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Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How New Businesses Slash Start-up Costs

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Veterans to building and running small and medium-sized businesses probably know about the huge initial start-up costs.  A small business needs to consider investing in all of the necessary infrastructure, from things like desks, chairs, computer equipment, security devices, break room appliances, heat, air conditioning, a website, marketing materials… the list goes on.  Today, small businesses are finding new ways to streamline and reduce the costs of getting started.  Hit the jump to see a few ways small businesses are cutting high start-up costs.

Work with Other Oneonta Businesses


Whether you are just starting out or you’ve been in business for 50 years, communication is key.  Attending local business events and getting to know local business owners who can share their experience and even provide tips or mutual partnerships can fill your coffers with valuable resources and networking opportunities.  Use social networking sites like Facebook and Linked In to connect with other businesses in the Oneonta area.  


Market Your New Business with Social Media


Social Networks aren’t just for fun; many local businesses here in Oneonta are utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to communicate and market themselves.  Advertising locally or running Pay per click ads is a great idea, but if you want to get started with a minimal investment, create a free Facebook page (link it to your personal profile) and a Twitter account for your business.  Although social media does require you to invest some time every week, it is certainly a lot cheaper to run than many types of traditional advertising, plus you can measure your results easily.


Outsource When Possible


Whether you need branded marketing materials, an accountant, or someone to keep your network up and running, outsourcing is often the way to go.  Even better, outsourcing locally means you are keeping things in your community and building stronger partnerships.  For example, our IT services are designed to be less expensive and more effective than having your own IT department on site.  All of our practices are built to take that role so our clients can reduce the number of individuals on their payroll who are dedicated only to keep the computers and servers running smoothly.


Put some Resources on Researching Software Solutions


Sometimes spending a little time and money will save you loads in the future.  Depending on your industry, there are probably dozens of software solutions meant to run your business for you.  Spending time researching the right solution for your goals is very important; and while sometimes the best solution is more expensive, you will want to be sure that it is the one you want to stick with for the long term.  Training, data migration, and the setup of a different software solution is not an option you’ll want to consider.  Sometimes, solutions will offer training and consulting, and the best solutions should offer an open-ended community of non-competing businesses in your industry.


Host your Infrastructure


Some of your most expensive components of your technology infrastructure can be hosted offsite, keeping the initial costs down.  Services such as hosted email and file storage mean you don’t need to purchase a Microsoft Exchange server, which also has long-term savings such as maintenance, upgrades, and electricity.  Other services, such as Microsoft 365 or Google Business Apps can reduce the upfront cost of productivity software.  Many large software developers are starting to head in this direction, offering small monthly fees instead of a large initial price.  Again, we’d be happy to suggest the right hosted solutions for your business, just email us or give us a call at 607.433.2200.


Plan Ahead


Even though small businesses are often on a very limited budget, not planning for the future can be disastrous for long-term stability.  Growth is difficult enough, so being prepared for it can keep things running smoother.  Know the costs of adding a new desk (and workstation, phone, internet line) and then add training.  Reduce future expenses by preparing for growth.  If you need data cables run, spend a little more the first time getting extra cables ran (it’s a lot more cost effective than having someone run additional cables separately).  If you are using an exchange server or another system that requires users to have their own license, know the cost of each additional user.  Sometimes, software may come in bulk licensing packages, so instead of buying 8 licenses for your 8 employees, you may be able to save by purchasing a 10-license pack.

Cutting costs often includes taking shortcuts that can reduce stress on business owners and your staff while saving money in the long run.  While most of these solutions require some investment of either time or money, they have been known to drastically reduce the startup costs of small businesses.