Though small business SaaS solutions can improve the bottom line, some small businesses still aren’t sold on the idea of letting go of traditional software. It’s not just large businesses that benefit from SaaS. Smaller businesses can see immediate time and money savings simply by implementing one or two solutions.
Typical Small Business IT Costs
Before looking at the cost savings from small business SaaS, it’s a good idea to look at what the business would need to invest in normally. Even if your business only has a handful of employees, you’ll still need the following to manage software and IT in-house:
- Full-time IT manager
- Software license for each computer
- Hardware capable of storing and running all software
- Upgrade costs for updated software
- Upgraded data storage as servers wear out
The software licenses and upgrades alone often make it difficult for small businesses to invest in the powerful tools they need to stay competitive. Another issue is you have to buy a full software package versus buying just the parts you need. You end up with tools you’ll never use, but you’re still paying for anyway.
Saving Money With Small Business SaaS
Now that you know the alternative, it’s time to see what you could save with a small business SaaS solution. A few ways you’ll notice IT costs decreasing are:
- Software specific support is usually included
- Single monthly fee for a set number of users
- Updates/upgrades included
- Pay for just the features you need
- No major upfront cost
When a third-party is managing and maintaining the software, you don’t need a full-time IT team. There’s usually nothing to install, which means you don’t need an IT expert on-site to ensure the software is properly installed and configured.
For traditional software, you’ll usually pay a per computer or per user fee one time or per year, depending on the software. Free software updates are typically limited to a set period, such as free updates for a year. When a new version of the software is released, you have to pay an upgrade fee. With SaaS, all this is included and you don’t have to worry with updating computers manually.
Many SaaS solutions allow for significant customization, meaning you only pay for what you need versus purchasing a bulky suite that you may only use half of. Of course, there’s also the initial investment savings. You don’t have to pay upfront for the software. There’s only a monthly fee, which makes it more budget friendly throughout the fiscal year.
The more reliant you are upon your small business servers, the faster they’ll wear out. In most cases, businesses replace servers every 5-8 years. Running software from your servers means more wear and tear. With SaaS solutions, the wear and tear is on the provider, saving you even more.
Traditional Software Equals More Time
Think about the last software application had to setup and install. It takes time to integrate it with your current system. You then have to multiply the setup time by the number of computers that need the software.
If the installation doesn’t go right, you may have to start over or even worse, it could damage your system. You’ll also need to check for updates regularly and ensure all licenses stay up to date. Most traditional business software is designed to be installed and maintained by an IT expert, not the average computer user, so this means a larger learning curve if you’re trying to do it all by yourself.
Another issue that comes into play is compatibility. Before making any significant changes, you have to check that everything is compatible. You might want the latest version of the software you’re using, but it may require you to upgrade your operating system and any integrated software. This means even more time and money.
Saving Time With Small Business SaaS
Small business SaaS providers understand that small businesses probably don’t have an IT team. This means they design the solutions for the average computer user. You don’t need a computer science degree just to get started using the software.
Since the provider handles the setup process, you save time initially. If anything goes wrong while you use the service, the provider handles any technical problems, saving you even more time. You don’t even have to worry about compatibility since the software isn’t installed on your computers. You have less maintenance to worry about and the learning curve is less steep.
Another consideration is mobility. If your small business requires you to work outside the office often, you can take your SaaS solution with you. They allow for remote access without any additional licensing fees for your tablet or smartphone. This means you can quickly access the tools you need without running back and forth to the office.
Get the Right Solutions
Trying to figure out exactly what you need isn’t always easy. Most traditional software has a lengthy list of requirements and deciding if it’s the right tool for you isn’t obvious with someone who understands IT.
With small business SaaS providers, you benefit from their knowledge and get the right solution for your specific business. This means saving money from trying out software only to learn it’s not the right fit at all. The result is a more efficient software solution that saves your business money.
As your business needs change, all you have to do is change your monthly plan. It’s that simple. There isn’t a time intensive upgrade plan for hardware and software. The costs are minimal and the software still grows with your business.
Small Business SaaS Continues to Grow
More and more small businesses are beginning to see the benefits of SaaS. In 2015, 37% of small businesses used some form of cloud computing, but that number is expected to jump to 78% by 2020. Small business SaaS solutions are quickly becoming the logical way to function as efficiently as a large business with a full IT team, but without the additional costs or time needed.