When it comes to running a small business, having top quality technology may seem like a luxury that is simply out of your league. But given that the latest technology can provide unrivalled efficiency at a relatively low price, it’s likely that many of your competitors are using it – which means that you too need to stay ahead of the curve. If your competitors are replying to emails much faster than you are because of their superior email client, for example, then you could lose business. Here are some ways to avoid this type of scenario thereby enabling you to surge ahead as a small business.
Write – and stick to – a budget
Paying for a whole host of new technology items all at once may not work for everyone. If that’s the case for you, it’s wise to think carefully about your finances and budget for them rather than avoid the issue altogether. Once you have found a piece of tech you need, such as a new software package, speak to the vendor about the subscription packages available and find one with a low monthly cost. Then, you can take a small investment amount out of your profits each month to cover the subscription.
As you scale, you will be able to raise that amount and invest in more and more technology. If you find that the budget is not sufficient, there may be cheaper alternatives out there. Looking around business forums and other online resources can often direct you to places where the piece of technology you need can be accessed at a better price. Even if the smartphone you want your staff to use only came out this year there may well be affordable and fully functional second-hand versions available from reputable vendors.
Don’t leave it too late
That said, one of the main drags on any small business’ technology budget often ends up being the cost of fixing things rather than buying new versions. When a piece of technology isn’t properly maintained, it can cost a lot of money to get it sorted out – so preventing the problem is often the best approach. That’s why investing in Microsoft Office 365 now is a good idea, because it means that when your current word processing, spreadsheet, email and other software items go out of date, and maybe even lose their support function, you won’t have to waste money playing catch up.
While keeping your technology up to date may seem like a drag when what you currently have is working okay, staying ahead of the game is actually an essential part of modern business. If you don’t keep up with advancements it could cause you to lose new business leads or hurt your wallet in the long run when your old-fashioned technology becomes difficult to replace. By budgeting carefully and knowing when to act, you can ensure you will have the technology you need to run your business effectively.