Profitable Niche SaaS Products of 2021 (Micro SaaS Business Ideas)
- Micro SaaS businesses are all the rage today. These are products. These are SaaS companies that are very niche. They solve a very specific problem.
They're relatively easy to maintain and run. And on top of that, they can be wildly profitable. Now, why do these exist today? And why are they all the rage today beyond the reasons that I just cited? Well, number one, SaaS has just matured to a point where we now know how to run these type of companies. We've created these massive SaaS businesses and out of that came a playbook on how to run these massive companies and scale them. But we've also learned how to run these small ones now. On top of that, the market for SaaS is bigger than we ever imagined.
And because of that, as you would get with a lot of really large markets, there is a really, really big long tail. Meaning there's a lot of super niche, long tail products that you can create that still is a sizable audience that you can serve, which means that these businesses can really print a lot of money. On top of that, you take the general characteristics of a SaaS business. They can be global, they can be automated, they can be self service, it can be credit card based, they can be recurring revenue, and it's just, they're magical. They become incredible assets that you can build, invest into, and also sell.
And so here's a big question. What makes for a great SaaS business, that's a micro SaaS business. And what are the right kind of ideas that you should be going after for your micro SaaS business? Now I've been through the SaaS journey myself for nearly 15 years, and a lot of people don't know this, but my first attempt at SaaS was actually a build a micro SaaS business because I just have always loved this idea. And so in this episode, I'm gonna walk you through the three principles that you absolutely need to know. The three principles and actually have a bonus one in the end.
That you absolutely need to know along with the key ideas that accompany these micro SaaS businesses, that you can actually adopt some of them. And that will help you make sure that you're on the right path to building acquiring or running your own micro SaaS business that's also wildly profitable. Intro. (upbeat music) What's up everybody, welcome to Unstoppable I'm TK. And on this channel, I help SaaS founders like you grow your SaaS businesses faster with an unstoppable strategy.
Now, if you are new to this channel, welcome. Be sure to hit the subscribe button and that bell icon, because I drop an episode with actionable strategies on how to grow your SaaS businesses faster with the TK energy every single week, every single Sunday. Now if you're already part of this community, this fast-growing community, if you're part of my SaaS go to market coaching program, my launch program, my people, welcome back, it's so awesome to see every single one of you over here. All right.
So truth be told, I've never admitted to this before, but when I started tout at my last SaaS business, I meant for it to be a micro SaaS business, I wanted to build a small tool that would be self-service, that would kind of stand on its own and just print money and just solve a very specific problem. Now, for those of you that have followed along in my journey, or are familiar with my journey, needless to say, how ToutApp went beyond being a micro SaaS business, we raised money from Andreessen Horowitz, we went on to exit to a company called Marketo, which was a market leader. So obviously it got to a point where I'm like, wow, this idea is bigger than, this is huge. And we were the pioneers of the sales engagement space, which is multi-billion dollar category now in multiple incredible companies that are building in that category. And so, I've had a 15 year love affair with SaaS , and I've also had a 15 year love affair with micro SaaS as well. And on top of that inside of my coaching programs, I actually work now with founders that are building these micro SaaS businesses.
I've had front row seats on what makes these businesses work, how to actually grow them. And I've done a ton of research around them as well, because a lot of the external principles we cover in this channel, are on go to market, are on product led growth, are on ICP, applies to building a micro SaaS business as well. And so I've had this long love affair. And so in this episode, based on everything that I've learned in my 15 year journey in building, scaling, exiting SaaS business, and now coaching founders to build their own SaaS businesses, whether it's micro SaaS or venture scale SaaS , I'm gonna walk you through the three principles along with the bonus one that you absolutely need to know to build a successful micro SaaS business. And I'm also gonna walk you through some key micro SAAS ideas, so you can get a taste for what makes for a really great micro SaaS business.
And when you follow these principles and get a taste of these ideas, you will be more likely to create your own micro SaaS business and make it wildly profitable. So if you're excited or dig into principle number one, go ahead and smash that like button for the YouTube algorithm. It really likes it when you do that, and let's dig right into it. Okay.
So I actually have a principle number one, but I actually have a principle number zero. So, and also have a bonus one. So I, when we went to town on this one, because I'm like, there's a lot here.
So some context here. For the last 15 years I've been in the SaaS world. The last two years, I've been in the coaching world, which brings you into this whole space around an internet marketers, coaching businesses, it's a fascinating world. And what's been really cool to see are the intersections, the principles that the coaching world and the internet marketing world follows that also actually apply to SaaS .
