“Faster, Better, Cheaper” has been the mantra of small business since the advent of the technology-driven office. While many companies have achieved one or more of these goals, entrepreneurial wisdom dictates there is always room for improvement. Here are five tools that can save your business money and improve your bottom line.
Many businesses have discovered the PC operating system that by now has launched multiple billion-dollar businesses and still runs more than half the servers on the web. The reason this item tops the list is because it is a technology foundation for your company’s computers that comes with no licensing costs, free support and, if your company requires it, world-class support from such companies as IBM, Red Hat and Oracle.
Any business that must organize their data into rows and columns can make use of a database. If they are savvy enough, they can use that database to make their data much more valuable to their enterprise.
The SQL database has been the foundational technology in the back office for at least 20 years and likely longer than that. It is the software which made mainframe hardware optional and which brought the power of records based storage to companies that would otherwise have been prevented from deploying it over costs and technical knowledge.
It may not seem like much, but a camera that doesn’t require film gives a small business a wide variety of options that simply were not available prior to the advent of digital photography that could match the quality of film. Long ago, a product photographer had to make the best of it when the film ran out.
Now, it is possible to take a thousand pictures, all from different angles with different lighting and pick the best possible shot. This is one reason among many that the products you buy online always seem to look so good. Someone is using the advantages of limitless photography to present a better image. They are probably selling a lot more of their product as a result.
The gold mine of cheap online classified ads eludes some, but the perceptive business owner will recognize the value of a vibrant marketplace where almost anything their business needs is for sale and there may be more than a few people looking for whatever the business has available as well.
Saving the costs of finding customers is money that goes directly to a small business’ bottom line, and in amounts that will make almost any entrepreneur sit up and take notice. Their customers are already on Craigslist. All they need is an invitation.
Did you know the U.S. Postal Service will evaluate your mailing list for incorrect addresses and will also add ZIP+4 addresses so you can qualify for barcode discounts when you ship your products to customers? Depending on your mail order volumes this could add up to a tremendous sum over time, and ultimately it will only cost you the effort of coordinating the work with your local post office. Whenever possible, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of the experts.
There are opportunities for small businesses to save money all over the place. It can sometimes seem overwhelming to track down and evaluate all these opportunities, but ultimately the goal is a more profitable company, and that is almost always worth the effort.
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