In the midst of a busy schedule the past couple of weeks I’ve been preparing for the launch meeting in London of EuroCloud UK, the British instance of the Europe-wide SaaS and cloud industry community network that was first unveiled last month. Any readers from UK SaaS or cloud ventures who will be in London this Wednesday are welcome to come along, by the way — there will be quite a few people there from some of the country’s key players — but please make sure you register online (using the link above) before you come to make sure your name is on the guest list.
Acting as EuroCloud UK co-ordinator, I’ve found myself in the past few weeks making some snap buying decisions about online services that I imagine are similar to the decisions many SaaS prospects in start-ups and small businesses are making every day. Trade associations, like government organisations, have to be conscious of the need to be economical in how they spend the funds entrusted to them, so I’ve been wary of incurring commitments. Furthermore, the organisation is as cash-constrained as any start-up — until we start signing up members, we’re decidedly pre-revenue. We’re time-constrained too, since none of us involved in the start-up team are getting paid for our time.
Short of time, short of cash, unwilling to make big upfront commitments: how do such customers make their buying decisions? I thought it might be instructive to share some of the thought processes I’ve gone through with readers of this blog.