And I've been in a unique seat to be able to cross pollinate. And one of the things that we talk about in the internet coaching, internet marketing world is you got to have a niche. Which needless to say also applies to SaaS. Basically whatever we have in the internet marketing world and the coaching world, we have a more fancy sounding name in the SaaS world.
And so the equivalent is you need to have an ideal customer profile, but that's not the point. The point is that in internet marketing world, they say you got to have a niche, and they broke it down and there's really only three niches that matter on the internet to actually make money on the internet. Basically it's health, wealth and relationships. Health is, I wanna lose weight, or I want to get a six pack, or I wanna get like ripped, or I wanna look a certain way, that's health.
Relationships is essentially dating. Was like, I wanna actually have a better relationship, I wanna find a partner, or I wanna make it work with my partner, or I wanna avoid getting divorced, like all that stuff, that's relationship. And then wealth is I want to make more money. And ultimately, as I dug deeper into the internet marketing world and learn more about in the coaching world, ultimately like as I started to apply and compare with what I know in the SaaS world, from the last 15 years of building SaaS companies, I realized most SaaS companies fall under wealth. And the reason I say this is, as you are thinking about your micro SaaS idea, you almost certainly always, if you want to be successful, especially in B2B SaaS, you need to align yourself to wealth. You need to show that your product, your SAAS product will help the person or the business make more money.
If you can't do that, then it's gonna be a really hard sell. This is just something I've seen and you can go out there and look at all the successful, profitable micro SaaS products, and you'll see this pattern. They're not about health, they're not about relationships, they're really about wealth. Especially when it comes to B2B. And the ones that are align with wealth, tend to do a lot better. A perfect example of this is, this is the reason why everyone claims to ask for a personal CRM.
Everyone does. On Twitter you go they're like, oh, I wish there was a personal CRM, but no one wants to pay for it. Because it doesn't really, a personal CRM doesn't really make you more money. Now you could argue that's under relationships, but that's why I'm saying you can't really build a SaaS product. Now, could you build maybe a coaching program on how to have better relationships and build a network? 100%. Absolutely.
You can make money there, but when it comes to SaaS, unless it's really tied to wealth where the business can make more money, reduce costs, it's just not gonna do well. So this is why as you're thinking about your micro SaaS idea, and I will get into more concrete ideas in the actual principles, you need to make sure that you are aligned with helping this person, your ideal customer making more money. It has to be under wealth.
And that's kind of like the baseline thing. As long as you do your Micro SaaS making more money, you will make money with your Micro SaaS , if you don't, then it's going to be an uphill battle. Everything's going to be harder.
Your positioning, your messaging, your value prop. It's just all gonna be hard. And trust me, I've seen this.
So that's principle number zero I wanted to get out of the way. Now, principle number one is, well, like now that you know, it's like, okay, it's under wealth, what are some great micro SaaS ideas? What I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna walk you through three key groups that micro SaaS businesses tend to serve the most. And for each of those groups, I'll give you some examples. And these I found are the three key groups that most of the successful micro SaaS ideas that are profitable, that are successful, tend to serve. And if you serve one of these three, then you're gonna be golden.
And I'll give you some examples of ideas, but you know, like there's no YouTube video where like, oh, you should build a SaaS business and someone does it and then you make a ton of money because by that time it's saturated. But what this'll do is it'll help you think about who to serve, what their problems are, some examples, and that will help you hone in on the right idea. And that's what I want for you in this video. So let's go to principle number one. Principle number one is for a huge chunk of micro SAAS ideas that are out there, they're actually targeting prosumers. How do you define prosumers? Prosumers are people, it's an amateur who purchases equipment with quality and or features for professional grade.
Professional use, professional grade. Prosumers are a very, very specific category when it comes to consumer electronics. You know, you think about like the camera that I'm using, I'm using a Sony, A 6600, this is more or less like it's not really fully professional, this is more or less kind of like a prosumer great camera. And that's what I need and notice that I paid good money for this.
And so consumer electronics has long known and there's this entire group of people that have a side gig, that are entrepreneurs, they're just starting out, and they want the professional grade equipment, but they can't pay that full price. And so what consumer electronic companies did is they got smart and said, let's create that mid price, or that upper mid price, or you know, not exactly low cost, but a tier above that, where it gets them a bunch of the features, maybe not all of them, but it gives them an entry level into the market for them, and that way we can sell them more stuff, our higher end stuff over time. And so prosumers are people that are, these are like creators on the internet right now. Like me.
