Software-as-a-Service provisions software on a subscription model and delivers data and services via the cloud. Businesses access their SaaS utilities through a web browser interface. Recent technological advances make development and the provision of SaaS an attractive prospect for new enterprise start-ups in Hong Kong.
SaaS is the "go-to" choice for small to medium-sized businesses looking to outsource their IT infrastructure and processes because it avoids the capital outlay necessary for traditional on-premise hardware and software installations.
SaaS also offers higher-level data security, monitoring, patching, and remediation than most small to medium-sized businesses can provision in-house. The pay-for-what-you-use subscription model, instant scalability, and mobile access make SaaS more responsive to the needs of a modern business than older generation on-premise solutions.
But starting up a SaaS vendor enterprise means moving into the cut-and-thrust of a competitive business battlefield.
Keeping up with the rate of technological development, or staying at the cutting edge of such changes, demands focus, resourcefulness, and creativity. There are also the dynamics of marketing and lead generation to consider.
To make a success of your Hong Kong based SaaS enterprise, you must deploy the following three essential strategies:
1. Generate Multiple Sources of Revenue
An advantage of muscling in on a competitive marketplace is the prospect of a high return on your investment.
A disadvantage is that it can take longer to reach the competitive edge and see your profit margin rise. While keeping your focus on the long-term development of your SaaS enterprise, deploy several related income generating strategies to feed into your cash flow in the early stages.
These income streams should relate to your primary service and integrate into your existing business processes.
For example, you might offer data storage and management on your cloud-based server system. Other possibilities are marketing, web development, or search engine optimization services. These strategies not only make sure you have a steady cash flow while developing your SaaS, but they enable you to build a ready and responsive customer base from the get-go.
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2. Trust Marketing: Affiliate Programs, Reviews, and Referrals
A vital strategy to put you ahead of the game in a competitive niche is to build a positive reputation and develop a trusted brand as soon as possible. Several methods work well. The most productive are operating an affiliate sales and referral system and facilitating high-level reviews of your existing products and services.
Affiliates are online publishers who create traffic-generating content. They incorporate a live link to your sales or sign-up pages. The affiliate receives a percentage of the value of sales or sign-ups they generate.
The key to a successful affiliate program is to offer a generous incentive, vet candidates for the quality of their web pages and reputation, and offer a suite of ready-made, branded marketing tools for your affiliates to use. As a tech company, none of that should be problematic.
The most potent lead generator remains word-of-mouth: In the online ecology that means independent customer reviews.
From the outset, you should ask for reviews from all customers and thank each reviewer. You should develop a "review culture" on your social media pages and have curated review sections on all your websites.
3. Build Loyalty and Customer Retention
Many SaaS start-ups focus on lead-capture and conversion but don't have a long-term strategy to build brand loyalty and keep their customers. Make sure your business does. Don't think only regarding sales, but of community-building as well.
Core strategic assets any competent tech company can build in from the outset, and which integrate with the preceding two strategies, include a well-managed, responsive customer service department, a customer forum, an engaged social media presence, and a regularly updated blog.
Engagement and trust, coupled with value-for-money, are the keys to brand loyalty and customer retention.
Other strategies worth deploying are loyalty incentives built into a subscription payment model. So, customers gain rewards either as discounts on products and services, or free upgrades, when they pass loyalty milestones such as yearly, three-yearly, and five-yearly subscription renewals. Priority customer services facilities as rewards for loyalty also work well.
The enterprise cloud computing market is growing fast, 17.5 percent in 2019 alone, and shows no signs of slowing down soon. While it's the most competitive, SaaS is the most popular and profitable corner of the market.
Some successful Hong Kong based SaaS companies we've watch grow in the past few years include:
- AfterShip, a SaaS focused on helping eCommerce sellers track shipments
- GogoVan, and uber-like van hailing app that initially started in Hong Kong but has gone international in the past frew years.
- EasyShip, another Hong Kong born SaaS that has gone global. They help eCommerce sellers ship crossborder.
- Shopline, a eCommerce platform founded in Hong Kong in 2013 and spread to other Asian countries.
- Kingdee, a cloud based ERP that is based in Hong Kong, it enables supplier management, e-commerce management, amongst many others.
- LaLaMove, originally called EasyVan, is an on-demand logistics company based in Hong Kong.
- Freightos, is a widely used international freight comparison booking SaaS based in Hong Kong that aims to create an online international freight marketplace.
- Boxful, an on-demand valet storage solution dedicated to simple, convenient, and secure mini-storage for homes and offices in Hong Kong.
You could be the next Hong Kong SaaS allstar when you successfully deploy the above three essential strategies to keep your cash flow healthy and to generate, capture, and convert leads into customers, and convert those customers into loyal, long-term brand advocates.
When you are confident of your products and services, there's no reason your SaaS start-up shouldn't take home a good slice of the pie.
Will your idea be the next big SaaS development in Hong Kong?
For your SaaS developmen GreyLoud offers a unique hybrid-ofshoring model with project management and client communication in Hong Kong and development and design outsourced to Eastern Europe. This means astonishingly efficient development operations at incredibly affordable rates.
We specialize in the creation of stimulating digital experiences in the form of web and mobile applications and games.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR IDEA, AND WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A FREE PROJECT PLAN.
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