We are all looking for ways to make more money. What if I told you there was a way you could start making more money today?
Even better, you don’t really have to do much to make more money.
Are you interested?
I know I would be.
Here is how I made $12,924.12 with just a few hours of work.
But first… The backstory.
I am a SaaS (software as a service) addict. I love pretty much everything about SaaS. I love reading about SaaS, I love making SaaS products, you get the picture.
When a new SaaS product that I am interested in launches I sign up and think about when I will actually use the service later. It’s a bad habit, trust me, I know.
So it should come as no surprise that my bank statement is littered with charges from SaaS companies. The same applies to my businesses.
Then one day I get an email from my partner Jon. Direct and to the point, the subject of the email was SaaS and Hosting Intervention.
The content of the email was a link to a spreadsheet. That spreadsheet contained each SaaS related charge that hit our bank account in the past month.
The damage, $2,230 per month. Woah. That is $26,760 annually.
Ok, I knew that I had a problem, but this is ridiculous. That is real money and some of the services are barely used.
It was time to dig in and trim some of the SaaS fat.
Not all of the services were a waste of money. As you can see from the image, our largest charges are from hosting companies. It’s not like we can cancel our hosting services, we run online businesses after all.
What you should notice is that there was some redundancy. For example, we were currently using 5 different web hosts. There was no business reason for this. The reason is a combination of my aforementioned SaaS addition and laziness.
When working on client projects there was not a de facto host or service that we would use. That is how we started using Digital Ocean. Dedicated virtual private servers for $5 per month. Awesome, I’ll try that.
The problem is we would never transfer the service to the client or shutdown the server once the project was completed. The fix was easy. We shut down all of the servers we were no longer using.
If we were reselling hosting services to clients we emailed our clients letting them know that we were stopping the practice and how they could move their software to a platform they owned.
The other issue with hosting services was laziness. Notice Rackspace and Amazon, our two highest costs. Both companies provide great service. When our software products started gaining traction we moved to Rackspace and their managed linux hosting.
When some of our products required more resources we started migrating to Amazon Web Services. So far so good. There was a business reason and a technical reason for making these decisions.
Here is the problem, of the $300 Rackspace charge, $100 was for the managed service. Even worse, we now had the technical knowledge in house and we did not need the managed service.
But why stop there, comparing the services Amazon was actually cheaper. We could save ourselves money by moving all of our infrastructure to Amazon.
Is moving hosting services a royal pain in the behind, you bet. Is it worth $3,600 annually to figure it out? You know it!
Once we migrated from Rackspace to Amazon we moved all other hosting to Amazon as well. With an eye towards slashing costs we were actually able to keep our overall Amazon hosting costs the same, near $700, while removing all of our other hosting costs.
There were savings to be had in other areas as well. We were using Harvest to track time for profitability. When we shifted away from taking on client work we were not using the service any longer. We kept paying only because we were in the habit of doing so. Another $119 per month gone!
Similarly our Basecamp account was costing us $65 per month. I logged in to investigate further. We were paying $65 for extra storage and up to 20 active projects at any given time. As previously mentioned we have moved away from taking on client work. We simply did not have a need for 20 active projects. By downgrading our account I was able to get our monthly cost down to $20 per month.
Sendgrid is a service for sending transactional emails. $80 per month is difficult to justify when barely using a service. Similar to Basecamp, SendGrid offers tiered service layers based upon usage. I was not ready to cancel the service outright so I downgraded to the lowest tier possible.
That takes the cost of SendGrid from $80 per month to $9.99 per month.
When reviewing services you are currently using for your business they will typically fall into one of four categories.
1. Heavily used. You and your business depend on this service. You are happy to pay whatever it costs because you use it every day or it performs mission critical functions (think accounting software). You probably cannot cancel these types of services. But you might be able to optimize the service to get more bang for your buck.
This is what we were able to do with Amazon Web Services. We started relying even more on the service while keeping costs nearly the same.
2. Redundant service. These are services that you use. Over time you might have signed up for several services that perform the same function. In our case, this was hosting services. Look for services that perform similar functions and consolidate them.
3. Barely used. This category is tough to identify. Sometimes there are services that you have become accustomed to paying for but aren’t really using. In our case this was Basecamp. We had become accustomed to paying $60 per month. We were in a similar situation with SendGrid. By downgrading both services we were able to save over $100 per month.
Check all of your services. You might be able to downgrade your plan and save a substantial amount of money.
4. Never used. These are the services that sting. You might have forgotten you signed up for these services. Or you changed how you were operating your business and never canceled the services you were using at the time. Whatever the case, this category is easy to cancel. Cancel these services right away!
So there you have it. That is how I was able to make $12,924.12 with just a few hours of work. Are there sexier ways to make money, absolutely! But you will be hard pressed to find ways to make money right now. Do yourself a favor and review your recent bank statements carefully.
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