The ins and outs of small business office savings can be tricky. There are the investments in the technology to worry about, the uncertainty of the economy to lose sleep over, and good old fashioned overhead to always keep in mind.
The entrepreneurial experience is currently undergoing a transformational period. Fading away are archaic methods of the past. Developing are the efficient ways of operating an enterprise that await us in the future. One of the best ways to ensure long-term cost-cutting on the small business level is to let go of the old ways of business management and embrace these new efficiencies in achieving entrepreneurial opportunity.
The following are five ways to start integrating innovation directly into your business budgeting:
Switch to Cloud Storage and Service
Once upon a time, the most important decision a small business owner had to make when it came to IT was choosing whether or not to go with wired routers or switch to wireless. Data and software were by default something you kept close-by. But cloud technology is changing that.
These days you don’t need an IT team and independent server to manage a big online business. You can outsource these responsibilities to cloud storage services. You basically streamline your office IT to just the network and the computers. Data, software, and the products of combining both are all stored elsewhere, accessible immediately through an Internet connection. There’s a monthly cost, but compared to the costs of managing your own IT system it’s a definite money saver.
Use Social Networks Instead of Private Networks
Even with the use of cloud services many businesses are still tasked with having to establish a network for employees to connect and coordinate their efforts through. Even your cheaper business networks are going to cost a pretty penny up front. If you “need” a network for communication and mass-notifications, then why not forgo your own network and use something like Facebook or Google+ instead? Every employee is sure to be a part of these free networks and unless there are specific tasks that must be completed through a custom-made network, why pay for something else?
Practice a Paperless Policy
Many offices have already banned the printer so it’s hard to call it a futuristic cost-cutter. But the day will come when businesses are nearly forced to give up paper because of costs. When starting a business, do so on the right foot by adhering to a no-paper rule. With the exception of hard copy contracts there’s nothing that needs to be printed in the office these days. Graphs can be instantly emailed, so can word documents and any other printable file type you can think of. Needless to say, the savings of not having printers and paper around are pretty high up there relative to the rest of your small business expenditures.
Battle the Business Competition Like a Guerrilla
New York City has hundreds of thousands of office square feet currently sitting around not being used. Part of the problem is that an overwhelming chunk of office real estate in the city is sublet. This is happening in most American cities. Take advantage of the unending amount of office space by making your business easily transportable, from one to another. Six-month leases can give you more freedom to invest in other more important aspects of your business. With laptops, lightweight furniture and a web connection any space can be perfect for your office.
Have a Work-from-Home Day
One day out of the week you should send your workers home. Paying for utilities four days less every month can shave off seriously dough. In addition, the lack of commute means workers will spend more time being productive. This isn’t just optimism; studies and surveys repeatedly indicate that workers perform better when they’re doing their tasks remotely. Save money and increase output by giving your workers a chance to do their tasks from wherever they wish. In the age of cloud computing and instant communication, does it matter where anyone is in relation to their co-workers anymore?
Entrepreneurs are going to have to think of an assortment of different ways to outmaneuver the draining realities of these tough economic times. No doubt many will come to embrace the cost-saving techniques that are inherent with advanced web access. There’s no reason not to believe that by the year 2020 nearly half of small businesses will be utilizing one of not all of the aforementioned methods of saving on a business budget. Therefore, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be utilizing them today.