Welcome to the latest edition of the Profitable Online Business Series! We are four business ideas deep into this series with lots more on the way. I hope you’ve found some nuggets of inspiration in these proven business models that we have uncovered across the web.
This model is a twist on traditional software development. Instead of creating a one-time standalone application, you charge recurring monthly membership for access to online web applications. Instead of downloading software to their computers, where customers only have limited access to your data and programs, your clients can access the software you provide on demand through the cloud from wherever they have an internet connection. When you offer this service, your clients never have to worry about updates or not being able to access their own client data when away from the office. Some types of services also lend themselves to being run through an online interface (e.g. a help desk).
Hot Ideas for a Software as a Service Business
[sociallocker]Examples of software as a service include online invoicing, access to application development and coding, newsletter and autoresponder services, online scheduling. You can find free scripts written in various programming languages that can do each of these functions, or you can purchase plugins and a membership script to charge for access to the online services. You could also hire a freelance programmer or software development company to write the code for you from scratch. Professional coders can be hired through services such as eLance and oDesk and other similar freelance marketplaces.
A software-based service generates revenue from monthly subscriptions. Once a customer ends their membership and stops paying, they lose access to the service. It is a powerful model for generating continuous revenue. You can entice new customers to try your service through free trials lasting for 7 days or a month or more. Some successful companies have a freemium model, where the basic SaaS application is free, which encourages widespread adoption and engagement. More advanced features or full applications require a monthly fee. The initial sacrifice of allowing new customers to try the service is more than offset by the long-term relationship and revenues that will follow from each client.
Examples of software as a service companies include:
Zoho offers a suite of online web applications geared towards increasing your productivity and offering easy collaboration. Zoho’s online office tools include a word processor, spreadsheet application, presentation tool, hosted wiki, notebook, CRM, Database software.
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The Hello Bar is a web toolbar that helps get more clicks on your website. Deploy this unassuming notification bar to increase engagement with your users.
To your achievements![/sociallocker]