Are SaaS businesses worth it?

Are SaaS businesses worth it?

You know what's really odd?

People starting software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses because they "want to be financially independent", "do what they want", or "make money while they sleep".

I call bullshit on that. That rarely happens. Reality, in most cases, is the exact opposite.

You'll invest an awful lot of your time and/or money. While not getting much of a reward.

I realised that this week. After over two months, I have finally finished a new crucial feature for Magic Pages: monthly and yearly plans in addition to the existing lifetime plan.

All week long, I have worked my ass off. Usually, I got to bed around 9:30pm, because I get up pretty early. This week, I've had days when I stayed up until midnight – just to finish "that one tiny thing", that turned out not to be so tiny after all.

On Thursday, when I got ready for bed, I chuckled to myself.

"You're working your ass off, just so your tiny side business can make a few $$."

See, most SaaS businesses can't sustain their founder's lifestyle. And I am no exception.

As a family, we need around €3,000 every month to cover our expenses. Even in the best months, Magic Pages hasn't even been close to reaching that. If we just look at the financials, I could not run Magic Pages without my full-time job (which is also incredibly fun, and I wouldn't dream of giving that up).

And yet, I pour dedication into it. Hours of work. Evenings I could spend completely different. I take my laptop with me on holiday, because I need to be able to quickly jump in, if something breaks.

So, financially, I honestly don't think that most SaaS businesses are worth it. Most of them are incredibly unprofitable, in the beginning. But they are also incredibly fun.

In the last year, I have learned a lot about different technologies.

I have met amazing people, who became my customers.

I have helped dozens of blogs and newsletters launch.

I became part of a community.

The moral of this story? Don't be fooled by Twitter bros telling you how cool SaaS businesses are. How they allow them to travel all around the world. How their MRR (monthly recurring revenue) from the subscriptions they sell gives them the feeling of freedom.

They don't tell you about all the evenings they spent in front of their laptops, instead of the cinema with friends.