Integrating the right and up-to-date technology into your business allows small companies to stay competitive with large corporations. At this point, all businesses rely on technology to best serve and grow their customer base. As a small business owner, one of the largest risks involved with technology is failure rates. No system is perfect and a network crash or hardware issue can come with a tremendous price tag. Your IT infrastructure is what allows you to manage accounts, close sales online, ship timely and much more. A problem with that infrastructure will leave your business floundering, losing money until all systems are back online. A single emergency could eat up an entire year’s worth of profits in just a couple of days. Follow these simple tips for keeping your IT support costs within budget.
Tip #1 – Use Custom IT Support Plans
There are no “one-size-fits-all,” IT support solutions. Every business has different needs and should build their own IT support plan around those needs. For some businesses, staffing a full service on-site IT department can be the most cost effective, but for most of you, the expense is much too high. With custom IT support plans from an outsourced IT support provider, you can get as much or as little service as you need. The important thing is you have a relationship with someone you can count on in and emergency.
Tip #2 – Be Pro-Active when Planning Your IT Support
A little bit of investment in your infrastructure can help stave off a big emergency expense. Have a plan to update systems regularly and backup your data. Emergency IT expenses can come at any time, regardless of what your cash flow looks like. Monitoring your network , servers and workstations for vulnerabilities helps ensure your systems stay up and running. A single day of downtime costs you not only in terms of productivity, but also in customer satisfaction. The inability to access your customer account system or email can lose you clients, rapidly. A pro-active approach to IT support anticipates problems before they happen and minimizes system downtime. And most important, create an IT budget each year to identify where your IT dollars should go and visit this plan during the year.
Tip #3 – Consider Outsourced IT Support
Yes, you need to have an IT support plan, but it does not have to consist of in-house IT employees. Contracting services with an expert provider helps you get top-of-the-line service at a price point accessible to a small business. You can contract for data backup and recovery services, on-site IT services, network administration, managed antivirus software, firewall monitoring and much more. When you outsource your IT department, you exchange the cost of staffing an IT department or paying top dollar for emergency services, with a reasonable and predictable monthly cost.
Cost is one of the driving factors in IT decision making, but it does not have to be. The right combination of services can give your company the tools it needs to reduce the risk of a server crash or down network. Custom IT support plans offer your business the flexibility it needs to create a comprehensive protection package at a price point that fits your budget.