Hints and tips for cutting your IT costs

 In RoundWorks IT Blog, RoundWorks IT News

Here at RoundWorks, it’s our mission to help you find ways to reduce your business IT costs. You might wonder why we’re doing this (after all, it does sound a bit like a ‘shooting ourselves in the foot’ situation!). But if you know anything at all about our company ethos and how we operate, you’ll already know that we have YOUR values and YOUR interests at heart. And that’s why we do what we do!

Even if your IT equipment and software are performing well, it’s still worth looking at your IT spend as you’ll probably find one or two areas where you could save some cash. And what’s not to like about that? To help you get started, here are our top 5 hints and tips for slashing your business IT spend.

1. Find out where the money’s going

A good place to begin is to note down every aspect of your spending on hardware, software and consumables. Also, look at how your systems work together. This will help you think about how you could streamline your outgoings and increase your efficiency – bingo!

Some areas to consider include:

  • How well do your applications integrate? For example, do your accounts team use a single system that does everything, or do they use spreadsheets or databases that need to be manually uploaded to your accounts software?
  • Do you have more software licences than you need? Don’t waste money on paying for licences that some staff members will never use. And don’t forget to cancel accounts for staff who leave your business.
  • Do you own or lease your hardware? If you lease it, you might be able to upgrade to better kit for the same amount you’re paying now – or less!
  • If you’re using a traditional PBX phone system, could your business benefit from a VoIP set-up that integrates with your IT systems? This could make life easier for your staff as well as reducing costs.
  • Are you spending a lot on ad-hoc IT support to tackle problems? If so, you could save money by moving to a managed IT support service (like ours!), that includes a regular audit of your IT systems and picks up problems at an early stage.

2. Cut your print and copy costs

You might think that printing and photocopy costs are just a fact of business life. But there are many ways you can reduce your spending. Here are just a few:

  • Set default print settings to double-sided, black and white only for all staff. This will save on expensive coloured inks as well as cut paper use.
  • Train your staff to proof-read documents on-screen before printing them. This will help prevent multiple print-outs when mistakes are discovered too late.
  • Encourage people to avoid printing if possible. If you need to take a bunch of reports to a meeting, put them on a tablet. And if staff need to collaborate on a document, do this online using Google Drive or similar file-sharing technology.
  • Streamline your fleet. If you have different makes and models using different toners and other consumables, you’re wasting money. You’re better off with the same type, unless you have complex print requirements. And get rid of any equipment you’re not using.

3. Take advantage of free or cheap technology

If you’re a smaller business, there are absolutely loads (and we mean LOADS!) of free and low-cost technologies that can help you save money and bump up efficiency. In most cases there are paid-for, or more expensive, options as well, which you could upgrade to as your business grows. But for now, why shell out when you don’t have to?

Some great examples include:

  • Google Suite. This is a fantastic alternative to Microsoft Office. You have to pay a small fee per user (except non-profits), but it’s usually cheaper than Office. As well as the basic applications like Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, G-Suite offers a wide range of powerful, cloud-based tools that could benefit your business.
  • MailChimp. We love MailChimp! (Well, we do use it ourselves). It’s an amazing email management tool that helps you design and send marketing emails and newsletters to your contacts. Some features are paid-for, but the basic package lets you email a whopping 2,000 contacts for FREE!
  • Skype. This is the perfect solution for companies needing to contact people around the world. You can make audio and video calls, chat and collaborate online – and it’s all free. All your contact needs is a good internet connection.
  • SurveyMonkey. It’s quick and easy to set up online polls with SurveyMonkey. And if you choose the basic package, you won’t pay a penny. Of course, you’ll get loads of extra features if you choose a paid-for service, but that’s up to you!
  • QuickFile. This is an accounting and bookkeeping package that’s free for small and medium sized businesses. You can create and send invoices, manage your income and outgoings and automate your banking. All without paying zip.

4. Go cloud-based

Moving some or all your physical systems into the cloud could save you a ton of money in the long run. There are also lots of other benefits, including:

  • More space in the office. No more bulky servers or PBX phone system boxes!
  • Enhanced remote working. When your stuff’s in the cloud, you can access it wherever and whenever you want. That makes life a lot easier for field or home-based peeps. What’s more, you can collaborate on the same files in real time.
  • Better security. This is important with GDPR looming just round the corner. You want to know your confidential client, supplier and financial data is safe and sound – and it will be if you choose a good cloud-based backup system.
  • Automation. The great thing about cloud-based applications is that many of them are designed to work together. E.g. your phone system can link into your email and CRM systems, letting you automate processes like sending quotes and meeting invites.

5. Ask RoundWorks to manage your IT!

OK, this isn’t exactly a top tip. But we know we can help your business save money. After all, one of our clients saved around £1,300 after we audited their set-up! It’s not just about helping reduce your costs, though.

We also want to help you keep your IT systems in tip top shape, so you can maximise efficiency and productivity, and minimise downtime and disruption. Find out more by visiting the Managed IT Support page at our website.

Interested? Give us a bell!

We’d love to discuss how working with us could benefit your business. So get in touch today on 0333 344 4465 or email info@roundworks-it.co.uk. Or you can chat to us online if you prefer. Better still, why not book your FREE initial IT audit today?

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