How much money will my business need to succeed? How much money do I need before I can grow? How much money do I need to send my kids to college? How much will I need to support myself and my spouse through retirement? All of these are questions most of us probably ask ourselves everyday. And they’re questions we should be asking; planning for the future is generally a wise decision.
Unfortunately, some people have talents that lie in directions other than math. Perhaps your talents lie in writing flowery prose for a web, app and software development firm just as a random example. But there is a silver lining to this math-laden cloud: modern technology. The Era of the Internet once again provides the solution to an age-old problem.
Most of our clients are entrepreneurs, CEOs of a startup, or SMB owners, so it is important to us that we focus on enterprise trends. This post will largely focus on financial planning software and web applications, but when discussing this topic my Chief Marketing Strategist pointed out that there’s a whole other market here – the average gal and guy.
These are ordinary people who aren’t business owners, who work 9-5 and have neither the time or energy to plan for things like retirement, or medical expenses. These are people who would be attracted to a web application that helps them see their future. So let’s take a look at two different markets (Businesses and Ordinary Folk) and how custom software provides a superior service to your clients.
Opportunity IS Knocking Twice
So as mentioned above, there are two target markets that could benefit from an online financial SaaS program. We’re not really talking about apps or websites that analyze the stock market (read more about that here); those are niche and can make good money if they’re built right but they’re still niche.
Our overall aim is to demonstrate that financial planning software is useful to anyone. That you, as an entrepreneur with your own custom software, can make the riches you desire. Software for financial planning has applicability to two enormous markets, there are multiple ways to generate revenue.
Business Financial Planning
• The importance:
Financial planning is vital to any entrepreneur wishing to succeed in this world of sharks. Just to get the funding you probably need to take off, you need to impress investors with your keen grasp of finances. More importantly, Financial Planning can help your customers monitor their monthly liquidity and can even help plan the growth of your company. There are many more benefits to financial planning beyond those discussed here, but this will hopefully demonstrate the need for such software in the world of business.
• The Revenue
Financial Planning SaaS for Businesses will need to be more robust than what can be offered to the average person and will cost more time and money. Wait don’t leave – it means you get to charge your clients more as well. When in consultation with clients, our strategists at SDI generally recommend a subscription-based model. We have found that it generates sustainable and substantial revenue, often with greater frequency than other models. This isn’t to say we don’t have more tricks up our sleeves – but you’re going to have to get in touch with us to learn more. Don’t worry – we offer a free consultation with our tech and market director.
• The Development
Can you build this from a template? Probably. Should you? Definitely not. If you’re looking to develop a financial planning SaaS, you probably have extensive experience in running the financial side of a business; you know where SDI’s expertise lies? In building stellar tech solutions. You know your business, and we know ours.
Custom software breaks from a mold and gives clients something new. More importantly, custom SaaS (especially cloud-based) can be tailored to fit any client’s needs with ease.
.NET or PHP? This is a question asked by many entrepreneurs looking to have their own web application. The truth is that it depends on the situation. In this particular case(SaaS for businesses), we generally recommend .NET because it is larger and more robust, perfect for big programs.
Financial Planning for “Ordinary Folk”
• The Importance
Financial planning, as mentioned in the beginning of this article, is an important aspect of life, even for Jane and John Smith. People armed with a better understanding of their financial situation are better equipped for the future, and no what it will take to reach their goals (i.e. buying a house).
• The Revenue
Obviously, this type of SaaS doesn’t need to be able to calculate the large numbers and extreme variables required of a business-oriented SaaS. This is a double-edged sword, though; you save money and time and development, but probably won’t be able to charge as much.
However, we still recommend a subscription model, and we argue that you will make as much more than you would off business oriented SaaS. This is because there are only so many businesses that will need financial planning software; there are many more individuals who would benefit from such a program.
In other words, Financial planning software aimed at individuals won’t make as much money from single clients, but there are many more individuals.
For what it’s worth, there is no reason you can’t go both routes – there are plenty of examples of this out there of differing subscription models. It gives you two markets instead of one, but it means more time and money for development. We recommend starting with one and planning to grow into the second market. Remember – slow and steady wins the race.
• The Development
Since this program is less complex, our financial software developers recommend PHP; it’s quicker and easier to understand. It’s also the cheaper option because of ease of use – plus there are many more PHP developers than .NET – in fact SDI is one of the few companies to require all developers to be trained in both PHP and .NET.
Financial planning is a necessary and ongoing practice. People and businesses are never going to stop needing to plan for the future. But we have the technology and the know how to create tools to make life simpler.
So you think you know what the perfect financial planning software needs? Give us a call today at 408.802.2885 and get insights from industry experts. You can also send a direct email to firstname.lastname@example.org – Game On.