- Chapters from Starting & Sustaining
- Discounts from Starting & Sustaining
- Resources & Links
- Products, Services, & Tools
- Related Topics
Chapters from Starting & Sustaining
Get paperwork out of the way
Paperwork is never any fun, but there’ll be a handful of things you need to set up and keep handy. The critical part is keeping the information to hand and documenting this so it’s not a chore when you need it.
Focus and execute
On the one hand, you need to explore multiple ideas to gain the knowledge of what will and won’t work; but at some point, you’ll need to focus exclusively on the one idea you really believe in.
You’re inevitably going to face new tasks that require new skills. Being in a constant state of learning can be overwhelming and distracting. Do your best to stay focused and take it one skill at a time.
Plan for icebergs
As you get started, you’re going to run into problems and challenges you either didn’t anticipate or severely underestimated. With SaaS, there’s a handful of seemingly simple things that might catch you off guard.
Ignore the competition
When you get started, there are only two things that matter: your customers and your productivity. While it might be helpful to evaluate competitors when getting started, once you start, it’s best to ignore them and do your thing.
Be cautious with transparency
More and more businesses operate with some degree of transparency. But how do you know if it makes sense to run your business transparently? Make sure you weigh the pros and cons before deciding one way or the other.
Design for iteration
As a small business, agility is a key strength. Your ability to quickly gather and act on customer feedback is a central advantage. Investing in tools and processes to help you iterate quickly and safely is always a good investment.
Establish working backups
Backups aren’t a big deal until you need them. Unfortunately, by the time you need them, you may not have them. Whatever you do, don’t skip out on backups. Set them up and ensure they’re tested regularly so your business doesn’t become another example of what not to do.
Monitoring is the new cofounder
You can’t keep an eye on all of the moving parts of your application. At some point, something’s going to fail, and when it does it needs to fail loudly and provide information to fix it. This is where monitoring comes into play to ensure minimal impact when things do go wrong.
Outsource your weaknesses
Outsourcing can be expensive, but once you have the resources it’s more cost-effective to hire specialists than try to learn everything yourself. If it’s not a core competency, get help with it.
Make time for maintenance
You’re going to be overwhelmed with new work to do, but ignoring maintenance will take you to a bad place. Security updates, bug fixes, and recurring support requests will drown you in wasted time if you let them slide for too long.
Discounts from Starting & Sustaining
These products and services include discounts when you purchase the full package of Starting & Sustaining.
Sidecar: 20% off your entire order
Incredible digital assets like stock photgraphy, icons, and more for design.
Resources & Links
Stripe Atlas - Starting a Real Business
Patrick McKenzie has pulled together a great summary of some of the more tedious aspects of building and running a business internationally. This is an absolute must-read if you’ve never started a business before.
Play by your own rules.
Josh Williams, cofounder of Gowalla, talks about competing against Foursquare and how it affected their long-term vision.
Automate your development environment
The team at Thoughtbot has a wonderfully thorough playbook that includes a script to help setup a macOS laptop for web and mobile development.
Post-Deploy Smoke Tests
Nathaniel Talbott of Spreedly provides a simple example of post-deploy smoke tests and related notifications.
Sales Tax by State: Is SaaS taxable?
This is a bit of a pitch by TaxJar, but it’s still a solid reference to help you understand sales tax on a state-by-state basis.
How we reduced chargebacks by 30% (as a percentage of sales)
Jason Fried explains how 37signals made a simple change to help reduce chargebacks.
Products, Services, & Tools
Stripe is the best software platform for running an internet business. We handle billions of dollars every year for forward-thinking businesses around the world.
Braintree Payment Processing
Reach more buyers and drive higher conversion with the only payments platform that delivers PayPal, Venmo (in the US), credit and debit cards, and popular digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay in a single, seamless integration.
A tool to handle everything involved in establishing an internet business.
Get private, secure, ad-free email hosting for you or your business
Secure Email Based in Switzerland. Secure Your Communications with ProtonMail
Web-based project management tool that combines all the tools teams need in a single, straightforward package that makes work feel like less work.
Online Project Management for Teams. Flow is beautiful, flexible project and task management software for teams.
Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.
Turn receipts into data. Join the 1,000,000 businesses using Shoeboxed to scan & organize receipts and business cards, create expense reports, track mileage and more.
Payroll, benefits, HR, and compliance — all in one place. Justworks simplifies your business’s back office complexities, so you can work fearlessly.
America’s bookkeeping service for small businesses.
Sorry is a status page service trusted in over 400 cities across the globe to communicate about downtime.
Website Uptime & Performance Monitoring. Powerful monitoring tools that are quick-and-easy to set up. Instant alerts that you can trust, the moment your site goes down. Gain invaluable insights into how your website’s performance is impacting your customers’ experiences – helping your business to stay ahead of the competition.
StatusGator monitors the published service status of more than 380 cloud services. Start monitoring in 2 minutes.
Status.io makes it simple to create a beautiful status page for your app, web service or developer API.
Monitor your website’s availability and performance for free with Pingdom and always be the first to know when your website is down. No installation required.
Frustration-free log management. Seamlessly manage logs from apps, servers, and cloud services.
Loggly is a cloud-based log management and analytics service provider
Log management and analytics by Logentries for development, IT operations and Security teams. 100% free service trusted by thousands of customers
Get automated code review for test coverage, complexity, duplication, security, style, and more.
Airtable works like a spreadsheet but gives you the power of a database to organize anything.
Modern Design Workflow. One place to version, manage, and collaborate on your Sketch files.
The secret ingredient to shipping on time. Plan sprints, manage workload and track progress.
Sifter helps keep your issue tracking simple so you and your team can find and resolve more issues in less time. You save time and money shipping higher quality software.
ProdPad is product management software that helps product managers develop product strategy. Easily manage teams, customers and roadmaps.
Handoff designs and styleguides with accurate specs, assets, code snippets—automatically.
Where do you find your first customers? How do you make time for sales in the early days?
When should you quit your day job? How much money will you need? Should you share your finances publicly?
What’s the difference between customer support and customer success? How much time does support require?
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