01/31/2017

Are You Wasting Money By Not Auditing Your Subscriptions?

By Sarah Shuda
Posted in Business

The list of subscriptions your business pays for may be longer than you think. When's the last time you reviewed your automated subscriptions or sought out alternatives?

Automated subscriptions are great, but we tend to set them and forget them. Your monthly subscription to iStock might be nice but are you using enough photography to make it worth spending money on? Could you switch to a less expensive plan to better fits your needs?

Here are some reasons why you should audit your subscriptions and a list of common subscriptions to get you started.

Save your business money

Do you really need that monthly subscription to Entrepreneur magazine? Or could you read their articles online for free? The costs for online and offline subscriptions can really add up if you're not careful. $10 here, $40 there. It isn't typically insignificant when you look at everything you're paying for.

You could turn the money you spend on a few unnecessary subscriptions into advertising dollars which could turn into even more gains. It's all about how you look at it.

Find better solutions

If you aren't reviewing what you're paying for every year you could be missing out on something better. Spending a little time reviewing what's on the market can give you more bang for your buck if you are considering a switch.

Online tools are constantly evolving and new providers are always making their way into the market.

Start with a list

Auditing your subscriptions doesn't have to take you too much time. Once it's set up, the next time it will go much faster.

Start by creating a spreadsheet.

List out all of the services you currently pay for, the cost per month and when you reviewed it last.

Review the list and highlight any rows where you think there might be an opportunity to switch or cancel the service.

Reach out to the team responsible for the area the subscription falls under to look for alternative solutions.

Your team may even thank you for your openness to improve their workflow with new tools and services.

Types of subscriptions to review

Communication services

  • Email (Google Apps, Outlook)
  • Phone (Cell, landlines, VOIP)
  • Internet
  • Online meeting apps (Skype, Join.me, GoToMeeting)

Content subscriptions

  • Newspapers & magazines (online and off)
  • Television
  • Music (Spotify, Apple Music)
  • Satellite radio

Project management tools

  • File sharing services (Dropbox, Google Drive)
  • Project management apps (Teamwork, Basecamp, Trello)
  • Cloud storage & note taking apps (Evernote, iCloud)

Marketing subscriptions

  • Email marketing tools (MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact)
  • Advertising and remarketing tools
  • Social media tools
  • Stock art (photography, illustrations, video, icons)
  • Website hosting
  • CRM or sale tracking system
  • Domain registrations

Accounting

  • Payment processing services (PayPal, Stripe, etc.)
  • Payroll reporting

General office services

  • Shipping & courier services
  • Coffee/tea subscriptions
  • Ink and toner
  • Office supplies

Make your subscription audit a regular occurrence on your calendar. Your bottom line will thank you.

Sarah Shuda

Meet Sarah Shuda

Designer. Writer. Wife. Enjoys blueberry coffee, pinot noir, traveling & bicycling.

Twitter @sarahshuda