Important questions while building a B2B software product

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Are you planning to build a B2B Software Product?

If your answer is “Yes” and if your target market is small and medium businesses, we have some important tips for you.

Over last couple of years, we have helped many of our customers build B2B software products and have made a few of our own B2B products as well. One of them is TransporTech, Data Driven and AI powered Logistics management platform for Freight Brokers on the scalable cloud-based platform and the other one is, Shipment Docs, which simplifies the flow of shipping documents and collaboration with all parties in the supply chain using Blockchain.

On our path, we have encountered a lot of common questions around B2B product startups and today would like to share our ideas around them.

1. How important is security and privacy of user data?

Data privacy is the number one concern for any enterprise and it becomes paramount for small and medium enterprises. Many a times, their entire businesses depend on the privacy of their sources.

As a founder, you need to assure them that you are not going to sell their data and no other 3rd party can access it.

Here are a few initial security measures to take:

  • Securing transmission of data over the internet via SSL certificate(s).
  • Setup Firewall, so access is granted to limited and authenticated source(s).
  • Encrypting storage, which can only be decrypted by client’s private key. Now a days mobile number and OTP helps us generate that combination of client’s public and private key.

From our experience, we suggest that whenever you go for a meeting, always have a signed copy of your privacy policy which states the data security & access policy for your platform and security architecture in a visual format.

2. Should we build a Web or Mobile App?

This completely depends on the usage case but for simple data entry modules, you can opt for a mobile app. It will reduce a lot of friction especially for not so computer friendly small businesses. Who may be more comfortable with mobile.

For detailed reports, user access and complex data entry screens, it is better to have a tablet and/or desktop interface.

In certain cases, you may need an online and offline mode depending on the Internet availability. In both of our cases, we had to give an offline data entry mechanism, which automatically synced later when the Internet was available. Think about your target audience with use case around them, and we can make that work for you.

3. How do we go about developing a marketplace?

In most of the SaaS products, there is a possibility of building a marketplace and it can be a great alternate revenue stream. But marketplaces are very difficult to realise.

Your first priority should be getting at least 1000 active and loyal users on each side of the marketplace. You should validate value proposition based on supply and demand.

Let me take an example of one of our products; TransporTech, that caters to Shippers, Trucking Companies, and Freight Brokers. In the supply chain, they all are connected so once we are done with our validation we may pivot the product to support the marketplaces service requirements which can potentially satisfy a greater amount of potential users within this marketplace.

4. How do we go about initial pricing of our offering?

Pricing in a SaaS company is tricky.

The good part is, however you start – free, freemium or paid, you will be able to adjust your pricing later if your product is solving real problem and has a high retention rate.

We strongly suggest that you do not start free or even at a lower price than you competitors. At a higher price, you will need to prove your value and in such, users will pay for its perceived value, if you have presented your service properly.

5. What should be my focus for the first 6 months?

Your cycle should be: Acquisition – Activation – Retention – Revenue – Referral.

First, focus on activation (the first time user experience) and retention (user finding value in product and coming back to use it). For that you need to build a product that solves at least one core problem of user very effectively. And once you achieve retention, revenue and referral are guaranteed.

6. What could be my single biggest differentiator?

There can be many product specific differentiators but any B2B company needs to have a world-class support. There should be no compromise in this area if you are in it for the long run.

These are some fundamental questions for any B2B startup and if handled correctly at initial stages, they reduce chances of failure by a large extent.

We like to hear your views or let us know if you have any other questions, we’ll be happy to answer them.

Seeing and going through the ups and downs of this business has helped us become great at building software products for entrepreneurs like yourself. If you’re interested in learning more on how we can make you technological dreams come to fruition, we’d love to hear from you!

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Author: SimNation

We are SimNation - Simulation through technology. We build usable software products that help businesses run better and ensure optimum ROI.

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