We all use technology every day, but in almost all cases, we don’t use it as much as we could. Notice I didn’t say “as much as we should.” I make no judgments about how wired one should or shouldn’t be. That’s a personal choice.
In the area of wealth creation and management, however, many of us are missing out on some simple and powerful technologies that could impact our personal and business moneymaking capacity.
While this is not a comprehensive list of possibilities, here are three low-cost ways to increase your bottom line.
1. Count on tech to track your finances and you’ll spend less.
Benjamin Franklin might have been onto something with that penny-saved-is-a-penny-earned concept. As it turns out, he was only partially correct. Saving money is a far more powerful practice than most people understand. If you are running at a 10 percent profit margin (whether in your personal or business income statement), saving $1,000 has the same effect as increasing your top line revenue (personal salary or company sales) by $10,000. In other words, each dollar saved has a salary or sales equivalency of ten times that amount.
But, reducing expenses is boring and difficult for many entrepreneurs. That’s where automation comes in. Products like Mint can make budgeting and tracking finances a no-brainer. And there are a lot of such products from which to choose. Some users complain about the number of ads that come with Mint, but it might be worth it to have all of your finances (assets, accounts, loans, credit cards, etc.) in one place for easy monitoring.
“We have found that users save an average of 10 to 15 percent just by watching the system track their spending,” says Sean Lee, Project Manager at MyMoney. “Knowing they will see every dollar spent, they consciously spend less.”
2. Let technology tell you how to invest.
What will you do with all of those saved dollars? Invest them wisely, of course. Again, technology can help. There is no shortage of companies, apps and systems that make investing an easier, less time-consuming and more profitable exercise. Betterment, TDAmeritrade, Charles Schwab and other related companies and tools are all catering to the time- and expertise-challenged investor.
Numerous gurus are also available to help. Grant Cardone’s The Millionaire Booklet counsels investors to save, not for the sake of saving, but “for the sake of investing.” He further advises to “stay poor” by putting all available money to work for you, rather than letting it sit in your bank account where you might be tempted to buy something that won’t make more money for you. Cardone likes real estate instead of depreciating assets such as cars.
Stocks also provide a rich opportunity for making money. Whatever your investment preference, the point is to employ your money to work for you.
3. Enlist others to sell your products or services through their channels (or sell theirs through yours).
If you have something to sell, there are a lot of channels through which to sell them. And if you can sell but don’t have an offering yourself, there are plenty of companies that will pay you to sell theirs. Either way, the goal is to enter into the stream of commerce and take your share of the deal flow.
Marketplaces are popping up to serve the unique needs of niches that are not adequately addressed already. The SupplyHub story is just one example. Whatever your offering is, you might find a specific marketplace where you can get the attention that will help propel your sales forward.
Another opportunity for financial growth is affiliate marketing, which is a way of earning commissions by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. If you like something, chances are the manufacturer of it will allow you to tell others about it and, if they buy, give you a share of the revenue.
Affiliate marketing is great for entrepreneurs who don’t want to spend the time and money to develop their own products. You just need a platform from which to sell, and you’re in business. There are many options, such as Shopify and Amazon.
To determine if a company sells through affiliates, just look at the bottom of their website’s main page. There will often be information about becoming an affiliate.