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Top 9 Micro SaaS Startup Ideas for 2023

Suppose that you had the power to see the future. Where would you direct your sight after finding out the death date of the coronavirus and the name of the next president? If you were a prophet interested in starting a company in cloud computing, you would probably focus on the most popular and lucrative micro SaaS ideas.

We cannot predict the future, but we can extrapolate analysis of the last few years' trends onto the short term and point out where the yeast of growth may be building. If you are also supernaturally challenged but wish to choose a niche for SaaS development where the risks will be minimal, we invite you to a few SaaS examples – projects that audiences are most likely to crave. Let’s dive in!

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Table of contents

    What is SaaS and micro SaaS

    SaaS

    Let us begin by explaining what SaaS, Software as a Service, is. Essentially, it’s a subscription-based license program. SaaS products do not require installation and can be used on an Internet-connected device, which is an advantage over boxed solutions that must be deployed on a drive and tuned to every user. SaaS solutions keep all information on data clouds on the Internet – a convenient arrangement for developers and users alike.

    Some well-known examples of SaaS platforms include Salesforce, Dropbox, Slack, Zendesk and Google Workspace.

    Micro SaaS

    Micro SaaS is a product that focuses on solving a problem in a niche market, for a specific group of clientele, using minimal resources. Usually, a micro SaaS business doesn’t have a big budget, there is no team and the company is operated by one or two business owners.

    We’ll name some of the examples, but there is a good chance you’ve never heard of those companies: Storemapper, SolidGigs, Invoicy, or Plausible.

    SaaSocracy, or why cloud services have swept the globe

    An increasing number of enterprises are building their work processes on SaaS. After the waves of quarantines and lockdowns, the offline solutions proved to be difficult to handle and maintain or simply could not be installed outside offices. Besides corporations, individual users also appreciate the ease cloud computing brings to their lives. For startups, SaaS ideas draw their interest for a few other reasons.

    3 reasons to start up in SaaS

    Thinking about building SaaS project but still not sure if you can actually execute it and be successful? Say no more! Here are 3 reasons to start  a SaaS or a micro SaaS business:

           1. Lower launch and development costs

    A SaaS product has less trouble getting off the ground than an offline application because potential users don’t need to install it and set it up on and for every device – computer or smartphone. On the developer side, this means there is no need to keep a fleet of home servers and a team of system administrators.

           2. Pirate-protected

    Unlike boxed programs, cloud software is almost impossible to hack and steal. Someone can hack a locally installed application with a copied license key (how many Photoshops in use were actually bought?), but the only way to use a SaaS is to pay for access. The owner of the device gets none of the program data, only an interface to access the remote servers.

           3. Centralized updates

    Since the cloud keeps all of the data, the whole service can be updated for all users at once. This speeds up feedback and lets the developers quickly fix any bugs.

    SaaS trends and market research

    In 2017 the SaaS market was valued at $58.8 billion, and in 2023 it should reach $195  billion. Looking at better-known SaaS ideas, it seems that a good match of concept and niche is a lucky coincidence.

    However, the best SaaS product ideas are based on a close study of demand and market analysis, which led the developers to the likely hot spots. For this article, we did industry research and put together a short list of 4 important trends in 2023:

    AI

    AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is everywhere now: from TikTok filters to personalized song suggestions and AI-generated emails. The feature is getting integrated into many solutions, including SaaS startups.

    There are many ways to use AI in SaaS: fraud detection, personalization, automation of customer service, or even audience segmentation.

    Collaboration software

    The global pandemic forever changed the way we work and communicate. A study from McKinsey shows that 58% of Americans work remotely at least one day per week. Many companies, like Adobe or Airbnb, switched to fully remote and moved out of their offices.

    Business owners realized that a cell phone and an email are not enough to keep the team going. This increased the demand for collaboration software.

    Slack, Jira, ClickUp, Miro, and many others are the tools for teams to collaborate, exchange information, and stay on top of the work projects. Despite the competition, there is still plenty of room on the market for remote SaaS collaboration tools.

