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In this post, I want to talk to you about the crazy amount of money that people spend on SAAS tools.
If you don’t know what SAAS tools are, it’s software as a service – meaning it’s an online platform that you can use the tools.
These tools are helpful in the sense that they can collaborate and integrate much better. You don’t have to download and install on your computer, and it’s only on one device.
People can actually in your company use these tools and now start linking and integrating them with other tools. It allows you to work well at building and growing your company.
SAAS – bad news
The significant disadvantage behind this is every tool is expensive. And the costs that go associated with that starts to accelerate very quickly because there’s a per user per month fees.
That becomes very pricey and very expensive.
The main question is: Do you need a lot of users and user accounts?
What’s the purpose behind that.
I’m going to share with you some thoughts and ideas that you can go with. And the other thing is that spending a lot of money on this software as the service tools is not always necessary.
Going through examples
Let’s go to the screen. I want to share with you one of the more popular websites out there. This is AppSumo, which I think is a great and fantastic website.
I’ve also purchased things from that place before and have gotten some great deals. And other times have not panned out to anything. I had blown my money, and nothing panned from them.
The thing is I’m not a crazy purchaser of tools. However, sometimes when I’m looking to buy something, I do give AppSumo a shot. That’s because it’s new developers new tools. And a lot of times they do have a lot of Drive.
This is a Groupon in a way for these software-as-a-service tools. For example, if you don’t have a task management system, there is Ora right here – $39 deal.
You can buy multiple of them, and you can see it’s like Asana, Trello, Click up an alternative. And a lot of people have already bought it. They show you this is what you get with it. If you get five codes, you get ten team members.
But you’re putting an upfront cost of $40 times let’s say five codes – that’s $200 to be able to get this tool.
Compare that to ora.com – which is the tool. And if we bought it and we go with five people you’re paying $21.65 a month.
If you go with 15 people, it’s $89 a month. I’m looking at ten people – it’s a $60 a month tool. And that can be enticing, especially if you’re looking for the long term. If you already got it some employees, they can be a huge money saver.
The problem is there are so many of these tools and what do you need them for.
Will these tools fulfill all your needs?
We looked at tasks management, and we went with Trello. Once we outgrew that as a company, then we went to another tool. Once we outgrew that new tool you go to another tool.
The better approach is to think about what does the company need. When you start thinking about that way, it makes much more sense.
Let’s look at a per cost doing websites. You got a lot of expenses when it comes to creating a website or running a business. But then you start looking at these popular SAAS tools.
Maybe you use HotJar. That’s $29 a month. Asana is $50 a month for five people.
There’s a list of tools you need if you want to run an online business:
- Acuity Scheduling
- Survey Monkey
- 1800 Number
That’s scratching the surface. Take a look at all these tools that you have. There are a thousand plus apps that are SAAS related.
Maybe you need a bookmarking tool. If you need something integrated with bookmarking Pocket Instapaper, there could be a tool for that.
If you need calendar-based scheduling, you can find something like that as well. Maybe you want to pay for a more premium calendar. There could be a Bookafy.
There is a contact manager. It could be something in here you might use a tool for that so. All these things start to add up. And at $20 per month per user at times it starts to ramp up.
Do you need per user pricing?
Take, for example, any health desk management system. Let’s take a look at Help Scout. It’s an exciting thing if you’re dealing with tickets and people.
A typical company scenario: It is based and structured of, let’s say, ten people — a standard plan is $20 per user per month. And you can see that it starts even with two users. They have a minimum.
If you had a two-person team, it’s $40 a month. That’s not too bad. Now let’s say you had a 10-person team. A 10-person team times $20 starts to rack up.
- Are all those ten people always in there doing help tickets?
Probably not. I’ve seen people do and we do in our company is we may have two user account. Let’s say you have a five-person company. You have a five-person team. And now with that five-person team instead of paying you usually would pay $100 a month.
The smart financial approach is there’s nothing that says you can’t account share. Because it’s not a license per computer like standard software is for downloading. This is a license for your company to manage analytics to see who’s answering tickets and requests.
And if you trust your team, you could start with a two-person account. That way you’re only paying $40 a month. And all the other people could maybe use that second account.
If you’re the business owner, you could use the primary account at your $20 a month. And then everybody else can use the other account. Maybe you have Bob that logs in on Mondays – perhaps he works one day a week. And you have Stacey that logs in Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
They’re using that same account. They’re logging in, but you only need a two-person account for maybe a five-person team.
Remember the software here that are sold whether it’s Help Scout or any other tool on a per-user basis remember these tools are typically for a per login account.
Even for Evernote on a per business, that’s the case. It’s nice to see who answered what ticket requests.
Take a look at Mightycall
They do pricing a little bit different.
Here it’s based on pricing on a per minute basis. At a basic plan to have your 1800 number is $20 a month for a thousand minutes.
If you want 5 Toll-Free numbers – it’s not about users. It’s unlimited users here. Because their pricing is based on a phone number, that’s what happened as a business you’re paying here for minutes.
It doesn’t mean you can’t hand your phone to your friend. That’s what you’re doing in this case.
What about Chatra (live chat software)?
If you want multiple agents, you’re paying fifteen per agent per month.
Focus on this:
Agent accounts – as many as you paid for.
You could have a twenty person team, but somebody only logs in maybe on a Monday and a Wednesday. That’s one agent. Another person could log on a Tuesday and a Thursday.
Just because you have ten people working for you doesn’t mean you have to buy all those spots for customer support. Look at what you have, use what you have, and stop paying for the things that you don’t need.
Yes, it’s nice to have one of these agent accounts. Sometimes a lot of these tools are free. They start with a free plan. You get one account, and you can give that account away as well to your teammates.
The problem is you don’t get a lot of other features and functions. In that case, it might be wise to pay for one agent account and then you can share that account amongst each other.
That’s because you’re paying for the use for your company not necessarily the use on a per computer basis. Remember software as a service is billed differently than software on a computer license.
Use SAAS tools wisely
That’s one thing you have to take into account. Understand you don’t need every single tool in there.
Think about this: How can I do this with the tools I already have?
The thing is if you find yourself continually looking for the next tool if you’ve outgrown it – it’s going to happen constantly.
Instead, look at your tool and maybe how to do it differently. For example, rather than using Trello on per column basis, how do you do it based on an assignee?
Or how do you rearrange things?
That’s really what you need to start thinking about and being creative. Companies constantly grow. And you might think maybe you should create a custom system.
But by the time you create that custom system, you’re going to outgrow that as well. Pick a tool and use it for a bit. You’ll probably outgrow it, and then you’ll move on to the next tool.
Also, you can look at using that tool differently. And that’s how you save cost. Otherwise, you start adding all these costs up very quickly.
You’re going to start racking up your expenses. It’s going to be costly.
Be sure not to buy these tools just because:
- you think it’s going to be a great deal
- this is the newest thing
- this might be the hottest thing out there
Instead, look at what your business needs. Buy the plans or the number of seats that you need for the tool. Then use it to that extent, and you’ll probably eventually outgrow it. Once you do that, then you’ll move on to the next one or figure out a different way to use that tool.
I hope this makes sense for you to save a little bit more money on these software-as-a-service tools.
There’s so many SAAS out there and many of them you don’t need. You have to keep it simple. Keep growing your content. Keep connecting with your audience. You need a few basic things, and that’ll help ramp things up.
Once you have the cash flow that’s coming in, then you can buy a few other tools to make your life a little bit easier. But until that point, you can stick to some free things and continue to grow your company one step at a time.