Cost of living is really tightening its grip at the moment, and that’s reflected in a lot of the price rises of the subscriptions and tools that we pay for. This month, I would suggest that you have a review of those subcriptions, see which ones can do the job of others, and speak to the help departments to see if there’s something they can do to keep you on board.
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Okay, let’s talk about something that can help you with the cost-of-living crisis at the moment. It’s something that a lot of small businesses and freelancers are affected by, not just because of bills, not just because of food costs. God, the cost of food is insane. But it is also all those subscriptions that we have as freelancers and small businesses, to help us run our business. So, everything from the bookkeeping software that you might use, the scheduling tools, even things like I use Canva and things like that. There are, I use a lot of tools, partly because of my ADHD, but most people I know, have at least a few tools that they use and pay for monthly or annually. With the cost of things increasing, like I’m getting a lot of emails at the moment from a lot of these providers saying, we’re having to increase the subscription plans or the pricing plans, things like that. Annoyingly, a lot of them are sending it with very, very little notice, which I think is very out of order. But anyway, that’s a tangent. So, there are certain things that you can do to reduce those outgoing costs.
So, the first thing is review whether you actually need them and the biggest question I ask here is, what return on investment do I get? Is it like more than an hour a month that I get back from admin things that I would be doing? Or is it actually bringing in clients and things like that? So have a think, are you using these tools because they help you feel a lot more organised and get things done? That’s great. Or is it a case, like, for example, I realised that I was paying for a Pinterest tool, and I get a little bit of traffic from Pinterest, but actually, most of my clients come from my Facebook group, from this podcast, from my newsletter, from Instagram, and a lot at the moment from LinkedIn. So, I realised actually, there was no point me spending out for a Pinterest tool when that doesn’t tend to bring me in clients. So, think about whether those expenditures are bringing you in any kind of return on investment.
Second thing is, review if any of your tools could do the job of any of your other ones. That sounds a bit complicated. But essentially, a lot of these tools are constantly adding new ways that you can use them, new benefits, new services, and you might not even realise it, because it’s another newsletter, and we get so many of them, you can miss them. So have a look at the ones that you’re using. There might be kind of a case that it makes you realise, oh, well, I’ve got those two tools, but actually that one tool there that I’m subscribed to already does the job of the second tool, I just didn’t know it was part of it. So go in, have a good research on the tools and the things that you’ve subscribed to, and see if there’s any way that you’re kind of duplicating, and you can reduce the cost that way.
Finally, haggle. And I know this is, well for me, for someone who is a coach for freelancers and often tells people not to haggle, don’t reduce your fees for no reason. I actually think this is different for a lot of the software companies. They have things in place to allow for this. If you go into their chat bots or their live chat people with the teams and say, ‘I’m thinking about leaving. Are there any lower price packages that would be better suited to me?’, or just ‘I’m thinking of leaving’. They will often come back with something else like a special offer or a discounted rate for six months, things like that. So, it’s always worth asking. If you don’t ask you don’t get. And they may be able to offer you a cheaper package, or that you might even be able to look at the free package for the moment until cost of living improves, hopefully, in which case, then you can go back up to a higher package. But it might be worth looking at whether you need to reduce your package or whether they can offer you something. Additionally, it’s worth looking and seeing if there are any voucher codes out there. A lot of them will be like for first time users, sometimes you can be a bit cheeky and use a different email address. Not that I’m suggesting doing that. But I’m just saying some people might do it. So that might be one option. And so you can always cancel the membership and restart one or the subscription and start it with this new code. But also have a look at cashback sites like TopCashback and Quidco. Especially if you’re just starting to look at subscriptions and you’re starting to do new ones. Always have a look on those websites, because they might have discount vouchers, but also you might get a cashback whilst you’re doing them. And one extra point actually I’ve just thought of is check if these tools have got affiliate income or affiliate programmes, because some of them will have it where if you invite other people to their service or their subscriptions, and you’ve referred them, they can take that money off your own subscription. Now I’d only do this with tools that you love. And I have on the website, I’ll put the links in the details. I’ve got a whole page of all the tools that I genuinely love and really value and think are worth it. But that might mean that they might be able to then discount it off your subscription as long as you’re happy to recommend it to other people and you see the value there. So that is another option that I’ve only just thought of so I thought I’d add that in but I hope that’s helpful.
It is tough at the moment. It is really challenging. It is depressing every time one of those emails pops up and tells me that they’re going to increase their prices, especially if the quality of the service has gone downhill, which again is another time to jump on the chat and have a chat with them about it. So there you go that is a few other things that you can do if your outgoings are overwhelming you and you really want to cut them down. Those are just few things that you can do to either cancel them, reduce the cost or potentially make a little bit of money back and reduce those outgoings which means that more profit is kept for you.