business

Originally appeared on Xerox Small Business Solutions.

By Rieva Lesonsky

The thought of spending money on their businesses strikes terror into many a small business owners’ heart. Sure, it’s important to keep a close eye on costs and cash flow in order to succeed. But if you’re scared to spend money on your business even when it’s necessary, you could end up haunted by missed opportunities…and declining sales.

Here are five key areas where you might be scrimping, and likely should be spending instead.

Office equipment.

You might think you’re saving money by using ancient office equipment until it falls apart. In reality, the cost in terms of inefficiency far outweighs any savings. For example, do you still have separate printers, copiers, fax machines and scanners scattered around your office? That’s a waste of space and electricity, not to mention the hassle of keeping all those machines in good repair.

Save space, money (on utility bills) and time by investing in a Xerox multifunction printer (MFP) that can do it all. Watching for rebates on Xerox printers is a smart way to upgrade while still staying within your budget; just sign up to get email alerts on Xerox promotions, deals and more.

2. Business insurance.

Insurance may seem like an outrageous expense—until you consider the cost of not having it. One glance at today’s headlines will show you how unexpectedly disaster, both natural and otherwise, can strike a business. Talk to your insurance agent about ways to get the coverage you need while still minimizing your premiums. Doing an annual review with your agent will help keep costs under control while still making sure you are covered for natural risks that aren’t part of most insurance packages, such as earthquakes and floods.

3. Efficiency.

Investing in solutions that make your business more efficient always pays off. For example, if you’re still printing most of your documents on paper because “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” you’re wasting time, money and trees. Print accounts for 15 percent of the average SMB’s IT costs, but you can easily reduce that by storing and sharing documents in the cloud.

Xerox Versalink® printers with ConnectKey technology make it easy to scan documents into cloud storage apps such as Dropbox and Microsoft 365. You can even make them searchable using OCR capability, and automatically save them to the right folders, apps and locations.

4.  Employee benefits.

Attracting and retaining qualified employees is more challenging than ever, especially since your small business is competing with big companies that have tempting benefits packages. Health insurance is the essential benefit employees of all ages want most, so start there. Adding vision, dental, life and disability insurance is generally quite affordable and helps to differentiate your company.

Think about offering a 401(k) or other type of retirement plan—plans are available for even the smallest businesses. Finally, no-cost perks like being able to work from home or offering flexible hours can make a huge difference in making your business a desirable place to work.

5. Office supplies.

When preparing printed documents, marketing materials or presentations that clients will see, don’t skimp on supplies—quality paper and printer ink make a real difference. Using Xerox genuine supplies over generic toner can protect your office equipment and even save you money in the long run. It can even earn you rewards with every purchase.

Bonus: there’s now a convenient new app that makes ordering suppliers – and earning rewards – easier than ever. Then there’s the equipment. Invest in a color printer like the Xerox® Versalink® C400, which is ideal for small businesses that need to print professional-quality color pieces on demand without breaking the bank.

To create quality print materials without overspending, choose Xerox printers that let you set permissions to require a PIN code before users can print. That way, you can restrict color printing to only the documents, departments or employees that really need it.