7 key SaaS metrics to keep a close eye on

Gut feelings are one thing, but it’s cold hard numbers that quantify your progress and show whether you’re on the right path.

saas metrics

To find out how your software as a service (SaaS) business is performing, you will need to start collecting and measuring some key metrics very early on – ideally at the very beginning. The main benefit here is it gives you the whole picture instead of just a snapshot of your business performance. Equally important, you’ll discover whether you’re building the right things or just wasting your time on something nobody is going to use.

While there are many sets of data you can collect and measure – you’ll want to have the ones that truly matter to your SaaS business that also fit into your definition of success.

We’ve tried to keep things simple and listed some necessary metrics worth keeping a close eye on below.

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Our response to the recent OpenSSL vulnerability

OpenSSL vulnerabilityBy now you’ve probably heard about the OpenSSL vulnerability named Heartbleed. A bug which is estimated to have affected two thirds of the internet. But in true startup-fashion we moved quickly to make sure all your data stayed safe.

The response

We first became aware of Heartbleed early Monday morning (7.4.2014) when we moved fast to update and patch our systems which store sensitive information. We have been updating our SSL Certificates, and are monitoring the ongoing implementation and testing of our service providers. Our blog, status page and other applications we use were also patched to make sure we closed all potential vulnerabilities.

So far we are not aware of any breaches. But as security is one of our top priorities here, our team is continuously performing security checks to ensure everything is secure.  The team is also keeping its ears open for any new information regarding Heartbleed that becomes available.

Please keep in mind we perform these types of checks every day and they have been part of our daily routine since the very beginning of our operations.

To-do list

In the meantime we recommend merchants to take the following actions just to be on the safe side of things.

However as a general precaution, we advise everyone to change their passwords on a regular basis. To make sure your passwords are strong we recommend the following:

  • A minimum 12 character password
  • At least a special character
  • At least one uppercase and lowercase letters
  • At least one digit

Basically you should not have a password like qwerty which would be one of the weakest passwords you could use!

Feel free to pass along this information to your users in case they have any concerns. If you have any questions, just get in touch with our support team.

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49 things you can do to build trust for your online shop

You’ve spent countless hours getting your products ready to ship. Now it’s time to start converting visitors into paying customers – after all that’s the lifeblood for every business.

paymentformcheckout

But what happens when you’re conversion rate is demoralising low. According to research by Statista the number one reason for shopping cart abandonment is customers being presented with unexpected costs. Imagine for a moment you’re shopping online and about to hand over their credit card information, when suddenly the total value of your order goes up in the final steps – no doubt you’re going to feel misled here and very unlikely to make the purchase.

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76 statistics on how social media is affecting e-commerce

Today you’ll hardly come across a business without a social media presence. Yet finding out what the return of investment (ROI) on social media is something folks still struggle with – after all time is money and you want to be sure those tweets are converting people into paying customers.

social media and e-commerce

Social media lets customers have a direct way of contacting you and vice versa – making businesses more approachable. Additionally marketing, lead generation, and customer care can be handled through social media. It’s just a more efficient way of reaching a wider audience and facilitates the sharing of great products and stories.

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9 Books on Entrepreneurship Everybody Must Read

Image by Abhi Sharma

Sometimes the biggest hurdle keeping folks from starting a business is the first step. And it’s a big one for anyone. But it’s usually the fear of failure and the unknown holding people back.

Fortunately, we live in an age where people freely share their experience with the rest of us online. Experiences that can inspire people to take on the challenge of creating something new. But while you’ll be on autopilot after you’re committed, the reality is that it will be a bumpy ride. You’ll come across various challenges along the way that you weren’t prepared for.

Nevertheless, we’ve gathered a list of books below that will help you get a firm grasp of what to expect, be prepared and show you how to succeed with your business. But you’ll also find books that highlight the importance of entrepreneurship in today’s economy. While we may have missed a few books on the list, we’ve left the comments open for your favorites.

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22 things to avoid when building a new product

themillWelcome to The Mill, our weekly roundup of the hottest startup stories and resources to hit the web. Curated by the PAYMILL team, here’s what grabbed our attention in the past seven days.

Want to Build and Launch Your First Product – Here’s What Not to Do: A sudden spark of creativity can ignite an idea that has the potential to become a full-fledging business. However the missing ingredient needed to get your idea into the market is execution.

