A Software as a Service (SaaS) company delivers business applications via the web. Typically, the SaaS business plan describes a business model that does not fit the traditional software company selling a fixed price product. One of the major differences is found in the fact the SaaS cash flow stream is usually subscription based. It is often not possible to charge the total contract period price at the time of sale because of the large amount involved, and yet there are upfront costs to acquiring each customer. This creates a negative cash flow situation for an extended period of time, and that is not appealing to investors. The business owner needs to spend considerable time developing an accurate cash flow statement because business success depends on revenue timing, low customer turnover (churning) and the regular influx of new customers.

Our approach to SaaS Business Plan

The SaaS business model can rely on website marketing or direct selling. The website model utilizes online marketing strategies to produce leads and to convert leads into paying customers. Direct selling models normally involves a mix of online and offline sales strategies directed at the B2B market. As a technologically advanced business, it is also important to ensure all cost categories are included on the financial statement, including web hosting and data storage. Other information the SaaS business plan includes is as follows:

  • What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI), i.e. recurring revenue, customer retention rates, organic growth rate, acquisition costs per client, etc.
  • What are the staffing costs associated with management, software engineering and maintenance, pre and post sales support, accounting, and marketing
  • Does the business plan include planned growth strategies, i.e. bandwidth size, customer access speed, etc.?
  • What security issues exist and how have they been mitigated?
  • Who is developing the technology? Is it proprietary?
  • What are the developers’ qualifications and how will the product be maintained, enhanced or expanded over time?
  • What are the risks of the product being duplicated or of new competition entering the market with an enhanced version?
  • Does the business own the Intellectual Property? Are there legal documents to support ownership and property rights?
  • What Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are proposed to ensure ongoing, smooth operation?

Investors considering supporting the SaaS business plan will look closely at the technology and how that supports business development. A major concern is risk management strategies. For example, how will the business maintain viability through the first five years by implementing key personnel retention plans? Investors need to know that the money they invest will go to the business model as described, and that includes the management. If a key person were to leave, like the original software developer, how would the business continue? Investors will also want to look at a prototype, if at all possible. However, if a prototype is not available due to lack of funding, the slide deck must be very detailed as to product specifications.

OGS Capital can help SaaS business owners develop a detailed business plan that addresses all the technology and other factors of interest to investors. Contacting us by completing the simple form is a first step towards success.

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