SMB IT and Our Economic Challenges

October 16, 2008

With the current economic trends, we have challenges in our businesses.

Even if you are not publicly traded, maybe your customers are, or maybe your customers are afraid of being let go.

This is as good a time as any to resort to the old saying;

Watch the nickles and dimes, and let the dollars take care of themselves.

Unfortunately I don’t have a silver bullet for all parts of your business, but my advice to SME owners and managers is to start looking at the technology nickles and dimes in the following places.

Contracts

Review every one. That includes telecommunications, (including cellular) network services, consulting, or software agreements. Do you still need it? and is there now a better price?

Get rid of ad hoc IT purchases

Have a requisition process. Even if some little technology gadget is only 30 dollars, if your IT staff or consultant is buying 30 of them, you are wasting money

Ban retail purchases

At one popular Canadian retail outlet, simple products such as network patch cables can be five times more expensive than at a well known Canadian distributor, ‘Nuff Said

Your Web Site

If you are paying a consultant to do every little change to your web site, have them make it so that you can add your own text and updates in ‘safe places’ that let you modify the actual words without risking blowing up your web site.

Change Management

As written in other locations on this blog – time is money. Paying IT staff or consultants needlessly is a pure waste of money.

Save a Tree

If you are a heavy printing organization, set all printers to default to double sided printing, and slap a password on the colour ones.

Spend a little to save a lot

Look strategically at the complete total cost of ownership of all ICT assets. Like the famous bored Maytag repairman commercials, the more maintenance and repairs required over an assets life cycle, the more money you are wasting.

Have you saved some nickels that built up over time?

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