The internet has clearly sparked innovation in many areas of business. Every little niche is brimming with new technologies and solutions, many of which claim to be powerful and effective for businesses. The issue a lot of business owners have is determining when to use a free solution and when to pay for a superior product.
Free solutions are great – and there is an abundance of them in today’s marketplace. They allow businesses to adopt a new technology with very little risk and give companies the chance to remain lean without compromising functionality. However, with that being said, there’s a reason paid services and solutions are often considered superior.
As you perform the balancing act of leveraging free solutions and integrating paid services into your budget, here are some expenses you should absolutely be willing to take on.
There are tons of free web design and development solutions on the market today. With all of the drag and drop builders and DIY platforms, you’d think that creating a powerful website for your business were as easy as clicking a couple of buttons and waving a magic wand. And while you can create a website that looks good on the surface, functionality is often lost when you choose the free route.
Paying for quality web design and development may cost you a pretty penny, but your website is a foundational element of your business in today’s digital landscape and you can’t afford to put forth a low-quality solution. You won’t regret paying for the real deal.
“It is possible to get free inventory management, but it often comes at a heavy price,” Boxstorm warns. “We get what we pay for, and inventory management is no exception to this rule. There are many hidden costs that come with attempting to implement a free inventory management system.”
Some of the hidden costs of free inventory management include the constant need for manual input, a higher risk of human error, and a lack of customization in reporting. With a paid inventory management system – which is actually quite cost-effective – you get greater access, fewer errors, and superior security (which is crucial in today’s hostile business landscape).
Legal advice isn’t something you can afford to take lightly. Unfortunately, the high cost of retaining legal assistance often keeps businesses from retaining a lawyer. Instead, they choose a DIY approach and/or online message boards and services. Don’t make this mistake with your company.
At the end of the day, your business is built on a number of legal principles. If you get the wrong advice, you’re going to crumble. Pay for an attorney and you won’t feel like you’re constantly looking over your back to see if something is falling apart.
One of the harsher realities of becoming an adult and entering the real world is the discovery that it takes money to make money. You can have a multitude of great ideas, but without money, you’re going to find it challenging to put many of them into action. The same is true in the business world. Very rarely will you find yourself in a situation where money just trickles down without first having to put up some of your own money.
As you attempt to sort through the thousands of different tools, applications, services, and software solutions on the market, really dig in and think about what sort of value each one brings your business. If you think a specific solution will yield a positive return, take a chance. Sometimes you have to spend to grow – that’s just the way the world works.