No-Code Platforms Are the Golden Ticket for Non-Technical SaaS Founders
As an entrepreneur or creator, you’ve probably thought of countless ideas over the years that never came to life. Chances are, you still do.
You’re not alone. The obstacles to building a business can seem insurmountable, and in the online business world, one of the main obstacles is the technical skillset required to create a viable digital product or service.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model, in particular, while known in the modern tech startup world for giving rise to multi-billion-dollar behemoths such as Salesforce and Slack, is also notorious for being difficult and expensive to build.
As a visionary with a potentially transformative SaaS business idea, your most realistic options for launching your product or service were either to partner with a technical cofounder, have coding skills, or raise capital to hire talent.
That is, until now.
With the emergence of no-code SaaS platforms, the no-code movement is making SaaS easier than ever to create. It is becoming the gateway for non-technical entrepreneurs to bring visions to life.
In this article, we’ll explore how non-technical entrepreneurs are utilizing no-code platforms to build highly profitable SaaS businesses and selling them for lucrative exits—and how you can too.
We’ll also examine a case study of a non-technical business owner who built a profitable no-code SaaS business in two years and sold it on the Empire Flippers marketplace for almost half a million dollars.
First, let’s go a bit deeper into how no code differs from traditional SaaS.
Traditional SaaS for Dummies
SaaS businesses are cloud-based platforms, meaning users access software via online user interfaces (think dashboards), as opposed to downloading or housing it in hardware. In doing so, customers typically pay a monthly or annual subscription for a license, during which they can access the service.
SaaS products have various use cases for business users, including automating tasks, streamlining business workflows, reducing the need for hired talent, or providing an alternative to expensive custom-coded options.
Zoom, MailChimp, and Zendesk are just a few examples of the better-known SaaS businesses in the tech industry.
There are many moving parts and barriers to entry involved in building a successful SaaS business, among them being the upfront cost, technical expertise, and time necessary to build and bring a viable product to market.
What It Takes to Build SaaS Apps from Scratch
Building a traditional SaaS business from scratch requires costly programmers (if not a full technical team) capable of custom coding both back-end and front-end software infrastructure.
SaaS products can be resource intensive to build due to the time-intensive stages of software development, testing, bug fixing, and iteration.
The upfront cost can vary significantly between SaaS businesses, often based on how large or complex a SaaS product is. The Empire Flippers’ marketplace lists small to medium sized SaaS businesses, which were likely less costly to build compared to some of the famed Silicon Valley SaaS startups, which in some cases took years and millions of dollars before arriving at a product ready to market.
With so much potential in this business model, it was only a matter of time before the app development world focused on ways to reduce the barriers to building custom applications and transform the way we build SaaS businesses.
The Rise of No-Code Development Platforms
No-code platforms exist as the middle ground between traditional programming platforms and the end users who interact with these SaaS products.
Within this middle ground, entrepreneurs can customize software’s look and user experience without writing a single line of code.
Low-code and no-code platforms accomplish this by providing templates and pre-programmed code blocks that can be positioned on a web page by simply dragging and dropping them as desired. These blocks are coded to perform specific functions, and piecing multiple blocks together can create a more complex series of functions that result in a product the end user can interact with.
Additionally, tools and companies allow you to connect platforms through application programming interfaces (APIs). This is meant to fill in the limitations of individual SaaS tools and improve the overall customer experience.
No-Code Application Development Is Opening the Floodgates
The user-friendly drag-and-drop interface of no code places visionaries in the role of citizen developer, equipping anyone with an idea with the tools to build it, and in doing so, simplifying the process of transferring vision to reality in real-time.
Whether as a solo venture or with the part-time guidance of a professional developer, an entrepreneur can leverage no-code tools to build a SaaS business with significantly reduced development costs.
With their potential unlocked, people from all backgrounds and business experience are building SaaS businesses of varying sizes and purposes as sources of recurring income for themselves or as assets to sell like traditional SaaS companies.
Creativity in the traditional online space is alive and isn’t just limited to building businesses in the Metaverse. The reduced roadblocks in the SaaS development process have given rise to creative solutions in the form of web applications, mobile apps, and business processes.
In fact, here’s a case study of how a non-technical founder built a business that replaced their day job in less than two years and sold this business on the Empire Flippers marketplace in a month for almost half a million dollars.
Case Study: A No-Code SaaS Business Sold on Empire Flippers
The business owner was a non-technical individual who had a day job performing a specific online business service. There was constant demand for this service, but the owner had a limit on how many clients they could serve.
To address this business need, they created a SaaS business using no-code tools. The owner could work with more clients than ever by creating a platform that offered this service at scale.
Within only two years of building it from scratch, the business was generating an average of over $15,000 per month in net profit, with the owner working an average of two hours per day.
The business was then listed on the Empire Flippers marketplace and, after receiving seven interested buyers, sold within 32 days for almost half a million dollars.
Imagine building a new job for yourself using your current skill set, making four to five times your previous monthly income, and spending 25% of the time. Now, imagine selling what you built to retire early, buy a home, or start a passion project.
While this is an incredible story that demonstrates the potential of no code done right, how do you actually build this kind of business?
Why Do Buyers Want No-code SaaS Businesses?
The beauty of SaaS businesses for entrepreneurs is that most of the cost to develop a SaaS product is upfront. Once the platform is built, the customer base can grow without a proportionate increase in cost. With a monthly or annual pricing model, this could mean a relatively passive monthly recurring revenue stream and extremely high profit margins.
It’s this scalability that makes SaaS businesses so attractive to own and invest in.
As far as acquisitions go, no-code businesses are theoretically easier to sell than their traditional counterparts, given a wider pool of potential buyers capable of acquiring no-code assets.
Unlike traditional SaaS businesses, where a potential buyer might need experience with the programming languages used to create and manage a platform, no-code SaaS businesses created by non-technical founders can be acquired by similarly non-technical buyers who continue to build on the business with no-code tools.
Additionally, no-code businesses are potentially ripe opportunities for technical buyers or those with technical teams. Profitable businesses built on no-code platforms can be seen as market-validated assets with clear opportunities for improvement and growth via the addition of custom code to improve functionality and user experience.
The Opportunity for SaaS Entrepreneurs Is Now
Just as Amazon and Shopify revolutionized e-commerce, no-code SaaS platforms may redefine SaaS business to a similar magnitude.
The online space is rapidly evolving. The future remains to be seen, but it’s clear this is just the beginning of the next phase of SaaS and incredible business opportunities exist for entrepreneurs who learn to wield these new tools.
If you’re interested in buying a SaaS business, feel free to check out our marketplace of available SaaS businesses.
Have a SaaS business you’re considering selling? Even if you’re not ready now, we highly recommend speaking with a sales advisor to understand how to prepare your business for a successful exit. If you aren’t ready to speak with us, you’re welcome to use our free valuation tool to get an idea of what your business could be worth.