How to Be a Small-business, Scrappy, Savvy Success Story

Business is hard regardless of the size. Just try opening a lemonade stand. You are going to have to deal with licenses, health regulations, permits, finding a location, and that’s before sourcing your lemons for fresh squeezing every morning. It is a surprisingly tough business these days.

A lot of lemonade stands fail. And that is perfectly okay because no one is mortgaging their home in hopes of turning a profit. The stakes simply are not that high. So failure is most certainly an option. Your lemonade stand was also not financing your home, college fund, or even your next computer purchase.

But the moment your business gets big enough so that a lot is riding on its success, failure becomes less of an option. You have too much on the line. You can no longer be casual about how you run the business. You have to get smarter and scrappier. You have got to fight tooth and claw to make it work. And that means looking for the little tips and tricks that can make a big difference. Here are a few:

Look for Bundles

One of the best ways to save money on products or services is to bundle them together. Most generally, buying a six-pack of something is less expensive than buying six of the same item one at a time. Paying in advance for a subscription service for the year tends to be cheaper than paying month to month. These are common examples of bundling we don’t usually think about.

In the case of content providers, Optimum packages are typical of what one should expect for services bundling. Across most industries, purchasing many things together is cheaper than purchasing fewer items individually. The same will be true for the vendors you rely on for your small business success regardless of business type.

Use Apps

There are a lot of things you can do with apps that once required a whole department. There are many apps and tools for small businesses that come in smartphone and tablet sizes. These apps can handle everything from doing taxes to scheduling to productivity to invoicing. There are very few limits to what you can do with a handheld device and a well-designed app.

There are many benefits to apps that can save your business money:

  1. They are technically lightweight and trouble-free. You don’t need a tech-support staff to use most business apps.
  2. They are inexpensive. You don’t have to lay out a large investment in an application suite. A few dollars gets you what you need.
  3. There are a lot of them. That means you don’t have to try to make one particular app work for you even when it is not a great fit. You can try a lot of them until you find the one that is right for you.

The other great thing about small and inexpensive apps is that they run on small and inexpensive devices. So while that iMac Pro seems like a good idea, grab a Chromebook and some smartphone apps to get you started.

Use Consumer Tech When Possible

Every small business owner wants to feel like a professional. So they spend $2,000 for the MacBook Pro instead of half that for the MacBook Air. The same thing happens on the Windows side with the Surface Pro. And while you are running a business, that does not mean you need a T1 connection.

Consumer grade hardware and software have become so good, it is challenging for professionals to find a reason to spend the extra money for the products marketed to them. The differences between consumer and business machines often come down to things that wouldn’t matter to a small business owner.

It is not always a simple matter of price. Pro machines can be more expensive than consumer machines. While business computers can be quite a bit cheaper. Set the marketing aside and look for what best fits your needs. The consumer version of whatever you are considering might be just the thing for your business.

Stretch those business dollars by shopping for bundles, using apps, and going consumer instead of pro.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.