Yet for what it’s worth, you could be on the wrong path and building something nobody wants. There’s a reason why the Lean Startup methodology has become so popular. And it’s because it forces you to step out of the building and find out exactly what the market wants by spending as little time and money as possible. Compare that with being holed up in your Bat Cave and working on something nobody cares about.

Over on Startup Clarity it highlights 22 things NOT to do when building and launching a new product. In case on short on time, here’s a brief summary of the post:

  1. Keeping the idea secret
  2. Building a solution looking for a problem
  3. Getting stressed over the competition
  4. Not being interested in your market
  5. Putting all your eggs in one basket
  6. Quitting your day job
  7. Selling a “nice to have” product
  8. Constantly designing, branding and naming your product
  9. Calling the lawyer
  10. Buying all the domains
  11. Talking to VCs
  12. Thinking too big
  13. A/B testing
  14. Ignoring your audience
  15. Ignoring business users
  16. Undercharging and over-selling
  17. Ignoring your close network
  18. Not finding a work/life balance
  19. Wishing it be a success
  20. Hoping for it to be a success
  21. Doing it alone, and finally;
  22. NOT LAUNCHING

For all the details simply follow the link above. And while we’re on the topic of launching new products, you probably want to do everything you can to increase conversions, which brings me to this very hand list below.

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10 steps to increasing your productivity in a startup

friday football

Anybody who thinks startups are all about fun and free Red Bull is deluded! Sure we manage to play a game of table football at the office, but it’s back to work after recharging our batteries.

Startups are about growth! And that usually includes a massive list of to-dos, very little time and limited resources to finish them all. In a startup you need to be delivering everyday. Otherwise you can say bye bye to growth.

What’s more is that your role and ability to execute quickly also has an effect on the others around you. Others are relying on you to get things done, and if you don’t, you’ll be holding your team back.

So what can you do to make sure you’re performing to the best of your abilities everyday. Here are ten tips on productivity to help you get through the day.

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What can startups learn from Viber about PR? Weekly roundup

Welcome to The Mill, our weekly roundup of the hottest startup stories and resources to hit the web. Curated by the PAYMILL team, here’s what grabbed our attention in the past seven days.

This week in startups

Viber-logo

5 PR lessons from Viber’s rise from zero users to a $900M exit: Whenever I mention Viber to people, I’ve also said that it’s the “WhatsApp for voice calls.” Viber and WhatsApp are two different applications, however they do share a couple of similarities.

For instance both require a users phone number to signup, cross platform compatibility, no advertisements and both were acquired this year – Viber for $900 million and WhatsApp for $19 billion by Rakuten and Facebook respectively.

Last week we covered some facts about WhatsApp, but we’ll focus on Viber and how they approached their PR efforts. Over at VentureBeat, Ayelet Noff founder of public relations firm Blonde 2.0 describes what they learnt by handling Viber’s PR push. In short, Noff highlights 5 lessons:

  1. Start with a path that makes sense for your startup
  2. Make friends with influencers and early adopters
  3. Face-to-face meetings are still king!
  4. Strike when iron is hot when you’ve got unqualified success
  5. Have a great and newsworthy product to pitch

For more details, simply follow the link above. Meanwhile, we’ve got another great resource from VentureBeat coming up next.

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How to close your first online sale: This week in startups

themillWelcome to The Mill, our weekly roundup of the hottest startup stories and resources to hit the web. Curated by the PAYMILL team, here’s what grabbed our attention in the past seven days.

This week in startups

25 Ways to Make Your First Online Sale: We all remember the first sale! It’s a cause for celebration, but also a moment when you realise you want more. Mark Hayes who’s heading communications at Shopify, highlights 25 ways that will move you closer to sealing that sale.

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17 Key Facts You Didn’t Know About WhatsApp

whatsapp-with-backgroundMessaging app WhatsApp was bought by Facebook today! And when you’re facing the prospect of a 5 year old company being acquired for $19 billion, can you really blame founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum? Probably not.

The thing is that it’s just insane the amount of money being tabled for a messaging app. And can Facebook recoup their investment in WhatsApp? The social media giant announced they will keep it independent, and with no advertisements scheduled to appear. Yet, the question of the day is: Where’s the money going to come from?

WhatsApp is available on a host of mobile operating systems, which includes iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Nokia S40 and Nokia S60 – making it very popular among users in emerging markets which appears to be Facebook’s play here. In fact TechCrunch cited a survey today by Jana Mobile that says people were 12X to 64X more likely to say WhatsApp is their most used messaging app, compared to Facebook.

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