Data is changing the businesses operate and do business today. Most companies are collecting vast amounts of data but fall short of having a comprehensive strategy to guide them in making the right business decisions. When software as a service comes in, companies get an overwhelming amount of data, and this means creating and implementing a strategy is very important.

Today, companies can analyze customer habits using third part data, predictive analytics and machine learning. This type of data has the potential to change marketing actions and initiatives, and improve on the overall customer success outcomes. All these capabilities make SaaS companies to be very competitive, and give them a lot of insights across different departments. If you have some doubts about the performance of your employees or marketing campaigns, the best way to go about it is to use data to guide you in making better decisions.

Creating a data strategy

To create a data strategy for any SaaS company, the first step is to ask your team questions, and lots of questions for that matter. Questions that you ask should be driven by pure curiosity, but have a business impact. You need to get answers to the type of questions to ask, that can improve business processes. You may need to ask questions such as;

– Who is buying my product?

– What is the average customer acquisition cost?

– What is the most it could cost?

– Where are we losing customers?

– Is this feature driving engagement?

It is very important to ask a lot of meaningful questions that can help you draw good conclusions for your business. After you have created a list of questions you would like to answer, the next step is to figure out the kind of data you need to be able to answer those questions.

If you would like to know who will be buying your products, you will need to collect demographic data using tools such as Google Analytics.

To know your average customer acquisition cost, collect data on conversion rates and marketing expenses, as well as internal fixed costs.

To know the most your product or service should cost, you may need to collect more data than online tools can provide. You may also want to track and analyze support calls and refunds.

If you want to know where you are losing people in your sales funnel, you may need to ask yourself a couple of questions. Do you lose people before they sign up for a trial? Or do they complete their trial period and then abandon your platform? You can get this data from both website and application tracking tools.

If you have a feature and would like to know if its driving engagement or not, you may need to consider which users are using the feature. You can collect this type of data with the use of Google Tag Manager as well as other tools.

The next vital step is to hypothesize your data and create benchmarks. As you gather your date, you will be in a better position to understand real situations and also remove any bias from your products.

Referrals have long been one of the top ways businesses use to grow. Entrepreneurs rely more and more on their networks and other resources to market their products and services. It is very important to develop a referral system in your marketing plan if you want your business to grow. Many of those running their own business make the mistake of not bothering with referrals. They assume their clients will pass a good word of mouth about them.

The problem with being less proactive when it comes to asking for referrals is that you stand to miss out on one of the most effective ways of getting more clients. Referral leads cost less and generate very high conversions. If you want to save your marketing dollars and increase your response rate, then you must develop a proactive referral program. Here’s how to go about it.

Have a referral request mindset

The first thing you need to have is to get into the habit of asking for referrals by overcoming your fears. You can do so in different ways. Remember that people are willing to help others if there is no negative cost associated with the same. Remind yourself that the worst that can happen is just a -no, and that is not something very terrible.

Choose your referral request method

There are different methods you can use for referrals. These include lead forms, business cards, email, shareable links, social media among others. Note that though social media seems easier to go about it, it is also the least effective and converting. You can make referrals to be part of your email and social media marketing campaign.

Use a referral request script

Up until that time when asking for referrals has become a habit and you are comfortable with it, then you need to write a script that you should always follow. You are not making a speech. All you need when asking for referrals is to be sincere, brief, and direct in your approach. You can also give some of your business cards to your clients so that they can share it with others.

Follow best practices

When asking for referrals, there are different best practices you can include to increase your chances of success. Always ask for referrals face to face. It will not only be respectful to your clients but will also prove to be more successful. People are more likely to do something for someone if the request is personalized. Additionally, consider offering an incentive for successful referrals. You should never ask for referrals when presenting a bill. The time that you bare asking for referral also presents an excellent way to ask the client for a testimonial.

Note that practice makes perfect. Never let fear and doubt come into your mind and derail the process of building your business. Referrals will generate you a lot of revenue from new clients and the more referrals you can ask, the more you will get. People only stop after asking for just one referral. Push hard to ask for as many referrals as possible and ensure you track all your referrals.

