Congratulations on your new business! Start-up costs can easily escalate, and tech is often one of the bigger expenses. It’s not that everything is high priced, but the sheer number of technologies available can overwhelm smart decision making. The latest tech is dangled in front of you with amazing features you didn’t know you needed, and suddenly your budget has gone boom!
Here’s how to get the tech right for your business, without the headache and drama.
1. Check if you actually need it
In a lot of cases, using a cloud application means you can skip the big server purchase, along with the on-site technician to manage it. Many of your business programs will have a cloud option that will allow you to get all the benefits without the big expense. Before you make the tech purchase, work out which applications you’ll be running and whether a local installation or cloud access is preferred. As part of this stage, think about how you’d like to use the applications. Perhaps remote access is a priority, or perhaps collaboration will underpin your business culture. This level of clarity is often overlooked and the number 1 reason why tech expenses spiral.
2. Get expert advice
Oftentimes, the go-to resource many people use for tech purchasing advice is friends and family. Keep in mind that there are many more factors to consider than just their personal preference. You trust their opinion, of course, but they are speaking from a consumer perspective. They may also have brand loyalties, that may not necessarily be appropriate for business. Every business is different and pairing the correct technology with the business will save you a lot of money in the long run.
3. Buy business grade
Computers and laptops you see in department stores aren’t up to business standard. They’re designed for home users to perform quick tasks, not run a full 8 hour (or more) workload. Business grade systems have additional features that your business needs. They also have much better warranties and support. Business grade networking equipment and printers are also designed to last longer. Considering the cyber climate we live in, taking a special interest in the security offered by the business grade technology is a wise decision.
4. Choose Flexibility
Businesses evolve rapidly during their first few years. Your new technology should be as scalable as your business. This means making purchase decisions based on strategy, not price. Perhaps this means instead of workstations for employees, you only need tablets. Rather than having a fixed point of sale system, you might choose mobile checkout devices so your staff can assist customers on the go. These examples highlight how easy it is to commit to certain tech because it’s ‘what you do’. Then later you discover you’re locked into a certain way of doing business. Trying to change your processes down the line impacts productivity, efficiency and culture in a big way, so we recommend buying with your future success in mind.
5. Choose an IT partner
During your set up and moving ahead through growth, you’ll need an IT partner who can not only help with your purchase strategy but support you through any tech problems as they arise. That’s the difference between a partner and a supplier, they’re committed to driving long-term business success.
You’ll be able to call on your partner and know they’re immediately up to speed with your business. They know how IT can help leverage your competitive advantage, and which critical systems they should focus on. Getting good tech in place shouldn’t be seen as just an expense. It improves productivity and allows you to serve your customers better while enjoying consistent growth.
If you need an IT partner to help your business grow, give us a call at 555-555.