Stop Giving Your SaaS Away For Free

I run support at HelpDocs. So I deal with a ton of customers every day. The tickets never stop (although weekends are easier!).

One common theme, obviously, is that almost everyone wants something. It might be a bug fix, or a new feature.

All too commonly though? Freebies.

Whether it’s an application upgrade or a free account, I’m used to people asking for things that’re often unreasonable.

It’s not their fault. People have been conditioned to expect free stuff. Google, Apple, Facebook, they’re all shipping excellent software for free.

Sure, they might sell all your private data for it. So there’s probably some hidden costs. But it’s at least free at the point of sale.

That’s ok for huge tech companies. They can afford it. It’s like engineering as marketing to them. And I get it.

But for bootstrapped startups like us it hurts. I’d actually love to give people free shit. I like making people happy. If I could, I’d probably be giving out the software for free too.

Problem is, free doesn’t pay the bills.

Free doesn’t pay for our servers, our time, anything.

I’d take one paying customer over 1,000 free users any day.

Software may be cheap, but it costs money.

The software we’ve built, you’ve built, that talented engineer at Google’s built, is worth something. Probably more than you think.

So don’t be afraid to charge a fair price for it.

I mean, don’t go out and charge two hundred dollars for a service you can get for twenty five. But don’t charge nothing, either.

Charging a fair price lets you spend more on making the software better. That’s great for you, and awesome for your users. If you explain that, they’ll understand.