    MarTech tools

    The challenge is not to create cool SaaS product ideas, but to let customers know about your platform and gain a targeted audience to use it. MarTech, also known as Marketing Technology, used to be a set of tools and strategies old-school salesmen used to promote their products. For example, a product demo or cold calling.

    Now MarTech is having a rebirth: it’s not about pushy sales agents anymore. It’s about free trials, eye-catching branding, SEO, and transparent pricing.

    A great example of a martech tool for a SaaS startup is Canva. The platform makes  design and branding accessible to everyone, including small and medium businesses.

    With Canva, marketing teams of any size can create a trendy graphic with the help of templates and presets. No previous experience or big budgets are needed! The platform offers a free basic version and a 30-day trial for pro accounts with extended tools available.

    9 promising SaaS and micro SaaS project ideas in 2022

    Want to enter the micro SaaS market and need a creative and profitable idea? We’re here to help.

    To save you time, we put together a list of business ideas for SaaS with all the needed information: statistics, market analysis, and projected numbers. Depending on your targeted audience and available resources, you can start a SaaS or a micro SaaS project based on  one of the ideas below.

    Home rental app

    🤔 The idea:

    The platform for renting, selling, and buying real estate that solves tenants’ problems. Imagine, no agents or commission fees. Only a catalog with listings and direct access to a landlord via chat. But there is also a twist: potential tenants and buyers can also post “wanted” listings and describe what they’re looking for so that landlords can contact them with offers.

    📈 Demand:

    The real estate market is largely virgin territory in cloud computing. People are aware that finding an apartment to rent or buy (or any other type of real estate) can be a pain in the wallet, and many would appreciate a way around realtors. Because of this, SaaS platforms that might help them get the property they need quicker and cheaper are going to go over big.

    Factsheet:

    1. Possible monetization models: Transactional; Ads; Subscription-based/Freemium.
    2. MVP build time: 3-5 months
    3. MVP build cost: $45 000-$55 000
    4. Successful Examples: Zillow, RightMove.

    💰 Potential:

    According to the Dsight database, the volume of global investments into PropTech (the real estate sector of IT) has grown from $200 million in 2011 to $14 billion in 2018. Based on these numbers, it’s believed that by the end of 2023, the volume may increase fourfold to $58 billion.

    saas ideas

    👷 Challenges:

    1️⃣ Choose the right monetization strategy;

    2️⃣ Create a system to detect and prevent fraud listings;

    3️⃣ Comply with local real estate laws and regulations.

    Learn how we developed an app that explores the real estate market –  Post-a-room case study.

    App to manage remote marketing teams

    🤔 The idea:

    A platform for marketing agencies that has task management, communication, and scheduling features, but also has an integration with ad campaign analytics tools. With such an app, teams can set up and track campaigns without using additional software.

    📈 Demand:

    As early as 2020, when many companies were forced into remote mode, labor market researchers predicted that they would not want to go back to the office. And they were right: when managers realized that remote work is as productive as the other kind and lets them save on office space and whatnot, they started putting workers out on a limb regardless of the virus situation. Then they searched for SaaS products that would bring together the remote employees and control their performance. Task boards help the teams stay more efficient and have faster communication with each other.

    Factsheet:

    1. Possible monetization models: Subscription-based/Freemium.
    2. MVP build time: 3-5 months 
    3. MVP build cost: $40 000-$50 000
    4. Successful Examples: Airtable, Asana, ClickUp.

    💰 Potential:

    Every year economists compile a Future Workforce Report where they present their forecasts for the near future, and the number of remotely working employees is expected to double by 2025 from the 16.8 million figure before the pandemic. This promises more demand for software tools.

    👷 Challenges:

    1️⃣ Integrate the third-party APIs;

    2️⃣ Comply with privacy and data-sharing regulations;

    3️⃣ Collect data from multiple channels.

