As a businesswoman, I have to decide what’s worth paying for and what isn’t. Anyone in business is barraged with opportunities to purchase software, gadgets, and all sorts of pretty office supplies in cool shapes in colors. High heeled shoe tape dispenser, anyone?
Well, okay, no office supply store I know of is giving away tape dispensers so you have to buy those. But what about other options, when something useful might be free, or you can buy an upgraded version?
One program I pay for is a database. I have so many contacts if this were 1980 I’d probably need three giant Rolodex files to keep them all. And I’d have to update them by hand! My database has a free version, but I elect to pay for the upgrade. When I have an issue – which so far has only been once in several years — a person answered the phone. Imagine that! The technician stayed with me until all was well.
Anyone using a free version of anything knows you’re at the bottom of the heap when there’s trouble. You may just have to try your luck on a “community board” on the internet and hope someone can help. Or if there’s a way to contact the company, it may take days to get a response when you’re not paying. I know this because I have free versions of some programs, too. For example, a free version of software I use on a secondary computer requires a lot of attention. You have to press buttons and do all the updates yourself. It works, but it takes more work from you. The paid version runs and you never have to think about it. Ever.
Shopping for apps? Do you choose the free version with lots of ads, or do you pay for an upgrade so you never have to see an ad on the app?
Sure, it would be cool to be Top Dog with every company, but it doesn’t take long for a bunch of small charges to add up to big bucks if you elect to buy professional versions of everything.
It all comes down to decisions. Where is the best place to spend the money you have budgeted for your business?
What business tools do you think are worth paying for?
Which tools do you think are great as freebies?