Have plans to crush 2019 in both profits and business growth?
If you’re a small to medium size business owner who is currently using software and other IT hardware to boost profits and productivity, this article will help you minimize unexpected or hidden costs associated with it.
By showing you how to put together an IT plan that gives you a clear picture of expenses to expect and other costs associated with business growth.
This is especially important with software, as monthly fees and extra feature / user costs can rack up over time.
Why Do I Need An IT Plan?
First of all, it is important to understand exactly how much you are spending now, as well as how much you will be spending as your business grows.
After all, you keep track of these things in your accounting books -- it only makes sense to do this for the IT side of things too.
Especially since IT is becoming more and more important to reducing costs and improving productivity for businesses.
There’s almost no business that doesn’t use some form of software or IT hardware to help run their day-to-day operations. And of course with this, comes additional fees that need to be managed.
Secondly, if you have the goal to crush 2019 in both profits and business growth, it’s critical you have plans in place to execute on this.
IT plans should not be left out of this picture, as it can incur unexpected costs. For example, if your business is growing and you’ve hired new staff -- how much does it cost to provide the right IT hardware (laptops / phones etc.) and related software that they need to do their work?
By having an IT plan in place, you’ll be able to calculate exactly how much extra you’ll need to invest, and track this against the revenues produced.
Lastly, if you’re in a competitive market -- your competitors are likely savvy enough to be making their own plans in 2019. That’s why going into 2019 blindly could result in severe disappointment if you don’t have a business IT plan in place.
So How Does An IT Plan Work?
Below, we’ve laid out some specific questions that you need to answer as you set about your plan:
Step 1: What Are You Using Right Now?
The first thing to figure out is what software and hardware are you using right now, and how much does it cost you to maintain this?
In short, you’re taking stock of what you have right now.
You should also consider the following for your software:
- When do your software licenses expire?
- When do you need to renew them?
- Do these software have extra hidden costs? For example, does it cost extra to use certain features or incur additional fees with more users?
And in terms of hardware, keep in mind how often do they need to undergo maintenance -- and when will they need to be replaced?
The latter question is especially important, as you should expect to incur a large, upfront fee (or look to finance it long-term) when they need to be replaced. For example, laptops and computers often need to be upgraded or replaced over time.
Step 2: Plan For Growth
Once you’ve completed step 1, now we need to plan for growth.
Because there are incremental costs to growing your business, we need to make sure that your software and hardware is driving your business goals, not hindering them.
So in light of this, you’ll need to ask several questions about your current software:
- How does this particular software support business growth (i.e. what value does it bring. Is it essential?)
- What are the associated costs with scaling? Software products often incur an additional monthly fee per user or extra usage.
- Will you need to purchase new hardware to support this software?
- How do the software interact or integrate with each other? (Also called the technology stack).
- Often, the most popular software will integrate with each other. For example, the popular cloud storage solution Dropbox, allows you to open files with Office 365 (letting you or your staff edit documents through a browser)
Understanding the additional costs that will be incurred as your business grows in critical to manage expenses from getting out of hand.
And the way to do this is to inspect each individual software and understand how their pricing works.
Step 3: Consider Using Cloud Based (SaaS) Products Like Office 365
Once you’ve got a solid grasp on the additional costs that will be incurred with business growth…
Next step is to consider using Cloud Based, Software as a Service (SaaS) products like Office 365.
It’s superior to software licenses with traditional Office because it:
- Incurs less upfront costs -- because it’s a paid as a lower monthly cost (or a yearly commitment which gives you a discount). This is helpful to manage your cash flow as you’ll only need to pay as you use it
- Allows you to use the service remotely (as long as you have internet access). Meaning, it can be accessed so your staff can work while on the move, or even from home.
- This is especially good for boosting employee satisfaction if they want to balance their work-life (or have kids they want to pick up, or avoid rush hour traffic)
Overall, taking into account the choices available to you in terms of software and its strengths and weaknesses can eliminate unexpected costs and increase profitability in the long run.
Do you need help setting up an Office IT Plan for your business?
At Result IT, we are Microsoft’s Silver Midmarket Solution Provider and Microsoft Authorized Education Partner -- meaning we’re experts in helping you set up Office IT Plan for your business.
We can assist with any technical aspects and can also help set up Office to run smoothly for your business.
If you are not our Service Level Agreement (SLA) customer, please book a maintenance service for your business. Because you are a reader of our blog / newsletter, we will slash $20 off any quote!
You can contact us here, or call us at (09) 526 1800.
We’re located at:
67 Station Road East,