Have you ever had a problem involving such a small number of people that it made you think "I bet there's no product that will solve it"? You may be wrong. Although your market is small, what you are looking for may exist; developed, marketed and managed by a single person. Welcome to the world of Micro-SaaS. What is Micro SaaS? Micro-SaaS, as can be understood from the word itself, refers to a small SaaS, focused on particular needs. It targets a niche market and uses minimal resources while solving the problem. For example, in the eCommerce market, a micro-SaaS might focus on Shopify eCommerce stores. Tyler Tringas is the one who coined the term and his company, Storemapper is the first known and basic example of the Micro-Saas model. The StoreMapper app allows merchants to create a store locator service on their website without any coding, so anyone can use it. StoreMapper defines Micro-SaaS as: “A SaaS business targeting a niche market, run by a very small person or team, with small costs, a narrow focus, a small but dedicated user base, and no external funding. Hence, micro-SaaS.” Here's Tyler Tringas explaining his micro-saas journey: Benefits of Running a Micro-SaaS Business Once you have the idea, building your business is a straightforward process. -SaaS quickly as it involves fewer resources Also, there are SaaS app builders you can use that will help you produce your MVP in even less than 24 hours Micro-SaaS solves very specific problems and a small team runs the business to that you can communicate directly with your customers Direct feedback and satisfaction can make you appreciate your craft It is location independent You can work from anywhere and grow business while traveling the world You can easily support your business Micro- SaaS as it has less functionality, a focused approach and a niche market How is it different from SaaS (Is it better or worse?) These are the differences of Micro-SaaS with the mo Conventional SaaS: Appeals to a niche market Run by very few people Low costs Small user base Can generate revenue without funding Lower profits Attracts more individuals and freelancers Less bureaucracy, quick decision making As in all things, both the Both conventional SaaS and Micro-SaaS have their pros and cons. Micro-SaaS business needs more hands-on management as you are the sole founder. You will be communicating directly with customers. There is a trade-off between responsibility and flexibility in the Micro-SaaS business. You will have heavy responsibilities and you will need a flexible schedule to make it work. But it all starts with an idea… Finding a good idea Even if building a Micro-SaaS is relatively easy, having an idea that works is not. And first of all, you need to have a realistically achievable idea, since you have few resources. Tyler Tringas suggests the meat grinder method to test whether an idea is good for Micro-SaaS. The method proposes that you should constantly be thinking of business ideas and putting them in the meat grinder. When faced with a problem, think of ways to solve it and describe your solution, your business idea. There are a few questions on Tyler Tringas' meat grinder: Can I do this? Do you or your close circle have the skills to build this product without outside help? Are people currently spending money on it? If people aren't already addressing what you're going to offer, it might not be a problem. How will I get the first 25 clients? So the next 250? How can you make your business go viral? Think about your stakeholders and your inner circle to use word of mouth. If it works, will it be sustainable? Think about how you will make a profit. Will there be additional costs along the way? Will customers stick with your business in the long run? Am I the person to build this business? You should enjoy dealing with the problem you are referring to and the people facing this problem. You'll be spending a lot of time with these people, so make sure you're also interested in the topics they like to talk about. Note: Please answer these questions honestly. Put your idea in the meat grinder. If there are all the positive answers, if your idea survived through the meat grinder, here are some other things to consider. Your idea should be 5 times better than the existing solution. It could be 5 times cheaper or functionally 5 times better. If customers are already spending money on you, it's easier to convert them and convince them that your service is better than the competition. Know your audience. You are serving a narrow market and have limited resources. Therefore, you need to market your service efficiently. Once you know your audience, you can identify the places they hang out and reach them without wasting time on other unrelated fields. It must be an idea and a market that you like to think about. It is your business and you will spend time and effort to grow it. It should excite you, otherwise how can you convince other people that it's important? Direction to small businesses. Large companies have a long and complex bureaucracy that makes them more difficult to reach and close a deal, in this case sell your service. Individuals and freelancers are easy to contact and flexible, more open to new products and ideas. But they have smaller budgets, of course. Since you now know the characteristics of a great Micro-SaaS, let's see where you come up with an idea: Where to look for Micro-SaaS ideas? Analyze existing SaaS businesses so you can find a specific version of them. Large SaaS companies have a diverse user base, each using the business for their specific problem. You can select the most common problem from them. Choose a market that is already growing rather than one that is stagnant. A growing market means that there is a need and competition in that field. There must be products or services similar to yours to guarantee the existence of need and market. Look around. Talk to freelancers and consultants. Try to find a service that they offer again and again. It means that there is a need for such a service. Recognize manual tasks that need to be performed on a regular basis. You can automate those tasks. The Path from Idea to Product in a Micro-SaaS Once you have an idea, don't wait. To take action. It's the execution that matters for your business. Set deadlines for yourself. Create your minimum viable product and test it. Note: compile first, run later: Pre-launch takes a long time. Your goal is to see potential customers in advance, but Micro-SaaS has a narrow focus and is not like a blog or a podcast. You need customers to use your product right away so you can grow your business through feedback. What to consider when building your Micro-SaaS MVP You are low on resources, so your MVP should take no more than 3 weeks to build; otherwise, it means you are doing something wrong. Do not waste your time! Your MVP is to see what works well and what doesn't, start from the basics. Focus on delivering value to your customers. Think about your current and future customers. Don't pretend to be a big business professional. You are a small business learning things along the way and your audience will understand. Don't overdo the brand. At first, you don't need a fancy logo or a fancy landing page. You will get clients manually so you can give direct information. Your website will not be the place to impress and attract customers. Having different price points will be more difficult, which is why MVP has only one price point. It does not have multiple pricing and payment options. Do not allow multiple users per account. Having multiple options would require a lot of effort and coding. Don't make things complicated from the start. Use existing services to build your MVP. Look for options that will make it easier for you to build your product. Skip the manual stuff you can do later. Do the things that matter most to your MVP. Now that your MVP is ready, you need to reach customers. Getting your first customers It's hard to find your first customers, whether it's a normal SaaS or a Micro-SaaS. Try to go to the forums that your customers frequent. For example, if you're doing an eCommerce Micro-SaaS, look at Shopify, Bigcommerce, Volusion forums. Look for popular reviews and comments involving customer issues. Add helpful comments and leave a link to your product. Also, search for industry blogs, conferences, and online magazines. Be where your target audience is. Once you reach your first customers, it's all about retention. You must make deep connections with your customer. You are a Micro-SaaS and it is okay to be wrong sometimes. Don't cover up your mistakes, use them to engage with your customer. If you apologize and explain the reason behind it, customers will understand. Those customers are more likely to stay with you. After a while, you may think about raising prices, but it may lower your overall customer satisfaction, even if it doesn't affect your bottom line. Higher prices will increase the expectations of your customers. Which can lead to further dissatisfaction. Think hard about the trade-off between price and customer retention. Make sure higher prices don't change your relationship with the customer. The long-term happiness of your customers is important. Conclusion Keep in mind that there are big players in the SaaS market. Even if building a Micro-SaaS business is more feasible, you need to have a loyal customer base in a niche market to make a profit.