Must-Have SaaS Products for a Startup

Posted by
Julia in Technology on 5/13/20217 min read

young people looking at laptop

Launching your own startup, one may face a lot of issues related to establishing processes (sales, marketing, support, production, employment, etc.), fine-tuning them, and finding a niche that will help you grow. Software is a must in any business today as it solves the majority of the above-mentioned problems. Even businesses that, on the surface, have nothing to do with programs and technologies can’t do without a piece of software at hand. For example, restaurants deal not only with cooking and serving, but they also use specialized software to streamline their processes. What about software development or tech writing teams and teams alike? Needless to say, that they have a lot of tasks to work on, and they need a helping hand - the right tools. And what tools are right? The ones that allow you to do your work efficiently and quickly, cope with routine tasks, save time and effort, and organize the workflow remotely, which is essential now. This is all about SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions.

What Is SaaS?

The idea of SaaS emerged in the 1960s with the early computers. But it was different from what we use today. It was a ‘time-sharing system’ which included several terminals (keyboards and monitors) that were networked to a computer. In the 1990s, the Internet appeared with the first web-based services. And only in the 2010s, the first SaaS products appeared as examples of cloud computing that we know today.

SaaS is a cloud-based service. It is an alternative to traditional on-premise software. It means that you don’t have to install anything on your computer. You simply sign up, and that will enable you to access the product anytime and from any place. Of course, you need the Internet. It means the following: all your data is stored in the cloud; as a customer, you do not update the product - vendors take care of software maintenance.

Actually, the term SaaS includes several variations: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), desktop-as-a-service (DaaS), managed-software-as-a-service (MSaaS). All these terms are related to cloud computing and are often mixed up with SaaS itself.

At first, companies were hesitant to store their data in cloud storage but, step by step, they saw that it is easy and safe. Now, this model is highly popular.

Benefits of SaaS Solutions

But why are SaaS products so convenient? Have a look at the list of advantages of SaaS products:

  • Save time. You do not bother about downloading and installing them. You just sign up and get access to a working environment.
  • Save money. To use the majority of SaaS products, you pay for a subscription only. No additional payments are required as, for example, traditional software upgrades. Plus, you get customer support if it is included in your payments plan.
  • Are easy to maintain. Actually, you don’t have to worry about that. Vendors update their products. You can relax and enjoy the improvements.
  • Are scalable. They can be fine-tuned to meet your special needs. For example, you can increase the amount of information you store or give access to more users. The system will work successfully.
  • Protect sensitive information. You can be sure that your sensitive information is protected. Reliable SaaS vendors have the knowledge and experience to build secure networks. They pay a lot of attention to this issue.
  • Provide better collaboration. SaaS products provide customers with a user-friendly collaboration environment that allows them to work simultaneously on the same project and, what is most important, do it from different locations.

SaaS products are successfully used to solve a wide variety of problems in various fields: accounting, project management, video creation, customer support, help authoring, customer relationship management (CRM), human resources, productivity, etc. And, of course, SaaS products helped us to shift to work from home mode. The following post will tell you more about how to use SaaS while working from home and why it is a good solution - How SaaS Will Save Your Future.

What SaaS Products Does a Startup Need?

The greatest thing about a startup is that it operates not like a big company - things happen faster and without bureaucracy, there is enough space for experimenting, and there is flexibility to meet the constantly changing reality. Every new business has its own unique needs, but I am sure you will find something useful in the list below.

Project Management Tools

A project management tool is a must-have for all types of business. It helps to organize your projects, plan them, collaborate within the team, track progress, set goals, customize your workflow, and many other things. If you are still choosing a project management tool, here is a list of the most popular project management tools in 2021: Trello (great for getting started), Basecamp (best collaboration features), Teamwork (simplicity), ClickUp (best free plan).

phone in hand beside laptop

Team Communication Software

A couple of years ago, team communication software was popular mainly among teams that were spread all over the world. But now we are all spread over different locations and hardly ever meet at the office. Being a part of a remote team isn’t something out of the way. So, team communication software has gained popularity. And, what we need is to put the communication in one place and make it convenient. Here is a list of team communication platforms to consider: Slack (the most popular one), Fleep (good for small businesses), Glip (smart meetings), Troop Messenger (overall experience).

Knowledge Base Software and Technical Writing Tools

Knowledge base software and technical writing tools have pretty much the same functions: technical writers and those who are somehow related to the creation of documentation use them to write, store, and share information with users.

These types of software are used in two different fields:

  • Technical writers need them to create huge volumes of technical documentation, smooth their workflow and cope with the daily tasks more efficiently, cooperate with each other, etc.
  • Other teams use them to create an FAQ or a knowledge base to support their employees or clients (in this case, tech writing tools transfer to a new category - customer support). For example, an FAQ can cover such questions as sign-in, video upload problems, or customization issues. As for employers, they tend to collect all the information in a database to unify training and onboarding and to eliminate mistakes. Our post, Remote Onboarding Guide: Tools and Processes for Success, will tell you more.

ClickHelp, being a SaaS technical writing tool, is suitable for the creation of all kinds of technical documentation: online user manuals, knowledge bases, help files, FAQs, tutorials, etc. What you should pay attention to is that it allows you not only to write and edit docs (to manage knowledge in case of a knowledge base) but to publish and host them! Just imagine: you don’t have to bother about where to host your 1001 docs - they are stored in our cloud, which provides quick and flawless access to them. One problem less. As for publishing, SaaS technical writing tools allow you to publish your documentation online! This is a must today when our life has shifted online. And another great thing: all the information is protected! Besides, you can limit access to it. Have a look at this post to learn how to do that and why you need to know things like that - Should You Restrict Access to Your Online User Guides?

Marketing Automation Tools

They help teams automate, scale up, and personalize repetitive marketing processes that take place in a company (emails, social media posting, advertising, prices, customer journey, etc.). What really matters here is that your business should be ready for an automation tool. There is no need to automate a process that doesn’t actually work. So, when it is high time to start using a tool like that:

  • You have a clear marketing strategy
  • You have found the marketing channels that work for you
  • You have enough resources - both financial and human (if you have just one marketing manager who deals with marketing only 50% of the time, it is too early)

These are the SaaS platforms that may be useful: Mailchimp (complete email automation solution), Omnisend (all-in-one tool), CoSchedule (planning social media content in advance), LeadSquared (focused on lead nurturing).

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools

This software is used to manage relationships with potential customers or existing clients to increase sales. Obviously, your startup needs a CRM system when there are too many leads to track them manually, to store the information about the customers in one place, you don’t know how to track your sales team’s progress, you need to build long-term relations with customers. Here is a list of CRM systems you can choose: keap (is easy to use), Salesforce (great for fast-growing businesses), Less Annoying CRM (best price), freshworks CRM (highly intuitive), Zoho CRM (best CRM for mid-size companies).

numbers on monitor

Conclusion

Today there are a lot of SaaS services, which means that they can satisfy even very special needs. We’ve provided just a short list of the most popular types of SaaS products that the majority of startups can benefit from. But this list can be endless, as each business has unique goals, objectives, and needs. The use of SaaS is the key to success. If you want to launch a flourishing project, SaaS is a great helping hand: this is the simplest way to establish the processes the way they work best, fast, and smart. SaaS vendors include more and more functions to allow customers to keep pace with the constantly and rapidly changing reality. We’ll see how SaaS will change in a couple of years and how businesses will benefit from it.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

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