Hey Makers,

One announcement before we dive in. I've started working on a small side project called digest.so. I'm doing this because I could no longer contain my urge to build something, and also because I want to get back into the product-building game so I can share my learnings with you. I'm building it in public and you can follow my journey on Twitter.

Onto the idea.

This week's idea is a bit different. It's more a how-to than a specific idea, but it's something that can start generating revenue very early on, so bear with me.

I'm playing around with Integromat and Zapier a lot these days as I'm building digest.so entirely with no-code tools. I've realized how powerful these tools are. And this gave me a thought. I bet there are tons of businesses that could use automations in their day-to-day operations but they don't have the skill or time to build them.

I think there's an opportunity to find a nice niche, learn about their problems by building custom integrations for them, and eventually transfer that knowledge into a full-blown SaaS product.

Here's how I'd do it:

πŸ”₯ Problem

Businesses are moving their operations into cloud apps. Once they make them part of their processes they soon realize that these tools can't talk to each other without the help of a developer. No-code offers a great alternative to build integrations and automations, but it still requires time and skill to develop.

🧯 Solution

A no-code agency focused on one very specific niche offering automation and integration services to optimize processes.

πŸ‘ What are the benefit

Businesses can save time and money by paying someone to create no-code automations.

πŸ€‘ Are people currently spending money on this?

There are already 100 services listed on Fiverr for Integromat and Zapier automations. Businesses are looking for these services.

ο»Ώο»ΏπŸ’΅ Possible Monetization Stream

Charge a day rate for custom integrations. Charge a flat fee for well-defined integrations (based on your niche research). Eventually, graduate to a SaaS product solving the repeating use-cases.

βœ… What do I need to validate?

  • Can you find a niche that needs this type of service? 
  • Can you develop well-defined use cases that you can start to sell as productized services?

🧰 How I'd validate?

Start by finding businesses in need of automations. The goal is to find a niche that has or is moving all its processes into cloud-based apps. Look at small e-commerce, accountants, or maybe even dentists, lawyers, media outlets. Pretty much every business is starting to leverage cloud apps. The more apps they use, the bigger the need to connect them and automate certain processes.

Your goal is to find them and identify commonalities in their needs so you can start creating tailored productized services. For instance, a media outlet might look into automating its ad placement and sales process. Using Zapier, Stripe, and Airtable you can create a simple ad placement and sales process and integrate it with Wordpress or Ghost.

This is a great opportunity to find a hidden need that you can later turn into a full-blown SaaS app.

πŸ€” How will I get first 10 customers?

The first step is to create relationships within your target niche. Agency-type businesses are great at creating relationships, since you are building tailored solutions for your clients.

You'll also need to educate your customers. This can be your key to unlocking relationships. Start creating educational content explaining the benefits of automations for your target niche.

There's plenty of sales material online for this topic. Research and reuse what fits you. You have to find a pain point that's big enough for the customer to immediately get the benefit of automating a process.

πŸ“ˆ Will it be sustainable?

If you can find a niche that needs your services, chances are that you can build a good agency business and eventually a SaaS product.

πŸ‘‰ My Score

  • Usefulness: πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ (High)
  • Complexity: πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» (Medium)
  • Excitement: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ (High)
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