A SAAS business plan objectives determine the nature and content. Software as a Service, commonly known by its acronym SAAS has become popular with the movement of applications from individual servers to the cloud. SAAS has made it possible for customers to focus on their work and not require to download and configure individual applications on their devices. Applications are now placed on the cloud. Users now do not need to manage and maintain these applications. Users are now charged an annual usage fee instead of incurring substantial upfront costs to buy an application.
Once the SAAS company has outlined the products and services that is bringing to its customers, a SAAS business plan creation team requires to deliberate on the objectives of the exercise. A business plan prepared as an annual business planning exercise is fundamentally different from a SAAS business plan created to pitch to investors. In the later case, the SAAS business plan is to be prepared in the form of a business case.
A business case can be of multiple types. It could be just a brief information memorandum that contains the highlights of the venture like products and services, highlights that set the venture apart from others in the market and a summary profit and loss statement for the past three years. The IM also has summary profiles of its prominent customers. The Founders profile is also included as part of the IM.
A SAAS business plan when it is a detailed investment pitch is best written in the form of an essay that focuses on the background, highlights of the company, competition, business environment, and cost and revenue analysis. I like to prepare a business case like a legal brief that is to be presented to a judge who will rule in favor of my company.
The annual business plan, on the other hand is an operational plan in which you look at what you have achieved in the past, what objectives and milestones you plan for the year, and how you would achieve these objectives. Annual business plans are taken very seriously in mature companies. It is a demanding exercise for leaders. Facts are gathered, resources are required to implement the program, and revenues, prospects, deals, wins, and losses are tabulated. An annual business plan should be done with a lot of care, and the projections should be conservative. Often, you and your team use business plans for target allocation, goal setting, and performance appraisal. I have goofed up once by preparing an ambitious business plan my business unit. My boss hugely appreciated the plan. The quarterly reviews were a nightmare I wanted to avoid but couldn’t. In SAAS companies, it will be no different.
Over the decades helping companies to achieve their business goals, I have learned one thing that each company is unique and the standard business plan templates available on the internet can at best be used to structure your thoughts. A SAAS business plan has to be created for your company and should be unique to your requirements.