Any business would want to strike a balance between economizing and productivity. Thankfully, current trends are allowing more startups and established businesses to cut down on expenses while remaining productive at the same time. Below are three innovative ways businesses achieve this:
An article in Entrepreneur states that the upfront investment for temporary shops only ranges from about $2,000-$10,000 – a less risky venture than permanent retail locations that can cost you a steep $100,000. Kiosks, carts, and other temporary spaces have shorter license agreements and are usually renewed monthly or yearly, depending on your chosen location. This is a great way to try out a certain location for a new product line and easily leave if it’s not working out.
Your business can also try pop-up retail shops, which can be anything from lemonade stands to brick-and-mortar shops. These shops are short-term sales spaces and have become a trend in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. The idea of pop-up retailing is setting up stores that can “pop up” one day and close down the next day. They can be found on spaces for lease, on the streets, and even in department stores. Thus, pop-up stores are also marketed as events where consumers can purchase special or sale items within a limited timeframe and in locations where the items usually aren’t sold.
Blackbird’s The Field House, a 3-month pop-up shop in Seattle
Japanese brand Uniqlo sets up its cube-shaped pop-up shop at the High Line Rink, NY
If you have a tollfree number, make a lot of long-distance calls, or send faxes frequently, you must be racking up quite a phone bill. To augment the costs, small- and medium-sized businesses are turning to VoIP services. According to a chart from business.com, actual savings with VoIP are about $35 a month for a monthly subscription, 3.5-8 cents per minute for long distance calls, and up to $9,200 for start-up equipment. Aside from this, you get to make VoIP calls on your mobile phone, call anywhere in the world, and have access to more telephony features such as online fax and virtual voicemail.
Polycom SoundPoint 321 IP phone
We’ve heard it time and time again – we’re now living in an app world. Business themselves have been taken in by the added productivity apps give. A Forrester survey indicates that 24 percent of small business workers (businesses with 20-99 employees) use tablets at work. The study also shows that productivity apps are equally popular with the working crowd. Businesses have used the trend to their advantage, turning their tablets into all-purpose business hubs filled with inexpensive and free productivity apps. Popular downloads include Dropbox for cloud storage, Evernote for note-taking, GotoMeeting for web conferencing, and Roambi Analytics Visualizer for making your business reports more visual and attractive. While some people won’t be too keen to ditch their desktops for tablets and smartphones, these app-infused mobile devices will also make great complements to the tools you’re used to.
Google Apps for Business – for only $5 per user monthly
Try these penny-pinching moves for your own business.