Starting my own Micro SaaS from scratch and generating revenue in 100 days

I’ve started coding a little bit longer than a year ago and I’ve been struggling to find an idea that I felt was worth acting upon and turning into a real SaaS. However, I finally found a great idea that I think is worth turning into a product. To make things more interesting, I challenge myself to use a couple of technologies that I am not familiar with yet AND I want to generate revenue in the next 100 days. I’ll post regularly about my progress, what I learn, my successes and failures. I hope that this will motivate you to create your own product as well and maybe you will even learn something from my experiences.

 

Idea: decreasing arguments between roommates by organizing the cleaning plan

The product I am going to build allows roommates (couples and “regular” roommates) to organize and share their cleaning plan. They will be able to dynamically create different tasks and assign them to one another and see what tasks have to be completed the next couple of days. Of course, standard tasks that have to be done recurringly can be created, but also non-recurring tasks that have to be done but aren’t assigned to anyone can be established. For example, bringing out the trash can be done “on the fly” and doesn’t need to be assigned to anybody.

The best thing about the app, however, is that there will be gamification. Completing tasks will yield points that can be exchanged later on to facilitate the users life. I am not sure yet how I will monetize the product.  But I think I will go the well worn path and integrate some ads as well as a premium plan.

 

Market: not empty but with lots of potential

For the longest time I thought an idea was only worth pursuing if there is no competition on the market and you are the first to launch such a product. I recently changed my mind about this due to a couple of episodes of the Indie Hackers podcast. Existing competition indicates that there is demand for the product you are building, thus (at least partly) verifying your idea. No competition, on the other side, might a) mean that there is no demand for your product or b) that you have to create the market yourself which is cost intensive.

In my case there is competition, but their products are very weak. Some of them hide the possibility of sharing a plan behind a paywall, others try to do too many things at once and thereby do nothing well. It’s a great position to start for me!

 

Stack: MEVN, PWA, Docker, AWS

I do not only want to build an App with the things that I already know. I also want to challenge myself by learning new things and thus become a better overall developer.

 

Up until now I have built my projects mostly with React, NodeJS, Express and MongoDB. But lately I have been a little bit annoyed by React mainly because of the state management with Redux, which becomes complex really quickly. Plus, the agency that I work at uses Vue for its Javascript projects. I did not have the chance to work on one of them so far but I hope that this will change soon. Thus, looking into Vue for the Front-End part of my project seems like a good idea.

 

I decided to not create a native app for my idea. I struggled with this for some time, as all competitors that I face do offer native applications. Nonetheless, in the end the arguments that I outlined in my post about developing native applications won the battle and thus I will create a Progressive Web App (PWA). This will primarily comprise installing the website to the home screen of users smartphone and offline functionality through caching. I never did that before but a quick Google research revealed that this can be done using a manifest document and a service worker file.

 

The next to technologies go hand in hand. I built my older portfolio website with the MERN Stack and hosted it on AWS. Setting up the EC2 instance was an incredibly painful task and took me days to accomplish. I hope to avoid some of that pain and speed up the hosting process by using Docker.

 

Marketing: Sharing everywhere

I do not want to spend money on marketing. First of all, I don’t have the money. Secondly, I also don’t think it’s necessary, since there are plenty of free options. The first thing that comes to mind is content marketing, but I am not an expert in the cleaning community and therefore running a blog on the topic is impossible. However, I could start a blog about the business side of things and try to get featured on other platforms that have a community around the daily lives of households. In return, I could share posts on my Blog and social media about these platforms and how nice it was working with them. 

 

As many students share apartments, posting the app on Facebook groups and reddit threads of universities is on my list. I’ll do the same thing for couple-related communities.

 

I will also try to become more active on social media. As females are most often the ones caring about cleaning the house, Pinterest and Instagram are probably the best apps to market my product visually. I am not a regular poster on social media by any means, so this might actually be the hardest part of all.

 

Goal: Building a SaaS in 100 days

My goal is to get an MVP out there in 100 days and also generate some revenue until then. But since I have not yet decided the monetization strategy, I leave the stream that the revenue comes from open for now. 3 months might seem very long for an MVP, but keep in mind that I am going to use a bunch of new technologies and that I have a day job as well. I give myself 100 days to keep myself accountable and to not let things slide as soon as things get hard or the next shiny object crosses my way. Furthermore, I am curious if I can pull it off.

 

Looking ahead

Building a Saas in 100 days is ambitious but doable. Coding already changed my life over the last year and gave me the opportunity to do what I love at my job. Nonetheless, I think it’s time for me to take advantage of my skills on the next level and launch my own product and learn something new along the way. Stay tuned 🙂