A couple of weeks ago I saw Pat Walls's post about all the apps he pays for. I really like Pat's transparency, especially since very few people talk about expenses.
So in this post I'm going to list all the expenses my business ReferralHero (~$18K MRR) incurs.
Server & Hosting
- OVH (~$350/month)
OVH is where all my servers and DB are. Currently running 4 servers and one, rather large (100M+ rows), database.
- AWS ($10/month)
I use AWS mostly for hosting images (S3) and some CDN stuff.
- Postmark (~$200/month)
ReferralHero sends A LOT of emails on behalf of its users. I use Postmark to send almost all transactional emails.
- SparkPost ($20/month)
SparkPost used to be our main email provider before I switched to Postmark. I still use SparkPost for some admin emails.
- Webflow ($20/month)
Webflow hosts ReferralHero marketing website. I love how easy they make it to create a website visually.
- SendInBlue (~$30/month)
I use SendInBlue to send emails to my list.
- Rewardful ($19/month)
Rewardful powers the affiliate program.
- Google Ads (~$100/month)
I run a couple of small Google Ads campaigns, mostly for my brand name (read: Google ransom) and to target people who search for alternatives to my competitors.
- Marketing one-offs (~$70/month)
I also have a category called "marketing one-offs" for smaller marketing campaigns and experiments.
- GSuite (~$20/month)
It could be said that my entire business runs on Gmail + Drive + Google Calendar.
- HelpScout ($15/month)
I use HelpScout to handle customer support emails.
- Headway ($9/month)
Changelog. I signed up ages ago and I'm still in the legacy $9/month plan that doesn't exist anymore.
- Zapier ($25/month)
A huge portion of my business is automated through Zapier. Easily the best $25 I spend every month.
- Carrd ($19/year)
I very often launch mini projects that require landing pages. Carrd makes that process ridiculously easy and quick.
- HyperPing ($9/month)
- Sentry ($29/month)
Error monitoring tool. Love/hate relationship. I love it because without it I'd be lost. I hate it because it only gives me bad news.
- Calendly ($10/month)
Demo calls, customer development calls, calls, calls. Basically I do tons of calls and Calendly makes scheduling super easy.
- Github ($7/month)
Because I gotta store all this code somewhere.
Legal & Admin
- Accountant ($110/month)
Because you gotta pay the Man.
- Co-working space ($230/month)
I prefer a co-working space to cafes because I like to concentrate and do real work versus pretending to work and look cool.
- Iubenda ($27/year)
It generates privacy policies for all my websites that are up to date with the law.
To sum up...
... it costs me about $1,300 a month to run my business.
About half of the money go to servers & hosting. A quarter goes to "legal & admin" expenses, such as accountant and co-working space and the rest is divided across several apps I use.
As Pat did in his post, it's worth mentioning other tools that I would pay for but somehow get away with the free plan:
Does anyone pay for Trello?
Amazing tool to create gorgeous documentation sites.
All my business metrics (MRR, LTV and all the other 3 letters acronyms) in one dashboard. Magical.
I still can't believe Loom is free. One of the most underrated tools on the Internet.
My go-to tool for everything related to design.
As I said above, I do dozens of calls every month and Zoom is my favourite tool.