Over the last decade, SaaS (software-as-a-service) has become one of the most lucrative, fast-growing markets in the world of business.
From this, an array of SaaS subgenres have emerged. Notably, Micro SaaS – a market with huge opportunity for SaaS business founders with fewer resources.
Founderpath provides the capital Micro SaaS businesses need to support their venture, even while having access to fewer resources, so they can realize their business vision.
What is Micro SaaS?
Micro SaaS is a small-scale version of traditional SaaS: businesses that sell software solutions accessed via a portal or platform online.
Micro SaaS businesses are typically run by a very small team – or even just one person. Micro SaaS businesses target a very specific niche, providing a solution for a very small target market (or even just one customer).
Punkd is a great example of a micro SaaS. Developed by a small team, Punkd caters to the niche market of those who write journals, making the process of recording your thoughts much easier.
This is in contrast to traditional SaaS, which appeals to a much larger target market, whether this is consumers (B2C) or businesses (B2B). Usually, SaaS businesses have a larger team, and use more time, money and resources to develop their product and launch than Micro SaaS businesses.
Benefits of starting a Micro SaaS Business.
Low barriers for entry
The SaaS market as a whole is attractive to new business founders, due to the low barriers for entry.
After all, many of the obstacles presented by other business types – including having to manufacture, store and ship physical products – don’t exist in the world of SaaS.
However, Micro SaaS is even more accessible, since Micro SaaS solutions tend to be relatively simple, and a much smaller team is needed to produce the product. As such, they typically have far fewer costs than their larger counterparts.
Along a similar vein, Micro SaaS businesses can typically be run by one person. Their products can also be created with minimal capital, meaning there’s less need to get investors involved.
In other words, as a Micro SaaS founder you have the ability to own 100% of your business. That also means that you get to keep all of your profits.
Starting a Micro SaaS business has allowed many to quit their 9-5 jobs and travel the world – since the only thing you need to manage and grow your Micro SaaS startup is a laptop and an internet connection.
Compared to traditional SaaS, you have fewer – if any – employees relying on you, enabling the flexibility to work where and when you want.
How to Build a Micro SaaS Business.
Step 1: Discover a Customer Problem
When building a SaaS business of any kind, the first thing you need to determine is the problem your product is going to solve.
Typically, SaaS founders do this by talking to businesses directly to figure out their pain points, though you can also research online to look for gaps in which to create value for businesses.
With Micro SaaS, you need to take a few factors into account when searching for a suitable problem.
Firstly, you should be looking for a problem that can be solved with a singular, specific solution – rather than a solution that spans many departments and functions.
At this stage, you should also take the time to research potential end users, since many Micro SaaS companies cater to niche markets. It’s a good idea to hone in on your prospects to learn more about how you can provide.
Step 2: Develop a Solution.
Now that you’ve discovered a problem worth solving – and fixing it seems feasible – you can begin to develop your solution.
Whether you know how to code or not, there are plenty of tools online to help you build your Micro SaaS product, making it easier than ever to launch a Micro SaaS startup.
So, make sure to quickly build your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) so that you can get your product to customers as soon as possible.
Step 3: Write Your Micro SaaS Lean Business Plan
In the beginning, you don’t need to write a book-length business plan – but it’s still essential to have some sort of roadmap to turn your Micro SaaS product into a profitable business.
Your Micro SaaS lean business plan should include a description of your business, including how your product solves the specific problem of your end users. Your plan should also include a rough outline of how your Micro SaaS business will make money, and how you plan to target your end users and persuade them to buy your product.
Creating a foolproof SaaS business plan can be irksome, but it’s essential for getting your business off the ground.
Step 4: Validate Your Micro SaaS Idea
Typically, when validating a SaaS product idea – a.k.a. checking if people are willing to pay for your product – you’d attempt soft validation methods such as polling, or gathering email sign-ups.
