In our most recent episode of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Together, we were thrilled to have a chat with Cammy Sharif and a familiar voice – Pete Evison, our Operations Director. Cammy is the CEO and founder of Dream Drivers, a delivery network that supplies professional and efficient drivers to the food service industry at a competitive rate. In accordance with its main philosophy – ensuring driver and client satisfaction, Dream Drivers strives to provide restaurants with drivers aligned with their business needs and requirements while providing said drivers with a positive working environment.
Pete: "Here at EHE, we’re about funding growth. We understand what to look out for in startups and entrepreneurs and so far, Cammy’s Dream Drivers ticks all the boxes for our core principles – a proven repeatable sales model, a clear territory, and opportunities for growth”
In this blog post, we’ll explore what we’ve learned from Dream Drivers’ model about the must-have qualities of a phenomenal SaaS product and how it ticks these boxes.
1: Feed into a demand/ solve an existing problem
Every successful SaaS product is created by customer need. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the current supply and demand gap and assess how your product fits into said gap.
More importantly, there has to be a unique factor that sets your product apart from the competition. Why should customers choose your product over the other competitors within your niche?
For Cammy, Dream Driver’s raison d’etre is to satisfy the need within the food service industry to match drivers with delivery outlets. Many restaurants and takeaways across the UK lack adequate local driver pools. Consequently, they have to resort to using the three major giants – Uber Eats, Just Eat, and Deliveroo – for delivery solutions. However, this solution comes at a steep price – up to 35 per cent plus VAT off each order.
Ultimately, there is a need for cost-efficient delivery solutions, especially since energy costs have rapidly increased in the last year. Dream Drivers has identified this problem and feeds into the demand by supplementing Uber Eat’s ordering platform with a delivery solution.
Cammy: “We approach restaurants and takeaways with an offer. We essentially say to them, ‘Listen, if you take away your Just Eat, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats drivers, your commission drops significantly. Our drivers will come in and handle all of those orders plus your in-house orders."
2. It must be a proven model
Investors tend to look out for SaaS products with a proven model. They want to see a demonstration that your model has worked successfully in the past. Having a track record of success shows that it might be worth the risk and makes it easier for them to buy into your big idea.
Dream Drivers has a particularly interesting model – it complements the three food service giants rather than being a direct competitor. In essence, it provides restaurants and takeaways with further cost-effective options, enabling them to use Uber Eats’ order mechanism without having to use its delivery service as well. Ultimately, this lowers the commission they’re required to pay on each order to about 15 per cent.
Cammy: “We've created a web-based platform for the restaurant and a mobile app for the drivers. This means that the drivers can plug into all shifts that are local to them and the restaurant can publish the shifts that they need covered. What’s more, they can even upload their own driver schedule into the system. If their own drivers can't work a specific shift, they’ll then publish it to the Dream Drivers database. This way, we’ll handle all the shifts, ensuring that they never encounter driver scarcity.”
This model was one of the factors that caught Pete’s attention. Cammy’s product offers restaurants a profitable delivery solution – a valuable proposition in light of the rising energy costs – while demonstrating incredible growth potential. So far, Dream Drivers has expanded its clientele base – partnering with around 85 businesses across Scotland.
Pete: “Dream Drivers brings a much-welcome margin enhancer. It doesn't compete; it enhances, and I think it can coexist quite nicely. And as these markets grow, Dream Drivers can grow with them.”
3. Have a realistic growth plan
Behind every successful SaaS product, there is a well-thought-out strategic growth plan and actionable steps for its implementation. The clearer your vision is, the likelier you are to attract investors and expand your startup. But that’s only half the battle. It also goes without saying that an ideal growth plan is realistic – it has to be attainable within the timeline you’ve set.
Cammy certainly has a comprehensive plan detailing Dream Drivers’ milestones over the next few years.
Cammy: “We've actually started an expansion across Scotland now. We're operating in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, Falkirk, Aberdeen, and Glasgow. Our next steps will be expanding to Dundee and Inverness, just to take on the whole of Scotland and test everything.
“We're in the middle of developing a brand-new tech solution that will provide restaurants with additional cutting-edge features and a mobile app as well. To achieve this milestone, we’ve brought in a full-time developer. With a full-time developer on our team, we can develop brand new tech, test it out in Scotland within our current clientele base and push for a total Scotland expansion.
“We expect that this development phase will be completed by February. Once we’ve completed our expansion across Scotland, we’ll begin our expansion into England by 2024.”
With these milestones mapped out – not a thumbnail sketch– and a clear vision for funding, you too can gear your start-up for success.
Here at EHE Capital, we work with entrepreneurs, helping them navigate the investment process and secure funding for their startup. If you’d like to find out more about the advice and guidance we provide, drop us a line. We also have a tight-knit community of entrepreneurs where you can connect with like-minded founders and take part in insightful conversations surrounding business growth.