Big businesses may throw money at problems, hand out bonuses and jet off to exotic locales for company conferences even in the midst of a recession. If you’re a small business owner, though, you know that every penny counts, especially when the economy is struggling. The ability to cut costs and keep overhead low can determine whether your business fails or rides out those leanest of economic times. Using sites or apps designed to help small business function can make a big difference in your company’s budget.
Small business owners don’t generally throw away money, so if you buy a piece of equipment, it’s likely out of necessity. A retail store can’t function without a cash register. Or can it?
Android-based tablets and iPads have apps available that allow users to turn the tablets into cash registers. When paired with a credit card scanner, iPad’s Square Register or any of Android’s cash register apps work just like a standard cash register to keep track of sales.
Instead of buying a piece of equipment with only one function, you can use a single piece of equipment as your company’s cash register, on-site computer, communication device and more. Using a single device for multiple company needs can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.
If you’re in the business of shipping, you need specialized equipment to help keep your company running smoothly. Luckily, a few companies recognize this need and have created apps that help track a fleet. Fleet tracking apps allow owners of shipping companies to see when trucks are in motion and where they are headed. That way, owners can ensure that drivers stay on schedule, don’t run into overtime, and are using the most efficient routes to reach destinations.
With the advances in communication, and the rising costs of landlines, many small businesses could use an upgrade in their methods of communication. Online services, like Skype, provide a means of communicating with customers or associates at a fraction of the cost of landlines.
At sites like Vumber, business owners can get a second phone number added to their cell phones, eliminating the need for a secondary business phone.
The Cloud and IT
Just like communication, digital storage has improved in the past few years. In fact, if your business doesn’t rely heavily on technology - if it doesn’t require specialized software or constant vigilance - you may not need on-site storage space at all. A design firm, for instance, might require ample storage, but once all of the programs have been installed, the need for an IT department may be minimal. By signing up for cloud services, you’ll be able to store your company data on an outside server, eliminating the need for a costly piece of equipment. Since cloud services generally come with customer support, you will also have built-in IT should you need help with your storage system.
Though outsourcing a tech department like IT may seem the most logical, it’s not the only department that a company can outsource to save money. By using online resources or hiring a virtual assistant to handle basic office tasks, like answering and forwarding phone calls or responding to emails, you can greatly reduce the costs of your staff.
Even if your ideal as a small business owner is to have a close-knit group of employees who work side-by-side, there may be times when that’s not a possibility. When it comes to saving money to keep a small business trudging through the tough times, the multitude of Internet and tech-based resources available can be a business’ saving grace.