If you are like most small businesses, you acquire desktop computers, phone systems, and software in a random, “buy-it-when-you-need-it” fashion as your business operations demand it.
But at some point, this patchwork of stopgap technology you’ve acquired is going to end up costing you more in downtime, system errors, breakdowns, and other problems than it would to rip out and replace everything.
If you’ve suddenly become aware that you’re at that stage of growth in your business, then you want to stop purchasing more software and hardware in a willy-nilly fashion and get serious about planning for your future growth and business operations so you don’t end up with a big pile of expensive hardware and software spaghetti that doesn’t meet your business needs.
One Big Secret to Saving Money
One secret to saving money on IT costs is to strive for as much uniformity and connectivity as possible across your business network – and the first place to start achieving that is with a server.
If you have two or more computers that are loosely connected to share information, printers, scanners, Internet access, or fax machines, then you could inject a great deal of simplicity, productivity, and security with a small business server.
A server simply acts as a single specialized computer that ensures all the computer connected to it (called “clients”) have access to the resources, information, and systems they need, faster, and with fewer problems. It also acts as a centralized manager to make sure data is secure and organized.
They’re Not Just for Big Business Anymore
At one time, servers only made sense for large organizations because of their high cost and complexity. But today, there are very affordable and easy-to-implement server systems designed specifically for a growing small business. If you’re not absolutely certain that installing a server could help your business enough to prove the cost, here are 12 surefire signs that your business could definitely benefit from an upgrade.
12 Signs That Your Business Is Ready for a Server
- You have two or more computers that need to share office equipment (printers, fax machines, scanners) and resources (Internet access).
- You have irreplaceable files and data residing on more than one computer that need to be secured from loss, corruption, or unauthorized access.
- You need (or would like to have) secure access to your computer files while traveling or working from home.
- You need to back up critical files on more than one computer, and you would like to be able to restore accidentally deleted files or earlier versions of your files.
- You need CRM (customer relationship management) software and accounting programs to manage and communicate with your growing list of clients and vendors.
- You need to manage different versions of one file.
- You need a central communication system that makes it easy to schedule group meetings and share information with employees, vendors, and customers.
- You need to allow employees to share databases and other software tools.
- You would like to send group faxes and e-mail broadcasts to customers.
- You want to save money by hosting your own company website and e-mail.
- You want to control employees’ access to sensitive financial records and personnel information.
- You want a central access point for information instead of having to hunt down various files and data on various computers on your network.
The Concept of the Slight Edge
All master craftsmen demand excellent tools to complete their work. They know that the best tools allow them to focus on creating their next masterpiece and not being sidetracked, frustrated, or limited by the tools they are using. The computers, software, and office equipment you use are the tools you use every day to create your greatest masterpiece: your business.
If the technology in your office is not simplifying your business and making it easier for you to get more done with fewer employees, it’s costing you a lot more than the price of a server. While there is no shortage of white papers on the topic of ROI (return on investment) for upgrading technology, you and I know that this is truly a hard cost to quantify; however, there certainly IS a cost, and depending on your business operations and how you use the computers and technology in your office, the cost may be significant.
The “Latte” Factor
In his book Automatic Millionaire, author David Bach talks about the “latte” factor. Simply put, most people end up financially broke not because of the big purchases they make, but because of the small, seemingly innocent day-to-day spending of small amounts of money over a long period. For example, no one thinks twice of spending $4 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks every morning.
However, add that up over the course of a year and they’ve invested $1,460 into a daily cup of coffee. Why am I telling you this? Because massive loss of productivity in any business plays out exactly the same way.
Think about this: a faster processor and a faster hard drive with greater capacity allow you to open and use applications faster, saving a few minutes every hour. Information is centralized, which saves a few more minutes every hour in finding files. There are fewer crashes and hang-ups.
Each of these little things adds up to significant employee hours saved over the course of a year. Then there’s the cost-savings of outsourced IT support. A properly configured and maintained client-server network is far easier to support and troubleshoot than a patchwork of computers that are loosely connected. All of this translates into higher revenue from your technology investment and should land on your bottom line.
Learn How a Network Can Give You All of These Benefits and More!
If you’re interested in discovering how upgrading to a client-server network could help your business, contact us for a free consultation. We can sit down and discuss the pros and cons, the costs, and how a server can help address specific problems and productivity bottlenecks you are experiencing in your business.
There is absolutely no cost or obligation when you invite us into your business. If we discover that your network is just fine the way it is, we’ll tell you that and not try to sell you something you don’t need.on this blog, are not necessarily representative of the views of Tie National, LLC (TIE). While our blog may feature specific products and manufacturers, TIE holds no obligation to any manufacturer and therefore recommends a free consultation with one of our experts to decide the best technology solution for your business.