NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) publishes a good magazine and comes up with good blog articles periodically (no pun intended) Here are the 8 expenses (with our take on them) :
1. Telephone service: we don’t entirely agree; landlines can go away, but we still use our fax when new tech fails. It’s a question of what is important to your customers.
2. Joe: no more lattes at wherever coffee. No more Keurigs, unless you think it’s an employee benefit, but ask your people.
3. Office space: Yeah, you can rent office space when you need it. We use DaVinci conference rooms for some meetings; $25/hour is a lot better than $500 per month, or more.
4. Everything, anything: Barter stuff….you avoid sales and value added taxes, but the problem is that, if you have a high demand service (plumbers), you may acquire a big balance in your barter account that you aren’t likely to use.
5. Fax line: maybe; we use it as much for image as anything (all clients have one, as do our best prospects), but you can use efaxes to your computer, and even put a switch on your home phone to handle faxes.
6. Custom web design: again, maybe. The web site has to reflect well what you do, and it’s often hard doing that with the off the rack services. The big deal, which is not mentioned in the article, is getting found. SEO is key. We are also about to try an enhanced SEO service called Optify on the School. You should be able to lease your website, too.
7. Expensive software. Again, maybe. Always do an ROI on your software investment, and if it’s more than you need to get your money and return from it, do it. Even factor in borrowed money if need be. Also try to rent your software.
8. Credit card machines. I don’t agree with this one, and it looks like Transfirst paid for this note in NFIB’s blog (not unknown), but there are options: PayPal, Google, Square and its offspring which are generally less that credit card machines. What do your customers prefer?
So, that’s the elite eight. Let us know if you’ve got more, and what you think of our comments.