Business purchases are expensive, especially for startups and small business owners without deep pockets. Rather than trying to have it all, look for ways to reduce what you have to buy without actually losing any functionality. It is all about getting more bang for your buck when you are dealing with running a business on a shoestring budget.
Start by Introducing the Sharing Mentality
Via Flickr by BlockSim
This is not kindergarten again, but one effective way of reducing IT and technology costs are simply to not buy as many. Communal computers are often just as effective, especially on split shifts. Sharing computers, especially as freelancers, is easy enough to do and can save a business thousands of dollars especially at startup. Sharing resources like this cuts costs but does not usually impact productivity or customer service. If it works for your organization, it’s one of the most effective ways to trim the budget.
Forget the Computers Altogether Instead
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On the other hand, find an easy to use Android phone or tablet for each employee. Use cloud software to connect databases and resources to the tablets. Tablets often cost a fraction of the cost of a PC, but may have every program necessary. In addition, they keep your staff or clients by your side so you never miss a beat. Tablets are the “in” thing, but be wise about this purchase. Buying a bigger name brand does not always mean a better product. Buy business-smart tablets with total functionality for what your needs are.
Don’t Forget the Smartphone Plan
Via Flickr by Roberrific
With a tablet in hand, it makes sense to link your staff together with smartphones. Instead of paying for individualized service, though, maximize profits by using a shared plan. You’ll cut the costs and make sure everyone is always connected to serve the client’s needs within moments. Seek out an affordable phone plan right for your group. You will want to investigate options for shared plans such as shared data plans, too. Depending on how much your staff is using their phones, this may be a significant money saver. Some providers want your business so much that they will offer a significant discount.
Move in Together, Too
Via Flickr by Salil1365
Not really, but why not share space with other freelancers or small businesses. It is a simple idea that can work very well for some small businesses. If you and the business owner down the hall already work in the same building, have non-competing businesses and like each other enough, sharing a space will save you money. This is especially efficient when you do not need to have a customer storefront. Sharing space means cutting costs on property taxes, rent, equipment, furnishings, and even customer service staff in some cases.
Every penny counts for today’s small business. With a sharing mentality and a frugal business plan, the goal is to focus on each purchase. How can you effectively trim that purchase price down just a bit more? The more creative you are (and by moving in together with fellow freelancers, you are being creative!) the more likely you are to make your goals and skyrocket to profitability.