Yes even small businesses need IT budgets! It happens every year. You go about your day, then the hard drive in your Office Manager’s computer dies. You scramble to find a computer guy to get the problem fixed only to find out that the computer is out of warranty. It costs you a ton of money to replace the computer and get your Office Manager back up and running. Why continue to fight fires when you can plan ahead for these business expenses?
Here’s how to get started. Contact the manufacturer of your computers, server, firewalls etc. Give them the serial number of your device and ask them when the warranty expires. Most business class hardware is sold with at least a 3 year warranty. The rule of thumb is, you want to start thinking about replacing your hardware (or at least purchasing an extended warranty) before it expires. Finding out the expiration date on your hardware will give you a good idea of what computers need to be replaced in the new year. Once you have a good idea of how many computers you need to replace or upgrade contact an IT Provider or Certified Reseller to get discounted prices on your hardware.
Now let’s start thinking about your computer support. Even though your Office Manager’s computer only costs $500, your “Computer Guy” charged you $300 to set it up! Maybe it’s time to think about a flat-rate monthly support plan. You’ve always thought your company was too small for Managed IT Services, but monthly computer plans actually saves your business money. Instead of being nickled and dimed throughout the year, you will be able to budget your monthly IT costs on a consistent basis. Add up the last year’s worth of invoices, then subtract the cost of hardware, Cloud services, software and licensing and divide it by 12. That’s your monthly cost of computer support. Now it’s time to contact a Managed IT Service provider and get quotes for monthly support.
Don’t spend the next year putting out computer fires! A couple hours of planning will save you days of frustration and help your small business be more efficient in the new year.