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Economic Reconnaissance for the Small Business and Home Office

written by: Thomas P. Walton•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 6/28/2011

Attention! Rethink your moves before you land yourself in checkmate! Rummage through that barracks of software and hardware before you invest in more firepower. Bring back good clients by staying on top of what really matters in an economic battlefield.

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    Software Intelligence and Hardware Artillery

    Selling products can be a difficulty in economic downtimes, and that’s not saying anything about getting paid for our services from clients who owe us money. Perhaps overlooked by many small business owners is the potential to reduce expenses on technology by making due with what we already have, or what we can virtually get for free. Virtualization and free online tools can save our home businesses from unnecessary, and downright expensive, software upgrades.

    We can turn to things like virtualization, free online tools and apps, as well as learning to use our current software more effectively.

    There are some good tools available online, such as Zoho’s free CRM (customer relations management) software. Some of us may have already caught on to some of these freebies, and probably most of us don’t take the time to learn about features such as analysis charts. Ledger functions often lay dormant in the software, probably because we, as small business owners, like to do everything independently. In economic downtimes this should sound an alarm, because we also want to survive a very difficult time with as little extraneous trouble as possible. The features in our software are not, however, extraneous nuisances. On the contrary, they’re friends to our business. Automating some processes can allow us to focus on selling our products, gathering information about which clients purchase which products, and cut the products that take more money out of pocket than they bring in.

    Furthermore, we may overlook the power of our current operating systems. Take Windows XP for example; Why purchase Windows Vista when we’re trying to reduce spending?

    Now, let’s not overlook hardware. Sometime we just have to upgrade, but usually we’re just fine with what we have. We shouldn’t spend just because the newest hardware has come out, or advertisements prompt us to buy. But if we must upgrade, why not buy used hardware? Know of a small business selling used hardware that is reliable? Circulate the money to small business and home offices.

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    Old Tactics and Financial Fortification

    Taxes aren’t fun for most small business owners or home office workers. There are those of us still pounding out figures in Excel, completely overlooking useful accounting software that can benefit a small business greatly. Here’s how:

    Accounting software can alert business owners when there’s a problem in the financial sector of the business. We have the opportunity to counter financial nuisances if we know what they are and when they occur. Scope out online labor, time and attendance programs to keep on top of your people. Tackle time management entirely online without any extraneous software installations.