Save a dollar, spend 5 hours

Earlier this week I received an email that went something like this (paraphrased)

My CRM used to have a native integration with another contacts app, but they’ve removed it and recommend Zapier instead.

I’ve been doing this a long time and have never had to pay for another tool, so I won’t.

Instead I’m thinking about hiring an integration firm to create a script to map the data. That way it will be a one time cost, instead of a subscription.

This seems like an extreme case of something that most of us have: subscription aversion.

In this case, we’re talking at least $500 to create a script… and that’s being conservative. Compared to a Zapier account at $29 per month.

If you look at that logically, that’s over 2 years of subscription you’d get for the same price.

Even if we ignore that the script would

  • Likely cost more than that
  • Break down at some point and need maintenance
  • End up needing modifications as the business changes

It’s still a f*cking horrible decision.

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Additionally, the subscription would:

  • Be more flexible
  • Enable you to do even more things
  • Not involve the stress of setting this up yourself

If you’re reading this you’re probably like “yeah that’s silly why would you do that”.

But I reckon you’ve made plenty of similar decisions. Because I do it all the time as well.

I’d easily pay $199 for something I’ll never use but balk at a $19 recurring product.

WTF right!?

There’s something about subscriptions that are a turn off. Maybe because you have too many, or you look at your P&L statement and see how much is being spent on “software.”

But so often this mindset means you miss out on something that could make a huge difference to your business.

How I deal with this to make better decisions

I’ve been dealing with this simply by properly evaluating the REAL costs each time I think about switching to a cheaper tool or signing up for something new.

That includes:

  • The time that would be saved with the new system
  • The team’s time saved
  • Switching cost (measured in my time)
  • Maintenance if self hosted

And usually by the time I’ve done this, the monthly cost doesn’t even register against the $ value of the time saved on the new system + time wasted doing it the other way.

Picture of James Rose

James Rose

James is the co-founder of Content Snare - a software platform that helps professionals collect content & files from clients.

Once an automation engineer, his new priority is to help business owners regain their lives, be more productive and get more done in less time.

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