. We actually started our Mission Command membership to answer this question with a SaaS solution to software development. We actually give you a SaaS version of what you need. Below I wanted to talk about the problems with most “template” sites, from our experience.
If you are meaning a template site where you drag and drop pieces and “no code is required”, beware, you WILL hit a wall and it seems to be (from our members’ experience) that always comes at the most inopportune time. Then, you are left with a horrible decision, move your growing app’s users to your own solution or just stop your growth and hence your potential (at least 50% probably won’t come over unless they REALLY love you & you will waste time & a lot of money).
Template and other “build an app/website/etc…” solutions all have their place in testing your idea on a budget, but once your users request a feature they can’t implement because they don’t have the code-bank for it, you can’t implement. This is a great catch-22 of using that to start growing your app.
You don’t truly own the user because once you develop the code, the app will change and you will require them to update your app store submission, or have them download the app again. On top of this, there are limits on those accounts normally and those will limit what you can offer your users and require you to move if you are successful.
Here is how we have found (and you can hear many experts that agree from many sources) approaching development works the best.
Your users are king & queen, you MUST give them everything they ask for & the reason you are developing your template app or other software is to find users that agree what you’re offering is unique and better. For this you need a development team to work with you at all times, constantly giving your users’ (and your teams’) what they ask for on a budget and on a plan that will keep the app or other software up and working brilliantly, bringing in new uses that stay even longer and become more valuable to you over time.
Your users are going to drive the growth of your product. Disrupting that timing by migrating them from the template app to your own solution will inevitably lose some members, frustrate others, and definitely will cost you a ton of money. Instead, iterating from a small MVP () that you are testing your unique value proposition & growing the product to fit that is known as agile development.
After you do this MVP, you will get user feedback, you then build on top of that a solution that answers that feedback and repeat, as long as you are breathing (your company/app/software is breathing). The holy grail of any software is getting engagement, that is all that makes sense to focus budget, time, and resources on the software in the first place.
Why would you ruin that work and lose any momentum if you can avoid that hurdle before you hit that wall that is inevitable in any template-type solution?
The elusive goal you are seeking has a name, “product-market fit” and that is going to turbo-charge your growth when you hit it and all of your early MVP work will now be seen as a great memory of learning. If your app isn’t in your possession and you are constantly adding features (that the template has, hopefully), you will lose some of your users that you aren’t answering to by delaying or ignoring requests. This will stunt your growth or at the very least create a dip in both users & growth. Here are a couple good videos from Y-Combinator’s Startup School that we were a part of and this is great advice we give our members all the time.
So, you are left with hiring a team ($300,000+ per year for experts in the field on your team) or outsourcing. This brings some big problems in your budgeting, either way you go.
Each little piece of functionality costs money and can be implemented differently. For example, even the loading screen (splash screen in apps) requires code decisions on timing and other little things. Login is even more vague and implies a TON of extra decisions. Normally, when getting a quote, you will get a padded quote that is high to plan for the “worst case scenario” when actually coding it. If they under quote, they are on the hook for things (or will ask for more $$$), which leads to many delays and other hurdles.
There are so many& other requirements for your development to get to 1–2+ week iterations (depending on individual needs), it is very hard. In comes Blast Off Apps!
have a SaaS approach to software development:
Mission Command featuring Agility as a Service
We can help you develop any app or software and are built in SaaS form (with some wrinkles, think LegalZoom for agile app development, that’s close).working with you on your product, giving you decades of experience for your documents such as backlog lists, pitch decks, etc… Development sprints will be an additional cost because coders aren’t cheap, but we have found a way to quote so that you (non-technical I assume) have complete control and with development’s input during the process (part of the $495/m), you will also get workarounds or other cost-saving features. All-in-all our SaaS service has had members with an average MVP cost (per OS) of $8,100! We save our members 90%+ normally because of this in depth “partner” approach”.
If you’d like more information, we’d be happy to chat and see if we can help you in any way (chatting is free, you only pay when you want to move forward and develop your app).