Are your Tools & Software Leaving you Broke?
So many entrepreneurs loooove online tools and software - these things can make our life easier, so we need to try them (all)! I'm totally pleading guilty on that one.
Even if you’re making a decent amount of money, spending too much on tools can make the difference between profit or break-even…
Before you sign up for paid software, these are 3 questions to ask.
Do You NEED This New Tool or Software?
If you make a list of the features you need right now, is this tool the best fit for your needs?
In 2020, we helped two different clients leave LeadPages - neither of them were using any of the special features, they just had it because a course they took said they needed it.
Do You Need This NOW?
So many clients come to us having signed up for Kajabi years ago... and paying for it year after year, without actually putting their course on there.
Many tools (like Kajabi!) have a huge fanbase (and if everyone tells you it's a great tool, then you should sign up for it, right?), good incentives (how many times do we hear "I signed up during a promotion and if I downgrade now, I'll have to pay the full price later) and a great marketing strategy. Doesn't mean they're the right match for you.
Are there any Hidden Costs?
With this, I don't mean the tool itself would sneakily charge you extra. Although some do.
So many people sign up for tools that promise to do what they need, but don't take into account the fact they'll need to hire someone to set it up and manage it for them.
Oh, and of course you'll read the small letters. Like the coworking tool we signed up for (monthly) but cancelled because it was glitchy and customer support was rubbish... only to discover they had "3 months' notice" worked into their Terms, which meant that we had to keep paying for 3 more months after cancellation. (by which time they still hadn't fixed the glitches, so we were still pretty happy we cancelled!).
Are there any Great Alternatives?
Usually, there are. Take a look at our extensive list of tools we use and recommend... for each type, there are several options to fit your budget, your business type, even just your personal preferences.
I downgraded from ActiveCampaign to MailerLite as my email service provider a couple of years ago.
Went from WordPress (had to pay someone to make it pretty and keep it working properly) to SquareSpace (yearly payment, all included) a little bit before that.
I don’t mind paying for good software I need and totally agree that sometimes you need to invest money to make money… but there are so many great tools out there that are free or inexpensive.
(BTW the tools I mention above are not bad and can be super useful. I still have several clients using LeadPages, ActiveCampaign or Kajabi with great results. My other website is on WordPress, and not everyone likes MailerLite. As my friend Tracie says, online tools are like shoes - they need to fit + you need to like wearing them too!)
Golden Tip: Don't Sign Up for a Full Year (even if it saves you loads)
One common mistake (I used to make!) is to compare monthly pricing with yearly pricing... and sure, often when you sign up for a full year, you save a lot of money.
Let's look at tool X: if you sign up for a full year, it costs 20$ a month. If you sign up for the monthly plan, it costs $40 per month. That's a no-brainer, right? You should sign up for the yearly option?
I disagree. One of my main money-savers in the past year or two has been togo for monthly first... and only switch to yearly if I'm 200% sure I'm going to use it for the full year (or at least for as many months as it would take me to get my money out).
In other words: if I sign up for tool X's monthly plan and 6 weeks later we discover the tool is not doing what we need after all, then I lost $80 (and not the $480 it would have cost if I had signed up for the full year).
However if after 6 weeks we've moved all of our clients over and we're loving the tools and can no longer imaging the business running without it... then it's time to switch to yearly after all, and take our loss for the 2 months we pay "extra" ($40).