Building a micro-SaaS business has never been easier. And the best part is that you don’t even need to code to build a lot of micro-SaaS. Tools such as Bubble, Webflow, and WordPress were born to help entrepreneurs -especially bootstrappers- launch and validate ideas in no time.
Whether you’re an experienced developer or a no-code entrepreneur looking for inspiration, here’s our list of the best business ideas of the year. But first, a few common questions you might have about micro-SaaS:
What Is a Micro-SaaS Business?
Micro-Saas businesses typically focus on one specific feature that addresses a particular pain point for customers within a niche market. For example, the core product of a micro-SaaS company –such as SolidGigs or Hypefury– may be similar to that of traditional SaaS businesses. But its target audience and pricing strategy will be very different.
There are some key features that (almost) every micro-SaaS have in common. Among them is that they don’t take much time to develop. And it usually takes less than 6 months to develop the product from scratch.
Moreover, in comparison to other software products, the cost of developing a micro-SaaS idea is very low. This is because there’s no requirement for complex features to build the product. So you can save money and invest it in other areas like marketing and sales. Last but not least, the maintenance costs for this type of software are also very low.
The best part about the micro-SaaS business is that you can start with just an idea. Or even without any code at all and grow it into something big!
How Does Micro-SaaS Differ From Traditional SaaS?
When you look at traditional SaaS companies like Salesforce or Workday, they have huge teams working on each product line. And are constantly adding new features based on customer feedback. This is great for big enterprises who need lots of different features to meet their needs. But for smaller companies with limited budgets (and resources), this can be overwhelming.
Micro-SaaS is a relatively new concept. However, it’s not as simple as just taking a traditional SaaS business and making it smaller. Micro-SaaS companies usually target a specific niche market that requires very specific features or functionality.
Why Are Micro-SaaS Business Models Great for Solopreneurs?
The micro-Saas business model is one of the most popular and effective ways to start your own business. It’s used by many companies that rely on recurring revenue.
The reason this model is so attractive to solopreneurs is that it allows you to sell a product or service without having to build a large infrastructure or hire a team of employees. You simply need to set up your thing, create an account with a payment processor like Stripe or PayPal, and then start selling!
In fact, it’s possible to start your own micro-saas business with no programming experience at all. All you need is learn some basic coding skills and access to a website hosting account.
If you want to learn more about how this works, here’s an overview of how the micro-saas business model works:
- Find a niche where there’s demand for your product & build your audience
- Validate your product (MVP)
- Decide on your pricing model
- Establish your brand & make it legal
- Define metrics for success!
Curated List Of Micro-saas Ideas And How To Build Them
1. CRM for WordPress
Difficulty: Easy (build an MVP using no-code tools, scale up with programming)
Tools: WordPress, Elementor, and JetEngine.
Customer relationship management software (CRM) helps you develop relationships with customers and keep in touch with them throughout the entire customer lifecycle. It has been a growing market for years, and CRM sales are expected to expand 14.2% by 2027 (Source: Kingsta).
WordPress is one of the site builders most used in the world. It powers over one-third of all websites on the internet and has conquered the e-commerce industry although it was created for blogging.
If we consider that WordPress holds a 65% market share for content management systems, building CRM could be a profitable idea. But, what are people looking for in a CRM for their WordPress site? Some businesses need only the basic features, while others require advanced field customizations and powerful integrations. Here are some of the common features present in popular CRMs:
- Reporting module with customized reports.
- Messaging tools.
- Activity logs and task schedulers.
- WooCommerce integration.
- Invoicing tools.
- Custom filters
- Clean dashboard both for managers and customers.
How to build a CRM for WordPress?
There are several CRM plugins and integrations for WordPress sites. Some of the most popular are HubSpot WordPress plugin and WP ERP. So you might wonder why should you build a CRM when big companies such as HubSpot are already there? The answer is simple: you can target a niche and create a CRM that satisfies its business-specific needs. For example, you can build a CRM to help freelancers manage and grow customer relationships instead of building a generic CRM for all industries.
