Every new business needs to invest in technology to operate effectively, compete successfully and grow quickly. The big question is how much to spend and where to allocate your limited IT budget in your early years.
Orchard Facilities Management has a team dedicated to supporting young businesses with their IT strategy and planning. Most start ups approach IT planning on a needs basis, identifying the essential hardware, software and management resources for initial trading. As money comes into the business, systems are reviewed and upgraded. That usually means spending more time and money over the next few years adapting the equipment to meet their changing needs.
How to implement an IT strategy
The cost of technology needs to be balanced against the benefits it brings to your business. These benefits include:
· Helping the company win more business
· Improving efficiency
· Facilitating communication
· Streamlining operations
· Enhancing customer service
· Minimising risk
The technology you put in place should give you room to grow. You’ll need to consider how many staff you have and how many you expect to recruit over the next few years, whether your employees will be field or office based and whether you’re likely to have more than one business location.
Why it’s worth the investment
Efficiency: Your IT systems should support productivity and improve efficiency. A larger initial investment can generate quicker returns than a piecemeal approach.
Security: Almost two-thirds of small businesses experience a cyber breach every year. Failing to protect your business could leave you without a business at all.
Customer service: Technology can improve the quality of customer communication, operations, service levels and marketing.
Growth – A well-planned IT strategy at start up stage will enable you to invest in infrastructure that can be scaled as you grow.
Remember - Small businesses are a prime target for cyber criminals and hackers.
This is precisely because so few businesses consider data and system security when they are starting out.