For at least a decade, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has been replacing the traditional software delivery model. Traditionally, customers would pay a one-time fee to install software on their computer. This software could be used forever, and the customer was responsible for installing all updates.
SaaS is a cloud-based software delivery system that thrives on the subscription model, and according to Gartner, 72% of consumers are already using it. Consumers, especially businesses, now have little choice when it comes to software. You must buy into the SaaS model or you can’t use the software.
The more software you need, the higher your monthly expenses are going to climb. It might be the standard, but it still gets expensive when you subscribe to services you don’t actually need. Here’s why your subscription services should be on the chopping block:
You can invest the money you’ll save
The average subscription service cost drastically varies, but software services like Photoshop and internet marketing tools like Click Funnels and Infusionsoft can cost about $15, $97, and $300 per month, respectively.
These subscription services are wonderful when you really need them, but often businesses get rushed into making purchases they don’t actually need. While you don’t want to cancel subscriptions you need to run your business, double check to make sure your money is going to subscription services that support your business.
Instead of wasting $180-$3,600 each year on a subscription service you don’t use, you could invest that money somewhere that will give you a return. While it wouldn’t be enough for a CD, and it certainly wouldn’t earn significant interest in a savings account, you could buy silver coins, gold bars, or even traditional stocks.
As of May 2018, silver remains under $17. At $17 per ounce, you could buy a minimum of 10oz of silver each year by eliminating one unused $15 monthly subscription. If you eliminated a $100 monthly subscription, you’d be able to purchase 70 ounces of silver per year.
You might not be using the best software
The most popular software program doesn’t always meet everyone’s needs. Thankfully, there are usually other options and they’re often cheaper. Take tax software, for example. Everyone knows about Turbo Tax, but have you heard of Tax Slayer or Tax Act? According to RISE, these are equally viable software programs for tax preparation. There’s also a software option created by H&R Block.
Be willing to consider other options. Sometimes it’s worth making the switch.
You may not be getting what you pay for
It’s hard to measure value from a subscription service, unless it’s a service like Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime gives you free two-day shipping on all of your orders for a yearly fee of $79. The idea is that you’ll save money on shipping, but you have to place enough orders each year to make it worth it.
More than half of all US households subscribe to Amazon Prime. Businesses have started to subscribe as well. You can find just about everything you need on Amazon, and that’s reflected in the fact that Amazon’s sales have exploded beyond $80 billion per year.
However, be aware that Amazon’s free two-day shipping subscription is designed to make you keep your subscription even when you know you’re not saving money. That’s why they made it 2-day shipping. They’re hoping people will subscribe to get their items faster. As a business, it’s an expense worth rethinking.
If your business subscribes to Amazon Prime or similar programs, do the math and find out if you really save money on shipping. If you’re only saving a few dollars, it might not be worth keeping.
Perform a software service audit
Make a list of all the software services you subscribe to, along with the monthly or yearly cost. Make note of any services that require you to pay for each user and itemize that cost in a separate column. Identifying how much you pay for extra users shows you where you can cut costs with your monthly fee if you determine you absolutely need the service.
Determine which software services you actually need and cancel anything you don’t need. For the services you keep, find out if you can save money by paying yearly rather than monthly. If you signed up for multiple services for the same software, like Adobe Photoshop, find out if you qualify for a bulk discount as a business.
Remember, as a business, you’re also a consumer and marketers know how to sell you on things you don’t need. Don’t make a purchase until you understand how that software service will positively impact your business or your bottom line.