• Go to blog
  • Blog
  • What Is Business Model Canvas? Guide for SaaS Founders

What Is Business Model Canvas? Guide for SaaS Founders

featured image

Starting a SaaS business can be an intimidating process. 

You have to create the product, build the website, and determine how to make money from it all.

It's hard enough to get your idea off the ground without worrying about understanding complex business models or financial projections. But to succeed in this competitive market, you need a plan that works for your unique situation.

That's where our guide comes in! In this article, we'll break down what Business Model Design is and provide simple steps for SaaS founders to use to increase their chances of success.

So, let's get started!

What Is Business Model Design?

Business Model Design is the process of designing a plan that outlines how your business will generate revenue.

You might also refer to these parts of your business model as "building blocks."

visual showing the business model canvas, made for SaaS companies.

A well-thought-out and executed business model can help you stand out, generate revenue more quickly, and create a sustainable business.

For instance, Amazon's business model has always focused on providing a great customer experience, offering low prices and a wide selection. This strategy allowed them to dominate the e-commerce space and become one of the most successful businesses in the world.

Dropbox is an excellent example of a successful business model in the SaaS world. They created a specific product that solved the problem of syncing and sharing large files, then offered it for free with a paid upgrade option.

Ultimately, the suitable business model for your company depends on the unique nature of your product, target market, and industry.

Why Do You Need a Business Model?

Having a well-defined plan for your business is essential for success. It sets the direction of your company, informs decisions, and helps you stay focused on your core goals.

A well-designed business model will help you reach your growth objectives more efficiently, test different strategies more effectively, and focus on the right metrics.

As a SaaS company, your plan should include pricing models, marketing strategies, and customer success programs that help you acquire and retain customers for the long term.

It will also help you identify areas of opportunity and quickly adjust to changes in the market.

Some other reasons why you need a business model include the following:

  • Funding potential: Potential investors and lenders will want to see your business plan before investing
  • Adaptability: A good model allows you to quickly adjust when needed and plan for growth
  • Competitive advantage: Having a well-defined business model can give you an edge over competitors
  • Scalability: A business model will help you scale your company more efficiently

A business plan can help you negotiate better deals with partners and suppliers.

For instance, if you have a SaaS product that requires an expensive server, you can negotiate discounts or better service plans with the provider.

Or, if you need to negotiate better terms for a new customer, having a well-defined business model will help you make the case.

Having a business plan in place can give you an advantage in negotiations.

How Can You Design A Business Model For Your SaaS?

Designing a business model for your SaaS company can seem daunting.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Step 1. Start with the basics

The essential components of a business model for a SaaS company include pricing, marketing channels, customer service, and operations.

You must understand the fundamentals of each element before you can start to create a successful plan.

Here are some things to consider for each part of your business model:

  • Pricing: What pricing models are available? How will you differentiate your product from competitors?
  • Marketing: What channels will you use to reach your target market? How will you measure success?
  • Customer service: What kind of support will you provide? How can you build loyalty?
  • Operations: What processes do you need to ensure smooth operations?

Take some time to research the competitive landscape for your product or service.

Look at what other companies in your industry are doing, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and consider how to leverage them to your advantage.

You should also keep an eye out for new trends in the industry and consumer behavior, as these can help you identify opportunities you may not have considered.

Step 3. Test, measure, and iterate

When it comes to business model design, testing is essential.

You should test different models and strategies, measure the results and adjust your plan.

This process can take some time, but it will help you find the most effective and efficient model for your business.

Your business model will be the foundation for your company's success when done correctly.

It can help you identify areas of opportunity, create more efficient processes and focus on the right metrics.

SaaS's most popular business models include subscription-based, usage-based, and freemium.

  • Subscription-based models involve customers paying a fixed or recurring fee for access to the product.
  • Usage-based models charge customers for the amount of usage, such as storage or bandwidth.
  • Freemium is a hybrid model that offers some features for free and charges for premium features.

These models are popular because they offer flexibility and allow customers to pay only for their needs.

Some other popular yet less common models include pay-as-you-go, volume discounts, and tiered subscriptions.

You may want to consider one of these models depending on your product and target market.

Of course, the best way to determine which model works for your business is to experiment and measure the results.


Business model design is an essential part of SaaS companies.

It can help you create a more efficient and effective plan, identify areas of opportunity and focus on the right metrics.

By researching competitors and industry trends, testing different models, measuring the results, and iterating as needed, you can create a winning business model that works for your organization.

Good luck on your journey to success!

Joran Hofman
Meet the author
Joran Hofman
Back in 2020 I was an affiliate for 80+ SaaS tools and I was generating an average of 30k in organic visits each month with my site. Due to the issues I experienced with the current affiliate management software tools, it never resulted in the passive income I was hoping for. Many clunky affiliate management tools lost me probably more than $20,000+ in affiliate revenue. So I decided to build my own software with a high focus on the affiliates, as in the end, they generate more money for SaaS companies.
Share the article:
Scroll to Top