If you’ve reached that crucial stage in setting up a small business – the one where you need to start thinking about spending some cash on IT – we have good news for you. St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish saint’s celebration, means more than excess Guinness, leprechauns and vivid green hats. A few choice tech manufacturers are offering deep discounts as part of their St. Patrick’s Day Sale. Here’s our guide to capitalising on this for small businesses.
Tip 1: Gather all the eCoupon codes you can
Sales on St. Patrick’s Day are going to work a little differently to how they did on Black Friday. The first difference (across the majority of suppliers) is the requirement of eCoupon codes to claim sales. For Lenovo, this is STPATRICKS, for Guinness it’s GETGREEN15: the codes will be tied to St. Patrick’s Day in some way. MyVoucherCodes, StPatrick’sDaySales.net and FatWallet are all good places to hunt down these snippets of pure financial joy.
Tip 2: Pick your supplier wisely: and tell them you’re a business
Even if you’re only picking up a couple of items, it will help you to pick them from the same source. If you’re buying Lenovo, go Lenovo. If you’re buying from Amazon, stick with them. Why? Consumers rarely see any advantage from sticking with the same e-Vendor (beyond the odd newsletter or targeted promotion). Businesses, on the other hand, are priority customers in any retailer’s eyes: they can provide a consistent, manageable revenue stream that can be pipelined for maximal effect. Buy from the right people, and tell them – until you’re red in the face – that you’re a business, want to do continued trade with them, and expect to be treated with higher sensitivity than Joe Average. And, you’ll want money off stuff. It’s the price vendors pay for consistently predictable incomes.
Tip 3: Book ahead
If you have the cash on-tap, picking up otherwise expensive items at sale-discounted prices is always a great idea. Whether it’s a staff holiday at reduced cost (check out Expedia’s St. Patrick’s Day sale, and bear in mind Tip 2) or some server infrastructure you might need in a few months, purchasing now can improve cashflow later down the line. Bear in mind that high technology and consumables are excluded from this tip: not only do their values tumble rapidly in comparison to others (read: that sale price will be the RRP in six months’ time), but they can be easily replaced or displaced by newer, more functional technology entering the same space. You’d hate to shell out a few thousand dollars on the latest server tech to find that it’s virtually obsolete when you get around to deploying it.
Sales – such as those around St. Patrick’s Day – are always an opportunity for the risk-friendly early startup to capitalise on lowered set-up costs. However, they can also be a serious draw to those who might have just received investment and feel they have cash to spare. If this is you, exercise extreme caution: spend as if your funds were ten percent of their actual value. That initial cash bump may well save your firm’s bacon one day: liquid assets are better than useless, high-tech ones.