Finances and IT are two of the most important aspects of any small business, so how do you make sure everything’s running smoothly?
If you own your own business, you should be keeping track of where your money’s going, and that’s also true of IT.
An accurate IT budget is the best way of keeping on top of your IT finances. It’s not exactly a fun task, but it could really help your business find greater success and save you a lot of number-crunching headaches in the future. An IT budget can help you match your IT provision to your business needs, can help you plan for big expenses and give you a realistic view of your IT spending.
So how do you make your IT budget a success for your business? The team at Syntax IT Support London gave us their thoughts.
Keep your budget simple
Nobody likes a complicated budget, and there’s no need for one either. Approach the task methodically, with the aim of obtaining a full and clear picture of your costs, aims and goals.
You don’t need to create an entire budget alone, however. If your business has an IT manager or team then it’s important to get their input as they will know better than anyone what the IT requirements for your business are. They know the tech itself, and will be able to answer questions like how long devices can be expected to last and which tech is most important.
Creating an IT budget is all about looking at both the past and the future. You should be looking at how your company has spent money on IT in the past, and whether this is likely to reflect in future spending, but also look at your ongoing business plan and see which areas may require some spending in the IT sector.
Align your budget with your business strategy
Your IT budget will be closely aligned with your business strategy, so make sure you’re familiar with both and can see where they might interlink.
A growing business goes hand in hand with a growing need for IT, so this must be factored into your budget. If you plan on recruiting more staff over the coming year, then you’ll likely need to expand your tech in order to accommodate this, including IT support and training. This should all be present in your budget.
You may also need to change the quality of your IT, rather than just the scope. A larger, more advanced infrastructure will be necessary if your business becomes more successful and therefore gathers more demand. You may need to swap out old tech for newer, streamlined models and even introduce necessary tech for bigger businesses like the cloud.
And these alterations could cost money in themselves. Removing old tech and installing new hardware may require the help of outsourced IT professionals, so this too should be factored into your budget.
Be aware of your IT costs
Look back at how your IT spending has been over the previous year. Some of these purchases will be one-offs, but some of them may be regular or likely to be repeated, and therefore will have to be incorporated into your budget.
You should set your budget once a year and then make the effort to track your spending as you go. This will tell you whether your estimation is likely to change or whether you’re staying on track.
Remember, an IT budget is a plan, but it isn’t set in stone. It’s impossible to know exactly how much you’ll be spending on IT down to the last penny, but a thorough IT budget can provide you with an educated estimation of how much you’ll need to set aside for necessary IT costs over the coming year.