Blog / Getting Better Returns From Your IT for Small Businesses
Investing in information technology is critical for businesses looking to stay competitive, regardless of their size. However, when it comes to IT for small businesses, it’s important they extract as much value as possible from their investment. Unfortunately it’s all too easy for small business owners to make some common mistakes when investing in new IT tools and upgrades. Also, just because larger organizations can often absorb costly mistakes easier than small ones doesn’t mean they can’t save money with better IT practices. That’s why we compiled this short list to help you avoid five common mistakes that can hurt your IT investment returns.
- Forgetting your budget
- Spending on imperfect options
- Assuming compatibility
- Not training team members
- Not getting feedback
Forgetting your budget
It’s surprising how often this happens, considering the importance of budgets in business. However, the truth is that while the overall move to application subscriptions by developers has substantially reduced upfront software capital expenses, it can be easy to exhaust your finances by overspending on too many products. All those tiny monthly subscriptions can obscure the true costs of your software and quickly exhaust a small business’s IT budget. Don’t let low upfront costs and cheap monthly subscriptions wind up costing you more down the road.
Spending on imperfect options
Another costly mistake (and blow to your IT budget) is spending on software that only partially meets your needs. Your business likely has unique IT needs that no developer can imagine, and no software is going to be a perfect one-size-fits-all solution. On the other hand, there’s also hundreds of thousands of software applications out there, each with their own unique selling point. Just because there no perfect solution for everyone doesn’t mean there isn’t a perfect one for you. Review your options with a qualified it consultant to find the right fit.
Cross-platform and backwards compatibility has become an important feature for users over the years, and not just in the gaming community. Contractors, sub-contractors, clients, vendors, and stakeholders of all kinds are increasingly wanting their software to operate seamlessly with each others’ software, and technology is increasingly making compatibility easier. That doesn’t mean the problem’s been solved already though, and not every solution is going to be compatible with every other one. In fact, assuming two (or more) apps will work well together is a great way to encourage data hygiene problems and lost or corrupted data (possibly massive amounts worth). Make sure any technology you decide to bring into the organization has been thoroughly vetted for compatibility.
Not training team members
Computers have been ubiquitous in our society for decades now, so it’s not unreasonable to expect some basic technology skills from everyone on your team. That doesn’t mean they won’t need some guidance on using that powerful new software application you just picked up though. In order to get the most out of your investment your team will need to know how to use new technology to achieve the desired results. There’s no point to changing from one software to another with specialized features to boost productivity unless your team members are actually using those features, and properly.
If you’ve got a managed service provider who offers IT for small businesses, you may want to consider inquiring about technology training. Many IT firms, including TRINUS, can provide training on using new applications and features to help smooth the transition.
Not getting feedback
Make sure to regularly check in with employees about how they use software in their everyday jobs. As the ones using it the most, they’ll be able to tell you not just about any unexpected downsides, but also about other features that could possibly be leveraged to make your investment even more worthwhile.
Information technology can often represent a huge investment, particularly for small businesses, and extracting the most value possible out of that investment can be critical to their profitability. If you have any questions about how best to use IT for your small business, contact TRINUS today to set up a consultation.
The TRINUS Team.