IT Support Costs For Small Business
When starting a small business, most of the money is spent on getting the company off its feet and salary payment. When it comes to an IT department, it’s easy to say, “We don’t have a budget for that now.” However, technology is essential for every competitive business and should make up a substantial part of the budget.
Like any other human-made thing, technology keeps evolving. An experienced IT support team is vital to keep up with the changes. So how much should a small company spend on IT support? The IT support department can have as few as two people to as many as 100.
What Factors Determine How Much You’ll Need to Invest in IT Support?
- Full-Time vs. Part-Time IT Personnel: Most large corporations have fully functional IT departments that do the support work. However, for smaller businesses, it may be not easy to hire IT staff full time. This is because full-time employees cost more. On average, IT personnel in the United States take home about $45,000- $60,000 every year. This also comes with bonuses, benefits, and vacation days. For a small business, this would be detrimental in the long run. Comparatively, businesses that outsource IT support personnel part with about $7,000 or less. The final figure ultimately dictated by the number of times support is needed or the rate per hour. The downside of having an in-house team is the lack of immediate help in case of downtimes outside the business hours. If your business’s running is essential at all times, then it makes sense to outsource from a reliable service provider for full-time IT support.
- The Type of Support Needed: There are numerous reasons why businesses require IT support. The most important part of the job is the correction of IT-related business issues. It could be malfunctioning software, a system update, or even network issues. Larger companies also tend to hire IT staff who create and implement computer systems for the business. Large companies are under constant pressure to outdo their competitors, thus the need for the latest technology. If finances allow, then small businesses can also hire staff who write and implement programs.
Other Functions of IT Support Include:
- Data management
- Providing safety from harmful software and viruses
- Protection of the business’s digital resources
- Monitoring operations
- Providing customer support
- The Number of IT Users: A small company has relatively fewer IT users compared to large corporations. In some startups, it’s only the director/ manager who uses a computer. In such a case, the cost of getting support is minimal and most likely will be outsourced. It is also easier to negotiate the price of support to minimize IT support costs for a small business. The larger the business, the greater the number of IT users who require a lot of IT support. A large company with many users ultimately requires an in-house IT professional, thus increasing support.
- The Number of Offices: Each single business location has to be up to date and stay in a reliable network. Setup and maintenance of the network requires specialized IT personnel at all locations. The network also has to be secure from industrial espionage and surveillance. It must also run smoothly, 24/7, for constant updates and integration all over the network in real-time. The IT support costs for small businesses are normally low, mainly because of the small network and the need for a few IT personnel.
Why Do You Need to Invest in IT Support?
IT support is as essential as any other component of your business. Even the smallest technology downtime can be detrimental, especially to small businesses. This is because you could end up losing business to competitors. If your technological downtimes inconvenience clients, they’ll take that as their cue to leave.
Even the smallest business is capable of having some form of IT support. Outsourcing IT support is the best solution for small businesses. In this fast-paced technological world, investing in functional, cutting-edge IT solutions is the only way to keep growing.
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