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SaaS Billing Solutions and the IKEA Effect: Should You Build or Buy?

In this post, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of building vs. buying a SaaS billing solution, and which makes the most sense for your company.

Alec Beard image

Alec Beard

May 17, 2023

Do You Need to Build Your Own Billing Platform Cover

Ever been to IKEA?

The IKEA effect is a cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created. This helps explain why an early-stage SaaS company might believe that their homegrown billing solution is more effective than it really is. 

Whether you’re succumbing to the IKEA effect or not, as your SaaS company starts to scale, you’ll need to decide whether or not it makes sense to:

1. Develop, maintain, and optimize a SaaS billing solution in-house


2. Invest in a dedicated SaaS billing solution that is built for scale

There are no right or wrong answers here.

In this post, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of building vs. buying a SaaS billing solution, and which option makes the most sense for your company. Let’s taks a look.

The Case for Building a SaaS Billing Platform:

Customization and Control

One of the main advantages of building your own billing platform is the ability to tailor it to your unique business requirements. You have full control over the features, functionality, and user experience. With a custom solution, you can create a billing system that perfectly aligns with your SaaS company’s workflows and branding.

Cost Considerations

Building a billing platform from scratch can potentially be cost-effective, especially if you have a team of skilled developers at your disposal. In the long run, you may save on recurring subscription fees associated with a third-party solution. Additionally, you have the opportunity to scale your platform alongside your business, reducing the risk of outgrowing a pre-existing solution.

The Case for Buying a SaaS Billing Solution:

Time and Speed to Market

In today's fast-paced business landscape, time is of the essence. Buying a ready-made SaaS billing solution enables you to accelerate your time to market significantly. SaaS billing solutions like Maxio are designed to be implemented quickly, allowing you to focus on other key business initiatives and give time back to your busy development teams.

Expertise and Industry Best Practices

Building a billing platform requires extensive domain knowledge, not only in software development but also in compliance, security, and financial regulations. By purchasing a reputable SaaS billing solution, you gain access to a team of experts who have already navigated these complexities. You can leverage their expertise and industry best practices to ensure compliance, minimize errors, and reduce potential risks.

Seamless Integrations

SaaS billing solutions often come equipped with integrations to popular payment gateways, accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, and other essential systems. These integrations can save you significant time and effort, as they are typically pre-built and thoroughly tested. You can seamlessly connect your billing processes with other business-critical applications, enhancing your overall efficiency and streamlining your operations.

Ongoing Maintenance and Support

Building your own billing platform becomes more complicated as your business starts to scale. Over time, you'll need to invest in ongoing maintenance, bug fixes, security updates, and feature enhancements. By purchasing a SaaS billing solution, you transfer the responsibility of maintaining the platform to the vendor. This allows you to focus on your core business activities while benefiting from the regular updates and support from your provider.

To Build or To Buy? How Limble Solutions Transformed Their Billing and Collections With Maxio

Before Maxio, Gabrielle Lucero, Revenue Manager at Limble Solutions Inc., was stuck manually billing and collecting customers—a huge burden on her time and her company’s ability to scale.

“Maxio has been a huge help in how we evaluate and view our product catalog. There is a lot of flexibility in terms of user plans and the features that users may need and the costs associated with those. Maxio’s product catalog is a great way to keep all of those products and components clearly organized, the unit prices, and dive down into which exact subscriptions are using each price point.” says Lucero.

Beyond billing and invoicing, Maxio has also completely transformed the way Gabrielle and her team collect outstanding revenue:

“Prior to Maxio, [collections] was a very manual process. It was a lot of Excel spreadsheets. It's hard to get a hold of customers, keep track of who is paying, what they're paying, reasons for a delay, etc. Ever since implementing Maxio, our ability to collect on outstanding invoices has improved significantly.” says Lucero.

Streamlining your billing and invoicing efforts with Maxio

While building a custom SaaS billing platform offers the novelty of customization and control, buying a ready-made solution ultimately proves to be a more efficient and cost-effective choice. The speed of implementation, access to industry expertise, seamless integrations, and ongoing support are all compelling reasons to opt for a SaaS billing solution.

Curious how other SaaS leaders are tackling their billing and invoicing at scale?

Schedule a demo to see how Maxio can help you go-to-market any way you want.

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