Most business leaders go into each year thinking the same thing: "How do I improve the bottom line?" It is, after all, the bottom line: the ultimate metric by which a business is measured. For all the ways that a business can cut costs, the most successful are those that have long-lasting effects and actually improve operations in the process. For example, have you considered outsourced tech support? While small to midsize businesses may have an internal IT employee (that is, singular) on staff, a full-service staff is not in the budget. So, in response, the internal IT employee handles what he or she can until something really goes wrong and then a call is placed to a third party for an incident-by-incident fix. If that sounds like your business, there is a better way to go about things.
Consider outsourced tech support and start reaping these benefits:
With a single person or a small internal IT team, there will be knowledge and experience blind spots. It is inevitable. No one can know everything and the fewer people on staff, the greater the chance that a skill or two will be missing. Remedying that can happen in a few ways: you can pay for continued education/training or you can make another hire each time a new skill is needed. Either way, that comes at a cost and hurts the bottom line instead of helping it. With an external team, the new skills are already accounted for. The external team bears the responsibility for bringing the latest skills to the table.
Tools and Resources
Do you have the technology equipment you need? What about the software? Will that still be true next year or 5 years from now? Most small to midsize businesses don't have the budget for constant equipment and software turnover. Or, if they do, they make the wrong buy or hook up with the wrong software. With an external team, you get strategy and insight on the tools and resources your business needs. Instead of guessing, you get guidance. An external team can get your network set up correctly and find in-budget software solutions that can improve your operations and ultimately, your bottom line.
Technology is more important than ever before to every type of business. Putting all IT responsibilities on the shoulders of a single person is almost infeasible today, no matter how small your business is. Leveraging an external team gives you a powerful resource for getting the job done more efficiently. Technology and business both move fast. Your tech support should do the same. As tech support issues get resolved more quickly, your business can continue without interruption. That's yet another way that an external IT team can help boost your bottom line.
If you do eventually find that a single person cannot be responsible for all of your tech support needs, you might start considering hiring more staff. As an alternative, consider an external IT partner. More employees add significantly to your overhead and that can be a crushing line item when it comes to your budget. Staff requires training, health care, paid vacation, and other benefits. Why incur those costs when a better alternative exists? An external team will have all the staff (plus the training, experience, and resources) you need, without the cost of building an internal team.
As you consider your bottom line, consider an external IT team. As you read above, it can make a big difference in cost and can actually improve the way that your business operates.