1. Get your head in the cloud
Moving to the cloud can save you a lot of money by converting your software expenses from annual upgrades / renewals into a monthly fee. Since software constantly needs to be upgraded to stay on top of the latest security updates and trends, you’re not only saving on taxes by converting expensive annual upgrades to an operating expenditure, but you also save on licensing by using only what you need – plus you always have access to the latest and greatest features!
2. Use FOSS (Free Open Source Software)
Free Open Source Software (FOSS for short) is a piece of software developed for the community, by the community. Some examples of such software include Ubuntu Linux (a free operating system which performs similar functions to Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows), LibreOffice (a free office suite that can open, edit and save Microsoft documents) and GIMP (a free image manipulation program with similar capabilities to Adobe Photoshop). It’s worth noting that while many open source programs are only available for Linux operating systems, many are available for Windows and Mac as well.*
*Note: Make sure the free software you choose is licensed for commercial use.
3. Don’t buy – lease instead
Consider leasing computer equipment such as servers, laptops and desktops to save money over expensive annual upgrades. Also, as with cloud software converting your capital expenses to an operating expense can save money on taxes. Lastly, like leasing a car – depending on the terms, some leases provide you with an option to either purchase or upgrade your equipment at the end of the term.
4. Go paperless
This one is a bit of a cliché, but it isn’t just about saving trees – it really can save your business a lot of money. Consider the costs of maintaining printers – all that ink / toner, fusers, rollers and all sorts of things that can go wrong – then there’s the risk of having to upgrade those printers like the rest of your computer equipment to keep up with changing software drivers. Of course, if your business simply can’t do without printers (e.g. law firms), you can certainly try to scale back on printing as much as possible. In addition, you can lease those printers instead of buying them – just like you can with servers and workstations!
5. Scale down your brick and mortar
Technology today makes it easier than ever to work from the palm of your hand. As a business owner, you trust your employees to self-manage right? (If you don’t, that’s something totally separate from this article that you should probably spend some time considering). Technology makes it very easy to work remotely nowadays; if you’ve got great people working for you then you can save a lot of money on expensive office space by letting them work from home. This can allow you to hire more people who actually do need to be present all the time (manufacturing jobs, for example) or even sublet your un-used space to another company to start generating more cashflow. Co-working is becoming the new normal – even restaurants are now leasing space during slow times!
6. Plan ahead
At the risk of another cliché, you know what they say: If you fail to plan you plan to fail! This holds doubly-true when it comes to technology. Because tech changes so quickly, you are at risk of getting left behind – so make sure you start planning your upgrades 5 years in advance. Wait a minute! How can you plan 5 years in advance when the tech isn’t even out yet? Well, what I mean by planning 5 years in advance is not about trying to predict the future – rather, it’s about knowing that it’s coming. Don’t get stuck in some proprietary custom software solution that has to be reverse-engineered when the current person or provider who maintains it leaves the company.
7. Hire someone you can trust
In this article, hopefully you will have learned that budgeting and planning ahead are equally as important when it comes to managing your IT infrastructure as they are with other aspects of your business. But it’s also important to hire someone you can trust. You need someone who will not only help you plan ahead, but someone who will ensure a smooth handoff in case your business plans suddenly change direction down the road.
At Perfect Leap™, we hire people smarter than us. We want to help your business succeed! If you need help finding the right IT solutions that will not only help you save money down the road, but also allow your business to grow over the long-term, make the Perfect Leap™ – call us for a consultation today!