One of the first things Laura Beales did when taking on the adventure of starting Tally Market was to get a hold of a Cledara subscription. That’s not a coincidence, since Cledara was what helped her run the SaaS subscription stack at her previous company, where she was in charge of finance.
Some may think that getting control of SaaS subscriptions right off the bat when starting a company wouldn’t need to be a priority. Teams are still small, processes are limited and not much software is being used.
Laura is ahead of the curve. She saw firsthand the effects of poor SaaS management at her previous company. We always say that getting control of your cloud software is something you will inevitably have to do at some point - the sooner the better. And Laura did just that.
“We don't end up spending any money on Cledara because the rewards we get pay for itself.”
How are you changing the world of office spaces with Tally Market?
It all started because my co-founder and I were tired of the lack of flexibility in where we worked.
I was frustrated with commuting two hours a day, only to spend the day distracted by a noisy office when trying to concentrate. And my co-founder Jules was spending her days paying a small fortune to work in coffee shops.
We thought we wanted a better solution to offer not only ourselves, but to our teams as well. So we asked around and lots of company owners and HR professionals were looking for the same thing. And we decided to do something about it and go ahead and build Tally Market.
We can absolutely see the need for better working spaces. Tell us a little more about Tally?
We started Tally Market because we know that there is a better way to work and that the future is hybrid. The notion that there are only two work locations - home or the office - is outdated. People can work from anywhere and employees now expect to do so.
Tally Market allows companies to offer their employees the right type of workspace as and when they need it. Whether it's a local co-working venue, cafe, a library environment for when they want to focus or a big collaborative space for the company "All hands".
Could you share why Cledara became a priority so early on?
Signing up for Cledara was a no-brainer for me. I’ve seen software subscriptions creeping up in previous companies, and once you realise the issue, you suddenly find yourself with a big expense and outdated processes that you wished you had monitored from earlier on.
“If you put controls in the beginning with a tool like Cledara, you've got much more visibility on subscriptions, which gives you that control you need and stops that “clean up operation” from happening later, when things have gotten out of hand.”
Was there any information that Cledara surfaced that surprised you? Or was it all expected?
When we realized that we had multiple subscriptions for the same software - that was a bit of a shock. At my previous company, I had a vague idea that there were multiple subscriptions across teams. Normally, what happens is that teams just sign up for subscriptions, rather than requesting it - leading to duplicate subscriptions requiring cancellation.
Whereas with Cledara, any potential duplicate is flagged when requested, rather than once the subscription has been set up. That’s the kind of process you want, and why it was a no-brainer for me to choose Cledara when we started Tally.
“Discovering multiple subscriptions was a bit of a shock to me.”
You’ve already experienced managing finance at a scale up. How did Cledara help you this time at Tally?
One of the key things in finance is having control over expenses and making sure that you understand and know what those different costs are.
That’s very easy with Cledara, because you have the information on what each subscription is used for, what it relates to, which team owns it, which person owns it as well as being able to cap spend so you can avoid subscription costs creeping up - because that's a big problem, especially in a startup.
Whereas with Cledara, you agree on the budget upfront with the budget holder and you set it in Cledara. The risk of going over-budget disappears.
Can you think of a “before and after” with Cledara?
At my previous company, tracking subscriptions was always problematic. It was quite easy for employees to sign up for a subscription, but not so easy to track. We found ourselves paying for something and only realising about it six months later, when no one used it anymore and it just sat there. Or equally, when we had different teams sign up for the same subscription.
The good thing about Cledara is that you have real visibility over subscriptions, which makes it easy to monitor. It’s clear who owns the subscription and just to have that kind of control over the business, which is awesome. It really solved our problems in that sense.
If you had to pick, what’s the one thing you like most about managing your SaaS with Cledara?
Cledara gives teams ownership of their own budget.
For example, marketing puts its spend directly through Cledara rather than having to come to me to monitor the budget. It's all handled within the system. This eliminates friction between teams and allows for more strategic team relationships, and provides me in finance with the control I require to manage budgets responsibly.
Plus, what we earn from the rewards ends up being more than the subscription fee, so Cledara pays for itself, which makes it a complete no-brainer. I think that’s also one of my favourite things!