These days, you’ll find that savvy small businesses are utilising the same systems and technology as the largest firms in their particular sector of industry. You may ask, how is this possible without access to large amounts of capital that are usually the preserve of big businesses? After all, small businesses will not typically be able to afford to employ a team of specialist IT people for these key (not to mention constantly evolving) technologies. A small business with a modest number of staff just cannot justify the outlay when only a few hours of support are needed each month.
This is where 3rd-party support comes in. Providers of IT support such as Everything Tech can afford small businesses access to a large pool of tech-talent because they’re able to fund the costs of employing said talent by working with many different clients simultaneously.
The average number of employees for the 4.9 million businesses registered in the UK in 2013 is just under 5 (figure from FSB). The vast majority of these employees will only require the basics, such as email, Microsoft Office, some kind of accounting application and access to printers. Although it’s essential to have these systems online at all times, it doesn’t usually warrant the expense of internal IT support. Furthermore, it’s not just the basic IT infrastructure that can be handled by an external company. Hi-tech, specialist systems and technologies can also be implemented and maintained by 3rd-party IT providers, such as disaster recovery contingency and advanced data protection.
There will, of course, be some industries and businesses therein where it is appropriate to have internal IT support, but for the majority of small to medium size enterprises, this is simply not the case. Small businesses have challenges relating to resources (both in terms of capital and man-hours) that are significantly more precarious on a day-to-bay basis than for their large business counterparts. The primary reason why around half of all UK businesses will fail in their first 3 years of trading is lack of capital. This means that you have to watch every penny! Even if you have had a ‘purple patch’, circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. Not so long ago, small businesses had to carry the burden of things like building their own data centres and with that, came the acceptance that they were going to have to also have an internal IT support infrastructure, but this is no longer the case. In many instances these days, it does not make financial sense for small businesses to provide their own IT support.
Self-supporting IT infrastructure adds distractions and challenges that typically outweigh the benefits. Everything Tech recommends, wherever possible, preserving your capital and implementing your IT support through a flexible, ‘pay-per-user’ model i.e. you pay a retainer based on the staff-size of your company, the amount you pay going up or down proportionally to your staff numbers. As a small business owner, you should be able to give maximum focus to growing your business without concerning yourself with the technology and variable IT support costs necessary to handle day-to-day business operations.