The Real Problem with All these Software, Apps & Programs
Do You Know the Real Problem with All of These Software, Apps & Programs?
(continuation from: “Software, Apps & Programs, Oh My”)
In continuing our discussion of software, apps & programs, I’ve come to realize what the Real Problem might be after all. Do you know the real problem with all of these software, apps or programs?
If you read my previous article and are following, you know that I am in search of an email marketing software system that makes sense for a small business and is the next step up from ‘freemium’.
“According to a recent survey, 60% of marketers state that email marketing is producing a significant ROI and 32% state that it eventually will. That means that choosing the right email marketing software for the job is crucial to your efforts.”
-According to Dan Hughes of Digital Marketing Institute
Thanks Dan, no pressure there to find the best, least expensive fit , right? I shouldn’t be too harsh, after all he also points out that Integration is key to finding a good platform. Can you see why there is such frustration in finding a good system for your small business?
It is not an easy process and I have found, over the last few years, a pattern popping up. The pattern takes us the heart of the real problem.
The Real Problem
Your small business and mine, cannot continue to afford all these wonderful subscriptions and software and apps to keep our company running in the long term. Is the return really there in the end for some of us?
You have probably seen this as well. More and more software is going to the subscription model, rather than an outright cost. It is also taking MORE software to be able to run your business efficiently, productively and producing leads that end up as clients. So many of us are reviewing and re-reviewing our accounting and costs to cut back until the ROI is up to speed to pay for all of these. Are you wondering, like I was, can you really afford to keep moving forward like this. OK, enough of my soap box preaching, because the real issue in picking my email system actually comes down to one thing that I have realized.
The In Between Price Model
The problem is the in between price model.
What is an ‘In Between Price Model’? This is my own term (as far as I know it to be) and I coin it as this because…
“…it is the price model between the ‘free’ or even the ‘cheapest’ to the next level up.”
These two examples readily show you what I mean by the ‘In between price model’. These jump considerably, although one much more than the other. Even almost $50 per month is a big jump for many micro and small businesses, especially if they have to have multiple subscription software or app programs. Certainly a jump from $10 to almost $260 per month is ridiculous and an enormous increase!
So, if you need to go from ‘free’ or ‘small’ to, let’s say, ‘Medium’, you will rarely find ‘Medium’ size price models. Have you noticed this? The first example above is closest to a ‘medium’, but can still be too much for many small businesses. A price under $25 – $30 ‘ish’ per month would help many small businesses. When you need to go from a free (or small) subscription program and need to change to the larger automated programs the price point is significantly higher. Its seems there are no ‘in between price models’! It usually goes from free/small to LARGE, as you can clearly see in the second price model from another site. [I am not attributing these screen shot clips to any site and blurred their content so as not to bring any harm to their business by discussing.]
Trying to Scale Before the Revenue
Often this comes right before you, yourself, are making significant changes or revenue in your business. Changes that will bring an increase in revenue, but not necessarily immediately. You need the software to help implement these changes to bring in the higher revenue but find it difficult to scale up to the ‘Large’ price model of many of these apps and software programs. What choice do you have?
- You either take a leap of faith, jumping into a few big programs to get what you know you will need
- You skim by, holding onto that thread, until you CAN purchase the larger program. In holding out, are you waiting for those few more clients to put you over to the point where you can afford the systems?
- You borrow or put it on a credit card – hoping the bump up will be able to be paid off after the expected increased revenue comes in.
None of these seem like the perfect ‘plan’ for your business. In business we like concrete numbers and business plans, models that make sense. Yet, in this case we may have to determine with our ‘gut’ what the right answer is. Perhaps even trying – with a combination of things. Like taking the leap but by using a credit card to buy the program(s) needed. If after 6 months you have not seen an increase in revenue, then you must cut it off. If, however, you have seen a change, then you can begin to pay off the loan and keep moving up.
What Are You to Do?
Personally, I just do not like these options at all. What if I suggest another option? Albeit one that I cannot control. I think, however, with you and others helping to make the point, it could be something that many get on board with doing.
If we choose not to do anything and ‘hold on’ to the thread, who really suffers? If you decide to hold on, then your team is usually overworked (or yourselves if you do not have a team) and your clients are not getting your company’s best.
So what is the answer? It is a balancing act, at times. One that could be changed if some of these app & software companies decided to introduce an actual ‘small’ or ‘extra small’ (‘micro’) business package or two.
As a business, kind of in the middle of micro needs and small business needs. Yet the company is growing (although not ready for the big leagues), but there are just not many of programs that our budget can do at this point. This has really ‘bugged’ me for some time now. Most software programs are either geared for ‘free’ (which we love, but there are always catches most of the time) or focused on the big guys. There is rarely any that are specifically designed for the micro to small size business in growth, are there? Oh yes, they say, ‘small business plan’ but are they really?
“Micro-businesses are defined as enterprises with fewer than five employees, including the owner.”
Creators Meet Us Halfway – PLEASE!
As discussed, Just when you think your company is starting to pick up speed, then you have to upgrade your systems and processes, laying out more cash flow, to make it work for your clients or to reach more in your target audience.' Click To Tweet
Yes, in the end it is worth it, when you reach about another 10-20 clients or 1,000 sales of that product, but sometimes biting off that big first chunk is really difficult. Perhaps if they realized the size of this sector and that there are actually over 28 million small businesses in the United States alone! Imagine globally.
So, wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Creators of the software could see through our eyes? Micro and many Small businesses do not always have the capital to invest in the software needed to upgrade the business’ platforms, marketing and other programs. Often you may even need more than one software upgrade at growth points. I have found myself here many times and moved up and up, but now it’s time again and am finding myself frustrated with the price points of most systems that could help our business.
Software Companies Benefit Too
It isn't only for our need, but it just seems like common sense that many of these software companies are missing a huge opportunity right in front of them with a product they already have available.Click To Tweet
Why would they even consider this possibility? If they were to tweak there price packages to meet the needs of such a large community (micro & small business). They could generate so much revenue. That ‘In Between Price Model’ would reach those who are either opting not to choose their software or updating to larger price models that they eventually drop because they cannot sustain the price without generating increased revenue immediately. So these companies are losing your business at the moment. If they simply created a plan that was for your small business, that had real benefits, they would not have to offer every advantage of the higher packages, yet could make it really work for your business and their business.
If only these companies would realize the advantage of having that ‘in between price model’ that hits the spot for most of us in micro or small businesses. Wouldn’t it be great if there was at least a few of these companies that actually thought about that and how profitable it could be for them as well. The Micro & Small Business is a huge sector of businesses, that they are missing great revenue from up to no, simply because they do not offer a better price model.
“Micro-businesses represent 92% of U.S. businesses”
– The Economic Impact of Microbusiness In the United States – A Report by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity
This is why my own decision has been so difficult.
Which one did I ultimately choose?
I told you in the last article that I would update you in this one. As promised, I will tell you, but think you will be surprised. Believe it or not, I am staying with Mailchimp (MC) for the moment. All that looking around, but I’m comfortable with MC and it does offer some automations as well as landing pages. Therefor, until some of the others begin to offer pricing that will meet your and my price point needs, this is where I am. Have you made any software/app changes or added new ones for your processes and systems or even for clients lately?
I do not often indulge myself in ‘venting’ through my articles, but it felt appropriate and I knew many of you are probably finding the same problem in your business. You can certainly let me know if you are (or are not). I always appreciate comments and discussing thoughts further, so feel free to comment please. Let me know what you think about some of the software you either need, are using already or the pricing you have to pay. Would love to discuss it more.
As always – thank you for reading and sharing – I appreciate it more than you know!