In a lot of small and medium-sized companies, IT budgets tend to fluctuate wildly from one year to the next. Often, this is because owners and executives will make big investments in new hardware or systems on a somewhat random schedule. They decide to buy when something they use breaks, or when an exciting new product becomes available. However, they don’t really plan or forecast these events in advance.
That’s one way to manage your IT upgrade budget, and you can certainly get by with that approach if your cash flow will support it. Even if it doesn’t put a big drag on your bottom line, though, that’s not really the best way to keep your tech up-to-date. Let’s look at a smarter way to manage this portion of your balance sheet…
Start by Smoothing Out Your IT Budget
Instead of handling upgrades one at a time as needed, you might consider setting a monthly or yearly IT budget that’s a little bit higher than what you think you’ll need (or if you aren’t sure where to start, a figure that’s slightly above your average expense over the last few years). That might seem painful and unnecessary in the short term, but they can help you save quite a bit of money later.
By over-investing into your IT accounts in the short term you’ll build up a little bit of a cash surplus. That can be helpful for a couple of important reasons…
The Benefits of a Steady IT Budget
As we’ve already mentioned, following our strategy will have you putting aside a little more money than you think you’ll need for technology. We understand if that thought puts a bad taste in your mouth. However, you’ll be glad you did later.
For one thing, when those emergency upgrades and replacements seem to arrive out of nowhere you’ll have the cash on hand to deal with them. You’ve already factored in the ups-and-downs that come with buying, subscribing to, or leasing new tech ahead of time so it’s easier to deal with. You won’t be forced to pull cash out of other parts of your business that need it.
The bigger benefit, though, comes when you decide to make those upgrades that aren’t a necessity. In other words, when you want to buy something just to make your business stronger. With a little bit of extra cash on hand in your IT budget, you can decide to act when prices are low rather than being forced to replace something simply because your existing tech stopped working. And, you can invest a little extra in warranty plans, extended care, or help with installation if that’s needed.
Do You Have a Smart IT Budget Strategy?
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that most business owners and executives aren’t thinking far enough ahead when they set their IT budgets or make technology-related decisions. At Fantastic IT we have the skills, experience, and client-centered approach to make sure you get top value for every dollar you spend on devices, software, and support.
If you want to see what’s possible when you have the right technology team working on your behalf, contact us today so we can schedule a time to talk. You might be amazed at how easy and affordable it is to get the expert help you’ve been looking for.