However, since Micro SaaS solutions target such a small market (and usually don’t take very long to build) the best thing you can do to validate your product is to approach your target customer with your MVP and gauge if they’ll pay for it.
Step 5: Choose Pricing Model
When choosing a pricing model for your Micro SaaS product, there are a few factors you should take into consideration.
Principally, you should figure out the value of the problem you’re solving to your target customer – i.e. how much the end-user is willing to pay to fix a particular problem. You should also bear in mind how much the solution costs to create, and how much maintaining the solution will cost in the long term.
You might offer a freemium version of your product, in which your end-user can use some features for free, and upgrade to a paid subscription for the more advanced features. Think Ahrefs, which has an excellent freemium model, where all features are available across all plans, but some premium features are locked behind a paywall.
Alternatively, you could offer a tiered pricing model, in which the more the customer uses, the more they pay for. Or, you might charge a flat monthly or annual subscription for the use of the whole product.
Whichever you choose, you need to settle on a pricing model that will appeal to your end-users, while at the same time making your Micro SaaS business the most profitable it can be.
Step 6: Consider Options for Funding
If you need some extra support financially to get your Micro SaaS business off the ground, then it’s time to explore your options.
Some of the most feasible choices for raising capital include approaching VCs for investment in your product, or you can take out a loan at the bank to help realize your vision.
However, an even more affordable, accessible option for bootstrapped SaaS startups is provided by the Founderpath platform. Founderpath is committed to providing financing to bootstrapped SaaS founders and grants capital to founders within days, allowing them to propel their business forward without the extortionate interest rates of bank loans.
Step 7: Scale Your Micro SaaS Business
Once your target customer(s) is using your product, it’s important that Micro SaaS founders avoid becoming complacent.
It’s essential to continue improving your product, ensuring that the function of the product and the customer experience remains stellar, keeping your end users satisfied.
You should also prioritize adding any features you promised as part of the long-term vision for your Micro SaaS product – you can even add a higher priced tier to make these advanced features more profitable for your business.
Top 3 Micro SaaS Business Ideas
There are a ton of Micro SaaS solutions yet to be built that may provide huge value for businesses.
Here are 3 examples.
1. Social media analytics tool.
Though social media platforms typically have their own analytics capabilities, there’s a lot more potential – and a lot more data available – than these analytics capabilities exploit. This makes social media analytics an area ripe for disruption by Micro SaaS.
Twitonomy is a Micro SaaS business doing just that, with powerful analytics capabilities that allow greater insight to be gained by brands using the platform.
2. Content management systems (CMS).
Content management systems allow businesses to build websites and manage their web content from a singular hub, making this a lucrative opportunity for those with web development experience.
Joomla is a great example of a successful Micro SaaS content management system. The platform allows anyone to publish and manage web content and build powerful online applications. Using a freemium model, anyone can build a website on Joomla. There’s also a paid option for those who want to enjoy private hosting.
3. Financial planning software.
There are countless opportunities for Micro SaaS startups to disrupt financial planning and help businesses to achieve their financial goals.
MoneyGuidePro is a Micro SaaS business that helps businesses create goal-oriented wealth management plans, with a range of functionalities that include predicting outcomes in ‘what if’ scenarios.
The Micro SaaS market is an area with limitless potential for SaaS founders that want to develop a SaaS product on their own, or with the help of a small team.
Targeting a niche problem, market or end-user, Micro SaaS products are usually simpler to build and to turn into a profitable business than traditional SaaS.
However, to make this happen, Micro SaaS founders need to find the right problem and develop a solution that the target user is willing to pay for. Then, all that’s left to do is to follow your long-term business roadmap that includes development of the product in the future – and secure the funding to do so.
The Founderpath platform helps Micro SaaS founders launch their business by providing the capital they need to fuel product development and support their growth strategy. This is without the oppressive interest rates characteristic of bank loans, or the loss of equity in your startup that comes from receiving investment.