My sister is a personal trainer and owns her own business. She’s a savvy web user and can figure things out on the internet with ease.
Every so often she comes to me with a problem she wants to solve for her business. She’s always looking to streamline her business and how it operates.
Originally, she would invoice her clients using an Apple Pages template. She would fill it out and email it over to her client and hope they would pay. If they needed to use a credit card, she would have them use Paypal. Over time her records got messy and she felt very disorganized.
When I found out she was using Pages, I asked her if she had heard of Freshbooks. One look at the marketing page and she was sold. Freshbooks is a convenient online invoicing system that will keep your business organized with little to no effort.
You can try it out for free and have up to 25 clients for less than $20/month. For less than $240/year you can save hours upon hours of time book keeping. That’s pretty cool.
Why subscriptions exist
The main reason Freshbooks charges a subscription is sustainability. Without recurring revenue, companies like Freshbooks wouldn’t last long. Limiting businesses to a certain number of clients and charging based on that and some other features gives Freshbooks the ability to employ a strong team and the funds to develop new features.
It’s like a gym membership. You pay a monthly few to use the equipment in exchange, the gym maintains the equipment and buys new machines when the old ones aren’t usable. This is great.
Preventing Subscription Addiction
I have to admit. I’ve had issues subscribing to services. Treehouse is an amazing resource with a lot of benefits, however, am I using it enough to warrant the subscription? Do I really need a subscription to Rdio or can make do with something cheaper like Pandora?
The number one way you can prevent a subscription addiction is to either not subscribe in the first place or review your previous month’s finances and evaluate their worth. Are they saving you time and thus money? Or is it just an expense taking away from your overall margins.
Things like Helpscout, Droplr, Dropbox Coschedule, Slack, Intercom and Optimizely are great services but are they costing you more than you’re making? That’s a question that should be asked every month and prior to any new purchase.
I wish I had an unlimited budget to handle all of these expenses. But I don’t and every month I prune the things I don’t use enough to warrant a subscription. It’s easy to let yourself go. It’s hard work to keep things light.
My rule of thumb is, “unless a subscription solves a real problem, like the one my sister was experiencing, you don’t need it”.