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The Software As A Service Business Model Explained

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Software as a service (SaaS) has been one of the largest and fastest-growing market segments since 2019. Businesses are now investing in SaaS companies, spending nearly 50% more on these cloud technologies than in previous years. For entrepreneurs, few industries are as exciting and lucrative. But it’s not enough to just dive in and go for it. The software as a service business model is a unique model that requires a specific, but reliable strategy. 

What Is SaaS?

SaaS is a delivery model of centrally hosted software that is licensed to customers via a subscription plan. If a company leases its software through a central, cloud-based system is technically a SaaS company. 

These companies maintain responsibility and oversight of servers, databases, and any relevant software that allows people to access and use their products. Some of the most popular SaaS companies are Adobe, Google, Salesforce, Slack, and more. 

The way that SaaS companies lease their product is through subscription plans. These plans can vary greatly from company to company. SaaS business models offer different services and different applications within their systems. Different subscription plans give different access to different services. Many offer a regular plan with one or two other plans that offer more access and increased services. 

What Is The Software As A Service Business Model?

The software as a service business model includes a number of factors that are unique to it. There are three in particular that are important to take note of. 

Recurring Payments

In SaaS, clients do not buy hardware. The software as a service business model involves providing a subscription service for software. Recurring payments usually take the form of monthly recurring revenue (MRR). This makes accounting for revenue potentially difficult because SaaS offers a service, not a product per se. 

When your customer signs up and subscribes, you will get some money upfront. It is imperative that this initial cash not be counted as revenue until it’s been properly earned. It is a liability until the terms of service have been completed. A customer can ask for that money back at any point if the service isn’t delivered.

Revenue recognition is one of the most fundamental aspects of running a successful SaaS company. 

Heightened Customer Retention

All businesses care about customer retention. In SaaS business models, however, it is ten times more important. Customer retention is what keeps SaaS companies afloat. Because you cannot lay claim to all of your customers’ subscription money until a term of service has been completed. 

If you sign a customer for one year or twelve months and they leave after two, then you’re without ten months of recurring revenue. As a result, it is critical to put a significant value on cultivating customer relationships and upselling. 

An existing SaaS customer spends more money on average than a new one. It is in a SaaS company’s best interest to upkeep and maintain higher-quality customer service. If you don’t, or if the quality of customer service is poor, your customer is very likely to jump to a competitor. 

No matter how great the product, poor customer service can break a company. 

Consistent Updates

In order to maintain and increase customer retention, SaaS companies need to consistently provide small and frequent updates to their services. Plenty of companies provide “next-gen” product versions, but SaaS has to continuously update and patch to stay above water. 

This is the nature of being in the software industry. Software vulnerabilities can put customer information at risk from hackers. Nobody wants that. That’s why continuously assessing and updating security fixes is a top priority in the software as a service business model. 

Since SaaS companies host their own products, they can push updates as needed. They can release new features or enhance prior versions whenever they want. Between consistent updates and quality customer service, SaaS companies have the potential to be highly responsive to customer base feedback. 

This is a real-time luxury that most other industries do not have. 

How Are SaaS Companies Built?

Generally speaking, there are three critical stages as to how to build and develop a SaaS company: Setup, Growth, Stabilization. 

Setup

This is the early stage where the foundation of the company is established. These are fairly typical processes. Founders discover the need for the products they intend to develop, identify their target market, and create the product. 

This is also the opportunity to create an effective marketing campaign and sales strategy, consider various customer support plans, and organize finances. 

Growth

Once the product has hit the market, it’s time to expand. This is arguably the fun part. Because there is seemingly no limit to how far a SaaS company can expand in its market, it’s possible for a SaaS to expect new customers. This creates a sudden demand for marketing, sales, and customer service teams. 

This is when a company has to act quickly in order to capitalize and secure a loyal customer base. Ideally, this growth will be accompanied by additional revenue. Companies then reinvest the capital back into their products and services. That way they have the resources necessary to meet their customers’ needs. 

Stabilization

Now that the business is beginning to acclimate with a steady incoming stream of customers, that means the company does not have to invest in more overhead. If the SaaS company has wisely invested in customer service software, marketing automation, and consistent product updates, they are on the right track to stabilization. 

