5 Books Every SaaS Leader Should Read

We all know it’s hard for tech entrepreneurs to find time to read actual books. But there’s much wisdom on those dusty shelves, with valuable lessons for leaders of SaaS companies.

Here, our CEO BJ Lackland tells you why you should pick up these five books in your hours away from your laptop screen.

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The Ins and Outs of Customer Acquisition Cost

In days of yore, before online tools that allow companies to see exactly where their customers are coming from, advertising was a big old guessing game.

Was a new buyer drawn in by a particular promotion? No way to tell! Was an expensive ad buy really worth it, in terms of ROI? Who knows! Let’s throw more at the wall and hope that it sticks!

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A Supreme Court Decision SaaS Companies Need to Know

Head’s up, SaaS leaders. Sales tax laws are changing, and smart companies will change with them.

On June 21st, a U.S. Supreme Court decision made waves in the world of retail, rethinking a long-debated question about state sales taxes in light of the rise of digital commerce. This decision has implications for software companies, including SaaS businesses, which may suddenly find themselves with responsibilities for state sales tax collection and remittance that they didn’t previously have to worry about.

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How to Make Your Tech Startup Welcoming to Women

It’s increasingly well known that women in STEM fields face pervasive bias that discourages them from pursuing these careers and makes work life difficult for those who do. Especially in overwhelmingly male fields like tech startups — where “brogrammers” reign supreme — women have found themselves at a disadvantage and sometimes outright unwelcome.

Leaders of tech startups should be looking at how their companies relate to women. It can be an intimidating issue to tackle, but keeping an open-minded attitude and asking a few important questions will get you headed in the right direction.

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May Deal Roundup

May was another great month here at Lighter Capital! We closed seven deals -- three with new clients and four with returning borrowers. Welcome to our new clients and congratulations to all on your continued growth! Here’s a rundown of our May deals.

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Why Transparency is so Critical for Startups

“A Leader Struggles to Sell Software Meant to Aid Sales,” read the August 2014 New York Times headline about Matthew Bellows, founder and CEO of Yesware, Inc., a company that makes email tools for salespeople.

Revealing his struggles to a reporter was a moment of vulnerability for Bellows. But such openness is part and parcel of his management approach, which prizes extreme transparency as a way to encourage a thriving company culture.

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How Knowify Found the Perfect Source of Funding

Marc Visent, CEO of Knowify, and Allen Johnson, Chief Investment Officer at Lighter Capital, recently joined Intuit’s Developer Evangelist David Leary to talk about Knowify’s funding journey in an online “fireside chat.”

Here are some takeaways:

On Lighter Capital understanding SaaS models:

  • In seeking funding, Visent appreciated how Lighter Capital understands how SaaS companies work. “A bank doesn’t have the knowledge to lend to a subscription-based company like ours, but Lighter Capital has this knowledge about how these companies work,” he says. “We show them our numbers, we show them our model, we show them how we run our business—for them it was probably straightforward. While with everyone else, it’s a long journey of explaining what SaaS is, Lighter Capital are experts at this. That’s why it was a great option.”

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April Deal Roundup

Spring is finally here, and we have a spring in our step, thanks to all the 11 deals we closed last month. Our clients, both new and returning, are interesting and inspiring. We’re thrilled to be supporting all of them!

Here’s a rundown of the companies we funded in April.

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Getting Your Startup's Financial House in Order

Why is it essential for startups to have their financials in order?

This was the topic of a recent webinar that featured a lively conversation between Lighter Capital’s Chief Investment Officer Allen Johnson and Sirk Roh, consulting CFO of Early Growth Financial Services, a company that provides financial services to privately-funded, venture-backed startups.

The webinar focused on how startups can get their financials in shape to approach investors, but all the advice applies to any young company that wants to make sure its house is in good working order.

Fortunately, the essential advice on this topic is more straightforward than many assume.

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Top 6 Financial Mistakes to Avoid for Early-, Mid- and Late-Stage Startups

You're a startup founder. Your to-do list is never ending: hiring, culture, sales, marketing, product development, fundraising -- it goes on and on. With everything on your mind, founders often don't spend enough time thinking about their finances. Those startup leaders who understand (and avoid) specific financial pitfalls across the three stages of their company’s life--early, mid and late--are positioned to win. So, take note. Here are the big financial mistakes to avoid across the three stages of your startup, according to Tiffany Meyers at Built In Chicago, and Michael Burdick, CEO of Paro, a company providing an exclusive network of on-demand financial professionals.

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