Susan Sciacca is the Founder and CEO of How To SaaS, a Marketing Strategy Consulting firm that works with leading Private Equity Investors and CEOs. As an advisor, consultant, and fractional CMO, Susan has helped numerous B2B companies create millions of dollars in enterprise value with marketing and demand generation.
Susan graduated from the Rotman School Of Management, Toronto with a master’s in Marketing and Communication. The degree helped her kick start her career in SaaS and Marketing. She worked with some of the big names in the industry and acquired experience and practical knowledge about B2B marketing.
Before founding How To SaaS, Susan was the CMO of Apricot Marketing, which was acquired by Personify and Rubicon Technology Partners in October 2019 and eventually flipped to Pamlico Capital in August 2020.
Her expertise includes Account-Based Marketing, Pipeline Generation, Marketo, Sales Development & Inside Sales, and Salesforce.com. Her proven experience in ROI analysis, Marketing Attribution, LinkedIn Ads, Google AdWords, Online Retargeting, Google Analytics, Lead Flow management, and campaign optimization has earned millions of dollars for her client companies in B2B marketing.
Susan Sciacca suggests not to let the success and pace of others define yours. She believes in doing what you do best and what you are comfortable with. According to her, one needs to decide the pace and scale you want to grow at.
Susan also offers an online course called Post-Acquisition Marketing: How You Can Create Enterprise Value in Just 100 Days. This course helps all entrepreneurs and founders to grow their portfolio investments faster.
Apart from work, she lives with her husband and two kids in Miami. Susan also owns two Golden Retrievers who she loves dearly. Her hobbies include going on hikes, visiting local thrift stores, and listening to podcasts. Although she is of Canadian origin, she is fond of South Indian and North Indian food, and her favorite travel destination is Paris, France.
Where did the idea for How to Saas come from?
Being a marketing student with experience working in multiple marketing agencies for years, I realized that there was a dire need for specialized SaaS marketing agencies in the industry. A traditional marketing company caters to all sorts of products and services and I had a great experience working for such agencies. But, working for SaaS businesses always excited me. I wanted to create a SaaS marketing company that makes SaaS business its area of focus and expertise. This is why I founded How to SaaS. I wanted to establish a company that is more experienced in dealing with SaaS businesses than anyone else.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Apart from being a CEO, I am a mother of two kids and I love spending time with them and doing all motherly duties. I wake up early in the morning and start my day with yoga. I love cooking and making breakfast for my family. After sending my kids to school I plan my work day and leave for the office around 7:40 am. My assistant is a blessing who keeps track of all meetings and activities. I pick my kids up from school and have lunch with them. This quick break acts as a booster for my energy and I find myself more focused. Around 6 pm I am back home and avoid any official calls or messages. After having dinner with my family, I go to sleep around 10 pm.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My way of working is simple. I keep a notebook with me all the time. I keep writing my random ideas in my notebook. When I feel the most creative and productive during the day, I sit down with my notebook and try to work around each idea. Most of the time I discard my ideas as they are not very practical and more imaginative but for really good ideas, I spend some time elaborating them, and then the next morning I bring them in front of my team to have a brainstorming session. I believe two heads are better than one, which helps me bring ideas to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Vertical SaaS is on the rise. It is software created for a very specific niche and this is a really exciting trend. The best thing about SaaS is it’s dirt cheap compared to building software from scratch. The entrepreneurs that create software products specifically for niche markets have the potential to grow super quickly due to this trend.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Inspiration is what will keep me going and makes me more productive as an entrepreneur even through tough times. When I hit a mental roadblock, I seek inspiration to look outside the box. I believe even astute entrepreneurs need a creative ingredient in their daily routine to ignite their creativity. There is not a single right way of getting inspiration for me, I can find it anywhere online or offline. I spend some spare time reading and bringing out some quiet time for creative juices to flow.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Success doesn’t come overnight, keep yourself motivated and inspired. It will help you remain stimulated and achieve success with hard work.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I find work-from-home less productive, at least for myself. Although various studies show otherwise but find I focus better when I’m working in my office setting.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I believe in an open-door leadership policy. I always allow and encourage my employees to express ideas, feedback, and concerns that will help them feel like a valuable part of How to SaaS. This also encourages them to work hard and strive to personally excel. I recommend everyone else to follow this practice because it will help your business thrive more.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
My surefire strategy to grow my business is hiring the right team. Before I can even think about my company’s growth trajectory, I need to have a solid staff to help me achieve my goals. Undoubtedly, hiring the absolute best people is a great way to ensure fast growth.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Before founding How to SaaS, I co-founded a traditional marketing agency with my colleague but it failed badly. Although it was a failure, I cherish that experience a lot as I learned a lot in those struggling times and that learning helped me make How to SaaS a success from the very beginning.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would suggest to my readers investing in developing a platform-based software solution for HR, planning, and finance departments. It is trending and profitable SaaS idea. These SaaS products help to manage accounting tasks and provide analytics, along with improved functionality for companies. ERP systems can considerably bring down workloads for staff—making it a highly popular solution.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I gifted my daughter a Wireless Neckband Bluetooth Speaker worth $100. She is a music lover and she liked the gift very much.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love Asana. It is a PMS that I use to organize and manage my daily work tasks and your long-term projects effectively.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend The Lean Startup by Eric Ries to every SaaS founder. This bestseller goes deeper in explaining all the ins and outs necessary for a lean startup. I love this book because it introduces concepts for constant experimentation to test, validate, and improve ideas.
What is your favorite quote?
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi.
- Hire the right team
- Practice open-door leadership policy
- Success doesn’t come overnight
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.