So, for building a CRM for WordPress, you’ll need to define your audience first, and then research how to build your product around their needs.
Probably, the easiest way to build your CRM would be using Elementor and Jetengine. You can create a custom database for your clients as shown in this tutorial, and use it as a prototype for building a more complex product later:
2. Twitter analytics tool
Difficulty: Medium (you’ll need to know how to code to build this idea)
Tools: Python, SQLite, Twitter API.
Twitter already has its own way to show analytics. But for a lot of people, this isn’t enough. There are still some features that can make the platform even more powerful to understand the needs of the audience to create content around it. That’s when building custom analytics for Twitter can be a profitable SaaS idea.
In this case, I’ve picked this tutorial, which explains the building process step by step.
💡 Note: The tutorial wasn’t created to help people build apps for business but for personal purposes. If you meant to build something and sell it, take a look at the build for business section on Twitter for developers.
3. Payment Processing for freelancers
Difficulty: Advanced (you’ll need to master bubble.io to build this idea)
According to Upwork, by 2021 freelancers represented 36% of the entire U.S. workforce. That means that almost 60 million Americans worked as freelancers back in that year.
The freelance market is growing, and people are looking for better ways to sell their services online. As a freelancer myself, I can assure you that there are still many issues to be addressed when it comes to collecting payments in a way that is safe for both the customer and the freelancer. So, you can build a solution for this problem if you are targeting this niche.
Which features should be included in a freelance payment processor?
Some of the most basic features you should consider are:
- Pricing/ marketplace to offer services.
- CRM to manage customer data properly.
- Integrations (Stripe, PayPal, Payoneer).
To build this idea, I want to recommend you a Bubble tutorial, which explains how to handle payments using Stripe. It’s a perfect starting point, but you can level up the app to target your audience’s specific needs.
4. HR Software for early-stage startups
There are many definitions out there, but the simplest one is probably the one that Eric Ries shared: “A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” These businesses usually start with one or two bootstrapper founders and then experience rapid growth. These include changing and growing the workforce to fit the market needs. Therefore, HR systems are key to keeping everyone on the same page, managing payrolls, measuring performance, and building company culture from the ground.
In this scenario, you, as an indie builder, can create a SaaS to help companies manage employees and departments as they grow. The basic features you’ll need to include are:
- Time tracking
- Task scheduling
- Time-off, absences, and holiday management
- Customized reports
But to succeed in this market, you’ll need to work on special features to make your product unique. For example, the Think Confluent SaaS offers a personalized work experience for each employee using AI to generate a cognitive profile for each worker.
5. Inventory Management for dropshipping
Difficulty: Medium (start with a simple spreadsheet and turn it into a CMS plugin or addon after validating your MVP).
Tools: Spreadsheet or Notion for database
The dropshipping fever has attacked e-commerce founders since 2015, and although there are some detractors of this business model, the truth is that its popularity has increased over time, and it’s still a trend today. Google Trends confirms this thought:
I have to admit I tried dropshipping myself when it become a thing in 2015. But I failed because I encountered a huge obstacle which is still a pain point for most drop shippers: founding good, reliable providers added to finding the right niche to introduce the products. At that moment, I found that plenty of dropshipping sites and services were a scam, out of date, or too expensive to afford if you plan to sell products with low margins.
So, if you want to build something to help this segment, you can start by looking for providers willing to offer dropshipping services and record them on a database. To make it even more minimal, you can target only certain products, and build a large database with just that type of product. For example, pet supplies might be a great place to start, but you can do the research yourself to find interesting niches you’re familiar with.
You can even test your idea by just offering access to your database at a low price, and then work to turn your spreadsheet into a workflow. Remember, to make a business out of it, you’ll need to keep it updated. Prices, shipping, and taxes must be updated regularly to make it work, so you better automate the sync or your business won’t have a happy ending.
