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My online stack – how much does it cost me per month?

I’ll bet that if you are in the SAAS business, or any online business that relies on monthly subscriptions from members as main source of revenue, that you long bemoaned how people will spend $5 on a latte, but will hesitate to spend money on an app or a service that saves them time, or makes life easier or offers them entertainment. I mean…you’re just charging $5! And offering such value!

I hear you. But as the one who is actually holding the credit card in this transaction, let me tell you…these $5 and $10 purchases add up pretty fast.

How fast exactly? It’s a bit tricky for me to quantify because there is “the business of my online ‘fun’ life”, like this blog and then there are the actual businesses. The actual businesses have serious costs, and these obviously depend on the type of business stack required. I’m not going to get into that here. The costs below are the costs that I think I would still have if I sold every one of my businesses tomorrow, but still wanted to focus on “showing my work” as I moved onto something new. It might be slight overkill for a little blog and insignificant social media accounts, but I’d still consider them necessary!

Here they are:
(Some of these I pay in south African Rand, but I’m converting to US$ at a 15:1 exchange and rounding up)

Entertainment: around $75pm

Netflix: $12
Apple TV: $6
Amazon Prime: $5
Showmax: $7
Nebula $5
C (?)$5
YouTube Premium, family :$12
Masterclass: $20

Social Media etc: around $120

Hootsuite: $20
Hyperfury: $20
Canva: $13
Adobe Suite: $60
Linktree: $6

“Business”: around $150

Google Suite: $7
WPEngine: $129
Google storage: $5
WP Rocket: $5
Smush: $5

Productivity: around $50

Notion: $5
Trello: $12.50
Roam Research: $15
Readwise.io: $8
Instapaper: $3
Textexpander: $5

Information and Content: around $35

Wired: $1
Magzter: $5
NYT: $5
Scribd: $9
Washington Post: $5
Daily Maverick: $10

Total: Around $430

No matter how you slice it or dice it, that’s a lot of cash for “mini” payments. No payment other than WPEngine and Adobe is over $20, and most are in the $15 range. To be fair, there is a great assortment of opportunity here for any side-hustle: I have all the streaming channels I want, I have the full Adobe Suite which means I can use Indesign, Premier Pro, Photoshop etc at random, and the productivity tools save me a lot of time and effort.

Most important, and this cannot be overstated, almost every app above contributes to my revenue, in one way or another. (Yes, even Netflix…I gotta chill too 😉 ). I’m certainly not complaining about the individual or even the overall cost. But I am pointing out that your $5 or $10 app is not just a $5 or $10 app. It’s competing for budget with existing expenses, as well as all the new app and SAAS launches happening all the time. In fact, I’d venture to say that it’s not the price that is determining whether people sign up for your app. It’s the value that it offers them. Don’t think of your app as “only $5”, but rather as one that “saves you $100s”.

But I suspect you probably know that already.

Eve Dmochowska

Eve Dmochowska

Thanks for reading! I am a web strategist, working on making healthcare information easily accessible to the South African patient. See synergies? Get in touch - eved@rehealth.co.za - or follow me on Twittter! @eved


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My goal:

Build an empowering, patient-focussed hub of South African healthcare information, while staying independent and un-funded

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Photo by Helen Ngoc N. on Unsplash

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