(FAMILY FEATURES) — Although small businesses comprise a huge majority of the U.S. economy, their owners often find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to operating costs. Small businesses overpay for everything from wireless service to healthcare to taxes, because they don’t have time or resources to research, negotiate or haggle.
With less red tape and regulations to navigate, technology such as wireless service may be one of the easier expenses for a small business owner to manage. However, 71 percent of small business owners feel that they are being exploited by the wireless carrier they use for business, according to a recent poll by Civic Science.
Give your small business a technology edge with these budget-savvy strategies:
Wireless service: In an average month, one in four small businesses spend five hours or more managing their wireless service, according to a survey done by Yodle. Selecting the right partner is the first step toward reducing this time and money drain. A new T-Mobile program designed exclusively for small business owners offers plans that cover the cost of switching from another carrier. One compelling reason to make the switch: T-Mobile’s transparent pricing with no hidden discounts or fees and guarantees they won’t raise your rates with most Simple Choice plans, even if lines are added or removed as business needs change. T-Mobile also helps take care of your employees with the Business Family Discount program, which counts the company-paid line as the first line on a family plan which translates to a 50 percent savings on two family lines with Simple Choice.
Office equipment: Products such as desktop and laptop computers, tablets and printers have come down in price considerably during the past several years. At the same time, strong competition is pushing manufacturers for quality that is better than ever. Know what features you need and avoid overspending on pricey, unnecessary extras. Also consider strongly-rated but lesser-known brands. Another cost-saving strategy is to partner with a reputable retailer to secure gently used or refurbished models at a significant discount.
Website and email: According to BIA Kelsey, nearly all consumers (97 percent) now use online media when researching products or services in their local area, but more than half of businesses still don’t have a website. Another study conducted by Weebly found 56 percent of consumers would not trust a business without a website. Make sure customers can find you with a professional website that is optimized for viewing on mobile devices. If you’re not sure where to get started, consider a new small business account with T-Mobile, which includes a free custom .com domain and a website for your business from GoDaddy, as well as a limited number of free custom .com email addresses and a dedicated support team to assist with questions regarding your site and email.
Software: These days you can find software to help with just about any business activity you can imagine. While not all are priced equally, some of the lower-cost options offer all the same basic functionality as their big-name counterparts. Free trial versions are a great way to test-drive and ensure you’re getting what you need before making an investment. Cloud-based software also tends to be an economic alternative with plenty of perks, such as remote access, frequent updates and greater flexibility.
Find more cost-saving strategies for small business at www.t-mobile.com.