Running a business entirely online has a great number of advantages over business models of yore and makes it much more accessible for small companies to set up a business than ever before. One of the things that makes running an online business particularly useful and accessible though is the fact that it is so efficient in terms of overheads and materials. Working online allows you to do away with the need for many costly resources which extend all the way to things like office space and transport if you want to take it to extremes.

Unfortunately though many organisations, start-ups and entrepreneurs are too married to older business concepts to fully take advantage of this. Thus they can end up missing out on opportunities to save money because they’re too used to operating in conventional and old fashioned ways. Here we will look at some of the ways you can save money working online by doing away with some of the old-fashioned necessities associated with running a business and introducing even more modern technologies.

Video Conferencing

Even an online business will sometimes want to work with a business partner, and this will usually require you to travel to meet the representatives of that company, to spend money on food and/or a venue and to take lots of time out of your working day to do those things.

To remove this expense the simple solution is to invest in a video conferencing system. This will allow you to conduct meetings from your computer and will in turn save you a lot of money.

Go Paperless

Scanners these days work much more quickly and efficiently these days than they ever have before. This means you can now make digital copies of huge amounts of paperwork or raw materials and not have to spend hours doing it by hand.

And going paperless will save you a lot of cash. For starters it will mean you have fewer papers to dispose of, and on top of that it will also mean you don’t need as much physical space and it will mean you spend less money on printing costs.

Rentals

You are still going to sometimes need to use things like printers and copiers though, and particularly if you have big jobs you need to carry out. These are expensive pieces of equipment, but fortunately you can save yourself a lot of money by using copier rental or other rentals. At the same time, using rentals means that you no longer have to maintain your hardware, to replace it when it goes wrong or goes out of date or generally to worry about it at all.

Software

Companies traditionally will spend a lot of money on buying software packages that perform important jobs for them. These may be good investments, but they are still very costly ones sometimes requiring you to sink hundreds or thousands of dollars into things like photo editing suits.

One solution is to look for free alternatives: using GiMP for instance rather than PhotoShop is free and will give you all the same features. Another option is to learn coding (or teach it to your staff) and then create your own software. The last option is to see if you don’t already have something on your system that can do the same job. If you have Excel, you may not need that expensive contact management software!

Digital Outsourcing

Thanks to the web it’s now possible to outsource almost any service you can think of using other online companies. A great example is using ‘virtual assistants’ to handle everything for you from research, to administrative tasks to even dealing with customer queries. In short using a virtual assistant can save you from having to hire extra staff and thus save you a huge amount of money. You can also outsource pretty much anything else you can think of online from manufacturing, to delivery to customer support. Before you start hiring, ask if you can’t use an online service to do the same job.

Author Bio: Genevive Serrao is a freelance blogger who enjoys sharing her ideas and experiences online. Her hobbies include gardening and pottery. You can follow her on Twitter

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