Micro Saas businesses are taking off as workers across the world look to diversify their income streams, and build profitable recurring-revenue businesses that are:
- Easy to run and operate (micro),
- Generate profit from day 1, and
- Low-risk to get started.
A Micro-saas startup checks all of these boxes.
In this post we're going to cover 12 Micro Saas ideas that you can start without knowing how to code.
Each idea will include:
- A brief breakdown of the idea
- How to get started with building it (best tools)
- How to find your first paying customers
PS: If you're not sure what a micro-saas business is, skip to the bottom where I give you the quick 30 second run down.
Ready? Let's get started.
Micro Saas Idea 1: Business Acquisition Data Rooms for X
When a business is acquired by another business, there is a long due-diligence process that ensues. The acquirer wants to make sure the business they're buying is valued correctly and they have all the information necessary to make the right decision.
That's where a data-room micro-saas comes in.
During the DD process, there is a lot of requesting of documents back and forth...
"We need to see financials from 2017"
We need to see how you calculated this value for your TAM size
You get the point.
During a recent acquisition I was involved in, we faced this exact problem:
- There was no efficient way to keep track of who was requesting what info,
- When that info was provided, and
- Who should be able to view and access that information.
And each industry has its nuances. Maybe when buying a restaurant, there are certain things that are required up front. Maybe those are different from when you're acquiring a saas business. Maybe there are different processes etc. that need to be followed in each situation.
- A really good market. B2B businesses generally have money to spend.
- There are many many acquisitions that take place across the world, so the problem is recurring.
- Easily targetable market. You could partner with a site like MicroAquire, Flippa, QuietLight or other to offer this tool to their users.
- It's probably only suited to someone with very specific industry experience, since you won't know the specific problems acquirers and sellers face (although you could bring on an expert adviser as a partner).
- You have to be super confident in your data-privacy and protection. Very sensitive information is being shared where the risk of a leak is potentially very harmful.
Micro Saas Idea 2: Help Me Launch My Startup
When you're starting a new business, early traction can be super helpful.
One of the best ways to get exposure and start the snowball rolling and collecting momentum is using your personal network.
But if you don't already have a following on Twitter or another social platform you might battle to do that.
So you turn to your biggest advocates to give your new business the kick start it needs. You call on your family and friends to share and support you in your beginning stages. And normally, they're super happy to do that.
The only problem is... there's no a super effective way to do that right now. Sure, you can share it on Instagram and maybe get a few re-shares. But how do people actually help your business?
You could build a platform that allows you to document your business journey, and give friends and family ways to help you launch your new business.
Maybe you're creating a social media app. And the most important thing you need is exposure. You could have a "what I need section" in the software where you tell your friends and family that the best way they can help is by sharing your app's link on Instagram.
Or maybe you're starting a B2B micro-saas (see what I did there 😉), and the thing you really need is to speak to 10 restaurant owners and get beta feedback. You could ask your friends for warm intro's to ten local businesses in their network.
Think of it like... A platform that helps you hold a "baby shower" for your new business.
Micro Saas Idea 3: Accountability Board for X
Most of being successful is doing boring things consistently, day in and day out.
Consistency is the one of the most underrated elements to success.
But doing the boring things every day is really difficult.
Sometimes the best way to motivate yourself to do it, is to do it with others.
If you've ever had a gym partner who is the reason you get out of bed in the morning for that early morning session, you know what I mean.
Or if you've had a study partner who you agreed with that you'll stay until 10pm with you'll know it too.
When there is accountability involved - things get done.
So to leverage that, you can build an accountability platform in any niche, that helps people get things done using the power of accountability. It would leverage one of the most powerful human emotions: Ego.
You would commit yourself to a goal in public... "Lose 8 pounds in 60 days". And then be matched with someone on a similar journey (or post about it in public). You'd have to provide daily updates on your progress like "Went to the gym today? Check". Every day missed is a black mark against your name.
The people with the most "streaks" rise to the top of the leaderboard and win themselves Kudos and exposure.
This could be altered depending on your niche and it could range from:
- Losing weight, to
- Writing, to
- Learning to code, to
- Starting a new business.
