I love finding and using tools and apps that help me run my business and my life more productively. It helps to be insightful and looking for ways to improve my processes. I recently reviewed my budget from 2018 to ensure everything was categorized properly. As part of that process, I made a list of all the tools I use which require an annual license/subscription.
I was really surprised to see the total was over $8000! Since I work from home and don’t really need much in the way of “office supplies,” it often feels like I have almost no overhead cost other than the cost of my computers and internet. All the little things add up, though.
I was hoping I would find some tools that I pay for and don’t use so I could cut some costs, but in reviewing this list, I really do use all of these things and in many cases, can’t imagine functioning without them (thank you, Alfred!)
Digital Tools Cost Breakdown
I have written about many of these tools before, but here is my complete list of my favorite tools and how much they cost. The items in yellow are business tools that are not necessarily related to web design and development. The purple items are specific to WordPress and web development. The orange items are SEO tools and the green are hosting and domain registration costs.
Broken down by month, this comes to over $700. Looking at the biggest expenses, I can determine whether I am recovering my cost for some of these tools. For example ManageWP is what I use for my website maintenance plans. I charge a minimum of $50 per month for this service. I need to have at least 3 clients on basic maintenance to cover this annual cost. Also, the $50 a month, paid on credit card, is really less than that after I pay fees.
WordPress plugins/tools (purple) add up to over $3000, including ManageWP. Clients who pay for ongoing maintenance benefit from my premium licenses for plugins like Beaver Builder, Beaver Themer, and Gravity Forms.
The “business” tools (green) I use add a value to my business by giving me the ability to produce work and to automate some processes. Gmail and Google GSuite are essential for my business. I have written about my love for Boomerang, a Gmail tool I can’t live without. Alfred is another tool that I absolutely love, and I don’t even take advantage of all it can do! While I hate paying for Adobe, it is necessary for what I do. I love using Sketch for web design and hear amazing things about the Affinity products. However, I have thousands of InDesign files that I need to access, so I can’t foresee ending my relationship with Adobe.
Lifetime/One Time Purchases
This list does not include the cost for some “lifetime” tools I have purchased over the past few years. Sometimes it is hard to have self-restraint with AppSumo deals, but I have purchased some great products and licenses there, including photos from Deposit Photos, Bookafy Scheduling and Cloud App. My recurring annual cost would be much higher if I did not have these lifetime deals.
Have you reviewed your budget and expenses from last year? It is a good exercise to understand where your money is coming from and where it is going. You might be surprised at how much your business tools cost. You may also save money if you cancel things you don’t need or use.
Let me know what you find out!