    B2B software for restaurants 

    🤔 The idea:

    A cloud-based B2B solution for restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops to pay for food supplies and other services. The flow is simple: vendors and suppliers add their products to a catalog, a restaurant manager scrolls through and places an order. After that, they receive and pay a digital invoice, while their order gets delivered. No old-school paper invoice, phone orders, or long wait.

    📈 Demand:

    Financial services are something that will be wanted as long as there is an economy. The target audience of a new product may range widely from small independent coffee shops to high-end restaurants because payments, transactions, invoices, and so on are important to everyone. Such lively demand makes financial technology a go-to field for SaaS platform builders.

    Factsheet:

    1. Possible monetization models: Transactional; Marketplace.
    2. MVP build time: 2-4 months
    3. MVP build cost: $35 000-$40 000
    4. Successful Examples: Choco, Cheetah, Grecha.pro.

    💰 Potential:

    If you still need proof, The Business Research Company has some numbers: in 2022 the global market of financial services will expand to $26.5 trillion, and the growth of mobile-device transactions, including within SaaS products, will increase by 121%. Online transfers will amount to 88% of all banking operations.

    👷 Challenges:

    1️⃣ Display and control real-time inventory;

    2️⃣ Come up with an algorithm to predict and regulate demand for supplies;

    3️⃣ Manage and supervise the logistics.

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    Remote learning platform

    🤔 The idea:

    A convenient platform for remote learning and tutoring. Students can study remotely either in groups or individually. Online learning in the app can happen live at a scheduled time, or it can be pre-recorded lessons and courses. You can produce educational content yourself or delegate it to the individual teachers on the platform.

    📈 Demand:

    SaaS products and SaaS ideas seeped into education before 2020, but with lockdowns, they became instantly essential. People still want to get high-quality education without leaving the house, and cloud platforms can float it to them.

    Factsheet:

    1. Possible monetization models: Marketplace; Subscription-based.
    2. MVP build time:3-5 months 
    3. MVP build cost: $40 000-$50 000
    4. Successful Examples: Preply, Coursera, Udemy.

    💰 Potential:

    MarketsandMarkets expects the education segment of SaaS to bring $25 billion in 2021 to grow in the near future. A CDW survey among college presidents shows that about half of them mean to bring in some cloud technology.

    👷 Challenges:

    1️⃣ Develop quality control for teachers;

    2️⃣ Keep the engagement level of users long-term;

    3️⃣ Personalize the journey to meet different needs of users.

    Appointment scheduler for hospitals

    🤔 The idea:

    Developing a SaaS application for appointments and online visits to hospitals and private clinics. The platform will store patient’s data, medical history, and doctor’s recommendations.

    📈 Demand:

    Telemedicine is a rather new niche (not counting therapy, which has been delivered online for some time), and still with some elbow room. In certain cases, physicians, neurologists, or ENT specialists can examine a patient without their presence after a remote discussion. Hospital visits are risky at the moment, especially for the elderly, so telemedicine may be a nice, stay-at-home alternative.

    Factsheet:

    1. Possible monetization models: SaaS-based.
    2. MVP build time: 3-5 months
    3. MVP build cost: $40 000-$45 000
    4. Successful Examples: Klara, SimplePractice.

    💰 Potential:

    Fortune Business Insights, an analytics company, promises a turnaround of $396 billion dollars for the telemedicine market by 2027 — from $80 billion in 2020. Growth forecasts are borne out by real figures: according to Teladoc Health Inc., which specializes in telemedicine, its online consultations have increased by 60% and reached 2 million from January to March 2020.

    saas ideas

    👷 Challenges:

    1️⃣ Comply with HIPAA and other data privacy regulations;

    2️⃣ Establish reliable cybersecurity protocols;

    3️⃣ Keep a high retention rate and stay connected to users post-visit.

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    App for collecting marketing data 

    🤔 The idea:

    A SaaS system that collects customer behavior data from different channels and stores it at once place. This information can be used by marketing and sales teams to improve advertising campaigns and get better understanding of targeted audiences.

