The end of the year is a busy time for every business owner. You spend a lot of time understanding where your business is spending money and where you need to invest in order to help propel your Business forward. One way to start building budgets for the next year is taking a look at all the different departments that make up your business: operations, service delivery, sales, and marketing. But how much thought have you given to the one department that affects all your other departments? That’s right, your IT department.
As much as you may not like it or find it boring, the truth is this: technology was created to make your business more efficient, drop your cost of operation, and increase your profits. Without it, you’d be doomed. Society doesn’t use smoke signals any more to communicate on the battlefield. They use the latest and greatest technology available to get the job done right. IT budgeting helps you get the job done in your business and should not be placed in the back of the lineup.
Review your IT spending from last year. Understand what you’re spending today and challenge yourself to discover and include all of the costs you have incurred while using your current technology. Give your self a base line from where you can’t start from.
Talk to the experts. As the saying goes: “you don’t know what you don’t know.” You may sit there and think, “well all I need is a computer to throw some data on and send emails.” With that mindset, you have no idea what you are missing. Do yourself a favor and ask, “what is possible?” Let a technology expert know what you want to accomplish with your IT budget and your business as a whole.
Make this a part of your business plan. With any good business plan you project and account for growth. You know where you are today but tomorrow you could have 20% more employees, 30% more inventory, and two locations. IT budgeting should be included with your growth plan. In today’s market, IT grows along your business and in most cases is the foundation to growth. Make sure it’s started on steady ground.