With new technological innovations coming out at a faster pace than ever, it leaves many SMBs wondering whether they are getting a good return on investment for their technology.
Navigating the technological marketplace can be a haphazard experience for any SMB. Over the years we have seen the common pitfalls small and medium sized businesses have faced when purchasing technology.
A major issue SMBs face in the technology marketplace is they lack an overall picture of what they want and the necessary technology to implement it. The technology marketplace is constantly innovating and changing. The same solutions and products that were available a few years ago, are now no longer feasible or obsolete.
Therefore before making a purchase, we advise our clients to ask the following questions; what are your current business needs? Where do you foresee your future business growth happening? What area are vital that need improvement?
Once answered, these responses will provide our clients with a map of their existing IT network, business goals and needs. This is going to be the cornerstone of their purchasing experience, as it will guide and direct them in the marketplace. Ensuring a proper return on every investment. If a purchase doesn’t fit within this plan, they won’t buy it. This strategy has shown to save our clients both time and money.
Another hurdle we have seen our clients deal with in the technological marketplace, is that they feel unsure if they can speak directly to retailors or vendors, as they don’t have the large budgets to garner their attention. Therefore limiting their options to local advisors and resellers.
As someone who has experience working with large vendors and retailers, we have shown that Microsoft, IBM, HP and Dell are more than willing to speak and sell directly to SMBs.
We have seen in this current market that our clients are in a better place than ever before. They have access to better products and the ability to shop around and pick the best price point and product for their needs.
Additionally high-end vendors in recent years have developed more scaled down versions of their enterprises at a fraction of the costs. Thus making enterprises more accessible to small and medium businesses. Coupled with flexible pricing and leasing models, SMBs are at a greater position than ever before to get the best bang for their buck. Not only reducing their initial investment, but freeing up capital to target other goals and needs within their company.
With Quartet working alongside venders and retailers, our clients are better equipped to determine where the market is heading and where to invest their money in. Not to mention, this will allow SMBs access to better hardware and software, but also the ability to gauge and be included in conversations on where technology is heading and the newest trends. Allowing them to make better informed purchases and decisions.
So you’ve bought all this technological hardware and software, but what’s next? How do you install it and maintain it?
Our experience has shown over and over again, that one of the most expensive upfront investments that our clients purchase is support cost, and for good reason. Support involves the maintenance and upkeep of their entire IT system. Support ensures their newly updated and fancy system is running without fault. Without an adequate support system in place, SMBs are prone to be running at marginal speeds, experience downtimes and disruptions, and using a network that not being fully utilized.
It’s no wonder that support is so pivotal in this day and age.
Many SMBs don’t have the necessary infrastructure or resource to handle their IT system. They spend all this money, time and effort upgrading and have no idea how to efficiently run or maintain it. This can cause easily avoidable costs and disruptions.
We did the math, and it’s more viable and cheaper for SMBs to use service providers and resellers, then do it themselves. But even this is not without risk.
We have seen before that clients who jumped in too quick or signed with the wrong service provider had conflicts and an additional 20% added to their total licensing fee, which can be problematic for an already tight and dwindling budget.
Doing the necessary homework, and consulting technical leaders is in the best interest for any SMB.
When asked to help a potential client decide on what exactly they’re look for, we give them the following questions to consider; are the solutions you’re provided tailored to meet your needs? What do they offer that their competitors don’t? Is this company a good fit for our company culture and vision?
Once they have considered all their options and answered these questions, they should be better prepared to make their choice and ensure they get a beneficial ROI, not only for their technology but also their services.