In today’s startup landscape, SaaS applications are a necessity. Whether for marketing, sales, accounting, or other daily business operations, these applications simplify startups’ lives.
It may seem insignificant, but in this digital world, your choice of applications can make or mar your business. What’s more, it can waste your financial resources if you’re not careful. Here are some ways you can save money and not get distracted by SaaS apps.
- Finding free or cheaper alternatives
There’s a saying that “you get what you pay for.” And many people live by that principle. It cuts into the core of the values of some startups too.
It’s more like there’s some consensus: expensive is good; cheap or free is bad. Startups aside, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen in your own life that this isn’t always the case. Getting back to the startup world, there’s a SaaS revolution going on.
Here’s what I mean. In 2011, an estimated 150 marketing software products existed. Five years later, that number rose to 4,891, and by 2017, it was 5,381. And that’s just for the marketing niche.
But it’s more than enough to cause an analysis paralysis problem. With a little research, you may discover cheaper or free apps you can use for your business operations. Mine software review sites, search Google, use social media like Facebook where fans of SaaS tools can leave reviews, or seek the opinions of experts in your niche to enable you to choose better alternatives.
Apart from purely seeking the opinions of others in those ways, members of your team can try some cheaper or free alternative apps to see how efficient these are for accomplishing their designated tasks. For some apps, you may realize that you don’t need to become a paying user and the freemium version is just right for your needs. On the other hand, by the end of the free trial, you may discover a worthy free or cheaper alternative app to convince you that cheaper or free doesn’t mean “horrible.”
2. Reducing redundancies
In my experience, too often, startups use more SaaS tools than they reasonably should, and the costs add up. Or they’re paying way more than they should for the software they’re using.
For example, some providers charge your startup based on the number of people who’ll use their app. Often, this implies that the higher the number, the higher the cost.
Thankfully, analyzing SaaS usage across your startup doesn’t have to be mindless drudgery, because there’s a SaaS tool that takes this off your hands. Yes, a SaaS tool for analyzing your use of SaaS tools!
This tool is called Torii, and with it, you’ll see all of the SaaS applications your startup is using, the costs, who’s using them, and which ones you’re paying for but are not using very much. This will provide plenty of insight into what apps your startup can cut off completely, which ones only certain members of your team should use, and ultimately help you eliminate any excesses.
With careful analysis of your startup’s SaaS usage, you may also discern that sometimes instead of paying for several tools to accomplish certain tasks, you can use one tool for different services at a reduced rate. For example, Sumo offers a collection of tools you can use for your marketing needs without having to switch between providers for different solutions.
Reducing redundancies can also involve using newer apps that integrate well with apps you’re already using for your startup. You’ll be surprised how much this move can reduce your expenses on SaaS applications.
3. Partnerships with SaaS providers
There’s a lot of conflicting opinions out there about partnerships. You’ll find some experts encouraging it and others condemning it. Personally, I’m somewhere in the middle.
In my experience, if you’re partnering with or trying to partner with larger organizations, you may discover that they’re not motivated to give their best, simply because while a partnership may change the course of your business, it may do little or nothing for them. But that’s probably a topic for another article.
Nevertheless, most SaaS providers are startups, and it will likely be more beneficial in the long run if you seek mutually beneficial partnerships with them. Your competitors are often not the best partnership targets. Seek partners that complement your products or services.
For example, a digital marketing agency can partner with a marketing automation platform. The agency uses the marketing automation platform without any charge while ensuring that all their clients are required to sign up with the marketing automation software as part of their onboarding process. It’s easier for the agency because they offer services that complement the marketing automation software.
Another upside of a partnership is that some SaaS providers give dedicated technical, sales, and technical support to their partners. Being a partner doesn’t always mean paying no fees. Sometimes you will pay a fixed monthly or annual fee, but they’re often generally lower than paying to use the SaaS tool. That’s where you’ll save money for other aspects of running your startup.
Stop Spending Too Much on Tools
With many startups finding themselves strapped for cash, any way you can find to reduce expenditures without compromising on your team’s ability to meet objectives is worth exploring. Your SaaS stack could be costing you more than you know. Do your due diligence to find alternatives and identify redundancies, and see if you can get creative with a win-win partnership with a SaaS company or two. Your CFO will thank you.