Looking for ways to save money while running a small business? You’re not alone. Many small businesses are trying to lessen expenses wherever they can, without compromising on quality or productivity. But small business does mean smaller budget, so planning is essential when it comes to every aspect of your company and its future.
Did you know that one key way to save money is through smart use of technology? There are plenty of ways you can embrace digital advances and use them to your business’ advantage. Let’s take a look at three key ways small businesses can use technology to save money.
- Upgrade your traditional analogue systems to digital.
If you’ve been putting off making the switch between outdated analogue systems and new digital ones – put it off no longer! It’s time to upgrade and join the digital revolution. And while you may have to outlay costs here and there to get set up, your business will see huge financial benefits in the long run.
The first thing you can do is take steps towards a paperless office. This means cutting the costs of equipment, paper, ink and storage. You can do this by moving file storage to the cloud; utilising electronic invoicing; introducing mobile payment systems; and much more. The best thing about going paperless is that you’re not only saving costs on equipment, you’re also doing your part to lessen our impact on the environment.
Another approach you can take is to upgrade traditional systems, such as phone and fax, to digital communication solutions. These often combine voice and video calls with things like data storage and sharing. This has the dual benefit of providing cost-effective, comprehensive and flexible solutions, while also keeping your business up-to-date with technological advances. The last thing you want is to be stuck with outdated technologies – especially when they end up costing you more than they’re worth!
- Embrace social media and content marketing.
In this digital age, your best marketing tool isn’t an expensive advertisement or sales campaign; it’s the internet. In the spirit of embracing all things digital, it’s time to find your small business a home on social media, embrace content marketing, and save yourself some serious cash.
The majority of social media platforms are free to use, so you won’t be losing anything by signing up. Same goes for content marketing, which can be done through social media itself and also through other free platforms such as websites and blogs. Furthermore, as a small business, it’s possible to have all your social media and content marketing managed by one or two people – which is a much less expensive alternative to the traditional full marketing team!
Spending a little time identifying your ideal platforms and developing a content plan for them will help you reach that all-important online audience. And in no time at all, this cost-savvy solution will prove its own worth through customer reach and genuine engagement. Who said you had to spend loads of money on marketing to be successful?
- Don’t be afraid to try new technologies, use free programs, or give new start-ups a chance.
When it comes to saving money by being smart about your tech, you can’t afford to be afraid to try new things. It’s all about embracing new technologies and investigating the unfamiliar.
Most new technologies offer trial periods, so take advantage of these, try a few things out, and see what works for you. Free programs are also hugely useful for small businesses; and in this day and age, just because a program is free, doesn’t mean it isn’t good! Take a look at giants like Dropbox, Skype and Google Docs. They all offer free solutions that small businesses can use as alternatives to paid programs. Taking advantage of these will help you save plenty of cash.
As a small business, you might also like to partner with other small start-ups. Some of the biggest names in technology began from the humblest backgrounds, and the businesses that gave them a chance at the start are now reaping the rewards.
Take away these three top tips and your small business (and bank account) are sure to thrive!