How To Build A SaaS Business Without Writing A Single Line Of Code
Not long ago, I discovered a new and lucrative business model that immediately caught my interest.
Prior to this, I've been focusing on eCommerce businesses, where there are somewhat low margins, inventory, and so on.
However, as soon as I discovered SaaS businesses, my outlook on business as a whole changed.
SaaS, which stands for software as a service, takes all the downsides of many businesses models and flips them on their heads.
With high-profit margins and massive opportunities for scalability, more and more entrepreneurs are ditching the old ways of doing business and moving over to SaaS.
However, if you're not so tech-savvy or you've never written a line of code in your life, starting a SaaS business might seem like a nightmare.
How do you start a tech-based business without any experience with coding and programming?
Well, I did it and I'm going to explain how you can too.
Here's how to build a SaaS business without writing a single line of code.
One of the simplest solutions to building a SaaS business without knowing how to code is by hiring those who do know.
As an entrepreneur, the most valuable asset you have is your time.
Sometimes, instead of spending time building a SaaS business yourself, it's much better to pay someone else to build it for you.
This is the best solution when you don't have the knowledge required to build a software business.
Luckily, there are many platforms where one can find the necessary talent geared with the skillset needed to bring your idea to life.
Some of the most popular are:
I personally have never hired anyone from Freelancer, and so I can only vouch for Fiverr and Upwork.
For larger, more complex projects, Upwork should be your go-to.
On Upwork, you're able to find talented teams and freelancers no matter your budget.
However, it's important to remember that developing a SaaS business is both expensive and time-intensive, so be sure to have an idea of how much you will need to spend on building your SaaS business.
With that said, it's important you do your due diligence on the freelancers that apply, looking through their experience, communication, and anything else you deem important.
There are many freelancers who seem great, to begin with, however, turn out to be the worst investment later on in the project's timeline.
When I was working on Condesnr, I spent my time looking for those who had the expertise to build my software product for me.
The price varied, however, the freelancers I almost worked with quoted me around $10,000, after I paid an initial $2000 for a wireframe.
Instead of building it myself, I would go out and do things that moved my business forward, things I would need to do anyways, had I built the software myself.
As a founder, you will have a ton of other things to figure out, one of the biggest being your product's distribution.
How will you get the first 10 users on the platform? Will they be paying customers?
What will your product have that sets you apart or keeps your users engaged so they don't leave after one month?
It's best to figure these things out sooner rather than later.
My most recent SaaS story, Hawk Prospecting, wasn't a business I simply paid someone else to build.
In fact, I built the product almost entirely on my own.
Without a single bit of knowledge or prior experience with coding, I was able to take a simple idea that originated from my marketing agency and turn it into a profit-generating business within 7 weeks.
Although I no longer run Hawk Prospecting for reasons mentioned in this article here, a lot of people would still benefit massively from learning about how I managed to build my business without any coding involved.
Firstly, there are a ton of no-code applications available that one can use to create software businesses.
While they might vary in capability, the one I found to be the best (overall) was Bubble.
Bubble is likely one of the most popular and powerful no-code building tools available.
Although it can become expensive based on your plan's limitations, it's much cheaper than hiring a developer to build you an application.
A lot of people use Bubble to build MVPs rather than fully operational businesses, however, I believe that Bubble is capable of doing both... to a certain degree.
Depending on the SaaS you're looking to build, Bubble might be a great choice.
In my situation, I was building software that helped agency owners and salespeople find and reach their ideal clients - a problem I struggled with when I ran my own agency.
Although the functionality of the SaaS businesses couldn't be built on Bubble, it was easy enough to find an API to power my application.
Before getting your hands dirty with no-code applications, think to yourself, "What does my SaaS business need?"
For me, it was a way to insert, say, a LinkedIn profile, and get a string of information about the individual back.
Luckily, there were API providers who did exactly that, however, they're not the cheapest.
Bubble is able to connect to APIs and display the information it receives from said APIs, allowing you to build very powerful and complex applications.
Bubble has been used to build software similar to Airbnb, Uber, Ubereats, Salesforce, and more.
I recommend you check it out and do your research before committing to building your SaaS using no-code tools.
White-label existing software
If you have an idea but are not sure where to start or how to execute the idea, this might be for you.
There are many talented developers who create software, yet they don't know how to monetize their software.
They don't know much about marketing, creating a massive opportunity for you.
There are two things we can do:
- Partner up
When you own a software business, you'll need a software developer on your team to help you run the business.
You can approach these developers and ask to partner up with them, in return for a percentage of the business' profits.
In most cases, both parties will be happy with a 50/50 partnership.
If you have any marketing expertise, this is the perfect chance for you to own a SaaS business without touching any of the software.
Instead, you find someone who has the product, and partner up with them.
Create an agreement that both parties can agree to, and begin working together.
- White label their products
Next, you can choose to white label their software.
A lot of these developers will create the software, but they won't brand it. Instead, they'll sell it to resellers - people who want to rebrand the software and sell it to others.
If you've ever done dropshipping, this might sound a bit familiar.
White labelling software works almost exactly like white labelling physical products.
You find different software that is being offered and test them to see which might be the best provider to choose.
From there, you're able to rebrand, reprice, and resell the software under your own name or brand.
In the long run, this might not be the best solution.
Instead, you'll want to hire developers to help you build your own solution with your own unique selling points.
That's because there are many other entrepreneurs doing the exact same thing as you - reselling someone's software.
However, this is a great way to prove that the product solves a problem in the market, and that it's an idea that can generate revenue.
Sell the service first
Many people think of a cool SaaS business idea and commit to building it immediately.
However, there has been a new, leaner way of building software businesses, a method that doesn't require any software, to begin with.
In his book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries discusses how lean startup founders build businesses.
Instead of diving straight into the technical aspects of the business, they focus on reaching a point of product/market fit.
It's a massive waste of time and capital building a business and finding out that no one is interested in this solution.
That's why it's much more efficient to sell the service first, and figure out whether a software version of the business would be a good idea.
For example, before building Hawk Prospecting, I could sell lead generation services to people and then figure out whether an automated software solution is an idea people might be interested in.
Not only does this help you reach product/market fit before spending a ton of time and money on building software, it's also a great way to get early users as well as the necessary capital needed to build it.
If you're looking to build a new website-builder SaaS business, you can start by first offering the service to others.
Build websites for clients, and gather valuable information - why is this something they don't try themselves?
Would they be interested in software that helps them build their own websites?
Maybe solutions that are currently available are too complex or have outstanding problems no one has tried to resolve.
Offering the service first leaves you vulnerable to receiving valuable insights that can then help you build solutions that have product/market fit.
If you have an idea you think is great, you can also find out whether other people agree, or if you need to think of a new, better idea.
Those were 4 ways you can build a SaaS business without writing a single line of code.
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