Streamline Your SaaS Vendor List With These 13 Entrepreneur-Recommended Tips

streamline your saas vendor list

Many businesses rely on software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies to help them run their everyday operations. However, with so many specialized vendors, it’s easy to lose track of the number — and price tag — of the SaaS providers you’re working with. To help, members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) weighed in on the following question:

“It can be all too easy to get overwhelmed by the number of software-as-a-service companies you utilize when you’re limited on your own resources, so what’s one tip you have for streamlining the number of SaaS vendors you work with?”

Here’s what YEC community members recommend you do to better utilize your SaaS tools.

1. Conduct Regular Audits

“Our team maintains a spreadsheet where we have all our SaaS tools that we pay for, how much they cost and what they do exactly. Each quarter, we find tools that we are no longer using or even ones that now offer features we used another tool for, which gives us the ability to cancel the tool we no longer want. If you don’t audit often, you’ll end up paying for stuff you don’t need.” ~ Jared Brown, Hubstaff Tasks

2. Prioritize Your Business Needs

“Ask yourself what your highest-priority needs are. Are there things you can let go of? Get honest with yourself if you’re paying for the latest shiny object rather than something that could make a practical difference on your business’s success.” ~ Diana Goodwin, MarketBox

3. Consult Your Team

“Reducing your software stack not only conserves your budget, but also greatly simplifies your processes and streamlines employee communication and workflows. Use a mind map and consult your team to get a realistic view of your current profile. Once you have an accurate overview, remove redundant services in favor of an all-in-one platform that will provide everything you need wherever possible.” ~ Reuben Yonatan, SaasList

4. Start With a Goal First

“We like to say at Stride that ‘system proliferation is expensive.’ It’s easy to just add one more SaaS service. The best strategy I have found is to start with the goal first, dissect the problem you are trying to solve and then figure out if the solution is the particular software. You may find that you moved quickly to buy the software but didn’t start by articulating the problem well.” ~ Russell Benaroya, Stride Services

5. Compare Investment With Revenue Generated

“The problem with the many SaaS vendors is the lack of traceability in terms of revenue generated and investment. Start tallying up all the expenses incurred in a month and start comparing it with the revenue generated by each SaaS tool. Based on the numbers, start unsubscribing those tools that are not essential and are unprofitable to your business.” ~ Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

6. Automate Workflows Based on Triggers

“There are tools and plugins that integrate various SaaS products to work together. You can automate workflows based on triggers. Information passes through apps automatically, creating processes to achieve your goals. You could link Google Docs or Sheets to social media and the other way around. In this way, you’ll streamline your SaaS tools and save time.” ~ Blair Williams, MemberPress

7. Seek All-in-One Solutions Providers

“Look to see if one company offers the features you need to run your business. For instance, there are companies that offer email marketing and automation, landing pages, websites, surveys and pop-ups under one roof, making it more affordable than paying multiple vendors for each feature.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

8. Look for Vendors With Partner Product Offerings

“Look for SaaS vendors who offer multiple solutions or are partnered with other SaaS vendors. You’re more likely to get products that integrate well and even get discounts when you opt in to buy a partner product. Having too many SaaS products is a common issue with many small businesses. You need to prioritize what’s important for you and discard what you don’t need.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

9. Appoint Someone to Monitor Your SaaS Products

“You need to put someone in charge of your company’s SaaS products. Shelfware has always been a serious problem for companies of all sizes, and SaaS isn’t really making this problem go away. Many businesses are getting charged monthly for services they don’t use or they use specs that don’t reflect their needs. One person with a spreadsheet can save thousands and thousands of dollars.” ~ Ismael Wrixen, FE International

10. Assess How Crucial Each Provider Is to Your Success

“I suggest you take a look at the SaaS providers you use and assess their benefits and how crucial they are to your success. If you find several services that have a low priority and haven’t been useful to your company in the last month, you may want to consider discontinuing those SaaS subscriptions.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

11. Consider How New Tools Will Integrate With Existing Ones

“The one thing I would look for is how a new tool would integrate with existing tools. Adding on a new tool only to find out it doesn’t talk to any of your other existing tech stack can end up being a headache. You should have a mapping of your tech ecosystem and how all the tools interact and feed into each other. This will help you maximize each tool and ensure you’re not adding unnecessary tools.” ~ Maria Thimothy, OneIMS

12. Go for Bundled Packages

“The best way to streamline your SaaS vendors is to look for bundle packages. For example, Disney+ has a bundle package where you can get ESPN+ and Hulu. If you are already paying for those services, it makes sense to bundle them and save. Many business-centric software companies also partner up so they can give users a complete package. Look for these deals and consolidate when it’s possible.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

13. Create a Guide for Yourself

“To streamline the number of SaaS vendors you work with, create a guide you can follow. If you have something to refer back to, it’s easier to make clear decisions that benefit your business. When vendors know the expectations you’ve set, you can eliminate the ones you don’t need.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

Image: Depositphotos

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.