Small Tech Business #7 - Finding an audience, $6k MRR Newsletter, Single mom side hustle, Micro-SaaS eBook

Week of 10/11/2020

Small Tech Business is a curated newsletter for people looking for inspiration and learning around starting their own small internet or technology business.

Content of the Week:

1) How we built a $1m ARR SaaS startup

by Sarah Hum - Blog Post 📰 (14 min)

Sarah Hum, co-founder of, covers the different stages of her journey growing a successful SaaS business. She outlines key learnings and strategies at each stage, so useful info no matter what size your business is. If you want to learn more about their journey, there is a great podcast episode with Sarah on the Indie Hacker Podcast (🎧 56 min).

2) Finding an Audience for Your Side Business

by Arvid Kahl - Blog Post 📰 (16 min)

Arvid, who successfully co-founded and sold FeedbackPanda in 2019, has been a great source of information for aspiring founders. In this post, he goes deep on how to take an audience-first approach to your next product.

Post includes a pragmatic approach to audience exploration:
Step 1: Awareness — Think of Possible Audiences
Step 2: Affinity — Find Out How Much You Care About Them
Step 3: Opportunity — Find Out If They Have Interesting Problems
Step 4: Appreciation — Find Out If They’re Willing to Pay
Step 5: Size — Find Out If This Market Can Sustain a Business

“Before we get to the step-by-step guide, I would like to address one particular problem that many newly minted entrepreneurs have, particularly when they come from an engineering background: They severely underestimate the importance of an audience—with devastating consequences.”

3) How I grew Software Ideas to $6k MRR in three months

by Kevin Conti - Indie Hackers Post 📰 (4 min)

An inspiring write-up from Kevin that outlines how he grew his paid newsletter to over $6k MRR in just 3 months.

4) How a single mom manages to start a side business

by /u/thewildpixel - Reddit Thread 🌐

This was a comment I encountered in /r/Entrepreneur on Reddit that just showed how much you can accomplish with limited time as long as you are smart about managing your time. The author breaks down exploring new business ideas into simple steps:

1. Figure out what your perfect business would looks like
2. Hire a virtual assistant to help do basic market research (via Upwork or similar)
3. Once you have some options, try to find a business consultant to help with referrals and business plan
4. Learn how to outsource work effectively

5) Micro SaaS eBook

by Tyler Tringas - Online Book 📕 (FREE)

Tyler, founder of Earnest Capital, has a free online book around building a small SaaS business. This book is an ongoing project (currently at 7 completed chapters), but is already full of great information.

Available chapters:
Chapter 1: What is Micro-SaaS and Why Should You Read This?
Chapter 2: What Makes a Good Micro-SaaS Idea?
Chapter 3: Finding Micro-SaaS Ideas
Chapter 4: From Idea to Building a Minimum Viable Product
Chapter 5: Getting Your First Customers
Chapter 6: Thriving in the Long, Slow, SaaS Grind
Chapter 7: Retention & Customer Support as a Solo Founder

“What’s Micro-SaaS? It is a software as a service business owned and operated by one person or a small team. These businesses are location-independent, high margin, low-risk with predictable recurring revenue. They are the lifestyle business of the future.”

6) How to remember what you learn

by Vasili Shynkarenka - Blog Post 📰 (18 min)

A really interesting look at some effective ways to help deepen your learning sessions. Lots of mindful practices that Vasili does that helps him solidify and retain the things he learns. Not everything will be something you will want to do yourself, but will definitely make you think about your own learning process with a new perspective.

“The most important thing is that my learning is time-based, not goal-based. Setting learning goals such as “read X pages today” is a way to fail because you set up the wrong incentives.”

Small Tech Spotlight: Friendly

🔗 Link:

👤 Founder: Stefan Vetter (@StefanVetter)

💰 MRR: $2,700+ (Oct. 2020)

📦 Product: “Friendly is a Swiss MarTech start-up and provider of ethical marketing software"

Last week we spotlit Bannerbear, this week we have another Open Startup, Friendly. Not only is Friendly an inspiring example of a successful small tech business, but their products also provide privacy-friendly marketing solutions for other small tech businesses (automation and analytics).

In the News:

From the Archives:

What to work on

by Julian Shapiro - Blog Post 📰 (11 min)

Julian is one of my favorite writers online, he is extremely thoughtful and easy to read. I first started following him after an excellent Indie Hackers Podcast episode (🎧 97 min). In this post, Julian delves into his personal values and how he uses those to dictate what he will work on next. Something I often tell people looking into starting their own business, is to first understand what you really want and then make decisions that help you track towards what you actually want. It is too easy to fall into a trap of just picking what ever feels easy or less risky. In the long-term, your happiness and motivation will always be most important.

Hope you enjoyed the newsletter, would love if you helped me by sharing it!

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Written and curated by Justin Chu (@jstnchu)