Accountability is a powerful driver! Build a micro saas that embeds accountability into everything important that you need to get done.
Idea 4: Quora for X
Starting a new "chapter" of your life can be daunting. I'm talking big life events like...
- Having a baby, or
- Buying a new house, or
- Getting a first job
When you're in those positions (if you're anything like me) you want to try and normalise the impending change by asking people who have been there before questions.
Currently, there are quote a few "Q&A" sites like Quora where people can go to ask questions. The problem is, those sites become full with spam, useless questions and generally are just very difficult to get a proper answer out where no one is trying to sell you anything.
Enter Micro Saas Idea 4: Quora for X.
You could create a software platform that allows people to generate and build communities of "Soon to be mothers", or "First time home buyers". Anyone who is in that stage of their life, and needs real answers from real people who have been there before.
With the rise in popularity of online communities, this is also very applicable at the moment.
Idea 5: Book Frameworks to a Saas
If you've ever read a book and thought... "Wow that's a really neat piece of advice, I should definitely apply that in my life/work/relationship", then there's an opportunity for you to build a micro-saas product using that framework.
For example: In Atomic Habits James Clear introduces us to very applicable frameworks for getting things done.
You could build a micro saas web app that helps people apply those frameworks in real life to achieve the things they want.
An example of how this has been done is Sanity Desk. They have built a saas tool that applies Donald Miller's Marketing Made Simple frameworks to creating a website and finding to new customers.
Some good niches to look for books in would be:
- B2C Marketing
- Mental Health & Wellness
Idea 6: Alerts App for Freelance Work
When you're starting out as a freelancer the biggest challenge you face is finding new work.
The problem is that you have very little reputation (especially if you're on a platform like Upwork) that assures the potential client that you are trustworthy.
One of the best ways to overcome this is by applying to jobs really quickly, and being the first person in the client's inbox.
But Upwork (as a working example) doesn't provide any sort of "alert" to let you know when a new job is posted that you might want to apply to.
Create a tool that allows the following:
- Add a preferred platform to monitor (or multiple)
- Add a "keyword" search that Users can set alerts up for
- Add integrations with messaging channels to get hold of the User on like Whatsapp, Email and SMS
- When a new job is posted, you immediately get hold of the User on their preferred channel and they can be the first to apply.
Tip: If the platform has an RSS feed, you could easily build this tool to monitor the RSS Feed and then filter our results for your Users.
Idea 7: Meal Planning for X Diet
One of the things people are most often trying to do is lose weight.
And they're likely triyng to do it using a new type of diet or method.
What's one the best ways to lose weight effectively? Eat well.
You could build a micro-saas app that helps people trying to lose weight do their meal planning and calorie monitoring.
Think Mealime, but hyper-focused on one niche of people.
Idea 8: Micro Saas Framework for Local Newsletters
There's a growing community of people that are trying to start a small business that generate side-income, and diversify their monthly earnings away from their main salary. This is for a variety of reasons, among them the "quiet quitting" trend where people are wanting to be more and more independent, and rely on employers less.
One of the lowest barrier-to-entry businesses to start which can generate some nice revenue is a local newsletter.
Businesses like The Hustle, Morning Brew and Axios are all huge newsletter companies that focus on acquiring a large audience.
Instead of actually writing the news yourself, you could build a micro-saas app that provides someone with a framework that helps them start a local newsletter for their home-town or state.
Features would include:
- Training on how to write a newsletter (partner with a writing course, like this one from David Perrell,
- A framework for exactly what types of news to bring into each daily newsletter (local, a joke, weather update, story) etc.,
- Make sending and building the email super easy,
- Make managing the list super easy,
- A referral system that rewards users who share with their community,
- An Ads-management system which manages potential advertisers and sends them material requirements
You could sell this package of features to anyone in a community who enjoys writing and wants to start their town's own newsletter.
Revenue model could be either rev-share (portion of earnings) or a flat monthly fee charged when they make money.
Idea 9: Community Monitoring
Communities are all the rage.
As the fight for online attention increases, and paying for people's attention is slowly starting to become less ineffective and more and more expensive, having a devoted community that supports your brand and company is something that's seen as a huge asset for your business.