These are entrepreneurs. These are people with side gigs that have like this side business. These are essentially prosumers. And if you can target software to solve the urgent and important problem that actually make more money and you position it that way, then you're gonna be golden.
Now what are some examples of this? Like, this is one where I have some specific examples of other ones, but this one was like, so widespread. I was like, where do I even start? Right? Like one great example of this are micro SaaS companies that help creators publish on social media. Yeah. There's a good number of examples of micro SaaS companies that help you publish to Twitter, or help you publish to Instagram, there's a good number of micro SaaS companies that put a little link in the profile and you can clink to these and there're big companies now that came out of that because it got to be such a big space, they started out as micro SaaS companies. So these are companies that are serving people that are like, semi-professional, they're like I do this and I'm willing to pay more money for this, because if I pay more money, I'll make more money and it's, whether it's a side thing or a main thing, but I'm like just starting out. I can't afford the top level enterprise grade things so I'm gonna do this. I'm going to use this small little tool and I wanna pay monthly for it so that way if my business doesn't work out, I can cancel at any time.
So principle number one is targeting prosumers. And I have to other groups that you can target as per principle number two and three, but this is the most popular one. And the reason I put this as number one is because it's also important that you get into a micro SaaS idea that you have some connection to. If you have no connection to it, if you have no domain knowledge around it, there's a huge risk that you won't love it enough. And you don't know enough about that space. And it becomes really theoretical.
And so, you yourself, by choosing to go after a micro SaaS business, maybe you're an engineer by date and you want to build this on the side, extra income. Maybe you just wanna own a conglomerate micro SaaS businesses. Like they're different ends of the spectrum, but chances are you yourself fall into the prosumer category right now. And that's why I put it as principle number one because you're more likely that you will be solving one of your own problems.
And this is goes back to ToutApp. ToutApp originally started solving for prosumers. I'm like i bet like other people are trying to get awareness for their product and they need to send cold emails, I need to do it. So let me just go build it. I built it for myself and then it blew up from there and took off.
That's why I put prosumers is number one, because it'll help you really dig into, okay, maybe this is like the first category I wanna, like, you're probably in that category. Okay. So that's number one. Number two are engineers. Let me explain why.
Some of the best micro SaaS businesses are actually API first. There's a couple of reasons for this, number one, it's engineers build micro SaaS businesses and therefore they're solving their own problems, they're like, hey, I bet other engineers have this problem, other entrepreneurs at this wall, other founders have this problem. So I'm just gonna put it out there. It also means that they're engineers and maybe they're not designers.
So they're like, I wanna build it in a way where it's API first, and I want to sell it to engineers and engineers just consume the API. And it becomes a self-serving thing, but that's okay. It's beautiful actually in a way. And so targeting API first micro SaaS businesses, targeting engineers is a great way to hone in on a set of ideas.
And the principle that this expands into is you have to solve problems for engineers, where they look at it and they say, oh yeah, we can't build that in house, that's way too tedious, or it's just not worth our time. Because of the default for every engineer is oh, I can just build this. I don't know if you've ever posted, you know, something in hacker news. It's like a company could be worth a billion and some engineer will be like, I could have just built this over a weekend.
It's like, no you can't. But that's still the bar for engineers if you're selling to them. Good thing that those billion dollar companies aren't selling to that engineer. But if you are, what you wanna do is build a micro SaaS business that's API first. It's actually kind of cool in a way because there's a lot less UX you need to build. It becomes a lot easier to maintain and gets an API first product, maybe you create a jammer on the API so it's easy to consume or you need to integrate in a Zapier so it's no code, but it solves some sort of problem that's tedious for engineers to solve themselves.
They'd have to do a bunch of stuff, they'd have to do a bunch of devops and they have to combine a bunch of services. But if you do all that for them and expose it in a clean API, and you remove the complexity to a problem that's urgent and important for them, then they will gladly pay you money. And this is one of the things that this could be solo engineers, again, like cross, like overlapping with the prosumer segment, like startup founders. It could also be engineers in mid to large corporations. And the thing that, you know, we've learned also along with SaaS is, engineering teams actually have a lot of budget.
