Trim down your operating budget by reevaluating your communication tools. With the combined cost of smartphones (BlackBerries, Treos, etc.), the numerous service plans needed, and a constant flood of new devices saturating the market, keeping your company online has never been more expensive. But for an on-the-go small business, constant communication is paramount, and it might seem like there are no other options.
Think again. Instead of spending another dime on more technology, consider enhancing the tools and devices you and your staff already own. If your management team is not equipped with e-mail-capable smartphones, for example, there are affordable services (some even free) that can turn any existing mobile phone into a "poor man’s" BlackBerry. These services can easily forward all of your employees’ e-mails to their existing mobile devices without any download of additional software or upgrading hardware.
Communications don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Sometimes the best tools are the ones already in front of you.
Santa Monica, Calif.