7 Steps to Create a Technology Budget for Business Success
As a business owner or manager, you know that technology is essential to the success of your company, but you may not have the first clue about how to create a technology budget that will keep your business competitive.
Don’t worry, you are not alone! Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) struggle with this issue. The good news is that there is help available. You can work with a technology provider or consultant to get the expert advice and assistance you need to create a winning budget.
Keep reading to learn how to create a technology budget that will help your business be competitive in today’s market.
7 Steps to Create a Technology Budget
Step 1: Set business goals
Before creating a technology budget, you need to determine your business goals.
Ask yourself, what do you want your business to achieve in the next year or two?
Do you want to:
- increase sales,
- improve customer satisfaction,
- streamline operations, or
- expand into new markets?
Your technology budget should align with your business goals so that it can help you achieve those business outcomes.
Step 2: Take inventory of your current technology
After setting your business goals, take inventory of your current technology.
This inventory includes hardware, software, and networking equipment. Determine what is still in service date and working effectively, and what needs to be upgraded or replaced now or in the near future. Make a list of all the technology you have, and the costs associated with each. This will help you determine your baseline technology expenses.
Step 3: Identify technology gaps
Once you have taken inventory of your current technology, identify any gaps that exist. Consider what technology your business needs to achieve its current and upcoming goals.
Gaps could include:
- new software applications,
- cybersecurity measures,
- identify and verify usage of all SaaS services,
- cloud services, or
- hardware upgrades
Make a list of everything you need and estimate the costs associated with each.
Step 4: Determine the total cost of ownership (TCO)
When creating a technology budget, it’s important to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) for each technology investment.
TCO includes the initial cost of purchase or implementation, as well as ongoing costs for maintenance, upgrades, and support. Make sure to factor in these costs when creating your budget.
Step 5: Prioritize technology investments
With your list of technology needs and TCO considerations in mind, prioritize your technology investments.
Determine which investments are critical to achieving your business goals and which can be delayed. Consider how each investment will impact your business and your budget.
Step 6: Allocate funds
Now that you have prioritized your technology investments, allocate funds accordingly.
This means determining how much you can afford to spend on each investment and spreading out these costs over time. Consider whether you prefer to purchase technology outright or lease it.
Step 7: Monitor and adjust
Creating a technology budget is not a one-time process. It’s important to monitor your technology expenses and adjust your budget as necessary.
Consider the impact of any unexpected costs or changes in your business goals. Regularly review your technology budget and adjust as needed to ensure that your business remains competitive.
A technology provider or consultant can be a very valuable resource when creating a technology budget. They can help you identify your technology needs and TCO considerations, prioritize investments, and allocate funds effectively, ultimately contributing to the success of your business.
If you still feel overwhelmed or determine that you need assistance with your technology budgeting, contact PCA Technology Solutions to ask how we can help you. It is always our goal to help our clients to reach their business goals!