You know, engineering teams just have budget to spend on tools, to spend on infrastructure, to spend on software, as long as it makes their job easier and they can focus on the thing that matters the most. And so there's budget, there's lots of problems to solve, it can be API first, and it can be a relatively easy tool to manage and deploy for you and that could be wildly profitable as well. So that's principle number two. Now I have a third principle and a bonus one, but let me just pause here for a second. This is just two of the principles of like profitable niche SaaS ideas, specifically from micro SaaS businesses.
Hopefully it's getting your juices flowing and you're starting to see the patterns. If you start to see the power in this on number one, why micro SAAS is so exciting and awesome. Second on how you can actually contribute through micro SAAS to a group of people that are more likely to buy micro SAAS products.
If you started to see how this could be a money printing machine and wildly profitable. Start to see the power in all of this? Can I just get a yes in the comments below, also smash that like button for the YouTube algorithm. It really likes it when you do that. So do I, so does my team. Just smash that like button, it just means the world to everyone involved.
Now also, if you're in the pre-revenue stage, if you're honing in on your product idea, and you're trying to go from like an idea to like initial revenues, that stage, and you want a framework to follow, I actually run a webinar every week. It's about a 45 50 minute webinar where I go in depth on how to really stress test your idea and get the strategy right. And make sure you don't waste months building the wrong product. And it's a webinar run every week. So you should check that out.
You don't have to go right now, I'll link to it below and I'll tell you more about it than of this video. But right now smash that like button for the YouTube algorithm and let's go to principle number three. So we've covered prosumers, we've covered engineers, the one is niche SMBs. And for the longest time, SMBs were a little bit of a dirty word, because if you're trying to build a massive scale SAAS business, we're always worried about churn, and when churn is involved, SMBs are terrible. But I think that SMBs have actually evolved, and they've kind of gotten a good, better name for themselves because there's so many of them, distribution can be gotten with SMBs.
Because of all that, you can create enough of a machine where despite the churn you can still grow. And so SMBs are awesome, especially if they are niche. And so niche SMBs, these are small, medium sized businesses that are in categories, or like businesses that haven't fully gone through their digital transformation yet.
And these are businesses and industries that are still exploring how to like go from paper or Excel spreadsheets to SAAS. And if you solve specifically for them, you can be wildly successful. I'll give you some examples. I can give you some actual examples here.
Not because I want you to go build them, because you don't bother, there are successful ones in this space already, but it'll give you an idea of what I'm talking about. And the way I know these is because they're in my coaching program. And I work with these founders. One example of a niche SMB is a CRM for law firms. Think about that.
Like specific type of law firms have specific workflows and just a CRM just for them, they built it and it's super interesting. Property searches and data searches for real estate. Real estate is SMB, a lot of SMBs, and they actually adopt technology quite a bit.
And so if you can solve a problem for them, that abstracts away a lot of complex APIs, that can be very powerful. Third one is ERP for sports academies. And this one is like they literally went in and they helped them with the booking, the payments, they helped them with the management of it. It's incredible. But it's for sports academies and you're like, how many are there? Well, there's a lot actually. And there's a lot of money to be made.
One that I've actually really liked, and it's not quite micro SAAS because they ended up being way bigger and venture scale. It started off as small, was a CRM for barber shops. And you would think that all that seems like a micro SAAS, it turns out that there are a lot of barber shops in the US and in the world. And so this is the third principle, which is niche SMBs that you can go after. And these are in specific industries that haven't fully done their digital transformation yet. And if you focus on those guys, they don't have software yet.
And if you're like, look where's CRM built for you guys? And they're like, sign us up, versus just a generic Salesforce. You can actually compete in a certain way. And because of the micro SAAS, you can actually ensure that, you know, it doesn't have to be a big sales process.
It shouldn't be. It should just be product and you can target it to them and they may like you and you just get a certain percentage. You don't have to take over the whole world and it can still be profitable.
And that's the power in this, because the market's so huge. So first I wanna recap the three, and then I wanna give you the bonus one. So first to recap, you wanna, in terms of the niche, in terms of health, wealth, and relationships, focus on wealth, how do you make people more money? Position your micro SAAS on that, in terms of who you target, number one, target prosumers, they're the best ones. You are a prosumer when you're starting out. Number two, target engineers, API first micro SAAS businesses.
And number three, niche SMBs industries that haven't fully digitized that are still on spreadsheets or paper. Now, once you do this, you will have stress tested your SAAS idea and you're now gonna be in the zone where you're more likely to be successful with micro SAAS. But you may be wondering, well, what makes for a successful micro SAAS business versus a non-success? There's some parameters, I'll give you three right here to think about.
