Are you familiar with “SaaS”— Software as a Service?

Saas - Software as a Service for Small Business Owners Put simply: It’s software available from the “cloud” and not off the shelf.

Let’s first agree with the adage that “if you’re not measuring, you’re not managing.”

Then one of your many challenges is finding software to track and report on different areas of the business—marketing, operations, administration—that you can afford.

You may not realize it, but if you’re using antiquated software, it’s costing you more in lost sales and employee productivity and morale than you think you’re saving by not investing in the latest operating system(s).

The Benefits of SaaS

So what again is SaaS and how can it help you? Advertisers fancifully describe it as “cloud computing.” All that means is it’s web-based software … software as a service (usually a subscription) on the web … and it can save you time and money.

Here’s a long-answer comparison between traditional software and SaaS. The traditional variety is mostly sold as a desktop product with an up-front cost, an ongoing license fee and an optional ongoing support package.

Lower Setup and Customization Costs

SaaS providers, on the other hand, generally price applications using a subscription fee, most commonly a monthly or an annual fee. The benefit to you is that the SaaS setup cost is typically lower than the equivalent desktop software.

Other attractive benefits and functional features of SaaS are that providers typically price their applications based on some usage parameters, such as the number of users working the application.

With SaaS software it will be easier for you to log-in to your accounts from remote locations and connect to data.

Additionally, since SaaS products usually have some customization capabilities, you can tailor the software to your business—without spending a lot of money!

An SaaS for your every Small Business Need

There’s more good news! There are a growing number of providers offering reliable and secure cloud products in virtually every area of business management:

  • accounting and finance
  • calendar and scheduling
  • customer relationship management (crm)
  • productivity, sales and marketing
  • project management
  • management information systems

and much more. There’s even software for collaboration and brainstorming. (Check out my brainstorming blog post Problem Solving Strategies.)

How do you find SaaS providers? Easy. My advice is to go to the Google Apps Marketplace and browse for applications that fit your business needs. It is that easy.

I use a number of Saas – Software as a Service in my business. You should, too.