Top 10 Ways For SMBs To Save Money On Tech

In small businesses, technology can be a major source of competitive advantage, but cost control is vital. Here are ten straightforward and sensible techniques for cutting your technology spend.

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1. Get rid of your outdated equipment

Simple truth: if you're running IT gear that's ten years old because "I don't have time to learn a new system", you're deluded. The time you'll waste on using older systems (and the increasing hassle of keeping those in a maintained state) isn't worth it.

2. Consider moving to the cloud

Cloud-based services have four major advantages: you're no longer responsible for maintaining large items of hardware; your data is automatically backed up off-site; you receive software updates automatically; and you shift from large capex items to predictable (and deductible) opex spend.

3. Standardise on platforms

Running a mixture of platforms -- whether that's a combination of Windows and Macs, or just varying flavours of Windows -- means that you have different day-to-day workflows and maintenance processes to contend with. Consistency leads to less hassles and bigger savings.

4. Document processes

Many small business senior managers also end up maintaining IT because no-one else has been told how to perform common tasks. While it may seem like a hassle to write down those details, it will pay off in the long run. Better one night of documentation than a lifetime of running backup processes.

5. Use the same finance software as your accountant

A simple tip, but one that can save loads of hassle. Why mess around converting files and rekeying data if you don't have to?

6. Digitise all documents

Store physical copies of documents requires costly storage space and makes the documents harder to retrieve. Working electronically as much as possible, and scanning unavoidable paper documents, is a sensible strategy -- and the documents have the same legal status.

7. Don't pay for licences you don't use

If your business changes structure, you may well be paying for software you don't actually use. Check your actual IT usage annually, and eliminate stuff you're not actually using.

8. Check that your phone plans make sense

Pricing for phone services -- both mobile and landline -- have fallen consistently over the last decade, but many businesses remain locked into contracts that don't offer good value. Check what you're using, and if you're being charged a premium for "business-grade" services, make sure those options actually deliver extra features.

9. Look into letting staff work from home

Setting up flexible work environments might seem like a technology expense initially. However, if staff can perform some or all of their work from home, you'll reduce turnover and increase job satisfaction.

10. Find an expert partner

If your business isn't big enough to sustain a full-time IT manager (or you can't find one in your area), finding a good partner, in the form of a reseller or integrator, makes life much easier. IT exists to serve your business, not the other way around.


    As an Accountant I disagree with 5 slightly. We as an industry need to be flexible to what a clients business needs are. Maybe it should read. "Discuss what your needs are with your accountant and agree a software package together" ohh and yes - stay away from quickbooks you will stuff it up. God I hate that program

      Or even better get an accountant that wants to collaborate with you and doesn't just want to re-key everything into APS, excel or MYOB practice mgmt software. Though in my experience that is 98% of accounting firms, well in NSW anyway.

    5. Use the same finance software as your accountant
    If your accountant is as good as mine, you use a cloud based system and provide them with a login so at year-end they can see what you did. Once they have access they can on their own convert it into whatever systems they see fit.
    I am extremely happy with Xero (cloud solution) and will happily share my accountant too (Sydney).

      We recently moved to Xero too, on the advice of our accountants. This means we don't have to package up MYOB files and email them back and forth. It's fantastic - so easy to use. I'd recommend it too.

    Forgot to mention, registering your domain and transfer to Google for email service is painless and super easy to maintain. Ditto for sharing documents/folders.

    Server Message Blocks shouldn't need to worry about saving money on tech, their job is just to help with file and print sharing.


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