Change the way you think about your IT expenses and make investments in the technology you use to advance your business. Here's how.
As business owners, we minimize costs to increase our profit margins.
However, after a certain point, we can no longer cut costs without our product suffering. At this point, most companies accept their expenses and stop attempting to maximize their profit margin.
What these companies overlook is the opportunity to turn their expenses into investments. For example, whenever you need to spend money on an IT update, you resist for as long as you can. These expenses often appear to only be maintenance costs so their potential is often unrealized. In reality, you could turn these expenses into powerful tools that work for your business.
Nonetheless, turning expenses into investments is more challenging than simply discussing it. What are real examples of turning IT expenses into investments?
Below are three specific ways you can transform your IT expenses into investments.
Related Article: How to Stay on Top of Your IT Game
1. Turn Your Tablet Into a Marketing Tool
Due to their convenience, tablets are becoming an ordinary part of everyday life. According to Louis Basenese, a Wall Street consultant and analyst, mobile traffic accounts for 15 percent of all internet traffic today and projections suggest it will grow to 30 percent by the end of this year.
With this increased reliance on mobile devices, many companies are considering incorporating tablets into the business world. However, many of these companies haven’t invested in this resource yet. What’s holding them back? One reason is that tablets are viewed as a convenience rather than a necessity.
Tablets can be more than just a convenience. For example, if you provide tablets to your sales team, they can learn to create state-of-the-art presentations that can be shown wherever you and your clients meet. It doesn’t matter whether it’s at your office, the client’s office or even out at lunch, the presentation is always there. If it is downloaded to the tablet’s desktop, you can even show the presentation without having Internet access.
Instead of looking at your tablet and only considering it as a convenient way to communicate internally, view your tablet as a marketing tool. By fulfilling multiple functions within your organization, your tablet becomes an investment rather than an expense.
Related Article: Putting All Your Cards on the Table(t)
2. Upgrade Your File Storage System
On average, executives waste six weeks per year searching for lost documents. If that’s how much time executives spend, imagine how much time the average employee spends looking for documents.
What if you could share, collaborate and search for documents in a way that was never possible before? Instead of wasting time searching network drives by names of documents, what if you had a search functionality that would allow you to not only search for names of documents, but also the content within those documents? You can achieve all of this with a professional organization program.
While an innovative organization program sounds fantastic, it is still an expense that you pay to manage your company. How do you turn this expense into an investment? By eliminating the headache of searching for files, you save time and increase the productivity of your employees. Increased productivity means that you are producing more in less time, which reduces expenses in other areas of your business.
Related Article: Top 10 Cloud Storage Services for Business
3. Turn Your TV Into an Interactive System
Many companies have a TV in their lobbies to entertain their customers while they wait. Generally, the TV is playing shows or movies that appeal to the demographic of their customers.
Have you ever considered turning this wasted time into time devoted to promoting your business? Even if the customer only waits five minutes, this time could be utilized to educate your customers about your services and or market your products. How do you convert this wasted time into time dedicated to promoting your business?
The answer is to upgrade your TV to an interactive monitor. An interactive monitor allows your customers to connect with and explore your company. The more interaction and contact your customers have with your company, the more your customers will trust you. The more your customers trust you, the more they will return to your company for your services. Building a strong and loyal customer base is definitely an IT cost worth investing in.
If you utilize an interactive monitor to provide educational content about your products or services, your clients will know that you are invested in them as an individual. They will also feel confident in your company’s abilities since you are positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
If you utilize an interactive monitor as a marketing tool, clients can explore the products and services they are interested in. They may even discover a product or service that they were previously unaware of. This opens the door for new conversations to occur and new conversations lead to increased sales.
While these are specific examples of how you can turn your expenses into investments, they are the starting point for you to begin viewing your expenses in a new light. What expenses can you turn into investments for your business today?
As you consider what IT expenses you can turn into investments, you can also consider devoting a percentage of your revenue to cover those costs. To decide what percentage of your revenue should be devoted to your IT investments, research what your industry’s average is for IT spending.
If you recognize that devoting revenue to IT resources is an investment instead of a cost, you realize how vital these investments are. Use your IT resources to increase marketing opportunities, productivity and customer loyalty. You can reap the rewards of your investments today.