Yes, You Can! How to Afford Small Business It Services (Even on a Budget)
The market for small business IT services and software is expected to top $700 billion by 2021. Around the world, small business owners are realizing they need bigger technology budgets.
It can seem difficult to keep up, especially since the technology sector evolves so fast. The benefits of having the right services and support are astronomical though. From cutting costs to saving your employees time, the right technology can do wonders.
Of course, to use technology the right way, you need support. Many small businesses don’t have dedicated support services for their IT functions.
There are a few reasons for this. You might not think you need an IT team to help you. After all, your business is pretty low-tech.
Another reason business owners don’t get IT services is because they think they can’t afford them. This is especially common in the public sector and at institutions like schools.
The truth is, though, you can afford the business tech support you need to help your business succeed. Our guide will show you exactly how to put those services in reach.
Crunch the Numbers
The first thing you need to do is sit down and crunch the numbers. How much is not having small business IT support costing you?
It’s probably more than you think. First, you need to factor in the costs of labor. How much are you paying your team to keep on top of IT-related tasks?
Even if you don’t have a dedicated in-house IT team, your people are still spending time on tech. They may be troubleshooting their own issues or teaching other team members how to use a program. They might even be fixing security issues.
Next, consider how much downtime you had over the last year or so. How much time did your team lose due to network issues or malfunctions? Some reports say downtime costs businesses over $1 million each year.
Now compare the costs of small business IT support services. Chances are you’ve already been paying for those services in wages and lost productivity.
Evaluate Your IT Needs
You might still think tech support for small business is too expensive for your business. After all, you only have a handful of computers and your website is simple.
That’s why different levels of IT support services exist. Your business doesn’t need the same as large corporation. You may not need even need the same level of service and support as a business in another industry.
In light of all this, it’s important to evaluate your IT needs. If your IT needs are minimal, you may be able to buy services on break/fix terms. When something goes wrong, your provider will be in to fix it.
At the the opposite end of the spectrum, you can choose to outsource all your IT operations. This is often the most expensive option, because it’s also the most comprehensive choice.
Before you write it off, though, remember that many small businesses outsource to grow. Even Google outsourced in their early days, so they could free up their team to focus on their products.
How to Check Your IT Needs
How do you know what you need? When it comes to IT services, think about the following things:
- How many devices do you have on your network? Include smart appliances and mobile devices like smartphones.
- How many users are accessing your network or server? Do your clients or customers access your servers, or is it employees alone?
- Are there processes or procedures you still do by hand? Are there IT tools that could help you?
- How many security threats have you faced recently? Do you have sensitive data, such as health information, you need to keep safe?
You might also want to take a look at what other businesses in your industry are using. Technology is often a competitive advantage, so look at what your competitors use.
The Many Types of Small Business IT Services
There are different service levels when it comes to the IT support you need for your small business. You might be happy calling someone in only when there’s a problem. At the other extreme, getting managed services could free up your team to focus on their core tasks.
If you’re considering a new tool, you might want to look at product-specific support. This could include training, troubleshooting, and more.
If you’re implementing a new project, such as introducing a new information system, you might want to get project-specific support.
You can also outsource some IT functions and keep others in-house. For example, you might want to send your security operations to a team of experts. If network administration overwhelms you, outsourcing could be the right choice.
Finally, you can consider managed IT services to provide for all your small business’s needs. With new remote operations, getting 24/7 coverage for your IT needs has never been easier.
Find the Right Service Provider
The easiest way to make small business IT support services affordable is to find the right provider.
How will you know you’ve found the right partner for your business? First, look for a business that works with small and mid-sized clients. They’ll understand your needs.
Better yet, they’ll be better able to adapt to your changing needs. Large IT service providers tend to offer bundled packages, which may or may not fit your needs. They’re also much less flexible.
A provider can help you design an IT service package that meets your needs. You’ll get what you need and what you want. You won’t get “add-ons” that you’ll never use and end up costing you.
IT Just Got More Affordable
No matter what your budget is, there’s a small business IT services solution out there for you. If you’re ready to benefit from all that better IT support has to offer, get in touch with us. We’ll help you manage IT in your business for a more successful tomorrow.