Almost all micro SAAS businesses should be PLG led. Product led growth, meaning there's no sales involved, like there's no sales team or anything. As soon as you include a sales team, you kind of get out of the territory of micro SAAS because the economics of scaling is gonna be higher. Maybe you'll have an onboarding person, maybe you'll have a sales person, but you wanna drive toward having a self-service model as much as possible, or at least an eye towards that. Now if you were in the super early stages, you'll have to handhold people, really get the product market fit right, but over time, you wanna drive towards a self-service product led approach.
That's gonna be more powerful for you, for a micro SAAS. Sometimes a micro SAAS can easily graduate to a full SAAS. This is what happened to me.
I thought I was starting a micro SAAS, and it turned out being a venture scale business. I got invested in by Andreessen Horowitz and in recent orders, doesn't make small bets. And so sometimes it can graduate. So don't be married to it either. The second is it should be super niche.
The more niche the better. Meaning you should be targeting wealth, but also for these very, very specific groups of people and you'll see in these examples that I just gave you. Very specific. And that's what you want. The more specific, the more successful microservices, the more broad then it's like neither here nor there.
It's not a micro SAAS. You can't compete with the big guys, the big generic players and so it's like you're neither here nor there. So you want to be super specific. And the third thing is you wanna make sure you are solving an important problem for these people.
It's very easy to fall into a trap where you're solving a problem, but it's just not important enough or urgent enough. And then that rule applies to normal SAAS, unless it's urgent important people aren't gonna fork over the credit card or try the product. And more importantly, they're not gonna be searching for it. And you won't be able to sell them on it.
So it won't work very much. And so you wanna make sure that it's solving an urgent important problem. So, that's what I had for you today.
Micro SAAS, amazing types of businesses are cash printing machines if you get it right. Micro SAAS ideas you wanna, I gave you a bunch of these and you wanna make sure you target one of these three groups and go after an idea that solves a problem emerging and prompt for one of these three groups. You wanna make sure that it's aligned towards helping them build more wealth, make more money. That's the best way to do it. And you wanna make sure it's product led growth, and you, it's super niche, and it's solving the urgent important problem. So now you know how to make sure that you are more likely to succeed in your Micro SAAS business.
But what you may not know, is how to go from the idea and maybe the initial product to initial revenues. The zero to the one. And if you're at that stage, if you're literally at that stage where you're trying to go from the zero to the one to some revenues, I actually run a webinar every week that talks about how to go from zero to $10K MRR without losing months on building the wrong product and how to actually stress test your idea and validate it. It's about a 45 minute webinar I run every week. So I invite you to join that, and if you're at that stage where we go much more in-depth on how to really actually approach this problem to get to initial revenues. So to enroll for that webinar, it's completely free.
Just go to TKKADER.COM/WEBINAR. Simple enough, TKKADER.COM/WEBINAR, over there, you can choose the time you want to attend, you should add it to your calendar after you sign up, that way you won't forget. And then, we're off to the races from there.
If you got value from this video, please smash that like button for the YouTube algorithm. If you have a co-founder, a certain team members, if you have a potential co-founder that you wanna, you're brainstorming with on how to build a Micro SAAS business, please share this video with them. It'll mean the world to us. And it'll also help you guys talk about how to approach this in the right way. If you are a part of a slack group, or a WhatsApp group, or a community of other founders and entrepreneurs that would get value from this, and that are thinking about building micro SAAS businesses, please share this video also over there, it'll just mean the world.
We wanna help as many founders as possible. I drop a video like this two to three times a week. Actually that's not true.
I'm used to saying that. I drop a video like this now every week. We used to do two or three times a week, that's how we have over 200 episodes, now because I have over a hundred founders I work with inside of my coaching programs, and I have this YouTube channel, what I do is actually do one more in-depth video once a week. So more quality, I really dig into it like I have here.
This video is probably approaching like 30 minutes now, 26 minutes, it'll probably end out at 27 maybe. I don't know, we'll see. So now we do once a week. So be sure to hit the subscribe button and that bell icon where you get notified every single time I drop an episode like this, where I go really in-depth based on real experience in doing this. And lastly remember, everyone needs a strategy for their life and their business. When you are with us, yours is going to be unstoppable.
I'm TK, and I'll see in the next episode,