How to cut costs in your tech stack and save money now
I’d say with near certainty that almost every business on earth is looking for ways to cut costs.
We’re in the middle of a global crisis, and no one knows how long it will be before life goes back to normal. Under the circumstances, it’s essential for businesses to cut their costs quickly and save money to weather the storm.
Many times, this means cutting down on tech expenses.
But does that mean you need to cut out all of your tech? How do you decide what to cut and what to keep? And how can you continue to use your favorite tools while saving money during a difficult time?
Let’s discuss 8 creative ways to cut costs in your tech stack while still maintaining your favorite tools.
8 ways to cut costs in your tech stack now
With anxiety in the air and the bank account looking a bit sad, it’s time to take drastic action. But that doesn’t mean removing all of your tech: you need those tools to do the work you do!
So, use these 8 methods to reduce expenses and keep using the tech you need:
1. Make a clear plan instead of panic-canceling
Panic and anxiety are powerful motivators, but they often lead you to make choices you’ll later regret. This might include eating that entire tub of ice cream or canceling all of the tech your company is currently using.
If you panic-cancel all of the tools your team uses, you’ll have to rework important business operations, such as document sharing, communication, or your sales process. It’ll take longer for your team to accomplish certain tasks. And you could even lose some important data.
None of that is going to help you save money.
By making a clear plan before you take any action, you’ll avoid making rash decisions that could lead to higher costs down the road.
2. Identify needs vs. wants
How many tools does your company currently use?
How many of those tools does your company really need?
To make a solid plan, you need to identify which tools are really needed and which ones are nice-to-have.
Many times, we end up with browser extensions and apps that are functional and nice, but not particularly necessary. Instead of thinking that their small price tag excuses keeping them, remember that removing 100 tools that cost you $5 per month saves you the same amount as removing one big tool that costs $500 per month.
And let’s face it: the big tool is probably more important.
Or is it?
Identifying needs vs. wants can also help you determine the value of those bigger tools that you’re paying for. You may end up paying more for an all-in-one solution that includes features and functions you don’t even use.
For example, does your team really need a CRM with AI-powered social media automation to close deals. Sure, it sounds cool, but do you need it?
By identifying needs vs. wants, you’ll find opportunities to remove unnecessary tools or replace high-priced solutions with lower-priced tools. (More on that below.)
3. Reduce the number of seats you’re paying for
Software is generally paid for on a per-user basis. So, how many users are you paying for?
Make a list of all the people who have an account with the tools you’re paying for. Then, ask each individual how often they use that tool.
Chances are, you’ll find people who haven’t touched that software in months, which means you can stop paying for their seats on the platform.
But what if you need to make more drastic cuts, and fast? In that case, make a list of essential people who need access to this tool to complete their work. Then, cut everyone else.
4. Clean up your data
Many times, a higher-priced plan includes the ability to store more data in the system. You might have even upgraded to a more expensive plan in the past just because of all the information you store in this software, whether it’s email addresses, leads, files, or other data.
When was the last time you cleaned up that data?
If you’re looking to cut costs, now is the time to go through and remove data you don’t need. Remember that old email list with 1,000+ addresses that never open your emails? Delete. What about those leads that stopped responding to follow-ups five years ago? There’s no such thing as an old hot lead: Delete.
Dig through that data and remove (or export) anything you don’t currently need. Then, you might be able to get on a lower-priced plan and reduce your costs.
5. Remove redundant tools
With so many different tools that offer very similar functions, it’s not unusual to find a company that uses multiple tools when they really only need one.
For example, here at Close, we were using two different SEO softwares, both of which offer a similar toolset with a rather hefty price tag. To reduce costs, we removed one of those tools and stuck with the other.
So, make a list of the tools that you’re using, separated by the areas they serve. Are there any tools that repeat similar functions? Which of those do you use more? If you see the same functions repeated, it’s time to narrow your tech stack down to one tool per area.
6. Reach out to ask for discounts
Some companies are offering lower prices or discounts to businesses who are suffering during these times. However, just because a company didn’t offer you a discount, doesn’t mean they won’t give you one.
That’s why it’s always better to reach out before you discontinue a certain tool, especially if it’s one you really like using. When faced with losing you as a customer, they may be willing to make exceptions. Even if they’re not in a position to give you a discount, they may be able to offer other ideas on how to reduce costs.
7. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your automations
The best things about modern software: automations.
Automating your business operations will save you time, and ultimately that means you’ll be saving money.
Also, using automations might help you lower your plan or remove certain tools. For example, did you upgrade to a higher plan just so you could create a special or customized report? Would it be possible to create the same report (or at least a similar one) by integrating this tool with Zapier and Google Sheets? If so, you can go back to a lower price plan.
8. Find less expensive solutions
What happens if you have a tool you really love (or need), but you just can’t reduce the cost enough to keep it?
Now is the time to look into similar tools with a lower price tag.
To start, make a list of the essential features in the tool you’re currently using. What are the things you absolutely can’t live without?
Then, make a list of similar tools. For example, if you need to find an alternative for Salesforce, you would include lower-priced CRMs like Close.
Next, go through your software list and check which tools have those essential features you listed above. Remove any tools that don’t include those features.
Then, calculate the difference in price. In our example above, switching from Salesforce to Close would save you about $7,000 annually, per user. So if 10 team members need access to your CRM, that means you’d be saving $70,000 annually by switching to Close.
Interested in giving Close a shot? Try it free for 14 days →
From your list of options, pick the tool that best fits your needs and has the lowest possible price tag. Also, don’t forget that a combination of less expensive tools might complete the same functions and still come in under budget. For example, if you’re using an expensive, all-in-one sales and marketing tool that includes functions you don’t really need, why not replace it with a high-powered (but cheaper) CRM and a marketing tool that focuses on the functions you need?
Chances are, you’ll not only save a lot of money: you’ll probably also fall in love with these new (cheaper) tools!
Cut costs without cutting your favorite tech
We all know the process you go through when choosing a new tool to add to your arsenal. You do your research, check the facts, maybe talk to some people who have tried it, and give it a spin on a free trial or demo.
Don’t let all that time and effort go to waste.
You love your tech (we love ours, too)! So, instead of panic-canceling, use the steps above to reduce the price of the tools you’re currently using, or find budget-friendly replacements that still meet your needs.
By making the right cuts and saving money now, you’ll be setting your business up to succeed, not only this downturn, but any downturn.
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