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4 Tactics For Controlling Small Business Technology Costs
A few simple steps can help you make the most of your expenditures throughout the lifecycle of the technology. Servers, desktops, software, networking equipment and peripherals add up, but you do need them to keep your business running. Follow these steps to make cost-effective decisions.
1. Weigh Financing Options
Aside from purchasing, financing and leasing are viable options for a small business. Consider a combination of the three when going through the buying process. Installing and configuring the technology could also be financed and bundled into regular payments. Does the company you're buying from provide "new and authorized by the manufacturer" sales? After you've got the equipment up and running, this could enable your company to get updates or enhancements directly from the manufacturer--and dealing with problems will be much simpler.
2. Warranty Wisely
Anticipate growth and business changes and decide whether or not the technology you are selecting today can carry you through these changes. Take into account the time that it will be considered useful for your business. To protect yourself when financing or leasing, align the term of the agreement with the warranty period. That way you'll have protection direct from the manufacturer during the period of time you intend to own it.
3. Consider Total Cost
Prepare and budget for other costs to support your technology. For example, toner cartridges typically cost the owner or a laser printer two to three times the initial cost of the printer. Consider a program such as a Managed Print Service to include these costs in the monthly price. Typically this will lower the total lifetime cost.
4. Plan for Disposing of the Equipment
Considering your company's strategy around technology disposal or recycling at the front end. There are basically 3 ways to properly dispose of technology at the end of the useful life:
a) Sell the equipment
b) Donate the technology to a school, non-profit, etc.
c) Formal Disposition - Certified companies will assure your computers or other hardware and software will be properly disposed of, including recycling and reuse of components. Another benefit: Your data is destroyed and made unrecoverabl by professionals rather than relying on inexperienced staffers.
The total cost of ownership of technology includes more than the upfront price tag. Consider the total lifecycle costs of IT for your business, plan ahead and you'll make sure you're maximizing your investment.
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