Why This Business Model Works

The software as a service business model is new but reliable. The evidence of this can be found in the amount of money that other industries have begun to invest in SaaS. How many office spaces use Slack to communicate? How many designers use Adobe? As our technology advances, so does the SaaS industry. 

It’s never been a more exciting time to enter the SaaS industry. Entrepreneurs, take note.

Chris Blondell is a Philadelphia-based writer and social media strategist with a current focus on tech industry news. He has written about startups and entrepreneurs based in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, New Haven, and more. He has also written content for a true-crime blog, Sword and Scale, and developed social media content for a local spice shop. An occasional comedian, Chris Blondell also spends his time writing humorous content and performing stand-up for local audiences.

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Business

The Shift Towards Banking-As-A-Service

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The changing times and the pandemic have created a significant shift in how we bank. In addition, our expectations from banks have also differed through the years. The digitalization of the financial services industry has furthered the plan to get free access to banking data. This is in connection with the Open Banking initiative and the dramatic rise of fintech companies and neo-banks.

The market space that the traditional banks once dominated has now given new players the opportunities to compete alongside them. Indeed, the commoditization of bank services has inevitably begun.

A void to connect banks and these new players has been filled in the form of banking-as-as-service (or BaaS for short) providers. It’s only logical that a service such as this emerges. It’s the order next in line to streamline the customer experience and provide products that are built to engage the modern world. 

What exactly is banking-as-as-service?

The easiest way to explain what banking-as-as-service is is through a few examples, these are:

  • Bank accounts
  • Lending systems
  • Credit card payments

The digital world is changing the relationships of brands and businesses with their customers. It is rapidly shifting and improving that even non-bank companies have already integrated financial services to their customers. Established companies such as Walmart, Apple, Uber, or Amazon have already been doing this to add value to their products and services.

Why businesses should take the banking-as-as-service opportunity

To those in the know, banking technology is a complex matter. Developing it from the ground up can be laborious and expensive. Add to that the challenge of getting a bank license which turns off those trying to get in that niche. What banking-as-as-service does is to connect businesses with banks that take care of the requirements and provide the technology they need to provide financial services through a slew of digital channels.

This process will make banking services more engaging and less transactional. Businesses can now integrate services throughout the buying journey without redirecting them to a different platform. This means customers will no longer do the rigamarole of going from one channel to another. They will get what they need when and where they need it.

And statistics show that it is working. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services are steadily climbing at a rate of 39% per year for approximately 10 million Britons making their online purchases. 

What now for traditional banks?

Since traditional banks have little appetite for risks, they weren’t built to handle the demands for embedded finance. BaaS companies make it faster and easier for fintechs and other companies to increase their offerings by embedding digital banking services directly into the purchase. Instead of seeing this as competition, traditional banks should collaborate with BaaS to benefit from this embedding.

What can Banking-as-a-service do?

With the help of banking-as-a-service, new players in the finance industry will have the capability of targeting niche communities and coming up with slimmer product sets. Also, the solutions that BaaS offers can give valuable insights to businesses on how they can improve their products or services. They will have the much-needed data to learn about industry trends, saving and spending behaviors, and general engagement with their offerings.

All these means that businesses can have more information on how they can improve the overall customer experience. This also means companies can deliver products and services that are more targeted towards the right customers. The possibilities that banking-as-a-service offers are endless in terms of innovation in the banking and financial services market.

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Playrcart Gives You What You Want – Immediately

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We’ve all watched ads and immediately thought, “I want that. Right now.” Some of us wish we could jump right into the TV and into that sexy Ford F-Series quicker than we can have a second thought. But how many of us have gone to make a purchase only to be discouraged by the needlessly complicated payment process? “Too many,” says UK-based startup Playrcart

We believe this is the future of advertising.” 

Founder Glen Dormieux, along with CTO, Richard Mason, created Playrcart born of that very frustration.

What we’re seeing right now is fairly traditional – they’re doing the same thing time and time again.

