Most everyone knows about SaaS (Software as a Service). Saas refers to cloud-based subscription services. Many small and large businesses rely on SaaS to run their operations. Savvy start-ups and smaller companies recognize gaps in the market. They create simple SaaS solutions, known as micro SaaS. Micro SaaS solutions have grown in popularity in the last few years due to their agility and flexibility. Let’s take a close look at micro SaaS solutions for small businesses.
What is Micro SaaS?
What exactly do we mean by micro SaaS? Micro Saas solutions use a web browser or mobile app interface. Micro SaaS solutions usually come about through the effort of an individual or very small team. It aims to solve precise problems. Micro SaaS projects have small budgets and overhead. Customers use Micro SaaS solutions on a monthly or yearly subscription basis. Micro SaaS projects target a small niche of the consumer market. Micro SaaS solutions don’t aim to serve a large customer base, but rather aim to serve a small and passionate group.
Micro SaaS solutions differ from standard SaaS solutions in a couple of important ways. Micro SaaS solutions aim to solve a small problem for a specific customer. These projects tend to need less external funding. Micro SaaS projects need a smaller technology stack than typical SaaS projects. Often, Micro SaaS solutions are the passion project of a single entrepreneur. Regular SaaS projects demand overhead expenses and investors. Micro SaaS minimizes the need for extra funding or headcount.
Check out the list of SaaS ideas for startups with examples.
If you are interested in jumping into the SaaS market, you must understand a few key factors. First off, it’s not enough to see the need for a product. You need to care deeply about the solution. You and your small team will need passion and commitment to your customers. This passion cannot sustain itself unless you believe in the project.
Next, it’s very important to understand your target customer and market. Make sure your solution has traction and customer interest. Better to find an underserved market than try and throw your hat into an oversaturated market. Look at areas where the market has steady growth. Once you have a general target, you need to find your niche. You need to understand your customer personae and ensure they want the solution you offer. Laser-focus on what they need and want.
And never forget that no matter how great the idea, if it doesn’t generate revenue then it's not supportable. Set a revenue target and figure out how many subscribers and customers you will need to make that target. Ensure that the subscription rate proves affordable for your potential customers.
Finally, visualize your goals and requirements. Do not let scope creep and unnecessary functionality complicate your SaaS project. Set and meet realistic targets. Micro SaaS projects thrive on simplicity. A great micro SaaS solution should not take half a year to complete. Measure development time in weeks rather than months.
If you want to get your idea to market fast, it usually makes sense to outsource some of the software development. Pick a boutique software development firm that specializes in SaaS and micro SaaS and give them clear goals and guidelines. They can help keep your concept grounded and realistic and offer helpful feedback. Most importantly, outsourcing helps keep your project within budget and on time.
Here are 15 micro SaaS ideas to get you started
1. E-learning platform
Tons of e-learning platforms exist, from Masterclass to Epicurious. But these aim at a general audience. Develop an e-learning platform that aims to educate a specific nice customer, like people seeking training on how to drive a tractor.
2. Time management
Create a micro SaaS solution that gives time management tools to a specific audience, such as truck drivers. The app would remind them when to take breaks or sleep.
3. Create a plug-in for an existing technology
Shopify and WordPress have great tools, but users are constantly finding ways in which the platforms cannot meet their needs. Find these customers and give them a custom solution.
4. Simple invoicing and financial planning
Create a tool aimed at artists or poets. Create a tool that helps them send simple invoices and track their income.
5. Marketing automation
Now that everyone has started to embrace digital transformation, help them! Create a marketing automation platform to help small businesses manage their social media content. The tool could also manage interactions with customers.
6. Remote doctor
As the pandemic has proven, many interactions with a doctor don’t need to happen in the doctor’s office. Create a telemedicine platform for dermatologists to diagnose their patients’ problems.
7. Storyboarding app
Create a smart application for tablets that helps budding screenwriters build a script. The user could use the tool to refine and organize their story and build plot points.
8. Photo editor for children
A micro SaaS solution for parents of creative children. This application would allow children to build photo editing skills in a fun, creative way. Instead of blurry glamour shots, this app would let the child build up scenes with an intuitive user interface.
9. Virtual assistant for small business
This micro SaaS application would help small businesses plan employees’ schedules, order supplies and marketing. The application would serve small businesses with 10 or fewer employees in a business-to-consumer environment.
10. Micro Customer relationship manager (CRM)
For very small businesses or individual freelancers, this tool would help them maintain customer relationships. Micro CRM would track leads and responses to advertising campaigns.
11. Video editor for Instagram
This micro SaaS idea would aim to help Instagram users edit and organize their video content. Lighting and filters features would help them create arresting content.
12. Group chat for children
For parents that worry about their children’s exposure to social media, this app would allow a closed group to send and receive messages. The classroom teacher would define the group and parents would approve.
13. Write a book!
This micro SaaS idea would help disorganized writers get their ideas out of their heads and onto the page. Simple tools like character builder and story arc help to maintain focus. Alerts and notifications would remind the writer to create content.
14. Compliance training game
Today many firms have regulatory requirements that employees must meet. The employees must attend lectures or complete online courses. Instead of boring them with these, this micro SaaS solution would turn training into a fun interactive game.
15. Time tracker for freelancers
Many freelancers in IT have multiple clients. They need to track hours based on client and project. This simple application would allow for manual input as well as a stopwatch feature to automatically count hours.