When you’re running a small business, cost starts to add up. By investing in the right technology, you’ll save time and energy as well as cost, allowing you to run a smoother, more efficient business. Here are just a few examples of essential and cost-effective technology designed to help make the most of your small business.

Accounting Software

The best-selling accounting software on the market, QuickBooks allows users to manage payroll and other accounting functions easily and quickly. Using QuickBooks reduces the need to hire an expensive professional accountant. Instead, either you or one of your staff members can spend some time learning the software and manage your company’s accounts all in one convenient place. QuickBooks is just one example of accounting software, but other brands exist. Researching other accounting software may yield better options, which could save you even more money. As a small business owner, you won’t need more advanced accounting technology, so utilizing software like QuickBooks will help you keep track of your finances without paying for a costly accountant.

Questions to consider when researching accounting software:

How much does this software save me?

Is there built-in support for the software?

Do other users recommend the software?

Quality Office Equipment

This may seem like an expensive investment, but good quality office equipment is essential for running an efficient business. You might be tempted to purchase an older model copier, for example, to save on initial cost. But if you run the numbers, you might find that paying more up front will save you money later. Let’s say you save $300 by buying older equipment. That old copier will need constant maintenance, and without a maintenance plan, you’ll be paying $100 for service calls every time. That bargain becomes a dying dinosaur, and you’ll eventually need to replace it entirely. Instead, you could invest that extra $300 into nicer equipment. This allows you to perform tasks easier and more quickly, saving time and staff resources. The newer copier will also need less maintenance. You end up saving more time and money by investing a little more at the outset.

Factors to consider when buying equipment:

Is a maintenance plan included?

How old is the software?

Will I be able to re-sell it?

Comprehensive Utility Plan

One of the more overlooked areas that small businesses should consider is their Internet service and utility providers. Many national companies charge outrageous fees for unnecessary services, especially for businesses. As a small business owner, you know that time is money. Investing in a quality service provider with included maintenance and tech support is crucial to maintaining your business. Shop around in your area. Figure out who has the best service package for your needs. Some companies offer bundles that include phone, Internet and cable, but as a business, do you need cable at the office? Make sure your agreement includes routine maintenance and service calls, which can add up over time. By spending some time to research what each provider offers, you’ll find the best deal for your small business without paying for costly extras.

A utility plan should include:

High-speed internet, phone and other necessary options.

A comprehensive service and support agreement.

A fixed price agreement.

Everything from buying supplies to paying salaries requires smart, frugal decisions to help you manage limited resources. Unlike a large corporation with big spending accounts, you must invest in your money wisely so that you can turn profits quickly and reduce overhead. Technology will help you accomplish this.

Author Bio: Will writes for a number of companies in the B2B arena, including photocopier supplier Concorde. Suppliers of photocopiers in Devon and throughout the South West.