Sometimes, it is more cost-effective for enterprises to pay for a software license as a subscription rather than to buy it as a simple product. This type of deal is called SaaS (software as a service). It saves money and time and provides scalability to the enterprise in question.
As it happens, startups need these three things to boost their productivity and outcompete their much larger counterparts. With that in mind and without further ado, here’s how to choose the right SaaS tools for your startup.
1. More efficient resource management
“It’s not about your resources; it’s about your resourcefulness” – Tony Robbins
As a small business, you constantly lack resources behind some of your bigger competitors. They have more money, more employees, an already-established network of contacts, etc. However, you can easily overcome this difficulty by adequately using your resources.
Four major types of resources are:
But the list doesn’t end there. In fact, some would agree that time is the most important resource of them all.
In the past, all of this would come down to your managerial ability. For this, you would need experience; your startup might not survive that long. Fortunately, some of these SaaS tools can provide a shortcut and help you keep a tighter grip on your resources. Not only that, but they can also help you use your resources far more efficiently. Here are three examples!
We live in a hyper-connected world where we seek more and more services online. Your plumber still has to visit you to fix the sink, but what about your accountant? Finding an online bookkeeper or virtual accountant is not just acceptable but also quite common. Some might even argue that it’s the most common way of seeking accounting services in 2023.
So, why not use an online platform for your budgeting? After all, keeping everything cloud-based makes collaboration with a virtual accountant much smoother.
Even in accounting, paper use is still a huge problem. In other words, by entirely switching to SaaS accounting software, you’ll have a much easier job of going digital. This practice will reduce your office’s carbon footprint, branding you as eco-friendlier than before.
Also, when it comes to bills, receipts, and invoices, you want to keep them for as long as possible. This way, all the documentation that you need will not only be kept safe but also be available on demand. In other words, you can skip rummaging through endless piles of paper, looking for a needle in a haystack.
Finally, bear in mind that the sooner you do this, the better. That is because SaaS budgeting platforms are incredibly scalable. You see, cash flow is one of the most critical factors impacting strategic growth. Early on, keeping track of your cash flow is not such a big issue; however, once your workload, income, and expenses grow, things will become much more difficult. It’s far better to have all the necessary financial levers set in place in advance.
Time management platforms
Yes, time is a resource, and with the right time management platform, you can quickly increase the efficiency of your entire staff. Other than just getting a better organization that will directly save time, you will also improve the workplace dynamic by managing your time more efficiently.
During 2020, many companies had no choice but to switch to a remote workplace model. Some, however, discovered this to be more to their liking, which is why they chose to keep this working model (at least as a hybrid workplace) even after it was safe to return to the offices.
Why now and not before? Saying that there was no need before the pandemic is a lazy explanation (as well as an inaccurate one). Remote work expands your talent pool, gives you a chance to save money on office space, and causes less commute. All of this was true even before the pandemic. SaaS timekeeping software wasn’t yet as sophisticated. Now, however, with so many fantastic options on the market, there are fewer and fewer cons to this idea.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that time-management platforms significantly increase transparency and make employee evaluation simpler and more accurate. Sure, you can’t always measure performance with a stopwatch. Still, time theft is a pestilence of the corporate world, and these platforms can finally stop it (or at least make it harder to hide).
Fuel management software
If you’re in the transportation industry or have a fleet of your own, chances are that fuel management will be one of your biggest expenses. While you can improve fuel spending with a fleet management system, you can also go with something more specific, like Fleetio’s fuel management software.
Remember that fuel tracking does more than just help you save money. It may also indicate which vehicles could be in better shape. Even deflated tires can increase fuel use, let alone a more serious malfunction.
Fuel use analysis also helps you better understand cost per mile, which may vary on the vehicle and even the cargo you’re transporting. This is the basis of your financial system and a key component when determining the price of products.
Most importantly, fuel management helps you reduce potential fuel theft. Sure, some of your drivers are less efficient than others, but if some consistently have less fuel (noticeably less), they might be doing something suspicious. It is also far less invasive to track the fleet than to snoop around the old-fashioned way. Openly showing that you suspect someone can backfire if they are innocent or if you fail to find any proof.
Automating your operations will help you do more in less time without hiring additional hands. This means that for everything you pay for automation, you’ll save on the payroll (and more). Also, fewer employees mean fewer potential liabilities. Automated tasks can be performed even on holiday, regardless of the time of day, and never gets sick. You’ll need all the help you can get in preparation for a recession.
Scheduling your campaigns has never been easier. Every social network has its ideal posting time, and mailing people over weekends will give you a different effect. With automation, you can fully schedule your outreach for optimal efficiency.
You can use SaaS marketing tools for lead generation and content distribution. This works so well because automation helps you manage the entire customer lifecycle. We’ve mentioned outreach, but onboarding new users also get a significant boost. According to some stats, if the onboarding process is too intimidating, about 74% of users will just give up. The same goes for managing customer relationships across multiple channels.
Automation is more than just a way for you to keep a skeleton crew and still outperform an enterprise several times your size. It’s also an optimal talent retention tool. You see, millennials are becoming a bigger and bigger portion of the workforce; for millennials, it’s all about making an impact. If they feel stuck on menial, repetitive tasks, they’ll get demoralized and leave quite soon. So, you can automate these tedious, repetitive tasks and use your human workforce for something more creative.
3. Superior data security
No business is too small to be a target, and no corporation is too big to be vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. This is why choosing the right SaaS cybersecurity platform makes all the difference. Also, since this is a scalable solution (like all other SaaS tools), you can start with something cheaper and switch to a more elaborate plan when there’s the need for it.
Aside from looking for cybersecurity protection, SaaS tools have cloud-secure systems, controls, policies, and procedures of the highest order. This is why, when using a SasS tool, your data will be far more secure than if you were to go old-school. Other than just keeping you safe, knowing that your data is safe gives you peace of mind. It also contributes to your confidence in the digital environment.
Second, most SaaS platforms allow you to monitor your traffic and even authenticate access to different parties. So, you can give people different levels of access based on their position in your organization.
Sure, with SaaS, some cybersecurity threats are also present. For instance:
- Third-party risk
- Data breach
- Account takeover
- Zero-day vulnerabilities
Fortunately, you can mitigate all these risks quite effectively. You’ll already be on the right path by checking your vendors, doing your research, and routinely checking what’s going on. So:
- Regularly evaluate potential risks in compliance
- Train your staff
- Introduce two-factor authentication
- Introduce a robust data governance policy
Sure, these methods are not 100% fail-proof, but they make a difference.
Choosing the right SaaS tools makes you more efficient
Regardless of your industry, picking the right SaaS tool will improve efficiency. You’ll manage your resources more effectively, automate your business processes, and improve security.
All SaaS tools are scalable, so if you make the right choice, you won’t have to return on it even if your enterprise grows ten times.
Lastly, with how dominant SaaS is as a trend, it’s not a question if you should integrate SaaS tools into your business model. The only question is which SaaS tools to choose. This is a question that only you can answer.