After that, you can improve your product by offering plugins for common CMS such as WordPress and Shopify.
6. Automation for community builders
Running a successful community is not an easy task. You have to plan events, lead weekly conversations, moderate, and more. So, community management tools are breaking into the market to simplify daily tasks and open new doors for community builders who want to truly connect with the audience. One of the most trending tools today is Burb, which is pretty awesome to schedule messages and reviewing community stats.
But, what if we take automation to the next level and build something more niche-oriented? For example, you could build an automation tool for gaming communities, which helps community builders automate Twitch stream invitations, or schedule messages after a gaming competition.
To turn this big idea into a small, deep niche one, I believe the key is sticking with one community category and building around the needs of their communities.
Which features should be included in an automation tool for community builders?
- Message scheduling.
- Event automation.
- Analytics dashboard.
- Integration with the most popular chatting platforms in your niche.
To get started with this idea, I recommend this video tutorial which explains how to schedule any kind of event on Bubble:
7. Feedback tool for indie founders
If you look for “feedback” in the Indie Hackers search form, you’ll find thousands of posts coming from founders who are looking for early adopters and initial feedback to validate an MVP. A huge part of them is just getting started with building projects and using no-code tools to turn ideas into real and usable products. I’m a big fan of these posts and read them a lot in my free time because most of the answers are 100% honest and provide true value to the building process. But the pain point here is how messy it ends because of the waterfall of comments and replies the founder gets. Things get repetitive and it’s often hard to concentrate on the comments received for each of the features of your product you’d like to improve.
This issue can fuel your creativity to build a feedback tool to collect comments from indie founders who are building with no-code or low-code. You can start by checking out UserLoop, a product built using Bubble which helps founders create their own questions and organize feedback. But, in my opinion, this feedback tool you’re planning to build must be:
- Sharable and easy to integrate into forums and communities where founders ask for feedback.
- Simple to understand feedback for different features of the product. You can make people comment on “boxes” to unify feedback on the same features.
- Use polls to let people vote for new features and improvements.
8. Scheduling for SEO consultants
Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to think about growing a business without SEO. Ads are cool, but growing organically has proven to work better in the long term because it provides a solid background to understand what users want. In this scenario, there’s a huge consultancy business growing, and building tools for SEO professionals is a great place to start a business.
What should you include in this tool?
- Sync calendar
- Questions to understand the needs of the business owners
- Add-ons such as memberships for recurring users
- Email reminders
To make the most of the membership options, you can offer a limited free account and a premium membership with extended features.
9. Directory of micro-businesses
Tools: Airtable + Softr
Having a place where you can navigate in hundreds of indie projects can help founders find inspiration, discover which are the most revenued industries, and connect with potential investors. Besides, a directory of micro businesses can also be a great place to connect with colleagues and share building in public updates within one place.
In fact, founders are currently asking for such a directory on Indie Hackers, so it might be an interesting project to build.
So, what features should this directory have?
- MRR and founder name for each business
- Allow founders to upload their projects
- Comments and ratings
- Section to share building in public updates
To get started with this idea, I suggest using Airtable and Softr. Although there are a few more no-code platforms where you can build a directory, this is probably the fastest one to launch an MVP.
10. WordPress forms to PDF plugin
Forms are a crowded market, but the huge demand tells us we can still make a business out of it if we target a very specific niche.
So, in this opportunity, we can set our niche around WordPress founders who need forms to collect customer data and contacts.
If we take a look at related keywords on SEMrush, we can see there are some interesting queries related to WordPress forms converted into PDFs:
To understand how the conversion form works, I suggest first reading this micro saas newsletter, and then watching an introductory video to understand how plugins work in WordPress:
If you’re seeking to learn more about business scalability, network with other founders and professionals, or simply find more micro-SaaS ideas for profitable startups, check out some of the plenty of communities for entrepreneurs we have in Unita.