Members only: Nisswa software maker banks on associations

MicronetIt all began when an IT company was approached by a local chamber of commerce with a specific yet straightforward request: they wanted all their members to show up on their website.

That was 1998. In 15 years since, that small IT company has built upon its initial solution to develop ChamberMaster, the company’s signature service. Now, Micronet serves around 1,650 associations with its member management software.

“We’re a SaaS company focused on helping business associations,” says CEO Scott Juranek.

For the most part, the customer base has consisted of various chambers of commerce — regional organizations of businesses with common goals — but recently Micronet has branched out to new horizons with a secondary offering called MemberZone. This service offers nearly identical functionality to ChamberMaster but takes out the chamber-centric terminology, reaching into the more broad spectrum of trade associations in general.

So just what functionality is encapsulated by ChamberMaster and MemberZone?

“We automate nearly everything that goes into running a membership organization,” says Juranek. That includes integrated CMS for association websites, event management features (similar to a service such as EventBrite), mass emailing communication tools and automated social network publishing.

Based in Nisswa, MN, about two hours north of the Twin Cities, Micronet currently employs around 50 people. Juranek admits drawing talent to a small town outside the metro hub can be a challenge, but adds that this is offset to some degree by the fact that a number of employees are able to work remotely.

The CEO sees immense potential for growth with the introduction of MemberZone, pointing out that his company is now reaching into a significantly larger market by moving outside of the chamber space. He calls out this vertical, along with the continued development of his software’s mobile components (they offer native apps for both iOS and Android) as the two most promising frontiers going forward.

With the growth being seen in the association space, Juranek suggests that Micronet is on track to double its revenues over the next three years.

“We’re seeing an opportunity to really accelerate our growth here,” says Juranek. “It’s very exciting for us.”