As your small business grows from a solo enterprise to a company with 50 employees, your IT also needs to change. So how can you maximise your IT budget to get the most efficiency, longevity and value from your purchases over time?
Here are a few inside tips to keep in mind when you’re planning your IT purchases.
Consider total cost of ownership (TCO)
If you are weighing up which PCs to purchase for your business, always think about the ‘total cost of ownership’. This includes all hardware and software expenses, IT support and maintenance, life cycle and replacement costs, and potential end-user costs associated with lost productivity, downtime and training.
It becomes important because many entry-level devices, particularly those aimed at consumers rather than businesses, cost more over the long run to support and maintain. They’re not designed for the rigours of your workday and lack the power, performance and battery life required for business use. The longer life cycle of business-class devices reduces the replacement costs that consumer devices can incur over the same time frame.
The multipurpose advantage
Another good tip to reduce your overall outlay and improve staff productivity is to choose devices that offer multiple working modes, such as a single hybrid device that can function as both a laptop and a tablet.
In addition to lowering your initial outlay, multi-mode devices offer greater flexibility for those who need to work in and out of the office. Costs for software, accessories and peripherals for a second device are avoided as well.
Research by Intel suggests that a 2-in-1 business device, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga with Intel vPro technology, saves $1565 per user over three years compared to a laptop and iPad Air, and $1693 compared to a laptop and Android tablet. The biggest savings are in hardware support, management and security. There’s a savings advantage even if the employee, rather than the employer, pays for the device.
Equip your growing business
It can be particularly challenging as a fast-growing business to balance the rising demand for staff and equipment with available cash flow. Expenses and equipment need to be paid up front, while you can wait months to receive payment from clients.
One solution to consider is vendor finance. This allows you to avoid paying 100 per cent up front for your devices, while still acquiring the essential equipment you need for growth and productivity. For example, Lenovo finance options allow you to bundle everything you need – from hardware and software to service contracts, installation costs and training fees. This means you can get the technology you need today while preserving your capital for other uses.
Take advantage of tax benefits
Small business owners can realise significant additional cost savings by taking advantage of available tax depreciation and asset write-offs for IT equipment. For example, under changes recently announced by the government, businesses with an annual turnover of less than $2 million will soon be able to deduct expenses up to the value of $20,000, up from the previous threshold of $1000. The aim is to encourage businesses to accelerate their growth by investing in new assets, including technology.
The new threshold will be in place until the end of June 2017, so it makes sense to upgrade your IT before that date. Make sure to discuss your options with your accountant first to ensure your business is eligible and work out the optimal level of spend.
With careful planning and making use of tax and financing options, your company can access tomorrow’s technology to grow your business today.
To get more value from your IT purchases, or discover the best solutions for your small business, speak with one of our advisors on +61 (02) 8205 1779, or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.