How To Save $1.000s in Startup Software Expenses

Learn how to cut monthly software costs for your startup and be leaner.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If you’re an entrepreneur, then you know that using SaaS is required for pretty much all functions: sales, marketing, customer support, and the list goes on. Regardless if you’re bootstrapping your company or if you’ve received VC funding, you will quickly realize that software costs pile up very easily.

The more you grow, the more software you need to manage your product, operations, and growth. You might start with just some plain marketing tools, but then you’ll also need software for error tracking, analytics, user feedback, knowledge bases, and more.

Another pitfall, are all the SaaS applications that charge per seat. The more people you hire and the more services you use, the costs can start becoming unbearable. And if the costs are not unbearable they may just be an inefficient use of your capital.

As a startup founder bootstrapping at first and then raising VC funding, I have experience with both scenarios. Through my own experience, I’ve prepared a list of ways you can save a ton of money from software expenses, without compromising on the quality.

#1 Startup Deals

Many software providers, especially some of the larger ones, offer what’s called a Startup program or Startup deal. Companies like Hubspot, Intercom & Segment have great offers for startups with huge discounts. Taking advantage of these offers means that you’ll be using some of the best available tools at a fraction of their price.

It’s always worth a Google search, to look for “[Name of software] for startups” and see if they have an offer for startups.

These startup deals are a lot cheaper than the actual costs, or they might even offer their software for free. You might wonder though, what is the catch?

The catch with this type of deal is that they last 1 or 2 years, and after that, you will have to pay full price. The cool thing about this though, is that it gives you enough time to grow up to a point where these costs are more manageable.

#2 Appsumo

Appsumo is a directory that hosts limited-time deals on software products. In most cases, you can get Lifetime use of SaaS applications for a very cheap price.

In many cases, you won’t find the best tool in the market. But since you’re getting lifetime deals for prices typically less than 50$, it might make a lot of sense for your company.

My suggestion to you is to signup for the Appsumo newsletter so you can always be informed of new SaaS tools that are being promoted.

#3 Secret

Secret is another directory where you can find great discounts for many software tools.

It includes many products across multiple categories, and you can get multiple months for free or 30–50% discounts. Joining Secret is 100% free and it offers you access to all of the free deals. With just $49 per year, you also receive access to premium deals that ensure huge cost savings for your company.

The SaaS applications that Secret offers access to are high-quality and it’s a great way to save money but also try these applications without risk.

#4 Asking

Many companies aren’t big enough to have their own startup program, or they are not listed in any directory.

You can still kindly ask them, and you’ll be surprised by how often you can get a better deal just by asking through e-mail.

Most companies are likely to accept a 20–30% discount request for a period of time. I have to point out though that this is more likely to happen with small to medium-sized companies.

Clickup, a project management tool, has implemented this in their own website where they allow you to make an offer that you feel is fair. Their team will get back to you with an offer and you can choose to accept it or not.

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I really hope you found this short guide useful. Remember, the more money you can save from software the more you’ll be able to invest in marketing & people and have higher chances of success. Happy deal-hunting!

Note: I’m in no way affiliated with Secret or Appsumo, nor am I using affiliate links. I’m openly suggesting both of them as I’ve used them successfully to save a lot of cash on software.

Founder & CTO @ GuestFlip

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