So finally, I have been able to successfully fix all the bugs and issues with my SaaS startup.
Any guidance on what I should be preparing ? I know, I should've released early, but the lean startup model was deemed unsuitable for the industry I am in (need accuracy, and high quality first impression). Additionally, because of the bugs, I have been uncertain of the final deadline.
So, the grueling 2 years of research and development have produced first working beta software. I am proud of my accomplishment so far but I know the next half will be really tough: handling clients and satisfying their expectations.
I have started a small scale SaaS 2 years ago just to shut it down because I couldn't handle the "heat" from clients. Complaints about software not working correctly and threats about refunding, chargebacks etc. I've learned some things from this experience and decided to really take time in improving quality that I've neglected getting the word out there.
Well, I've sent an email about my beta a year ago to my leads and clients I have had from my past consulting work. I know that I should've kept in touch with them but I am thinking of hitting them up again to tell them that my beta services are now open.
I'm giddy with excitement but have some stressful phobia of the work ahead.
I'm looking for any advice, guides, blogs, strategies etc.
Expect that launching is the first step, not the last.
I'm not saying that you don't.
Depending on how large your initial user base is, expect them to try in briefly, walk away and you not understanding why. It's dreadful. But with good hard work you'll pull them back in.
You need to quickly find people who've tried it, connect with them and understand everything you need to improve. Expect there to be a lot, and be prepared to kill your darlings.
I may sound negative, but I'm not. This is the most exiting time, because you get to do something real. It's also very hard, but hard is fun!
Best of luck!
Get prepared to buy yourself a Lamborghini.
Do a soft launch. . . seriously, no need to rush
As zkidd recommended go for soft launch. The word launch is a bunch of actions tied together over multiple days. Unless you have an army of people who could all do it for you on the day of the launch, just make a list and perform the actions each single day.
and so on.
Find each and every place where you can shout and do it over the period of several days.
A blog you may find useful is quicksprout.com.
Read this, I wish I had before our beta :)
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/BetaTest.html From my personal experience (after a fairly successful beta)