(BPT) - Technology can do a lot for home offices as well as small and medium-size businesses, but choosing and investing in the appropriate level of technology can sometimes feel overwhelming and time-consuming. Business owners and consumers alike sometimes overspend on technology rather than selecting the right tools to help them improve their productivity while keeping their costs at a minimum.
'As business owners, we face the challenge of accounting for everything that keeps our businesses running,' says Michael Spadaro, owner of Profound Cloud, a New York based IT consulting firm, and member of the Brother Small Business Advisor Panel. 'One solution to help avoid overspending on technology is finding tools that multitask, but don't go overboard on features that won't be used.'
If you're starting a new company or looking to make technology investments to help grow your business this year, you might consider making changes in these areas:
* Phones - If several employees in your company need individual phone lines, you might want to search for a phone service that houses multiple lines within a single system. But if your employees frequently travel for client meetings, be sure to investigate if it would be more economical to eliminate landlines altogether and provide employees mobile phones set up under a single business contract. Take a careful analysis of how many phone lines are needed so you don't over-invest.
* Printers - Only purchase what you need for your business. If you only print documents like emails and reports, but don't need to print in color, consider a black and white laser printer, which will typically have a lower purchase price than its color laser equivalent. Automatic two-sided printing and super high-yield replacement toner cartridges can help keep printing and supply costs in line, too. The Brother HL-6180DW is a robust machine ideal for small businesses or workgroups that need a reliable black and white printer, while the MFC-8950DW is a multi-function printer that also scans, copies and faxes.
* Organization systems - Staying organized is critical to any business looking to be productive and profitable. Scanning paper documents to online storage services like Google Drive, Evernote and Dropbox can help reduce clutter and enhance organization, but you'll probably still have hardcopy files you need to keep on hand. Depending on how many files you need to physically store, you might be able to use a simple filing cabinet or banker's boxes, rather than a complicated professional organizational system. Just be sure to carefully and neatly label everything using a label printer so you can quickly identify and access the appropriate file when needed.
These tips can help your company get back to the basics and maintain a healthy bottom line. Take a look at your current technology and see if there are areas where you could cut back and simplify what you're using and how you're working. Visit www.brother-usa.com for help in choosing the right printing, scanning and labeling products to help you reduce your costs and boost your productivity.