One area of business savings that often gets overlooked is a company’s IT operations. While some firms choose to hire a systems administrator to work on site, small and midsize businesses might not have the need for a full-time employee, let alone the tens of thousands of dollars to pay the expected salary. For such companies, outsourcing IT operations is a viable alternative. Outsourcing your IT not only costs less than employing a full-time worker, but also puts your company’s IT needs in the capable hands of a group of experts.
If your company decides to outsource its IT rather than pay the full sticker price of a full-time employee, you can expect to have some funds left on hand to inject into different parts of your business. These are just some of the ways you can allocate the capital derived from your IT savings when outsourcing your IT.
Better Technology and Equipment
Most businesses these days rely on technology for day-to-day operations. Technology, however, isn’t a one-time cost, as your company must stay up-to-date to continue to be safe and efficient. The money you save by outsourcing your IT services could be spent on new computers for your business, or even on company phones and tablets to allow for work on the go. Staying up-to-date with your company hardware allows your operations to run more quickly, making your business more reliable for its customers. Even more, your outsourced IT team of experts should be able to help you choose, set up, and maintain any new hardware you want to buy.
Besides newer hardware, your company could invest in better software. While you might rely on free services, such as Google Docs and OpenOffice, to run your business, they don’t offer the customization that your business might need. Licensed enterprise software, on the other hand, is often designed specifically for your industry, and it can often be custom tailored for your company. This software usually comes at a price, though. A small to midsize business can plan on spending up to tens of thousands of dollars each year in order to license, implement, and maintain enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. But, with the savings provided from choosing an outsourced IT team rather than an on-site systems administrator, your company could afford to implement this new software.
Hiring Additional Services
Companies that rent office space have to pay monthly fees for a number of services, such as utilities and garbage pickup. While these are necessary costs of doing business, you might wish to employ additional services that make your business operations more convenient or secure. Capital saved from outsourcing IT can be diverted to these additional services.
The following are just a few examples of additional services your company could employ using additional capital. Your business could employ a regular cleaning service to project a more professional atmosphere to visiting clients. You could hire a security company to install video surveillance and access controls to keep your property more secure. Or, you could even put the money toward a catered lunch every Friday; while this might seem very much like a “nice to have,” small perks like these go a long way in building employee happiness, increasing the chances of your workers staying with your business longer and reducing turnover costs.
Buying Bulk Materials at a Discount
Overhead and operating costs play large parts in the overall profitability of a business, so it’s often in business leaders’ best interests to find ways to minimize costs. Cutting out inefficiencies in your business workflow is one way of bringing these costs down, but small and midsize businesses that are already running at tight margins will find this process to be difficult. By outsourcing your IT services, you could use your newfound capital as a tool to make operating costs less expensive.
Some regular business expenses–the rent you pay for office space, costs for hosting a website–are generally fixed. Others, however, can be made less expensive when bought in larger quantities. With the money saved by outsourcing IT, companies that make regular use of things like shipping materials or office supplies can buy more materials at once, leading to a lower cost per unit and saving the business money.
Marketing and Advertising
Sometimes, a business needs to spend money to make money. Putting capital toward marketing and advertising for your services is a case in point. These days, a simple advertisement in the newspaper or placement in the phone book isn’t good enough for driving customers to your business – with the large part that the Internet plays in modern marketing and advertising, promoting your business requires much more effort and expertise than your team might have available.
Capital saved by outsourcing IT could be put toward hiring a marketing agency that will provide many avenues of exposure for your business. A respectable marketing firm can set up and maintain social media accounts, design and provide content for your website, and buy online advertisements to promote your company. You can expect a return on your investment in the form of greater customer loyalty, boosted sales, more leads, and an overall better image for your business.
Better Employee Benefits
Rather than investing the cost savings of outsourcing IT back into your business, you could instead put it toward an investment in your company’s employees. There are a few different ways you could handle this. You could split the savings among your current workers and give them raises, or you could invest the money into better benefits packages for them. You could award the money as a bonus, to be paid at the end of the year or on a performance basis in order to motivate your team. Or, you could raise the salary for new employee positions, raising the expectations for future talent.
Employees are more likely to stay with a company when they’re satisfied with their salaries and the benefits their employer gives them. While you might not think it costs much to replace an employee, turnover at your company can cost the rest of your workforce as you spend time and money finding a replacement for a worker who decides to leave. Employee turnover requires job placement and recruitment fees, as well as the time to interview potential candidates and train the new employee. On the other hand, a small investment in your employees’ happiness can prevent these turnovers from happening.
Outsourcing company IT services might not be everyone’s preferred option, and there are sure to be some small and midsize business leaders who would rather keep a full-time systems administrator on staff to handle the IT internally. On the other hand, those who look into outsourcing their IT services will find that not only do they get similar services for a fraction of the price, but they also have plenty of ways they can spend that extra capital.