Anyone who is in business knows the importance of insurance. When something unexpected happens, having business insurance may be the difference between the continuity of your business or its failure. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses are not covered and this is very dangerous. Stats from Next insurance show that 44 percent of small businesses here in the States are not insured. Businesses need to be insured. When you purchase the right insurance, you will protect your business and its assets against damage and legal issues.

Business insurance operates the same way as personal insurance. It protects your business from financial, legal, and other claims in case of accidents, disasters, lawsuits, and other unexpected occurrences. Here some of the most common and important business insurances you should consider.

Workers compensation insurance

By law, this is one type of insurance you cannot afford to avoid. States require most employers to carry out worker’s compensation insurance in case employees get hurt in line with their work. Failure to get the right type and amount of coverage can result in fines and even criminal penalties. If an employee experiences a work-related injury, this cover will be able to cater for medical expenses and also pay them a portion of their wages as they recover.

Unemployment insurance

This is another type of insurance required by the government. It covers your employees in case of job loss or termination. You will have a tax burden that depends on the number of employees you have and your employee turnover. Employees can calculate and make tax payments but it can be easier to let human resource software do the calculations.

Disability insurance

This is a type of insurance that provides guaranteed payments to employees at a percentage of their income in case they are unable to work due to illness or injury. Unlike the worker’s compensation, the illness or injury doesn’t have to be work-related. States such as California, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Rhode Island require employers to provide some level of short term disability insurance.

General Liability Insurance

This is another important type of insurance business should have, although its not a requirement. General liability insurance protects a business if a third party such as a vendor, client, or customer gets injured from your business’s property, services, or products. It will cover physical injuries on business property, It will also cover property damage to another individual or business while carrying out your work a well as advertising injuries.

Commercial property insurance

This type of insurance covers business inventory, equipment, and office space as well as other property against damage or loss. Commercial property insurance is a must-have for many types of businesses, especially those running on brick and mortar. It is a type of insurance that will cover many incidents including theft, vandalism, fires, and weather-related damages.

You may also consider other types of insurance including professional liability insurance, product liability insurance, employment practices liability insurance among others.

Would you want to manage more clients in less time? Let’s say you have a sizable number of clients for your small business. Managing these clients seems to work seamlessly when you are small. However, as your business grows, so does the burden of financial and administrative tasks. To manage high standards of client service when your client numbers are increasing, you need to be better organized with automation. Automated billing is used by many companies and helps to free up  time and energy when you need to complete invoice work.

Here are the top reasons why the right billing software can simplify your invoicing so that you can focus on growing your business.

Keeping costs down

Automated billing will help in keeping costs down with unlimited invoicing. Some accounting solutions will charge you every time you process paperwork for a client. This is added stress and unnecessary cost you would not want to incur. With the right billing solution. it will foster your growth and not put limitations on you. Solutions that support unlimited invoicing will let you grow without worrying about the constraints presented by bad accounting systems.

Save time and get paid faster

You should never have your resources sapped by your billing cycle, especially if you have customers who need to be billed regularly. Your focus is to serve clients well and impress potential new ones. Recurring bills will put this process into autopilot so that you won’t have time wasted trying to get paid for your work. The billing software you choose should be able to regularly send out scheduled invoices, review all invoices before they go about, and manage payments seamlessly.

Avoid late payments

With automated billing, you will be able to stay on top of late payments with the use of automated reminders. Tracking down late payments can be a huge financial as well as emotional burden. It can even get more difficult as you take on more clients. You can never risk not receiving payments, and at the same time, you want to have the best relationship with your clients. The first step is to ensure you get paid on time and the only way to ensure such happens is to make use of automated payments. Automated late payment reminders present a professional way to remind your clients of their obligation.

Automated tax calculations

With an automated accounting system, a lot of burdens associated with calculating tax will be taken away. You need to have a system that simplifies and automates tax on your invoices so that you don’t miscalculate tax. Ensure you look for a solution that allows you to calculate different taxes at different rates, more so if you are operating across different tax jurisdictions. With the use of a multi-currency billing system, you will also get paid in any currency. This is especially good if you have clients across the globe. Most of these systems have open APIs to allow integration with other systems and present clients with an option to transact online.