We all know that there are plenty of ways to grow your SaaS startup. But, with so many tactics and strategies, it can become quite overwhelming to choose where to start. I've seen a lot of SaaS startups go down the wrong path because they weren't entirely aware of the best growth hacks out there, yet also not looking at the straightforward ones.
Let's look at the simplest and cheapest growth ideas below.
1. You can avoid ads
If you're just starting out, don't spend a lot of money on ads right away. Instead, get involved in communities and talk to potential users. This is how you build super fans which helps you build the best features.
Stripe started out by going to developers and helping them with hackathons
Stripe has grown rapidly since their launch in 2011. They now have over 2 million registered users and are used by companies in almost every new company that needs payments. But Stripe didn’t become a huge success overnight — it took years of hustling and hard work to get there.
They identified their users and went after them. They didn't just spam, just casually helped around in the developer communities and bring awareness to the problem they were solving!
Build the product your customers want!
2. Start lean and simple
Don't aim for perfection the first day. I started Learnly with a one-pager on what I was going to do and an email link people were interested in. If you're not ready to invest your time, money or energy into building something perfect, then don't! Start with something simple and build from there. Do whatever it takes to get some early customers (even if they're family members or friends). Start marketing before you're even ready for your product launch. This is the whole concept of building in public.
Start with free trials or freemium versions of your product or service. It's easy to get users when they don't have any skin in the game, so they can try before they buy!
I started Learnly on day one with customers and revenue, you can too!
3. Localhost is lava
It's tempting to keep everything in localhost and do a big launch, but that can be a big mistake.
The best way to start a business is to find problems that need to be solved. Talk to your customers and make sure you’re actually fixing the right problem, and test the market as soon as possible. When you ship early, you may realize your solution isn't correct and have an early chance to repivot. It may take you several iterations before you get it right. By releasing fast, you keep your own motivation high and early adopters engaged.
Think of localhost as lava, don't keep anything in localhost for too long!
All of the above hacks all lead to two things, just talk, and ship!
Follow my journey as I build in public - @zqureshi_