I have developed my SAAS on a shoestring budget and I have just made it production ready so I am now looking for ways to market it to my customer base. I, however, do not have the funds available to market it on any kind of meaningful scale so I was thinking that now might be a good time for investment funds so that I could market my service. I could start with low brow marketing straight to a single customer and try to build from there but it seems that there might be a better more scalable way to do it.
What is a good way to get my software in front of potential investors and what will they be looking for in order to make an investment decision?
Thanks for your help,
Tim - VA
Congratulation on getting this far.
The first thing you need is some traction - any traction. That is, you need at least one customer. There's a huge difference between having no customers and one customer. Having the first customer makes it a lot easier to sell to other potential customers than if you had no customers at all. Investors know this and are rightly hesitant to invest in any product without a single customer.
While building a product, you should engage at least one potential customer for customer development purposes. That way, not only do you have a good chance of building something that other similar potential customers could actually use, the person you engage will almost definitely become customer number one.
So the bad news is that you may need to engage in customer development and subsequent rework before trying to sell your product to a broader audience.
If you haven't already, I highly recommend that you watch some (or a bunch) of the videos on thisweekin.com (also on YouTube). There are two relevant series: "This Week In Venture Capital" and "This Week In Startups." Both are hugely informative. They interview lots of entrepreneurs and investors, and give both basic education and high-level insight with respect to various startup and investment processes.
You may also want to read the blogs written by some of the most well-respected and prolific investors, such as:
Another good place to go is AngelList (http://angel.co ). It's basically a social network for entrepreneurs, startups, advisors, and investors. You can do some good research there and find investors in your area who are interested in the type of product you've created, then you can follow them on AngelList and on Twitter to learn more about them.
I hope that's helpful. Good luck!