Enterprise software will play an important role in the incubator. After all, online businesses are unlikely to be successful unless they get Google traffic. SEO tools such as Ahrefs would certainly be required. It is imperative that these tools support the local native language of the case study area.
Software can also be shared – this means that a single software licence like Ahrefs could be shared amongst different incubees. Usually additional user licences can be purchased at a discount from most software creators. Additionally, incubees will create business units with capable friends. A proposed 50 incubees should lead to the spawning of around 7 to 12 different projects and this makes sharing software even more efficient.
The best people to recommend appropriate software and tools are the incubator contributors themselves. After all, incubator contributors will be either building the knowledge base or mentoring the incubees in native language. This means they should have sufficient knowledge to recommend software purchases. The best tools for the incubees will certainly depend on the type of online business they are trying to create and their target customer base.
The breakdown below is an illustrative example of what sort of software, hosting and domain cost could be incurred by a 50 person incubator:
- Ahrefs agency subscription: $1k – $3k / year (for between 5 and 15 user accounts)
- Purchase of between 10 and 15 domains: $200 – $1k
- Hosting solutions like Cloudways would cost between $10 to $25 per month per domain: $1.2k – $4.5k
- Conversion tools like Thrive Themes: $49 per month for agency membership. This gives the ability to deploy conversion plugins on up to 50 sites: ~$600 annually
- X50 Google Suite users: ~$2.5k annually
- Contingency for other software: ~$5k
- Total Estimated Cost: $10.5k – $17k
It should be noted that mailing solutions like MailChimp offer free subscription options for startups. However, once the subscriber list gets to a certain charge then a monthly fee will be required for incubees to continue growing their businesses. Additional software may also be recommended by incubator contributors.
Accountancy software like Xero will be required to report profit / loss for each incubator business unit. However, it should be noted that WordPress plugins are commonly free and there should be a reasonably limited demand for additional paid for software. Software contingency of $100 per incubee reflects this.