Blue Horizon’s reading list is a curated collection of articles for SaaS founders and management teams. We are entrepreneurs and operators who have lived through the process of founding and scaling software companies. Here are the articles and resources we found useful this month.
The Post-SVB Software Debt Market
On OnlyCFO’s Software World
Some are wondering if the SVB collapse shows a particular danger in using debt to fund your business’ growth (those doing the “wondering” in public are often equity investors, oddly enough). Debt is a very cost-effective source of capital. If a company needs a large capital expenditure to exploit a risky, but very large market opportunity, then sure: selling equity is the best and likely only financing option. But if a company just wants to keep doing what it’s doing, only a little faster (hiring staff or expanding its AWS instances and spend), then borrowing money is a very good option.
Ask the Customer to Describe the Value
by David Cummings
My advice to the entrepreneur: go talk to 10 customers. Ask how they describe the solution. Ask what value they receive from the product. Do this in a way that doesn’t lead the witness. Be patient and quiet as they think through their answers.
Key takeaways include:
▪️ It always takes longer than you’d ever think, especially in B2B / SaaS.
▪️ Slow down if you don’t have the right co-founders.
▪️ Market research can only take you so far…Talk to prospective customers…and listen.
▪️ Learn from those who have walked a mile in your shoes. But don’t be discouraged if they don’t 100% get it.
The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Expansion
Expansion is the final stage of a successful SaaS growth strategy. It’s all about getting more money from those customers you have, and broadening your offer so you have a larger target market to go after. Expansion is important because it becomes harder to grow by relying on your current acquisition strategy and retention tactics alone.
Prospecting with Purpose: Navigating Challenges and Building Relationships
by Predictable Revenue
Great sales reps know that success is context-dependent. Copying and pasting a template isn’t enough–they need to perform research and take a tailored approach to each prospect. Taking the time to personalize your email outreach can boost response rates by 10%.
10 “Little” Things That Almost Caused My Startups to Fail
by Jason Lemkin
Key takeaways include:
▪️ Not really, truly listening to our early customers
▪️ Shipping a little bit too way early
▪️ Letting yourself get too tired
Blue Horizon acquires and invests in profitable software businesses with stable recurring revenue streams. The Blue Horizon platform combines long-term capital and industry expertise with an operating model that enables businesses and their leaders to focus on growth and profitability.