Eight Ways Companies can Save Money with Business IT in 2020
Times are, as they say, ‘unprecedented’. Everyone is looking to reduce costs and shave off any excess to make their business more streamline and cost effective.
We’ve gathered a few ideas that we’ve seen our clients implement of late that appear to have made a real difference.
Contract out the small stuff
How about outsourcing some of the smaller tasks and getting ‘bids’ from competent professionals around the world to shave some pounds off your current outlay and save your teams some time?
Services like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk or UpWork, amongst others, are a great way to find folks to perform simple or repetitive tasks which need to be done manually or require skills you might not have in-house. From a logo design to manual data entry, they offer a real alternative to paying agency or in-house rates, and free up your teams to concentrate on the essentials of running your business. Sometimes called ‘micro-contracting’, this can ease the need for agency service you might not actually need.
Voice Over IP is a system that replaces traditional telecoms and office phones. It converts a users voice into a digital signal and makes calls over digital networks directly from a specific VoIP phone, a computer, or other data driven devices. In short, it is your existing phone service delivered over the internet and so (comparatively) as cheap as chips.
Even allowing for buying new hardware or beefing up the speed of your business Internet bandwidth, VoIP is likely to start saving you money immediately. If it doesn’t, it certainly will pretty soon and the long-term benefits are outstanding. Inter-departmental calls are totally free, even between separate locations, and distance and time don’t matter with VoIP, meaning no increased long-distance charges.
While being environmentally sound, going paperless also cuts down on a lot of costs. Yes, you will need to keep a printer in reserve, but much less paper, less cartridges, no expensive business document shredders or document shredding services, eliminates paper document storage issues, no time wasted changing cartridges or shredding… The list goes on.
While going paperless obviously cuts down on your stationary bill, there are also other advantages. It saves time, and time is money. It also means that customer data is safe – The likes of DocuSign complies with global security standards and is SSAE 16, SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2 and ISO 2700:2013 tested and certified around the globe. It’s worth noting that 87% of business customers expect to do business digitally, so going paperless won’t be a shock to your customers – in fact they’ll probably appreciate your green credentials.
Cut down on meetings
This is more than just saving on the cost of biscuits… While sometimes face-to-face is essential, virtual meeting – or just less meetings – can save your business a pretty penny. It is estimated that middle-management spends 15% of their time in meetings, with upper managements stretching that to 50%. Meetings should effective, cost-effective, and useful gathering where stakeholders can get together to consider problems, overcome hurdles, discuss ideas and drive outcomes. A large proportion of meeting time is, in actuality, unnecessary and spent waiting for others, waiting for your turn at show and tell, listening to operational matters that don’t concern us, inefficiently multitasking and taking us away from operational business matters that are currently more important.
Going digital, using the likes of Microsoft Teams or another virtual meeting service is usually far more efficient and cost effective than driving across the country to see a client. They start and end on schedule, avoid tangents, you can send related material in advance and screen share presentations. If you need proof just estimate the average length of your meetings, multiply by the number of usual attendees, then multiply by the estimated salary of each person attendee. Trust us. Going digital, despite any initial investment in kit or licences, will save you money in just a few months.
Use cloud computing
One of the biggest ways cloud computing saves money is on hardware. Instead of our clients buying expensive in-house equipment, we do that for them. We also maintain it, covering the cost of repair or replacement. Our servers are our problem, not yours, and our data centres take up a lot of office space, electricity and require expensive cooling costs – which is our problem not yours.
Cloud computing incurs much less labour costs, and getting rid of routine monitoring and maintenance frees up your IT team to concentrate on internal development and real business issues.
This is a way to move your digital resources to an on-demand model, meaning you only pay for the data storage, computing power and other benefits you actually need and not licences and capacity you only use at peak times. Cloud computing increases general workforce productivity, increasing collaboration and smoothing the workflow and future-proofing your business.
To find out more about our cloud computing solutions see our overview of the benefits.
Rethink those smartphones
Is everyone in your business on an iPhone? If so, do they actually need to be?
There are often slightly less glamourous alternative to the latest Samsung or Apple device that offer the same collection of applications and functionality. This year, the Moto G8 or the Oppo A5 2020 are both excellent Android phones, for example, with outstanding battery life and features – for under £200!
It’s also worth looking at your company smartphones for the apps they offer as an alternative to other, more expensive, software or hardware. The likes of PayPal Here, GoPayment and Square are an outstanding ‘no-frills’ way to take credit card payments on the move that saves on additional peripherals and processes. Even Quickbooks to track your small business expenditure and Shoeboxed to keep track of business receipts can be invaluable for your sales team on the road – saving time and streamlining processes. Having your files and folders accessible through cloud services, on your smart device and backed up accordingly, streamlines productivity and means you’re always up-to-date with document versions and have your office in your hand.
Think about automation
While it may not suit everyone, automation has become one of those business areas that is now increasingly accessible to UK companies and removes the necessity for our employees to spend long and tedious hours on simple tasks.
What you choose to automate is as individual as your business. Decisions must be made on how much it will cost to automate the procedure, how much money and time it could save, and whether it will be a boost to efficiency and productivity. It’s estimated that inefficiency costs businesses 20-30% of their annual revenue, and it’s possible that the likes of accounting software could be automatically dealing with your recurring billing and be sending appropriate notifications to your and your customers to improve cash flow while not losing client management time wasted on following up on unpaid invoices.
Other possibilities for business automation might include email marketing (like MailChimp or BlueShift), recruitment (try Gusto), people scheduling (see Doodle), filling out forms (see LastPass), customer support via chatbots (here’s HubSpot), digital signatures (like HelloSign), and many, many more.
Outsource your IT support
We’ve been providing IT support solutions for businesses all over UK for over a decade, and we’ve seen it make a REAL difference for all of our customers – and not just financially (see out IT support pages).
The average UK SME spends 19% of its yearly budget on business software, IT hardware and in-house support. Having experts there around the clock isn’t the most cost effective approach and switching your IT support to a service that’s reactive, constantly monitoring all your systems, and there when needed, rather than passive, can save capital that could be better spent elsewhere.
Our IT support services are fixed-priced but flexible solutions, specifically designed for each of our clients to offer the best services and their specific requirements at a fraction of the cost of internal hardware, network, cloud and IT support staff. We offer an around-the-clock helpdesk support service, without the overtime fees! We even offer a free IT audit to review your business services and how we can help.
If you’d like to know more and are thinking about cloud services, outsourcing your IT support, going paperless, or any of the other money-saving IT solutions above, please call us on 01509 808586 or e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about your requirements. We’re here to help.
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