Building a solid foundation to scale
To thrive in a SaaS world, you've got to design for scalability.
You’ll be hard-pushed to find a start-up that doesn’t want to grow – entrepreneurs are in the game to win. Ambitious SaaS companies should have their sights set on expanding into international markets, but a word of caution. Focus too squarely on scaling without first ensuring you have the architecture and operations to support growth, and your rise to the top will be short-lived.
What’s the problem?
To scale, you need to scale technically – and despite the promise of the cloud, that’s not always achievable. Preventable service disruptions (PSDs), poor performance and cost blowouts often trip up fast-scaling businesses, with teams funnelling all their resources into their core offering. They forget to develop other supporting systems to reduce manual workarounds that cause friction in the user experience.
Here’s how to avoid doing that:
Build with future markets in mind
When you’re aiming for maximum operational efficiency, it can seem counterintuitive to build for scale – but it’s the only way to come out the other end of a growth spike with all your cards still in play.
Right from the start, your systems need to be ready (or at least have the ability) to handle volume. To do that, you must create structures that allow a continuous cycle of development, feedback and improvement – with the result delivering more value for your customers.
Recognise your limits
By nature, tech founders have the ‘can do will do’ entrepreneur attitude, but many lack the background or experience to navigate high-growth environments. It’s not a downfall, simply a matter of fact. But the last thing you want to do is turn customers away – the success of your SaaS company relies on being able to take on more users. Recognising your limits early means you can get the help you need to build for scale.
Setting up your SaaS company to scale
Scalable infrastructure is critical to supporting rapid growth. Companies that approach tech with a long-term growth mindset, and expect dramatically increasing needs as more customers come on board, will ‘play the game’ for longer. Nailing the architecture, design, build and management of your platform will ensure your systems and applications remain cost-effective – even as you grow.
Our latest eBook, From start-up to hyper-growth: how to set your SaaS business up for scale, explores the roadblocks that often trip up fast-scaling businesses – and why busywork is what sends so many SaaS companies to an early grave.