10 Ways to Recession-Proof Small Business IT

  1. Change the Philosophy from fire fighting to fire prevention. There’s no question that waiting until something breaks and having an emergency on your hands costs more. When you add up lost work from downtime, emergency service costs, rash decisions, expensive hardware, band aid solutions, not to mention the stress, planning your upgrades before the technology fails is far less expensive. What’s in your office that is putting you at risk of costly emergencies?
  2. Plan your upgrades. It’s not if the hardware will die, but WHEN. Keeping track of the life cycle of your hardware is crucial in avoiding disaster. Waiting until it breaks is a recipe for driving up expenses. Planned end of life upgrades are a way to minimize cost, budget adequately, avoid downtime and have predictable technology costs. And predicable IT costs in a downturn economy is a wonderful thing.
  3. Maintenance. The name of the game is avoiding emergencies that are so costly. Regular maintenance allows you to extend the life of your existing hardware and software saving you money. DigitalFire Inc. has a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual maintenance program that will keep your computers at their best and extend their life.
  4. Wireless Sync. In times like these, you need to respond faster and be better for your customers because if you don’t someone else will. Wirelessly syncing your mobile device with your Calendar and Contacts will give you the information you need when you need it, allowing you to be more responsive to your customers. Book that appointment now, instead of waiting to see your calendar at the office.
  5. Backup your data to an external hard drive or a USB stick. This is a no brainer. $150 gets you a 500GB or larger drive where you can copy all of your important data. When you’re down the last thing you need is a kick in the teeth by losing data.
  6. Backup your data Offsite. This is on the list twice because it’s really important. 60% of companies that lose their data go out of business in 6 months or less. A fire or flood when the business is down and be the final nail in the coffin. Protect yourself, especially when times are tough.
  7. Get VOIP. The technology has advanced to near land line quality. Maybe it’s not time to dump your land lines completely but at the very least get it for long distance calls or a Line 4 that’s not part of the rollover sequence. Business VOIP does exist and can provide huge cost savings. Sometimes saving as much as 70% over land line costs.
  8. Get Remote Login. Having you or your employees login from home will make your business more efficient. Your employees can check email before they get to the office and be aware of problems and deal with them sooner.
  9. Use SAAS. The days of laying out large sums of cash upfront for software are over. With low startup cost for often brilliant software that enhances productivity – time tracking, CRM, group calendar, project management, lead tracking and many more, software as a service can be a controlled low monthly cost for software that makes your business more efficient. Paying monthly for software also means that upgrades and downtime are essentially a thing of the past. It’s all covered in your monthly fees. Software as a service can be an inexpensive way to get access to quality software that can really make a difference in your bottom line.
  10. Use Open Source. Open source software is software that is born out of a common need by a group of individuals who then write the software then need and release it for FREE. www.sourceforge.net has nearly 350,000 different open source projects on the go. Have a look at open source alternatives when looking for software. Chances are you’ll find great software supported by a huge community of people looking for exactly the same thing.

In tough times like these DigitalFire Inc. can help save you money and avoid expensive emergencies. Getting fixed IT costs can really help you budget and ensure you survive and thrive in the recession. For help with any of these items or others call Leslie at 905-845-5959 ex. 11 to discuss your IT strategy.

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