One of the greatest problems with present-day technology is that, while investing in it is necessary for your SMBs productivity, you never know if you are overpaying or underpaying for it.
You see, there are so many brands out there offering the same performance for just a fraction of the price, which means that you are paying more than you have to in order to get a… different logo?
Furthermore, in the digital environment with so many open-source tools, when is it worth to pay for a premium version of a software? Well, here are a couple of tips that just might help you optimize your SMB technology investment strategy.
1. Outsourcing is a Solid Strategy
Amongst the greatest problems with starting your in-house IT or HR departments is the fact that you have to provide all the training and equipment on your own.
Needless to say, by outsourcing, let’s say your cyber-security, you can rest assured that your future partners already possess all the necessary tools for the job.
Sure, the price might be a bit higher, seeing as how you are paying for their personnel and their services, as well; however, the bottom line is that that this option usually turns out to be the more frugal one. Still, this plan needs to be constructed carefully or it might backfire.
2. Financial Tools Are Usually Worth It
Another great tip for your SMB is the fact that financial tools are usually worth it. However, we’re not talking about simple budgeting apps but advanced tools that can help you project your cash flow, keep your financial books and records and even handle invoices from customers.
The way in which this pays off is that you don’t have to hire a professional accountant, which can make quite the difference in your SMB’s overhead.
3. Control Panel Hosting
The performance of your website is tightly intertwined with its digital footprint. For this reason alone, you need to pay some serious attention to the idea of cPanel hosting for your business website. Most notable advantages of this trend are the fact that there are no software requirements, it is incredibly easy to install and you get an access to the most beginner-friendly analytic tools.
You also get an opportunity to see the exact volume of your usage, which can be quite useful when deciding whether to scale up or down.
Other than that, you also get to connect domain names to your hosting, effortlessly set up emails for your site and make regular backups. Moreover, you will be able to edit your security settings to your liking and install helpful apps on your own.
In other words, the greatest advantage of this method lies in the fact that it is easy to use even for people with little to no technical knowledge.
4. Cost-effective Digital Marketing
One of the major advantages of digital marketing lies in the fact that (unlike with traditional marketing) you can calculate the ROI you get with, more or less, pinpoint accuracy.
Now unlike popular belief, social media marketing is not free, although there is a surprising amount of self-promotion that can be done even without investing a single cent.
Apart from social media marketing, you might also want to try out an email marketing, which yields $44 for every $1 you invest in it. Needless to say, this makes the ROI you get from it somewhere in the neighborhood of the staggering 4400 percent.
At the very end, you need to utilize business browsing platforms, which serve as highly specialized search engines. Due to the nature of these engines, people who contact you through them can already be considered qualified-leads (low-hanging-fruit). What this means for you is that they have a higher potential conversion rate, to begin with.
5. Renting vs. Buying Equipment
In the introduction, we went to lengths to discuss the importance of hardware for your company’s success, however, purchasing high-end equipment is not the best course of action in absolutely every situation.
Some pieces of equipment get outdated soon enough, which could make your purchase feel like a waste of money. Furthermore, you could never get your money back if you tried to sell the gear you purchased.
On the other hand, if you’ve had the same rented gear for a longer period of time, you might have had a better bargain by just purchasing it. Like always in life, both of these methods have their downsides and advantages.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the specific situation your business is in. Once your company grows out of being a small business, doing your books on your own may no longer be an acceptable solution, even with the best financial tools on your side.
Furthermore, companies who play for the long run and can afford it might find it more cost-effective to start their in-house departments early on, seeing as how they are bound to pay themselves off in time.
However, for an aspiring SMB and for the time being, the above-listed five tips can be game-changing.