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July 18, 2016

Champagne Technology on a Beer Budget: Tips for Saving Money

by contributor
Scale of justice
Solo and Small Firm Conference preview: Legal industry technology guru Barron Henley helps make law practice more efficient and productive.

Scale of justiceI recently attended legal industry technology guru Barron Henley’s presentation, “Champagne Technology on a Beer Budget.” We learned plenty of information to help make a law practice more efficient and productive — all while saving tons of money! Here are a few helpful tips.

Save on office supplies
Want to know where to buy toner, ink and other consumables online at great discounts, rather than paying outrageous retail prices? Barron outlined his strategy for buying technology online.

  • First, identify the leading manufacturers and their best-selling products.
  • Do your comparison shopping by using product part numbers, rather than just the name of the product. (This allows you to actually compare apples with apples, where searching only by product name can result in an apples-and-oranges comparison with older versions or models.)
  • Read consumer reviews carefully, and don’t forget to factor in shipping costs and return policies.

Find discount codes and online coupons
There are many ways you can save money when shopping online.

  • Many bar associations — including the WSBA — offer special member discounts on technology and professional services.
  • Free discount code websites like Retailmenot and CouponCabin offer coupons and promo codes on all sorts of technology. It’s free and easy to check before making a purchase.
  • Price your items online, then call the company and ask a sales rep if you can get a better price. They often have some leeway to offer discounts or other perks, like free shipping and software upgrades. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Think outside the big box
Don’t just head to the nearest big-box retailer for your computer and technology needs — warehouse clubs such as Costco also carry computers, laptops, and more. Do you really need a notebook, or can you get by with a significantly cheaper desktop computer? You can also save big by purchasing refurbished systems (and you’ll still get the peace of mind of an extended warranty).

Renting technology
Don’t want to buy new technology? Consider renting it instead. You’ll avoid the upfront costs associated with outright purchases, gain the flexibility to change vendors or services, and often you’ll enjoy superior remote access. There’s a wide array of online case management, legal accounting, calendaring and time-tracking services available by subscription. Worried about losing all those downloaded product keys? Freeware like Magical Jelly Bean helps you recover lost product keys for downloaded software.

If you’d like to learn more great money-saving technology tips, Barron is offering his presentation again (as well as three other content-rich programs) at WSBA’s 11th Annual Solo and Small Firm Conference in Seattle on July 22–23! There is still time to sign up to attend in person or online. Learn more and register for the Solo and Small Firm Conference.

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