Technology changes at a rapid pace and because of this many small business owners are apprehensive about making technology purchases, fearful their equipment will become outdated within a few months.
But, while keeping up with technology does require a financial investment, the cost of being behind is far greater.
It is not an “all or nothing” proposition though, you can be technologically relevant and wise with your company’s finances at the same time.
Here are some things to consider that will help you to lower the IT costs for your small business.
Buy equipment that will last
Look to the future and invest in technology hardware and software that will grow with you. An example of this may be getting a PC with a faster processor. You may not need it right now, but you will be thankful in a year or so when you do.
Also, consider buying a well-reviewed and trusted brand PC that comes with an extended warranty rather than a generic or “clone” workstation that is likely to fail sooner and be out of warranty in 12 months.
Centrally manage your business-critical IT
Imagine the time it takes to update anti-virus software, operating system patches and updates on every workstation, or to backup every workstation individually daily. A good IT support provider will manage all the essential IT services that your business needs, so you can focus on your business.
Another good idea is to invest in a central location for storing all your business documents that eliminates the risk of data loss from human error, or the loss of portable equipment, such as laptops. It will also make your business more efficient by implementing document control, avoiding the confusion of which document is the most updated when multiple versions are stored on different devices.
Consider hosted storage for this to save even more, a platform like Microsoft SharePoint is not only a very cost effective place to store company files in comparison to traditional “on-premise” hardware servers but also brings additional benefits, such as collaboration facilities and the ability to function as an Intranet.
Have an “Acceptable Use” policy for your employees
Millions of productive work hours are lost every because of employee access to the Internet. A recent survey found that 60 minutes a day of productivity on average are lost each day per employee due to recreational surfing and personal email activity. Given a typical hourly wage, this can quickly add up to a lot of lost profit.
To combat this, it is important to introduce “acceptable use” policies for the technology and equipment your employees have been entrusted to use.
If problems persist, you may want to consider investing in software that filters web and email content.
Adopt a regular maintenance approach
It is far more cost effective to prevent problems than to fix them. You have probably experienced this with your car. If you change the oil on a regular basis, you have a higher likelihood of avoiding costly repairs.
The same applies to the technology in your office. It is much less expensive to ensure your It is well maintained than to rely on a Break/Fix mentality.
This is another way a good IT support provider will save you money. By keeping your IT well maintained it will break less and run efficiently for longer.
In addition to costs saved by prevention, you will not only have more predictable IT expenditure but you will also save money when things do “break” by having someone who is familiar with your network and configuration available to do the work.
Have a plan
Know how you want to use technology to accomplish your business goals.
Do you want to eventually automate systems that employees are currently handling? Do you plan for company expansion to include offices in other parts of the country? Will you want the employees at those offices connected to the same network? Would shared contacts and calendars help your office?
By having a plan and knowing what you want to accomplish, you are less likely to spend money on non-essentials and to invest your money on technology that can accommodate your goals.
Choosing an IT support provider who will engage with you about your future goals is also a good indicator of how they will approach supporting your office i.e. proactively vs. reactively.
Every company and situation is different. You may be able to save money in other ways depending upon your specific technology needs. However, if you do not have someone who is responsible for and knowledgeable about your systems, you could be missing out on a bundle of savings.
Whether you outsource to an IT support provider, or have your own IT staff, empower them with the task of finding ways for your company to save money while keeping focused on your company’s goals.
Want more advice?
If you would like more advice on IT for your small business get in touch…
- Visit https://www.supremesystems.co.uk/
- Call Supreme Systems on 0121 309 0126
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow Supreme Systems at https://www.linkedin.com/company/supremesystems/
- Follow Julian at https://www.linkedin.com/in/julianbrettle/
Supreme Systems also offer services specially tailored to small businesses.
Our new “No Frills IT Support” package includes,
- Unlimited telephone & remote access IT support
- Hardware break/fix service
- Managed antivirus
- Spam filtering
- SaaS backup
- Desktop/laptop backup
Everything that a modern small business needs for a single monthly payment of just £25.00 per month with no commitment or contract.
We can even set up all your new business IT for you including,
- Register your business Domain (@yourbusinessname.co.uk)
- Set-up your Microsoft 365 Administration portal and user accounts
- Set-up your Email, along with any shared accounts you like, such as sales@, accounts@, enquiries@ and so on
- Install your Microsoft Office applications
- Set-up your branded SharePoint site to be your online Company file server for your business data storage
- Set-up your OneDrive accounts for personal data storage
All this for a one-off cost of just £399.00.
Just get in touch and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
About the author…
Julian has over 20 years of experience as a technical salesperson for IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and likes nothing more than a cup of coffee and a chat about how to cure your IT headaches.
Supreme Systems is an information technology company established since 2008.
Leading IT Services provider and Cloud solutions for businesses in West Midlands.