would lower the barrier to schedule appointments :)
So I wonder if they would be interested to switch to my solution, with that USP(automatic appointment scheduling)
 
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