The economy is still hurting and businesses are still cutting back.
But there are plenty of little (and not so little) things that businesses are still overpaying for online that can add up to real savings when addressed.
If you're looking to squeeze out savings, here are 6 things you can save money on.
Domain names. If you're paying more than $10-$15 for a .com domain name, you're paying too much. Period.
Hosting. When it comes to where your website lives, you often get what you pay for and you probably shouldn't jump ship if you're happy with your current provider. But a lot of companies are overpaying significantly for hosting accounts that either offer way more than what's needed or are just generally overpriced.
Advertising. From display ads to search ads, many businesses overpay for their online advertising. Sometimes it's because of laziness (eg. you're not paying attention to your campaigns) and sometimes it's because you're just not looking for bargains (eg. you don't realize that you can often buy remnant ads on popular sites through ad exchanges for pennies on the dollar).
Conferencing services. If you're using a service to conduct conference calls and web conferences, chances are you're overpaying. There are plenty of free and low-cost conferencing services that blow the big names out of the water when it comes to pricing. Your business can easily go from paying upwards of $60/month to paying next to nothing.
Software. Much of the software that businesses use for their online activities is overpaid for. Take for instance FTP software. You could spend upwards of $50 on CuteFTP Pro (a great product) but you'd probably find Filezilla (a free open-source FTP client) just as capable of getting the job done.
Enterprise solutions. A lot of companies spend big bucks on 'enterprise solutions' when they really aren't necessary. Why spend thousands of dollars a year on a managed email solution, for instance, when you might be able to use the email solution that comes with free Google Apps Standard and lets you use your own domain?
Businesses often overpay for the items above because the costs usually don't stick out like a sore thumb but little things do add up. Every $50 you can save monthly, for instance, adds up to $600 over the course of a year. That may not seem like a lot but if somebody offered you an extra $600 today, you'd probably be pretty happy, right? As they say, a penny saved is a penny earned.
Photo credit: dawnzy58 via Flickr.