The problem is... creating communities that are actually engaging is hard. They take effort, and moderation, especially.
Left un-moderated, most communities descend into a chaotic mess of fighting, self-promotion and even worse - spamming.
The micro-saas here could be a community sentiment monitoring tool that augments a community manager.
How to do it?
The tool lives in the background of your community's forum, and monitors the tone of all posts, comments and text added to the group.
It could use a natural language processing algorithm to then give an overall "community health" metric on what the sentiment of the community is like at that moment in time.
Something like this would be a great way to build a no-code tool that takes in all your posts and data.
That gives community managers super valuable data to use when engaging with their audience so they know where and how to deliver their next piece of content/media.
Idea 10: Car Wash Saas
I've been fascinated with Car Wash businesses recently.
It started with an SEO project I was part of and has now evolved to paying close attention to what makes car-washes successful.
So when I was browsing through Capterra the other day, I decided to hit a search for "Car Wash Software". Low and behold... there are no immediate solutions available.
The TAM is actually quite big, and the features you'd have to offer them would be relatively simple. Perfect situation to build a car wash micro saas.
How to Start
There is still an opportunity in the SEO space for Car Wash searches.
What's the one thing every business owner is never going to turn down? You guessed it... new customers.
Start there. You could create a simple landing pages that shows car washes "near me" and then allow them to book directly with that car wash, and pay online.
You've created a sale for the business owner, and they're much more likely to then use and buy your car wash saas software.
Idea 11: Link Sharing Micro Saas
Backlinks are like gold-dust in the world of SEO.
Great backlinks are also worth their weight in gold dust.
Because of that, there is a lot of demand for quality backlinks that are relevant for your industry. One of the best ways to get those backlinks? Trade with other businesses. "You give me one, I'll give you one" type thing.
You could build a micro-saas app that manages the process of finding and working with SEO agencies or local businesses in your industry that want to share backlinks with you.
This might be a tool you sell to agencies more than directly to businesses since a large portion of their success is dependent on how well they're able to attract quality backlinks for their client's websites.
Idea 12: 4 Frameworks to Come Up With Your Own Ideas
As a bonus gift, the last idea is not one micro saas idea, but actually a way you can generate your own micro-saas ideas super easily and become an endless fountain of ideas that you can validate and use.
A lot of the above micro saas ideas come from one of the below frameworks.
Framework 1: Choose a General Saas Product, Pick a Specific Industry to Focus
The first framework is pretty self-explanatory. You choose a big Saas product like Hubspot and you nail it down to being useful for only one industry.
Example: Let's go for Zuora.
Zuora helps businesses monetize their audience through recurring revenue (subscriptions).
On their website they say this:
The key phrase is "for any business model".
The truth is, they might deliver value for any business model, but if you could copy exactly what they do for a specific type of business in any of those industries, you're likely going to make it much more valuable to the end-user because it's tailored specifically for them!
So the general framework is:
Take a huge saas product and niche it down until you are serving a particular customer. Then make the features of your micro saas app as useful for that customer as possible.
Framework 2: Capterra
Capterra is the most prominent software rating and comparison website in the world. There value proposition is helping business owners choose the right software.
Any Saas company worth anything has their software listed on there.
And therein lies the opportunity!
What you need to do is:
- Find a category you're interested in and one in which you think you know enough to be able to build a product in that niche.
- Find the number of companies who offer software in that category. It is listed on your search page.
- Get the total reviews for all the companies in the category. You can use a simple and free scraper like ParseHub to do this.
- Find the number of reviews for the top company in that category.
- Work out the concentration of reviews ratio: # of top co reviews / total # of reviews
Once you have your review concentration, you should have a pretty good picture of how well dominated that category is.
- <20% review concentration means it's likely an easier market to penetrate.
- >70% means there's a dominant player you're going to have to do well to beat out.
Use this as a guideline and keep surfing through Capterra until you find a category that ticks these four boxes:
- It's one where you have some experience, or you can partner with someone who has industry experience,
- It's a niche where you can either compete directly with the players already there, or
- It's a niche where you can get even more specific on your target customer and still have a viable product, and
- It's a growing industry. Look for job growth statistics and projections to guide you.
