It’s no exaggeration to say that many small business owners are struggling in 2022. This year has not gone according to plan on a macro scale, leading to high inflation and exacerbated supply chain issues. Small businesses are working hard just to survive.

As such, you may be looking to save money where possible. One area in which you might look to skimp is online utilities. The good news is that you can save money on certain utilities without compromising quality.

Here are 3 online utilities on which you can save money.

1. VPN

Everyone should be using a VPN to protect their online activity. However, it is particularly important for small business owners. You are holding sensitive data, some of which is your and some of which belongs to your clients.

A VPN is therefore a basic expense that you will be paying for indefinitely. But that does not mean you can’t save money on a VPN. If you are paying on a month-to-month basis, you are spending far more than you need to.

You can get an effective monthly cost depending on the subscription term. For example, if you get a month-to-month plan with NordVPN, you’ll pay $11.99 per month. By paying for two years at a time, that figure drops to just $3.69 per month.

Most VPN providers offer huge discounts when you purchase a year or two upfront. Some great providers offer plans that are even cheaper than NordVPN’s two-year offer.

laptop 5444931 1280

2. Office Software

Office software is crucial for most kinds of businesses. It is useful for everything from creating complex spreadsheets to generating invoices. Without it, your business probably cannot function.

However, the most popular office software, Office 365, comes at a significant cost. You have to pay a yearly fee which can equate to more than $10 a month.

The good news is that there are great alternatives to Microsoft’s office software. If you own a Mac, you get their office software totally free. It is fairly effective and, for some businesses, it does the job. Alternatively, you can use Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more office software with a free Google account.

Google also offers Google Workspace for businesses, which comes at a lower cost than Office 365 subscriptions.

3. Antivirus

Chances are that you’re paying for an expensive McAfee or Norton Antivirus subscription. Antivirus software feels particularly important if you were studying or working in the ‘90s and early 2000s. Viruses were a huge problem that could destroy your data and even ruin your device.

ed hardie Y5PSyMm8nMk unsplash

Since they were constantly evolving, you needed a great antivirus program that received regular updates. But do you still need antivirus software? For years, Apple has claimed that their antivirus protection is at least on par with the major providers.

Now, Microsoft claims that Windows has caught up. How seriously can you take these claims? Well, it depends on who you ask. Search online and you’ll find articles published by the big antivirus companies telling you their software is still crucial.

However, the reality is that it is probably redundant at this point. No matter how biased Apple and Microsoft may be about their operating systems, they are not going to claim that their antivirus protection works if it does not.

That only sets them up for failure, potentially even leading to expensive lawsuits. Furthermore, security experts online are backing up their claims, stating that third-party antivirus software is no longer necessary or even useful.

If you want to save money, letting your antivirus subscription lapse may be a good call. You may have bought a one- or two-year subscription. If so, you can cancel it now and it will still run until the end of the period.

Waiting to do so is not advisable, as you may forget and be unable to get a refund if your payment method is automatically charged for another year.

The above 3 utilities are used by almost all small businesses. However, you can still save money on them. By eliminating the cost of antivirus software and lowering how much you pay for VPNs and office software, you can open up much-needed space in your budget.

Here are some of the best business benefits of using a VPN and Proxy for your reference to secure your online utilities.