Software Startup Challenge: How to Penetrate a Saturated Market

Taking your product to a proven market might be your best path for success as a startup — despite the challenges you'll face and have to overcome.

Even though a saturated market means there is a strong demand for a product, entry can seem insurmountable to a software startup. The thought of competing with established companies for a slice of an active market may be enough to discourage some founders from pushing ahead.

But Darren Bounds, Founder and CEO of Breezy HR, pursued his vision to provide a solution that enables companies to optimize their hiring processes. Breezy gives HR departments capabilities, including posting jobs, sourcing, evaluating candidate pipelines, and collecting data for insights that will lead to smart decision making.

“We needed a plan to not only have a product that was capable of standing up against the best in the market, but also a way to stand out in a sea of applicant tracking systems (ATSs).”

“We saw a hole in the market for a simple to use, intuitive hiring software that didn’t skimp on features. Breezy combined an intelligent user interface with beautiful design to create software that made the hiring process scalable for any size company,” says Bounds.

Anticipating Challenges

To take Breezy’s HR software to a competitive market successfully, however, the software startup had to address a variety of issues. Bounds says choosing a challenging path for his business required building the right team. “We knew anyone we hired on would need to be the best in the industry,” Bounds says. “Luckily, I knew a few people from past endeavors.”

He says he also knew he’d have to build a culture and processes that would allow his team to develop a product that would stand out in the market. “We knew from the start we needed to be nimble to keep up with customer feature requests and the fast-paced growth of our competitors. We were, and still are, a lean team, so knowing our capabilities and organizing a plan to expand the product has always been front and center.”

The Pay-Off of Meeting Challenges

Bounds recognizes that rising to the challenges of entering a saturated market has had benefits for his company. “Finding our voice in the cluttered marketplace gave us unique positioning,” he says. “We wanted to add fun and playfulness to hiring, a tone that is rarely used. We wanted to show that hiring can be a fun process, and using a hiring tool doesn’t have to be a painful process.”

“Also, punching above our weight by adding in features that weren’t commonly included in applicant tracking systems gave us a leg up on boring, outdated hiring software,” Bounds says.

As a result, Breezy has captured a specific segment of the market — small businesses — that was ready for a change from expensive, status-quo hiring software.

Advice for Software Startup Founders

Bounds advises software startup founders entering any market to “know the market you are preparing to get into. Do the necessary research on competitors and what you will need to have as your MVP to get started.”

He also encourages founders to take advantage of your network and your resources: “If you have worked with people who are talented and have a drive for creating something that could bring positive change to an entire industry, get their advice or put them on your team, stat!” 

Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is co-founder of XaaS Journal and DevPro Journal.

Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is co-founder of XaaS Journal and DevPro Journal.