There are almost one billion spreadsheet users in the world. Many of these are power users: they use spreadsheets on a daily basis in their work. The complexity of tools they have built with spreadsheets has increased sharply over the years along with spreadsheet functionality. Some of the tools are so complex that they could form an entire SaaS app and serve the needs of other businesses. However, there is one problem with this: Spreadsheet software like Google Sheets does not offer a way to monetize the apps built directly. However, if you combine your spreadsheet app with a no code tool like Chartmat you can actually make a SaaS business out of it.
Spreadsheet Software has over time accumulated a range of formulas and evolved to support even scripting languages. The ability to perform calculations and conditional logic make them very powerful tools. Nevertheless, spreadsheets are not suited to build a SaaS business on top of them. However, if you embed your spreadsheet in a Web App on Chartmat it is possible to restrict content & to provide access to a dedicated area for paying users.
If you wish to monetize your Spreadsheet you could simply build a Web App on Chartmat and offer the core functionality of your Spreadsheet through the Chartmat interface. You can also integrate a Stripe payment link and start asking your users to pay.
This way a no code frontend empowers the SaaS business that is built on your spreadsheet data. If you embed your spreadsheet into your Chartmat Board you have an interface through which you can share content with your paying users and charge them.
Here are some ideas to get started with building a SaaS with a Spreadsheet:
Workflow automation: you combine a bunch of Google Sheet formulas & automate a standard business workflow for them
Salary & Tax Calculators: the tax code of every country is different. You might find a niche in your country to build a tool to calculate salaries, taxes on salaries and social deductions for employees
Real Estate Valuation: you collect information about real estate object such as the address, the year of construction, the heating system and more in order to return the fair value of the real estate object for your customers
Product Pricing Tool: you collect various variables such as product differentiators and market structure in order to help your customers find a way to price their product
Cash Flow Projections: collect input variables from your users and generate Cash Flow streams for them
The number of SaaS businesses that you could build out of spreadsheets is potentially limitless. The advantage of this approach is that it can be all achieved without any coding knowledge.
With spreadsheets there is obviously the risk that customers simply copy your Spreadsheet with all formulas that you developed in case you provide them with access to the Spreadsheet. However, with Chartmat in the frontend it is possible to restrict the access to the Spreadsheet formulas that your customers can obtain. The logic of your app is protected while the functionality of the Web App is maintained.
Another advantage is that through the combination of a no code tool and a spreadsheet you can validate your Startup idea very quickly. If you are a non technical founder you can build the MVP on your own without the help of a professional developer. As you are able to validate the product and get your first paying customers you can expand your business and might build a proper Web App out of it.
Last Updated: April 7, 2022