Professionals aren’t like the rest of us.
They’re smarter. They’re savvier. They get better deals. Well, at least that’s what they’ll have us believe.
On the first two points, the jury is still out. But the third is indisputable. Professionals really do get better deals.
And not just because they’re better negotiators. Professionals have more leverage because, well, they’re professionals. They’re in the business of being in business. The people and companies that exist to make money off them know this.
Nowhere is this professional benefit more apparent than in the wide world of business subscriptions. “Pro” subscriptions, let’s call them — and many are literally called just that.
The not-so-secret secret about “pro” subscriptions is that many are available to members of the general public. If you’re willing to pay for it, it’s very often yours for the taking.
So, whether you’re a true professional in your field or not, you could benefit from professional-grade subscriptions that are worth the cost and then some. Here are eight of the best for your money.
1. Calendly Pro
Calendly Pro is the second most expensive of Calendly’s four subscription plans. Yet it’s still a great deal at barely more than $10 per month.
Why is Calendly Pro worth the cost over Calendly Basic, the scheduling platform’s free plan? Because it boasts multiple features that busy professionals and small business owners absolutely need to keep their appointments and projects in order: multi-person meetings and “round robin” scheduling, team pages for organizations juggling multiple schedules, and automated updates sent to all invitees. Talk about serious scheduling value.
2. Benzinga Pro
Benzinga is a great resource for investors and company researchers at a baseline, but its Pro plan leaves the ungated version in the dust.
It’s rich with detailed, granular information about up-and-coming private companies — this Benzinga review for Yieldstreet displays the publisher’s characteristic just-the-facts approach to corporate assessments. And Benzinga Pro costs much less than competing market intelligence resources.
3. Buffer Pro
Digital marketing isn’t just for big businesses anymore. Buffer Pro is perhaps the premier subscription for independent professionals and small business owners who need to raise their online visibility now, before their competitors eat their lunch. With two users (perfect for the admin and their assistant) and 2,000 social posts per month across eight channels, it’s got the firepower prolific brands need to make a dent.
4. Home Depot Pro Xtra
Home Depot Pro Xtra is the only truly free “pro” plan on this list. And that’s great news not just for contractors but for DIYers seeking preferred pricing on larger purchases and special discounts not available to the general public. It’s nice to feel like a VIP without paying a dime extra, no?
5. QuickBooks Plus
QuickBooks Plus is an all-in-one accounting and tax management solution that’s powerful enough for midsize businesses and flexible enough for solo entrepreneurs. Whether you need to track mileage, manage contractors and their 1099s, keep time, generate and send invoices, run detailed business reports, or — most likely — all of the above and then some, QuickBooks Plus has you covered. And it’ll cost you a lot less than a full-service accountant.
6. Spotify Family Plan
Unlimited streaming for up to six users at about half the cost per person of a single user? Yeah, that’s serious value, and a price well worth paying for an audio library that pulls double duty as your podcast hub and the soundtrack to your life.
7. Medium Unlimited
Think of your paid Medium subscription as a down payment on the future of creative writing. By paying a token amount each month, basically the price of a single cup of takeout coffee, you’ll support up-and-coming writers (and established professionals too) who depend on Medium for exposure.
8. Canva Pro
Upgrade to Canva Pro and never hire a graphic designer again.
Really? Really. For independent professionals and smaller brands that can’t afford professional-grade design and stock photo services, Canva is nothing short of revolutionary. And feature-rich Canva Pro strikes just the right balance between “not enough” and “too much.”
Go Pro and Get What You Pay For
These “pro” subscriptions all cost a bit more than their non-professional counterparts. And for some non-professional consumers, the added cost really isn’t worth it. After all, if you don’t expect to use something, you shouldn’t pay for it.
Many non-professionals do have use for the extra features offered by these “pro” subscriptions, though. Perhaps it’s time you sat down and ran the numbers on each yourself. You might be surprised to find that paying more is the best way to unlock the most value.