Micro SaaS: Advantages, Ideas, and Examples (+ Free Cheat Sheet)

Do you have a great business idea?

Well, here's the problem you might be facing: The Software as a Service (SaaS) world is super competitive and the road from startup to established company is full of obstacles. So what can you do? Micro SaaS could be something for you.

In this article, you will learn what Micro SaaS is, the advantages, examples, ideas and how to get started if you have a promising business idea. But before that, download your free cheat sheet here:
What is Micro SaaS
Micro SaaS are solutions to a specific problem.
Size and target market
Investment
Focus
Growth objectives
Location
Revenue
Complexity
Collaboration

What is Micro SaaS?

Micro SaaS has a focus: Solving a very specific problem while minimizing the use of resources and maximizing efficiency and impact. Quite simply, doing more with less. In short, Micro SaaS are solutions to a specific problem that shouldn't take much effort to create, but can work as a recurring business model - location-independent, with recurring revenue and, ideally, with minimal customer churn.

To get a better understanding of Micro SaaS, let's compare it to a typical SaaS business.

Key Differences Between SaaS and Micro SaaS

SaaS
Micro SaaS
Size and target
Wide  customer base
Highly specialized audience
Revenue
Typically higher
Typically lower
Focus
Broad range of services
Super focused product or service
Growth objectives
Ambitious growth targets
Founders can expand as desired
Location
On-site responsibilities
Highly flexible
Complexity
Complex processes
Typically less complex
Investment
Repeated rounds of external investment
Self-funded,
without external capital
Collaboration
Multiple teams
Operated by a small team
Advantages of Micro SaaS
Good ROI
Remote friendly
Sole ownership
Fewer resources
Easy support

Advantages and benefits of Micro SaaS

If you are unsure whether you want to start your own Micro SaaS business, here is a little motivation:
Good ROI
Micro-SaaS entrepreneurs generate ongoing revenue based on their subscription business model. While it may not generate as much revenue as your typical SaaS application, Micro SaaS has fewer overheads. So, it's still a healthy ROI if the platform is successful. And because there are fewer overheads, it is easier to create a business model that is profitable.
Remote-friendly
Typically, Micro SaaS businesses have a small team. It can easily be run by just the founder, or the founder plus one or two additional resources. The big advantage? You have the flexibility to run your Micro SaaS business from anywhere. All you need is a good internet connection as your resources are cloud-based.
Sole ownership
Micro SaaS platforms typically run under sole ownership with no outside investors. That means you (the business owner) are in charge.
Fewer resources
Micro SaaS applications can be built quickly and cheaply. In fact, an MVP or minimum viable product (an early version with basic functionality) can be created in less than 24 hours using SaaS application builders. But hey, keep this in mind. Even if you just want to build an MVP, you should always validate your business idea first. That way, you are insuring yourself against failure.
Easy support
Because your software will operate in a niche market, it will be easier to manage support for a smaller audience. You might even be able to handle issues yourself or with the help of a small team. As you scale and your audience grows, you can always hire more people to help with customer support.

That said, if you're looking for a quick way to bring your business idea to life, Micro SaaS is your best bet. It requires minimal investment and can even be run on the move!
Get the Micro saas Cheat Sheet
How to build a Micro SaaS business
Find and validate your idea
Create Personas
Pick your business model
Price your product
Market and sell your product

How to build a Micro SaaS business that customers love

Micro SaaS businesses get a lot of hype, and there is a reason for it. They don't require a huge investment to get started, they're not too complex to scale, and they can be very profitable. But how do you create a thriving Micro SaaS business?

Let me tell you this first. Building a Micro SaaS business is not that different from building a normal SaaS business. It's pretty much the same. The big difference is that it's easier and if you fail, it won't be as big a heartbreak because it didn't take as long to build. With that said, here are the steps you should always take to create a successful Micro SaaS business:

1. Find and validate your idea

Before embarking on product development, validate your idea with potential customers. Make sure there's a real need for your product and that it addresses a real problem.

Once your idea has been validated, start building your product. Initially, focus on creating a minimum viable product (MVP) - a simplified version of your product that addresses the core problem for your target market. As mentioned above, this should also be your starting point if you are building a regular SaaS business.

To learn about the key steps, check out this in-depth guide to building a successful SaaS business.

2. Build your Personas

The more information you have on your customers, the more refined your marketing efforts will be. When you build your business, Personas are one of the most important elements you need to have in place.

