We all want brand advocates, don't we? There's nothing better than word of mouth and personal recommendations to build loyal customers. Heck, the widely adopted Net Promoter Score measure is pretty much based on the idea that having more people advocating for your brand than dissing your brand is the core of building good business.
I want to put the spotlight on those monthly charges that come from Software As A Service (SaaS) organizations.
Like many micro-businesses, I run a networked operation with a lot of SaaS support. Instead of an IT department and a bunch of servers, I have multiple services I rent out on a monthly or annual basis. These have included a pretty wide variety of stuff:
- Web meeting software
- CRM software
- Hosted Outlook Exchange
- Marketing automation, including lead capture and e-mail
- Project management
- Secure file sharing
- Document search / desktop research
- Qualitative research platforms
- Premium use of free platforms, such as LinkedIn
- Web hosting for multiple sites, plus plug-ins, some of which are purchased and some rented
- Video hosting
- Licensed software
When I look at my annual costs for doing business, the cost of these services is quite significant. A larger enterprise would have many more such charges, for HR systems, operations systems, fulfillment systems -- you name it, it's available on a SaaS basis.
I love these services and the value they bring to my business and my clients. But I have a few issues.