Currently, when viewing an ad, you have to go through several pages in order to complete a purchase. How many sales are lost in that time-consuming process? “Too many!” say business owners in a Mr. Krabs-esque demeanor. 

How Does Playrcart Work?

Playrcart has designed its platform to convert digital assets into instant transactions within the ad itself. How is that possible? Technology, stupid. 

You can actually make the transaction go directly within the asset itself. So you engage with the ads, you interact with the purchase within the ad without ever leaving that same piece of content.

It effectively dilutes numerous clicks that you normally have to navigate through. The average of reduction clicks is about 75 percent.

With Playrcart, you can watch the trailer for a new Spider-man movie and buy tickets before it’s even completed. You can schedule a test drive in the Ford F-Series as you’re watching a professional drive it on a closed course. 

Consumers will now have the option to purchase something when their emotional response to an ad is at its peak. You can see an ad for a major event and as you’re riding that emotional wave you click and purchase tickets. As the ad concludes, you can emotionally conclude with it – satisfied. 

You can see Playrcart’s technology in action here

Playrcart is capitalizing on our instant gratification society, and they’re doing it with modesty and innovative advances in technology. 

We want to hit them instantly while you’ve got their attention.

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Business

Crazy Things That Happened in 2021

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Although 2021 would probably go down in history as one of the craziest years in recent times, 2021 is looking like it’s catching up. Here are a few of the crazy things that happened this year:

Capitol Hill Riot (January)

Early January saw a massive riot happen at the US Capitol. Former President Trump was charged with incitement in his impeachment trial in the Senate. This resulted in a mob that was pro-Trump, breaking into the building. This forced members of Congress to evacuate and left five dead.

Battle of the Billionaires (January)

Elon Musk has surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world. This, thanks to the increase in Tesla’s share price giving him a net worth of more than $185 billion. Bezos was the holder of this title but went down with his $184 billion worth.

Trump Impeachment (January)

A call for Former President Trump’s impeachment happened twice this year. Some Democrats and members of the progressive group, The Squad, called for his impeachment. This, after his supporters stormed the US Capitol.

Frigid Weather in Texas (February)

Brutal winter storms ravaged Texas for more than seven days. It caused unprecedented devastation that claimed the lives of at least 26 people.

The Grammys Breaking Records (March)

Records were broken in this year’s Grammys, with Beyonce winning more awards than any in the award-giving body’s history. Along with Megan Thee Stallion, they became the first female artists to win best rap performance, breaking records. BTS also made Grammy history by being the first foreign act to perform solo and the first KPop group to be nominated.

The Free Britney Movement (April)

Pop icon Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship by her father since 2008. In April this year, the hashtag #freebritney gained traction as fans cried for the singer to be free from the legal binding. 

The Friends Reunion (May)

Not really a follow-up to the lives of the Friends character, but a reunion in which the main cast members reminisced about the good ol’ times. The fans were treated to a recreation of the set along with some table reads from scenes that were rehashed. 

Bitcoin Price Plunge (May)

After hitting a record high of $64,829 in mid-April, Bitcoin prices plunged to around $30,000 at one point. All this is in connection with Elon Musk’s Tesla’s suspension of purchase with the cryptocurrency, citing environmental concerns over the mining process.

The End for Keeping Up With The Kardashians (June)

The month of June saw the end of the reality TV show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. After 20 seasons on the air, the show ends with a two-part reunion special. However, this isn’t the end for the Kardashians-Jenner, as they will star anew in a Hulu reality series later this year.

On another note, the year also saw the divorce of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West after six years of marriage.

All Eyes on Simone Biles (July)

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was held in 2021 due to the pandemic. And on this one, all eyes were on Simone Biles as she has proven that she’s not superhuman after all. The celebrated gymnast withdrew from the team gymnastics finals citing the “twisties” and her efforts to focus on her mental health.

Facebook Name Change (October)

From Facebook to Meta, the rebranding was announced in October in an attempt to own the metaverse. The company says that the new name is reflective of their ambitions that go beyond being a social media platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg considers the move as a nod to the metaverse, the concept of a three-dimensional version of the internet.

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