For small businesses, unnecessary costs can be killers. Small businesses can buy more time is to eliminate any expense that doesn’t further their goals. Yet, many necessary expenses allow these web-based companies to operate day-to-day and thrive in the future.
Web-based companies, in particular, bear high expenses that are necessary for the business to flourish. They might hurt the bottom line, especially in the beginning, but over time they will repay themselves as indispensable parts of the organization.
If you own or are thinking of starting a web-based business, don’t let these expenses affect any cost-cutting measures you might seek. They’re just too important.
It might seem too obvious these days. Yes, everyone needs a workstation that includes a computer. The issue arises when companies try to cheap out on the kind of computer they provide. It isn’t enough to find many used Dell machines on eBay and say they’re good enough for everyday use. Modern web workers need powerful machines capable of running multiple high-powered applications at once.
While design-based companies might benefit from splurging on Macs, most companies don’t need to make that kind of steep investment. In fact, versatile models such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix can provide flexibility as well as cost-efficiency. The computer is powerful enough to handle most tasks, and since it’s Windows 8, it is compatible with desktops.
Whatever you decide, though, don’t skimp. Computers are the basis for business these days. Going cheap will only hurt your business — and probably require you to purchase replacements sooner rather than later.
Do you need an in-house programmer? It depends on what kind of work you do, of course, but companies will benefit from hiring a full-time programmer in most cases. At the very least, they should have one on retainer.
Modern web tools feature APIs that programmers can manipulate to fit the needs of any business. Companies can use programmers to create custom software, tools, and interfaces that make workers’ lives much easier. The additional benefit: it makes the company less dependent on other software and tools. So when your favorite management software changes its interface, you’re not stuck trying to figure it out all over again.
Having that programmer in-house or on retainer also gives the company the benefit of constant support. Custom tools are often the equivalents of beta, or even alpha, software. On-demand support can make a big difference. If your company is dependent on web-based tools, having an on-demand in-house programmer is an invaluable resource.
3. Customer service
Yes, it is cost-effective to outsource customer service. There are call centers in countries across the globe that will perform the service for a fraction of the price you’d pay in-house agents. While a web-based company might have trouble affording in-house customer service reps, they absolutely cannot afford to alienate their customers.
Many web companies have gotten creative to keep their customer service in-house. The most practical method is to have each employee take calls on a rotating basis. The people behind the product — the marketers and developers — understand the product or service intimately and can likely provide superior support. It might seem like a waste of resources, but companies never really waste when they help their customers.
4. Comfortable workstations
Humans work best when they have a certain level of comfort. Too much comfort can lead to complacency, but a moderate amount can go a long way. For the modern worker, that starts and ends at the workstation. No one wants to sit in a stiff chair for eight-plus hours a day. A small investment in comfortable office furniture can keep their minds off the pains in their behinds and on the tasks at hand.
Want to take it a step further? PC monitors are cheap these days, and giving employees a second monitor can boost their productivity. You don’t have to trust a study, though. Ask anyone who has gone from one monitor to two: they can’t switch back.
Finally, we get to the highest cost and resource for any company. Hiring someone due to favorable salary demands will send a company nowhere but into the gutter. If your company is dependent on web-based tools, having an on-demand in-house programmer is an invaluable resource. And if you got excellent logical and problem-solving skills, you might be the programmer yourself. Having a job in software development provides you with a good salary and helps you retain a secured career due to the advancement of technology.
The web has created many automated processes for us, but behind all those tools are people. The right people will take your organization a long way. The wrong ones, even for the right price, will do nothing but cripple it.
You can learn a lot about someone with just a few Google searches. While there are some arguments against Googling candidates, their public information can often provide a lot more insight than their resumes and cover letters. This isn’t only to weed out the bad ones, though. It’s also possible to find a strength that the candidate hasn’t focused on in the application.