    📈 Demand:

    Online marketers are always busy generating content, starting campaigns, and checking customer activity, so they would seize an opportunity to automate at least some of the workflow. Cloud services might help speed up and improve the quality of advertising work.

    Factsheet:

    1. Possible monetization models: Subscription-based, SaaS-based.
    2. MVP build time: 3-4 months
    3. MVP build cost: $45 000-$50 000
    4. Successful Examples: Logikcull, Tableau.

    💰 Potential: 

    Do we really have to say that online marketing grows year after year? If you still need proof, here are some figures: Forrester Research estimates that by 2023 media agencies will have automated 11% of their tasks, and by 2032 23%. More than 60% of B2B companies already use some sales automation solution.

    👷 Challenges:

    1️⃣ Implement IoT and AI technologies to automate data collection;

    2️⃣ Authenticate information from different sources;

    3️⃣ Establish privacy and security of data stored on servers.

    Automated accounting tool 

    🤔 The idea:

    A micro SaaS service for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs who cannot afford to hire an accountant yet and struggle to manage their finances without professional help. The functions might include automated reporting, credit/debit control, and payment collection.

    📈 Demand:

    Though this may not be the most original SaaS service idea, the target audience is certainly large: every kind of business has to organize financial reporting and paper flow, so there is still an appetite for cloud bookkeeping software. In this competitive environment, one would have to address the needs of a particular customer segment to succeed.

    Factsheet:

    1. Possible monetization models: Subscription-based/Freemium, SaaS-based.
    2. MVP build time: 2-4 months
    3. MVP build cost: $35 000-$45 000
    4. Successful Examples: Xero, QuickBooks.

    💰 Potential:

    Fortune Business Insights, whom we have already mentioned, writes that the market of programs and services for autоmated accounting (all of them, not just SaaS products) in 2018 was worth $11 billion, and growing as does by 8.2% year by year, in 2026 will expand to $2.408 billion.

    👷 Challenges:

    1️⃣ Consider tax rules and legislations in different countries;

    2️⃣ Come up with a creative way to sort data and produce financial reporting;

    3️⃣ Detect incorrect data monitoring at early stages.

    Marketplace for creative jobs 

    🤔 The idea:

    Do you know how most freelance marketplaces, like Toptal or Fiverr, focus on IT services? We suggest going another way. Create a website for rare professions usually missing from such marketplaces: stylists, financial consultants, photographers. To define your niche, you would first need to study the market of freelancers to discover what market share might need representation on a separate platform the most.

    📈 Demand:

    It’s difficult to organize one’s work on one’s own. A freelancer has to look for clients, communicate with them on different platforms and messengers, remember deadlines, control due payments, and maintain tax reporting. Cloud services can simplify all of this. There are already examples of marketplace-type SaaS services for freelancers, but the market is still open to unique innovations.

    Factsheet:

    1. Possible monetization model: Marketplace.
    2. MVP build time: 3-5 months
    3. MVP build cost: $50 000-$55 000
    4. Successful Examples: Behance, CreativeMornings.

    💰 Potential:

    Researchers put the size of the world’s freelancing software at $455 billion come 2023. In the United States, by 2027 freelancers may overtake traditionally employed workers and comprise 50.9% of the labor force in sheer numbers   surely an attractive field for SaaS application development.

    👷 Challenges:

    1️⃣ Develop efficient search tool with built-in filters;

    2️⃣ Establish secure payment options;

    3️⃣ Perform background checks to avoid fraudulent profiles.

    HR software 

    🤔 The idea:

    SaaS development of an HR platform that would let recruiters add resumes from different websites, store them in a shared database, communicate with candidates, send offers and rejections, set up appointments, and keep application histories.

    📈 Demand:

    Every day of the week HR departments review and select candidates on a selection of marketplace websites. They continue screening them in those sites’ chat rooms, messengers, and e-mails. On separate platforms, they bookmark and download appealing resumes. A cloud solution could bring together all these sources and streamline the requisite functions.