Personas are fictional characters that represent the different user types that might use your solution. Even though they are fictional, they will help you understand your users' needs and help you craft a valuable solution that people love. But not only that. The more realistic your Personas are, the better you can understand their motivation and goals.

Check out this Persona video course and learn who your customers are and how to reach new customers - in less than an hour.

3. Pick your preferred business model

The two main types of Micro SaaS business models are subscription-based and freemium.
Subscription-based
Subscription-based businesses charge customers a recurring fee for their product or service, usually on a monthly or annual basis. This makes it an excellent choice for companies offering essential products or services.
Freemium
Freemium businesses offer a basic version of their product or service for free and charge for access to premium features. This model works well for businesses offering nice-to-have products or services.

4. Competitively price your product

Pricing your product is a delicate balance between covering your costs and ensuring affordability for your target market.

Research the pricing of competing products and services to gauge what your target market is willing to pay. Also consider the value of your product to your target market.

Pricing is tricky, so check out this in-depth guide on how to find the best pricing for your business.

5. Market and sell your product effectively

It's time to market and sell a product once you're confident and sure that it solves a real problem for your target market. In total, there are 19 marketing channels you can use. For example, social media marketing, influencer marketing, offline advertising and so on. However, you should never take the random approach and use just any marketing channel that sounds reasonable. This is a guarantee that you will waste time and money.

Since finding new customers is one of the biggest difficulties SaaS companies face, I have created this ultimate marketing video course to help you get customers with the right marketing strategy.

So far, so good, all doable. But the hardest part - believe it or not - is finding a problem worth solving, an idea that people are willing to pay for. Let's find out how to do that.
How to find your micro SaaS idea
Use reverse engineering
Reverse engineering means that when you are looking for your idea, you focus on the problems you could solve
Identify a problem
Understand the market
Study existing solutions
Choose a growing market

How to find and validate your Micro SaaS idea

Step 1: Discover your idea

A good idea is all you need to start the exciting journey of Micro SaaS. Here are the first steps you need to take to find an idea that is worth solving - and by "worth solving" I mean that people are willing to pay for. This can be done using a method called "reverse engineering".

Reverse engineering means that when you are looking for your idea, you focus on the problems you could solve, the problems that already exist. Most businesses (that later fail) start because the founders thought it would be a cool idea, but in the end, it fails because it does not solve a real customer problem. Been there, done that.  

Remember that real problems are the driving force behind every successful business. If you solve a problem that matters to people, they're likely to become your customers in the long run. So that's where we start.
Identify a problem
The best entrepreneurs are problem solvers. But remember, the problem you're trying to solve should be faced by more than one person. Industry or product forums are great places to find common problems.

Small businesses often face unique problems that conventional solutions can't effectively address. Talk to your potential audience, understand their frustrations and goals, and get a handle on these problems.
Understand the market you want to step into
Before you even start building a product, you need to understand the market you want to compete in. Micro-SaaS products are niche and address a specific need. So take a deep dive into your market first.
Study existing solutions
Don't reinvent the wheel. There may already be an existing and established player offering similar services. Analyze their solution and see how you can carve out a niche for yourself. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to invest a lot of time and resources in building your solution, only to find that someone else has already done it.
Choose a growing market
A stagnant market won’t do your product any good. As an entrepreneur, opt for a growing market that’s open to new solutions and experimentation.

Step 2: Authenticate and validate your idea

Every idea needs validation to see if it can become a successful business. This is how you can validate your product idea:
Assess the need for your solution
Even if users have a real problem, your solution must address it in the right way to gain acceptance. Identify your unique selling proposition (USP) early on. This could be a better user experience, affordability, or offering key features that the competition lacks.
Find your user base
It's important to find users who need your solution. Experiment with a one-page landing page and use SEO to drive traffic. You can then contact them via a form and voila, you have a user base!
Join user groups
User groups on platforms such as Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other product or market-specific forums are excellent for idea validation. These are the places where your target audience hangs out, making them ideal for validating your idea.

Idea validation should always be taken seriously. If you don't do it thoroughly, you run the risk of creating a solution that no one wants. That's why I've written a detailed article on how to find and validate your SaaS idea in 6 simple steps.

