In recent years, we have seen an explosion in software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies. There are in 2023 about 30k Saas companies with about 14 billion customers. Most of them are located in the United States.
These companies offer people tools and services that they can access via a web browser.
Instead of running a local installation (aka desktop application), you basically just have to access the URL of the Saas application using your browser. The beauty of this approach is that people can access these tools and services from anywhere, on any device, at any time.
The traditional Saas model often comes with pre-build authentication, with or without social connectors, payment/subscription handling, and functional features. Such Saas tools also provide dashboards, analytics, and data-driven profile pages to the end user.
Building such Saas products often falls into the following categories:
- Vertical Saas apps, which are niche/industry-specific Saas apps.
- Micro-Saas, which is limited in terms of MVP Scope complexity and is vertical by nature.
- Super-app Saas, which leverages horizontality.
Moreover, a Micro-Saas can either be built by a Solo founder, a indie-hacker, or by a small team. More complex Saas apps often rely on more complex technical architectures and require the contribution of various cross-functional teams in your startup or company.
Step 1: Identify a painful Problem
The first step in building a micro-SaaS is to identify a problem that people have that you can solve. This can be any problem, but it is important that it is a problem that people are willing to pay to solve. For example, you could create a tool that helps people manage their email inboxes or a service that helps people track their expenses.
In order to identify a problem people are willing to pay for, we advise you to:
- identify industries or families of problems you like and thrive in.
- find some established actors/companies in this field.
- find out about the negative feedback people comment about on social media.
- come up with a better solution that may correct those negatives.
Additionally, you can also find business ideas and inspiration on public listings.
And that's it, you're ready to go to the next step :)
Step 2: Start validating your concept or solution
Once you have identified a problem, you need to start validating your proposition of value. At this stage, you just want to get something out into the market that people can use and give you feedback.
Beware, before starting to build your MVP 100%, make sure people are interested in your concept! So, is there any framework helping with that? Actually and fortunately, yes!
The process of validating your idea is quite simple:
- create a landing page exposing your idea.
- expose your solution's concept in terms of USP (user selling proposition).
- add the pros of your solution compared to rivals, this is your competitive advantage.
- don't forget an impactful CTA (call-to-action): its goal is to convert visitors into acquired users.
- start converting on social media as well, enroll people in your product campaigns and collect initial feedback sooner than later.
If your conversion rate exceeds a pre-defined threshold (let's say arbitrarily 5%), then you can start developing an MVP with more confidence. Validating a product can also be seen as the first sentiment toward gaining traction. At Stimpack, we are building a whole traction engine around products pre-launch.
Step 3: Develop Your MVP
Once you have identified a validated the interest an audience is having in your concept, you may be on the road to reaching PM-Fit. You need now to develop your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Your MVP is the simplest version of your product that you can build that will still solve your "customers' problem.
Keep in mind that " "your MVP doesn't have to be perfect, you " just want to get something out into the market that people can use and give you feedback.
There are many approaches to developing your MVP:
- you can use no-code (such as bubble.io) or Low-code tools such as flutter.dev
- you can use Starter Kits which help a lot in the process.
- you can develop it yourself if you have coding skills.
- you can pay agencies & freelancers to help you do it.
As of today, there's no simple way to create a whole MVP using AI, but it might be the future we are heading towards. Indeed GPT3.5, GPT4, and Github Copilot are great initiatives in that sense. We also provide a list of our preferred AI tools for building an MVP.
Moreover, developing in public may help in the process of choosing the right stacks and the right approaches to developing the MVP. Once you've developed a significant part of your MVP, you can either consider launching it officially or starting an Alpha/Beta launch.
Step 4: Create a Pricing Model (Optional)
After you have developed your MVP, you need to create a pricing model. What will you charge for your product or service? Will you charge a flat fee or a monthly subscription? Will you offer a free trial? These are all things you need to consider as you develop your pricing model.
The most common pricing models are:
- flat price
- commission/fee based
- ads based
Once you've selected your model, you have to put in place an appropriate pricing strategy.
Step 5: Launch Your Product
Once you have developed your MVP and created your pricing model, it's time to launch your product. Better said than done you may say: indeed, Saas launches are hard!
You have to establish a whole strategy covering pre-launch, launch day, and post-launch in order to get the most out of your launch.🚀
Basically, choose a channel (or a couple of them):
Find an appropriate Product Launch Checklist, and start activating your community/audience towards supporting you for launch day!
You've now achieved your 1st official launch, congratulations🎉!
Final Words: Use a Saas Factory like Stimpack
By following these steps, you can identify a problem, develop an MVP, create a pricing model, launch your product, gather feedback, iterate and improve, and ultimately scale your product.
Remember, building a successful business takes time and dedication, but with hard work and perseverance, you can build a micro-SaaS that solves a real problem for your customers.
Using Saas Factories such as Stimpack can hugely help go from Idea to Launch in a couple of days. Interested in being part of the adventure? We are actively looking for core users to enroll in the Alpha🚀
We have created Stimpack, the 1st all-in-one Saas platform conceived for product builders enabling you guys to launch your products, the fast and easy way!
Always looking forward to hearing from our fellow Stimpackers.
Saïd – Founder @Stimpack