Success is rarely straightforward, and these common growing pains can limit the speed of your SaaS company’s growth.
As SaaS companies grow, they often find themselves hampered by issues that slow their pace of development. The causes can be as simple as not knowing when you’ve crossed the line and your old solution has become the problem, or as complex as making sure everyone has the right information at the right time. We work with SaaS companies every day, providing them with hybrid cloud solutions to deliver their software to users, so we hear first-hand some of the common issues that companies come across when their business is growing.
Every successful SaaS company is serious about their product or service, or they wouldn’t have achieved growth in the first place. But as your team moves from a handful of close colleagues to become a bigger organisation, implementing formal procedures to support ongoing growth can be a mountain to climb.
Team members could develop their understanding of the business organically when everyone could reasonably expect to have a 15 minute chat with everyone else, including the directors, in the course of the week. It was easy to be sure that everyone had the career progression they wanted, and that they could flag concerns informally if they needed to. Now that the company is a little bigger, more junior team members may not have the same confidence that their needs are understood, but rolling out a formal appraisal process requires time and consideration.
Transitioning from a start-up to a formalised structure can be difficult, but it’s going to be a necessary component of your ongoing success. You may also need to think about compliance, or achieving accreditation such as ISO 27001.
Knowing When Change is Necessary
Mergers, buyouts and big deals all herald major change for a SaaS company, but it’s not always clear how that change will impact the smaller details that make up your day-to-day work. The differences in managing a team of 5 and one of 50 may be obvious in the course of 6 months, but when the same changes take place over a longer period the 'tipping point' may not be so obvious.
Here’s a scenario: you’re the CTO of a former start-up, and you’ve been with the company since day one. Back when there were only a few of you in the office, it made sense for you to personally ensure everyone had the equipment they needed for the job, alongside your work on the product. As you grew, this was something you held onto, because you didn’t want to waste developer time. Now you’re at 50 people, but you’re still the one sourcing individual laptops and PCs. Obviously this doesn’t make sense, but when did it stop being appropriate? Sourcing equipment eats into your time and energy, but the idea of delegating it still seems wasteful, and going down the road of outsourcing can be a huge commitment.
In an ideal world, you’d have planned for your (inevitable) success and known how to avoid these problems before they even arose. Our guide to scaling up your infrastructure for business growth can help you plan for and capitalise on your success, making the most of the new opportunities opening up to you.