Micro SaaS ideas 2024: Your winning concepts

Task management
An application or tool that helps you manage to-do lists and tasks effectively. Whether it's a simple to-do list application or a more complex task management application with features such as project management, collaboration and reporting.
Improve focus
Everyone would love a tool that helps them stay focused on their work and avoid distractions. You could try building a time tracking app that helps identify and eliminate time wasters. Another idea could be a focus app that helps people stay focused on work for a set period of time.
Collaboration
In the busy client scenario, there is an urgent need for a tool that facilitates easy collaboration on projects. This could be a project management app, a file sharing app or a video conferencing app.
Content generation
Content is king! And AI content creation tools are being actively used by content writers and marketers. Adopt a tool that makes it easy to create high-quality blog posts, articles and other types of content. This could be anything from a content management system (CMS) to a grammar or plagiarism checker.
Visual content design
Think about a tool that helps you design and create infographics and other types of visual content. This could be an infographic creation tool, a design tool or a photo editing tool.
Content Editing
While AI makes content creation much easier, it also degrades the quality of content. At this point, a tool that helps edit and proofread content or a human editing service application could be a good idea.
Social Media Management
Sometimes, creating and posting social media posts, gets too much. You can think of creating a social media management tool, scheduler, or analytics tool that simplifies and manages social media. With so many people running their businesses on social media, this kind of tool will come as a breather.

Micro Saas examples of successful businesses

1. Carrd

Carrd started with a vision to create a simple website builder. It has since evolved into one of the most popular one-page website builders around. It was a solo project, the brainchild of a web developer and designer named AJ.

While AJ initially set out to create a site builder, he soon realized that he didn't want to make things too complicated. The result? A platform where you could create what is essentially an "online business card".

Today, Carrd serves as a versatile tool for creating a one-page website for various purposes, including personal portfolios or landing pages. Operating on a freemium model, you can set up an account for free and upgrade to the Pro version at any time to unlock more features.

Carrd's success lies in its simplicity, responsiveness and appeal to a wide range of a small demographic.

2. River App

River app is an app for checking water levels with gauge data from over 40,000 measuring points in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and 20 other countries.

The app was developed by one person and launched locally. Today, River App is the most widely used app for checking water levels and is ideal for kayakers, anglers, river surfers and all other river enthusiasts.

The app itself provides data from public hydrological services in 20 countries, making it easy to access water levels, flow rates and water temperatures for all rivers in a single app.

5 Frequently asked questions regarding Micro SaaS

1. What are the main challenges faced by Micro SaaS businesses?

What I have found is this: The main challenges Micro SaaS companies face are either identifying a niche problem, limited resources or wasting money on ineffective marketing channels and therefore not reaching their target audience. The best way to tackle these obstacles is to start at the whiteboard.

Don't just start a business because you had a great idea in the shower. Think through the important business components such as target audience, marketing, pricing and funding options.

2. Can a Micro SaaS business be scaled successfully?

Yes, Micro SaaS businesses can be scaled successfully, although the process is different from traditional SaaS scaling. The big advantage of a micro SaaS business is that it offers more flexibility. Larger SaaS companies may need to scale quickly to become profitable, or because investors want them to.

With Micro SaaS, you as the founder can decide when you want to scale. Remember, it's better to have a small but profitable business than a large but unprofitable one.

3. Is external investment necessary for starting a Micro SaaS business?

No, definitely not. Unlike typical SaaS ventures, Micro SaaS businesses can often be self-funded without outside capital. The advantage: You have more ownership and control over your business. You are still the boss.

4. How can you handle customer support in a Micro SaaS business?

Because you have a niche target market, you are likely to get very specific user enquiries. This means that you can handle most of them with a simple FAQ page on your website. You can either handle the remaining queries yourself, or - if demand increases - you can easily hire someone to deal exclusively with customer support.

5. What is the significance of validating a Micro SaaS idea?

Validating a Micro SaaS idea ensures that there is a real need for the product and that it addresses a real problem in the market. If you do not validate your idea, you run the risk of building a product that no one wants. Been there, done that. So trust me, don't make this mistake, it hurts.

Start your own Micro SaaS business

As we wrap up this blog, it's clear that the world of Micro SaaS businesses is ripe with opportunity. Now that you're armed with the knowledge of how to find and build a Micro SaaS idea, it's time to take action! And I have something for you - The SaaS Bundle:

Whether you're taking your first steps into the entrepreneurial world or you're a seasoned SaaS professional looking to improve what you do, this bundle is tailored to your needs. The bundle will teach you everything you need to know about SaaS (or Micro SaaS), from Personas, customer journeys, go-to-market strategies, marketing tactics, SaaS metrics and more. Check it out for yourself!