Top Tip: Don't get stuck snooping around Capterra too long, imposter syndrome and analysis paralysis can easily set in and you'll never end up choosing a micro saas idea to work on.
Framework 3: Job Posts
Ever head of the "Jobs to be Done" framework?
If not, here's the quick elevator run-down:
- To build a successful saas (or micro saas) product, you need to solve a problem for a company.
- That problem can also be reframed as a "job". The company has a "job to be done".
- Instead of hiring someone to do that job, they hire your software.
So... it then follows that to find inspiration for what "jobs need to be done" you can go look on job postings to find what roles companies are looking to fill in their company.
You might say, "But they're looking to hire someone, not buy software". And you'd be right.
But if you spoke to a business owner and asked them if they'd rather hire software or a person, 99% of the time they'll pick software.
If you can make your product good enough that it solves their
The best part?
The job-poster has already done product discovery for you. Just read the job post and find what the potential applicant would be doing on a day to day basis. These are the problems that the business faces. These are the problems that you need to solve for in your micro saas.
Bonus points if you submit a job application and say "My product can do this for you".
Framework 4: Tools for Marketplaces
The final framework to generate micro saas ideas is bolt-on tools for existing marketplaces.
What do I mean by marketplaces? Well, platforms like:
- Google Chrome Extensions
- Zapier etc.
All of them have 3rd party marketplaces where you can (as a developer) build value-add tools for the platforms users. Often, the platform will allow you to charge those users (normally monthly).
Look for specific problems that the users of these platforms face, and build a bolt-on tool that helps them solve them.
The great part about this is that all your customers are already there, and the marketplace has done the distribution work for you. Just optimise your micro saas product and get it in front of the people who want it!
What is Micro Saas?
There's no fixed definition, and the answer will depend on who you ask.
The one-liner of a micro-saas business is something like:
A business that sells very specific software products to a very niche part of the market.
Here are some characteristics of a micro-saas business:
1: A relatively small total addressable market (TAM).
That means you are looking to serve a very specific customer, with a very specific problem.
You're not trying to build a Hubspot-style business that aims to serve and capture a huge TAM.
What does that mean for you as a potential micro-saas founder?
- Huge companies will likely not try and compete with you. Because you have a small TAM, it's probably not going to
- It's much easier to get started. You have a very specific customer you're trying to attract. That means your feedback loop is much faster, and you can run customer acquisition experiments on a much more lean and efficient cycle.
- You need to be very in-tune with the market you're serving and keenly understand their needs and wants. If you're not serving your market properly your competitors (which might be bigger companies like Hubspot) are going to be preferred.
2: Low Overheads
Because you're serving a small addressable market, your business needs to be able to run super-lean. That means:
- Very few employees. A lot of micro-saas businesses are one-person shows.
- Technology that scales profitably. If your software can't be delivered to the customer at a very healthy margin when compared to their purchase price, you're in hot water.
- A very focused and efficient customer acquisition model. More on this in the next point. Simply, you can't afford to spend thousands of dollars acquiring new customers.
Because of the 1st point (small TAM), venture capitalists are not interested in funding micro-saas businesses. You are simply never going to get big enough for them to warrant giving you their money. VC's want to fund potential unicorns. A micro-saas business is very unlikely to be a unicorn. If it does become one, it's because it has grown beyond the definition of "micro-saas".
That means one thing: You can never afford to run at a loss for a long period of time.
Where venture-backed saas businesses can afford to acquire customers unprofitably in order to win market-share, micro-saas businesses don't have that luxury.
Micro-saas businesses are profitable, and therefore their growth curve might look a bit more flat than the traditional hockey-stick curve of venture capital backed saas startups.
4: Very Specific Features/Functions
Micro-saas tools are not full-suite tools that have a lot of "jobs to be done".
They usually solve a very specific problem, and potentially only one.
That means you're probably not going to be in a continual feature-build mode. Once your tool solves the problem, you might just address bugs and then continue to check how it is serving its user-base.
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