Small business owners and managers know that an itemized, efficient budget is essential to their bottom line. Office equipment and supply expenses can be a drain on a budget that could otherwise be allocated to other operational costs.
You could save costs on office equipment by following these tips.
- Get an IT assessment. A third-party IT provider could conduct a network assessment and inventory your current IT systems. This process can identify system risks and provide a list of updates and projects your business should prioritize. A proactive approach can save your business countless dollars in cyberattacks or system failures.
- Use eco-friendly equipment. Offices that have switched to energy-efficient appliances and hardware have seen a decrease in monthly utility bills. Many printing manufacturers offer a line of energy-efficient devices.
- Lease your hardware. Leasing allows you to obtain new office equipment immediately and gather funds as you use it. Budgeting also becomes easier as businesses can plan on the same monthly payments for a year or two instead of guessing as to what their budget should be for a new piece of equipment paid in full. Businesses also are able to switch out hardware when they need equipment with updated technology.
- Find hardware with multiple purposes. Multifunction printers — printers with scanner and copier functions — make sense for small businesses who have to stretch their resources in many directions. Multifunction printers are a solid investment and prevent you from wasting spaces and resources on a variety of devices.
- Consider using refurbished equipment. Many manufacturers or dealers offer refurbished options at a discount. Your provider can provide a thorough examination of every machine. They can repair or replace worn parts to make sure that your refurbished machine runs like new so you get maximum value.
- Receive regular maintenance. Similar to an IT assessment, receiving regular repairs on office equipment can stave off larger issues that upend workflow, costing you money in both expensive repairs and business operations. Managed IT services are the best model to save your resources and receive a return on your hardware investments. Instead of paying large fees each time you need assistance, your IT needs are covered in one monthly payment to one vendor.
- Scale your services. Most businesses need a variety of channels with which to communicate with staff and with customers. A managed IT provider can set your business up with a hosted communication system, which encompasses phones, audio and video conferencing, instant messaging and VoIP — voice over internet protocol. A hosted communication system is run through the cloud, and services are scalable so you can add channels as your business grows, paying for the exact amount of services you need.