Every business owner cares about keeping costs low (the savviest find basic ways to save on small business insurance policies). But when it comes to technology, how can you cut costswithout sacrificing important features, software, and services yourbusiness needs to thrive? In this article, we will look at threetechnologies that you use every day and explain how you can cut yourcosts significantly via a few simple changes.
1. Business Phone: Cut Your Costs By Switching to VoIP
It can be hard to quantify exactly how much switching to VoIP canactually save you, because comparing costs and features takes quite abit of research. But VirtualPBX.com took the time to do the research and what they found was compelling. A conservative cost estimate for atraditional five-line fully featured business phone system was around$400 or so per month (over a four year period with 1000 minutes peruser/month), divided between $245/month in service cost and $154/monthin ongoing maintenance fees.
Compare that to a fully featured five-line small business phone system from Phone.com, which only costs $145-$159/month, depending on whether youpay monthly or annually. Even a higher cost VoIP provider such asRingCentral will only set you back $232/month, or even cheaper if youpay annually. That’s still just over half the cost of a traditionalprovider when you factor in monthly maintenance charges. And both plansinclude unlimited calling to US and Canada. With the recent advances inVoIP call quality and technology, you can get a comparable or betterphone system than most traditional systems at half the price. Thatincludes features such as a local or 800 number, conference calling,automatic call routing, in-call transfer, mobile app, and much more.What’s not to like?
2. Payroll Software: How Today’s Up-and-Coming Providers Can Save You Money
According to a recent SCORE info graphic, 77% of business ownersspend $100 or more managing payroll every month, with over 30% of thosespending over $500 in payroll/month. For some larger small businesses,hiring a traditional payroll service provider (with extra managementservices built-in) or having an in-house payroll employee can makesense, because there are so many moving parts.
But the average small business owner can save quite a bit of moneyevery month using some of the newer and less expensive payroll services. For example, Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll) has many of the features oftraditional payroll services (automatic new hire reporting, employeeonboarding, automatic tax filing, flexible payment schedules, employeetime tracking, benefit management and much more) for much less cost. You can run payroll for 5 employees for $59/month, which would cut theaverage business’ payroll costs in half, if not more (at least$50/month).
3. Utilities and Energy: Compare Providers and Save Money
Every month, business owners have to shell out quite a bit of cashjust to keep the lights on and the water running. It’s easy to assumethat these costs are set-in-stone without shopping around for lower cost providers. But especially if your business is in or near a major cityyou should expect some competition and more utility options.
There are a variety of ways to do this. Many states have their ownsites where you can put in your zip code and compare energy prices. Just do a Google Search for “Compare energy costs in ‘your state’” and itshould be pretty easy to find. Another option would be a nationalcomparison site such as Chooseenergy.com, which lets you look up andcompare different providers, assuming you are in one of the states orareas they service. I did a search using Chooseenergy.com for New YorkCity and found some small businesses could save an estimated 30% or more on their energy costs, simply by switching providers. Don’t just assume you have to pay what you are paying every month. Search around, contact your current provider to see what you are paying, compare to otherproviders in your area, and there is a good chance you may be able tostart saving simply by switching providers.
It may take some research, effort, and time, but there are legitimate ways that your business can save money every month just by changingsome of the technology providers you use every day. Bite the bullet,compare costs, and start saving your business money.