A To-do List of Big Tasks for a New SaaS Startup
Dom holding a phone to his ear, smiling.
Dom Maurice
January 1, 2024

I started Chuffed Solutions to help individuals and teams go from idea to app. With that, I have worked with many SaaS companies at the beginning of their journey and delivered users and a path to growth. But what do those first few steps look like? Well, here are some principles to work to:

  • Strategy > Tactics
  • Always make it about telling stories about people
  • Everything is an experiment
  • Community counts
  • Align the team with goals and vision and not opinions and tasks
  • You can’t manage what you don’t measure

Here is a to-do list for that initial marketing insight.

Decide on one, yes one, channel.

It is desirable to jump into “everyone” as an answer to the target audience, but this creates a mess of messaging and convolutes decision-making. A good go-to-market strategy will consider where the low-hanging fruit is, and you know you have done your homework when you clearly know who and where.

Create Personas

Marketing and Product must work together to create a clear archetype of the product’s potential users. Focus on their motivations, needs and wants, pain points, and activities. Even though this piece will initially be speculative, talking to people and pitching will help to get into more details and work towards finding the truthfulness in the persona.

Test Value Propositions

If you try to intuit a value proposition, then you are trying to make people want your product rather than making a product people want. Following the principle of everything is an experiment. Get out in front of as many people as possible and test a value proposition again and again, tweaking as you go.

Build your network

Who are the most common customers of SaaS companies? Other SaaS companies! See “Company” in both uses of the word, your organisation and the people you keep in contact with. Go to networking events and hold virtual events for free where you can deliver value from your internal knowledge and experience for contact details and a touch point.

Work with Communities

If many people have the same problem, they will congregate together, so be a part of it. If there is no online space, then create it and nurture it. People like people, and being the facilitator not only builds a huge amount of empathy within your organisation, but answers to your question, notably the assumptions you have made, will reveal themselves over time.

State your Assumptions

Assumptions equal risk, but that does not mean doing nothing; rather, a case of making sure included in everything you do is to validate these specific areas. If you have assumed that your target audience is doing their work in spreadsheets, create a spreadsheet template and measure how many access it.

Align people with Strategy

Get the go-to-market strategy buttoned up before getting into social media content, email marketing, branding, etc. That initial team will be small to start with, so maximise the impact of the work rather than the quantity delivered. Write good goals to get people working on the same page and a vision that people can easily communicate to the world.