Almost all the software available for businesses is now subscription based. And although most of them seem to be affordable individually, you can easily accumulate a large monthly expense.
1. Review and analyse what you are paying now
Studies have shown that on average 89% of people are paying for subscriptions they do not use. Look at the past 6 months of your bank statements and see what you are paying for, or run a general leger report from Xero on your subscription expense account and see what’s in there.
2. Split your subscriptions out into subaccounts in Xero
At a minimum, it's essential to have all your subscriptions coded into a common expense account so you can see exactly what you are spending each month. If you want to enhance visibility on your monthly costs, look to setup a subaccount for your key/expensive/variable subscriptions so you can see them as separate line items. Collect the smaller ones in a “Subscriptions – Other” subaccount, then roll the subaccounts up into a total that you can drill into as necessary. Having the ability to see key variable subscription costs on a monthly basis is a great way to identify where costs might be getting out of control.
3. Research & compare
If you are thinking about subscribing, or someone you know recommended an app, do you research and find out how it will integrate with the other apps you are using. It might work for them but will not necessarily work for you. There may even be something more or less specialised which will meet your needs. When you do find something great, continue to follow their development and feature releases, it is a fierce market and apps keep developing new functions and integrations, it could mean that the best option may not always remain the best option. It might also mean that new functionality in one app, could eliminate the need for a secondary app all together.
4. Build a stack that builds value
Take a bird’s eye view of your business and find the value spots. These tend to be when change or conversion happens (ie. converting a lead to a subscriber, signing the contract, data capture from paper to digital, etc). Once you find those, you can focus on finding the best app or software that will facilitate a smooth transition or automate the process.
5. Invest the time
So, you've done the research and chosen your apps, make sure you spend some time learning how to use the app properly. Most apps want you to succeed and use the best of their offer, and so, will have support or how to videos (ie Xero TV). Continue to work on smoothing any integration, bumps or issues until you have a smooth running workflow.
These steps will take some time, but the investment will be worthwhile in the short term and the long term. If you’d like to know more about the apps that Link Advisors uses and recommends to our clients, reach out to us for a chat here.