By Aimy Ngo
The technology available to small business owners is progressing at breakneck speed and continues to make life easier for them. The evolution of Services-as-a-Product (SaaP) is one of the most practical applications of new tech for entrepreneurs, and while SaaP platforms have the potential to revolutionize the world of small business, many small business owners don’t even know it.
The SaaP market is all about making it easier to get things done. There is a vast market of skilled workers available that can be assigned special projects in just a few clicks. Hiring help may not be a groundbreaking solution, but the way we find, negotiate and pay for helpful services — especially creative work — is changing for the better. Online platforms streamline the entire process, removing the friction associated with striking a deal, so working with a web developer or video producer is as easy as calling an Uber.
Streamlining Service Delivery
In the same way Amazon digitized and streamlined commerce, entrepreneurs now can shop for talent the same way we buy shoes and books online. A new wave of SaaP platforms like Fiverr and TaskRabbit enable anyone with a marketable skill to post a profile and take orders for freelance jobs. Business owners can buy anything from an explainer video for a new feature or product to a website re-design as needed instead of increasing overhead to build a team, burning out alone or leaving tasks by the wayside.
Simplicity is arguably the greatest advantage of adopting the SaaP model. SaaP platforms work as intermediaries between service providers and buyers, eliminating the headaches caused by negotiation and invoices by setting flat prices and managing payments. Many of these platforms also feature portfolios, rankings and reviews for the service providers, which makes it much easier to find trustworthy workers.
Working with SaaP Platforms
Entrepreneurs can excel by focusing on their core competencies so it makes sense to bring an expert on board to deliver quality results for work they’re not well versed in, like package design. Following a few simple guidelines can make working with these specialists even easier:
- Evaluate all the options: Most people check a few sites before purchasing a new item online, and buying services online should be no different. Compare prices from different platforms and providers, but keep in mind that the cheapest option doesn’t always deliver the most bang per buck. Checking reviews and asking to see prior work can be instrumental in finding the right freelance help.
- Work on a working relationship: Most SaaP providers are somewhat of an expert in the field they work in, so they should be worked with as such. As freelancers, they’re more like experienced partners than new employees. It’s important to work closely with them and communicate openly, but they shouldn’t be micromanaged.
- Contribute to continued success: Freelance workers get further by developing their skills working with clients. It’s important to provide direct, honest and constructive criticism when wrapping up a project. If all goes well, leaving them with a strong referral or recommendation can help them secure more business. Taking these steps also makes it easier to keep working with the same person.
While some tech trends can be daunting or difficult to keep up with, small business owners should be taking advantage of the rapid growth of SaaP. As entrepreneurs take on more work, it’s worth considering the help available for purchase from skilled, entrepreneurial workers.
Aimy Ngo is a Business Development and Market Strategist at Fiverr, the world’s most transacted marketplace for creative and professional services. Her focus is on driving growth through strategic partnerships and market opportunities. Aimy has a background in strategy and innovation consulting for Global 500 and FTSE 100 companies. She is a Mogul Influencer, Education Pioneers Fellow and a rising voice in the areas of entrepreneurship, the gig economy and women in tech. @.