If you’re running a small business, chances are that you spend a good portion of your revenue on IT. As your business expands, so does your budget for things like computers, networking devices, and other pieces of critical IT infrastructure.

So, how can you ensure you’ve got the technology you need to compete with bigger companies – without a huge IT budget? Here are a few simple tips that can help you cut costs on IT. Take a look now, and think about how you can use them in your own business.

1. Shop for Refurbished Computers (In Bulk) and Replace Outdated Machines

Most business-class computers can be expected to last between 3-5 years. After this, their performance declines significantly, and the risk of a serious mechanical malfunction, such as a hard drive failure, increases.

If you have outdated computers, we recommend replacing them with refurbished models. Refurbished computers are machines that had minor mechanical or cosmetic flaws, which have been completely restored by the manufacturer. They’re much cheaper than brand-new computers, and usually covered by the same warranty as a new computer.

In addition, if you shop in bulk, and buy multiple units from the same supplier or OEM, you may be able to get a better deal. Over time, this adds up to serious cost savings.

2. Always Have Spare Computers On-Hand

One of the biggest problems, when a computer breaks down, is that you don’t have a spare for an employee to use – resulting in a wasted work day.

It’s a good idea to have a few spare computers that are ready to be used at all times, so that you can issue a computer to a new hire, or replace a damaged or broken computer immediately.

This also saves you money, because you don’t have to rush-order a brand-new machine as soon as you experience a breakdown.

3. Use The Cloud To Your Benefit

Cloud computing is ideal for small businesses. You can move things like email and file storage to cloud-based services like Office 365 and OneDrive, allowing you to avoid investing in expensive servers. In addition, with a cloud-based business model, you only pay for the services you use. That means you can scale up quickly if you’re hiring more employees.

4. Be Proactive When It Comes To IT Problems

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – particularly in IT. If you notice an IT problem like a slow network, software glitches, or unreliable computers, it’s always better to address these things sooner, rather than later.

If you don’t have a dedicated IT department, you may not even know about these kinds of issues, so take some time to ask each employee if they’re experiencing any technical problems.

Then, you can compile a list of these issues, and look into each one.

Chances are that this will save you a lot of time and money, because you’ll be able to fix the problem before it becomes severe. Employee productivity will also be enhanced – which means higher profits.

5. Consider Outsourcing Your IT Support Services

If you run a small business, and you need to expand your IT support services, you may be considering hiring a full-time IT staff member. However, this is usually not necessary for smaller companies, and it can be quite expensive to do so.

So, what should you do? Outsource! There are plenty of small business IT support companies who can provide you with contractors and consultants for a reasonable rate – often for less than the salary of a full-time employee.

By hiring an outsourced IT staff member, you can save money – and still get the support you need, both for your IT systems and for your employees. That’s a win-win.

Follow These Tips – And Build A Better Business!

Feeling overwhelmed by high IT spending? These tips are sure to help you get the systems and services you need – for less! So get started today, and maximize productivity in your business while keeping your IT spending under control!