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I have been in business for a year but I can not reach a level it can support myself

I started a SaaS business official in May 2019. (Although I spent about 8 months developing the application). I didn't officially acquire my first customer until May 2019. Fast forward to May 2020, and I've got about 8 paying customers. I'm really proud and impressed by this accomplishment. I still have my full time software engineering job, but I also run my SaaS business on the side. My dream is, of course, to have the business support myself. This requires a yearly revenue number of ~$250,000 to able to actually replace my current full time job.

Growth is, however, slow. I have a good understanding of who my target customer is now, 1 year later, after talking to them and noticing common patterns in terms of their needs.

This is my first real business. I would really love to hear from someone experienced in building a SaaS business from scratch. Your insight would be appreciated. What should I expect in terms of growth? How fast did businesses grow in the beginning (BaseCamp, for example, Digital Ocean, MailChimp)?

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Best Answer

Depends on a lot of factors. How much do you charge Users? How did you acquire those users? What is your business? How much did you spend on users? What is the user profile.

You need to determine is this going to grow or are you stuck and hitting a dead end.

I don’t remember where I read or heard this, but I’m pretty sure it is from one of the big famous SaaS guys. “If you can get 10 paying customers then you have something”. If someone is willing to pay for it more people will but is it worth it? You need to review your customers and business to figure that out.

Other points

Why do u need to give up? If you have paying customers, and they are using your app without problems, you can update it slowly at your pace.

I started my Shopify app at 2016. It has less than 100 customers. Even I don't invest in development time. The users can use it. I can just work on customer support. Occasionally, I will deploy some fixes. The app can be put to auto pilot when I am busy at other tasks.

One thing I’ve heard over and over is that SaaS businesses take years to ramp up. My friend started his four years ago and is only now at the stage where he can stop his other work - and that’s with deep knowledge of his target market and lots of industry connections.
The real question is : do you want to keep it as a side business or do you want to take the risk to launch a "real startup" (quick growth and scalable)? That won't be possible by keeping your day-to-day job. When launching, the only important matter regarding a startup is execution.

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June 5, 2020 at 1:45:26 PM

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