    Factsheet:

    1. Possible monetization models: SaaS-based; Subscription-based.
    2. MVP build time: 3-5 months
    3. MVP build cost:$45 000-$55 000
    4. Successful Examples: Freshteam, Zimyo.

    💰 Potential:

    According to the marketing company, Grand View Research, the market of IT solutions for recruitment and personnel management was worth $17 billion in 2020. Supposing that this sector grows by 12.2% as expected year after year, its value will increase to $38 billion by 2027.

    saas ideas

    👷 Challenges:

    1️⃣ Create tools to efficiently manage a big database with applicants’ data;

    2️⃣ Measure effectiveness of the platform;

    3️⃣ Validate the resumes and the candidates.

    How to create a SaaS project in 5 steps

    Due to its cloud-based nature, SaaS development has a lot of nuances. That’s why it’s important to follow these 5 steps when you create and design a SaaS product:

    Step 1: Choose your niche

    First thing is to pick what niche of the market you want to work at and polish your micro SaaS idea.

    Identify your unique selling proposition, monetization strategy, and target audience. Later on, this data will help with the development of the platform, as well as with marketing strategy.

    Step 2: Find developers

    After you define your SaaS business model, it’s time to look for a development agency. Choose wisely, because your success will depend on the team that executes the project.

    Check reviews and portfolio, making sure that the team has experience in SaaS development and your niche. It’s a crucial condition to understand market challenges and trends.

    Step 3: Create a landing page and test

    Before building a full-scale SaaS platform, we recommend testing the water and checking if your design and architecture are efficient and convenient for users.

    A simple landing page will do the job. You can collect customer feedback by integrating surveys, polls, quick thumb-up and thumb-down reactions, as well as a bug report window. Additional tools will help you create various elements and document their performance, calculate the traffic, and define your conversion goals.

    Step 4: Develop an MVP

    MVP stands for a minimum valuable product. The difference between this and a landing page is that the MVP is a fully-functioning product with all must-have features that a customer can use to complete their journey. It’s not a draft or a prototype, but rather the first version of your SaaS product.

    MVP will help your startup get more detailed feedback from users and fix weak or inconvenient spots.

    Step 5: Scale up 

    Almost every SaaS startup gets to the point where it’s time to scale up the solution. The growing number of users, increased traffic, or larger business goals can be catalysts of growth.

    If you decide to scale up, it’s always better to go with your original development team. They know all the details and soft spots of your platform and can precisely define scalability challеnges. Most agencies offer budget-friendly post-launch support that is cheaper than the whole new development.

    I think I have my SaaS idea hammered out. Where should I take it?

    After you’ve picked a concept from among our SaaS examples and analyzed the market, you will have to prepare the project in detail, deciding on its goals, audience, and challenges it will eliminate. You’ll also have to decide which functions to include to get there, what the time frame is, and the resources to move the project along, test it, and eventually support it.

    Developing SaaS and micro SaaS applications is a multi-step process that takes more than software programming skills; it also requires considerable marketing, economics, and pricing knowledge.

    Wrapping up

    When building a SaaS project, you need to consider many different nuances. Competitors analysis, marketing strategy, investor deals — all these things take time and energy. Polishing your SaaS ideas and managing app development processes on top of them seems impossible.

    If you’d rather save your effort, you can always talk about SaaS to Purrweb. Our outsourced development team will take care of the design and performance of your project while you’re working on other parts of the business.

    About us

    Purrweb is a full-cycle development agency with more than 8 years of experience and more than 300 successfully launched products. Our main goal is to help startup owners validate their hypotheses in the real world.

    However, we can do more than create an MVP for testing your project. We can suggest which functions to add to the service to make the fullest use of its potential, recommend a profitable pricing model, and implement it in the test version.

    Bring a few SaaS examples you like, too, if you want. You can read more about our cases. We’re looking forward to your SaaS concepts becoming real! Get in touch with us.

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