Every industry is continuing to implement more and more technology into its businesses. By adopting new technology, small businesses can leverage limited capital in the most effective way possible.
These technologies often add extra versatility, provide more efficiency, and make your business processes a natural progression. It is an essential expense, but tech can be tough to budget for and predict due to its fluid nature.
For small business budgets, it can be challenging to pay for some of the larger technology purchases that need to be made. With the global IT (information technology) spending set to surpass the $4 trillion projection for 2019, it is best that you first understand where your money is going and why.
Here is how to work technology into a small business budget and make sense from those expenses.
Adding technology into a small business budget does not have to be a massive undertaking. Instead, your technology expenditure should always be based on your prioritized business needs.
You can easily make the most out of a limited budget if you choose to start small. Many software and supplies can be purchased relatively cheap and make a massive difference to your business.
If you want to make an expensive tech purchase, consider finding a cheaper alternative to start with and test. Instead of buying technology, sign up for low-commitment subscription technology services, take advantage of free trials, and plan for step-wise upgrades.
Consider the Benefits
Be sure to weigh the benefits of the technology purchase first. It would be best to prioritize your needs and then look for a technology that satisfies your most crucial needs and brings scalability.
For example, a project management platform or work operating systems like monday.com or Wrike can boost productivity. Carefully go through detailed reviews like Wrike pricing to thoroughly examine your business options and determine if the technology will help you achieve your business objectives.
Be sure the benefits are promising and worth every dime spent before making any long-term commitments.
Many small businesses often find it challenging to consider all the components that go into IT and determine what they will need to optimize business operations. This challenge often arises due to the constant and significant technological advancements, which usually mean higher costs that often come as fluctuations.
Every budget has its fluctuations, and so does the cost of particular technology purchase, like an IT service. For example, if you are paying for an IT support team to help with your customer service needs, this may be a higher cost during the holidays as you sell more products than at other times of the year.
Failure to anticipate fluctuations in your IT strategy might increase your risk of losing competitiveness. So, do your best to forecast how a budget may fluctuate over time for accuracy.
Remember Maintenance and Support
Technology is rarely a one-time purchase, and you are done. Several businesses often make this mistake and overlook substantial expenses in their technology budgets like maintenance, updates, and support.
Many technology purchases come with maintenance needs and support services. This often translates to additional but unforeseen expenses.
Be sure to speak with the technology provider or retailer to ensure you understand all costs associated with the purchase. Also, be sure to consider any technology downtime for regular maintenance or updates that could impact your company’s productivity.
Some technologies may require training to learn how to use them. This can mean lost work time for your team and slower processes with the learning curve.
Plan training well ahead of time, so it costs you less time and money. Also, consider if regular exercise will be necessary to train people on any technology updates.
Be sure to add a buffer in the budget to cater for the period when you expect productivity to drop while your team gets acquainted with the new system.
Budgeting is a critical business process that allows small business owners to manage finances for various business needs and activities. Preparing one can give you a clear idea of how your budget can help you achieve your business goals while ensuring an adequate reserve to handle a crisis. Adopting new technology in your business is an impactful way to enhance business success, but it is also one of the most ignored costs when preparing business budgets.
To help you work technology effectively into your small business budget, you should plan to start small, consider its benefits, anticipate fluctuations, plan for unforeseen costs, and include a buffer for training periods. Doing so will help you create a healthy technology expense profile for your business.
The post How To Work Technology Into Your Small Business Budget first appeared on Mind My Business.