6 Quick Startup Financial Hacks to Stop Irresponsibly Burning Money
Bills are intimidating. Startup bills can be more frightening than personal ones. SaaS services can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars a year; other fees, such as getting much-needed consultations with lawyers, can pile on fees quickly, too.
The finances and purchase decisions can become intimidating, especially since most founders (including myself) aren’t former CFOs and might have never taken an accounting class (also me during my first startup). Chances are, you also won’t have a CFO until later, too. In every direction, with every service, everyone’s trying to squeeze money out of you. Luckily for you, entrepreneurs can start squeezing back as well.
Here is a list of dead-simple tactics for helping with lowering your burn rate — these are things you can do very quickly without anyone else’s help. The list contains things to do that don’t 1) require much time or effort, and 2) require specialized financial knowledge (the most complex idea listed below is earning interest).
1. Ask for and Look for Special Pricing
Whenever you sign up for a service, don’t simply accept the list price as law. There are many workarounds to it. As a contrived example, Linkedin Premium is $29.99 per month. If you try to cancel, though, LinkedIn will offer it to you for a period of time at half the price: $15 per month. I’m not saying that you call up services and threaten to cancel; rather, there is wiggle room for the pricing, but you won’t get it without asking for it.
Sometimes, SaaS services have great startup packages, but you might not know about them — giving them a call and asking can also help you find that out. After calling our account representative at Hubspot, I learned that they had a Hubspot for Startups program that offers 50% to 90% off list price.
Another way to find better pricing is to Google it. Don’t just type in a website’s URL and then sign up from their main page. Go to Google instead and search for “[Service Name] Startup Price,” and you can find some pretty neat landing pages that can give you significant discounts or other perks for signing up.