4 Smarter Alternatives to Traditional Business Mainstays


It’s never been a better time to be a business owner. The barrier to entry to running your own business is now so low that people are dropping out of the daily grind en masse in order to pursue greener pastures. With cloud based technology and the availability of inexpensive online training, as well as software that makes it easier to run your business from anywhere, now is a great time to be an entrepreneur.

In days past you needed lawyers, accountants, a well-trained (and expensive) staff, and even office space, furniture, and promotional tools to get your name out into the world. While these are still mainstays of the business world, we exist in a time when there are smarter (and cheaper) solutions to just about everything. Here are just a few.


Gone are the days of expensive multi-year leases, or starting your business in your parent’s basement. Now there exists a smart alternative for all business owners, and it’s especially beneficial for startups. In bigger cities everywhere, more and more of these “co-working” environments are beginning to sprout wings. These take the traditional office lease and spin it on its head by adding more agile environments that lead to the flexibility your startup needs. Rent a desk, an office space, or even an entire floor. These co-working environments are cheaper, more flexible to your needs, and have scalability options that probably aren’t available inside a traditional lease.

At-Home Employees

Throw out the idea that you have to find the best talent inside (or close to) your own city. Now, you can open up the entire planet and begin to look for hiring possibilities that have just the skills you are looking for. Cloud-based technologies such as Dropbox and Basecamp make sharing files and managing the day-to-day activities of your employees easier than ever. New audio conference calling services make placing conference calls simple enough for even the most non-tech savvy person on your staff to handle with ease. Conference calls, cloud-based technologies for to-dos, file sharing and organization make connecting with team members easier than ever–no matter where they (or you) are located.

Equipment Leases

In days past, starting a business meant not only finding an office and employees, but purchasing work stations, phone systems, and office furniture. Now, there is a smarter option. Companies all over the world are starting to offer equipment leases which allow you to pay a smaller monthly fee as opposed to draining much needed operating capital to make large purchases up front. This allows your business to remain flexible as it grows, as well as giving it the opportunity to move to a new city, or larger office without the typical asset sales or buys that go along with it.

Accounting & Legal Options

A great lawyer and account are as essential to a good business as monthly cashflow. Now, rather than hiring lawyers and accountants, you have the option to accomplish most of what they do for you online. Of course, that’s not to say that you’ll never need a lawyer or an accountant, but with software like Wave, Quickbooks, Sage or Xero, you may only need that accountant come tax time. This alone would save you a tremendous amount of money each year. Lawyers? Well, you’ll still need them for some things, but you can save quite a bit of money by creating your own paperwork, or downloading pre-made contracts, lease agreements, NDA’s, employee agreements, and even articles of incorporation. Today, you don’t have to be an attorney to handle most of the legal needs of a small business.

As I said previously, it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur. Starting and running a business costs less than ever, and requires less specialized expertise than at any point in history. Make smart use of the options and alternatives available to you in order to keep your business running smoothly, and with less overhead than ever.

Featured image credit: business hand pull rope open wrinkled paper show business strategy as concept/ShutterStock

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