Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pricing for OE Companion

As we approach the beta release, I want to discuss pricing for OE Companion. It will of course be free until the end of the beta trial. However, I don’t want to ask people to be beta testers without at least some idea of what the final, released product will cost.

I’ll be honest. Pricing is hard. Most companies that will use OE Companion are small businesses, and it must make sense financially. Having owned a small service business myself for several years, I am very sensitive to the financial decisions that small business owners make on a daily basis.

With that background, here is the general idea of how pricing will work for OE Companion:

  • There will be a monthly service fee based on the modules to which you want to subscribe. For example, if you subscribe to only the inventory module you will pay less than someone that subscribes to all the modules. I specifically designed the software that way. I don’t want people to have to pay for a lot of stuff they don’t need.
  • Just like QuickBooks Online, each OE Companion company will include access for up to 3 active users. Each user in a company beyond that limit will require an additional fee. That constraint is really more about making sure people don’t abuse the service than it is about making money.
  • Some number of SMS alert messages will be included with the subscription. There will be a limit though, and you will be charged for any messages over your limit. Pretty standard stuff there.

I have not finalized the monthly fees yet. To give you an idea what I’m thinking, the base monthly fee will be somewhere around … drum roll please … $19.95 per month.

Here is how I look at it as a business owner. In my company we have somebody doing data entry work 10-15 hours per week. That’s around 50 hours over the course of a month. By using OE Companion, I am extremely confident that I can cut that number at least in half, perhaps even by 75%. Also, we use other software-as-a-service solutions that I can eliminate when all the features of OE Companion are done. Those are all hard dollar savings. Now when you also factor in my own personal time savings as an owner, the ROI of using OE Companion is ridiculously high, even if you allow for some additional modules or extra users.

In the end my goal for OE Companion is to build the most useful service possible for businesses using QuickBooks Online Edition. I really believe it will add value to your company.

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