Since the global recession began a few years ago, small businesses have felt a lot of the impact. Many are no longer making much of a profit and businesses of all sizes have even been forced completely out of existence.
One positive that can be taken from the financial hardship of the recession is that it has forced small businesses to take a closer look at their infrastructure to try and identify areas in which they can make savings. In particular, many small businesses find that by paying a little more attention to their IT management they can become much more efficient and make numerous savings.
As a business grows, the IT infrastructure will have to grow with it too. Often this will occur in an unplanned fashion only as it is required. This usually means very little integration between processes, because new hardware and software is purchased only when something breaks or becomes unusable.
Because of this, the business IT infrastructure is totally reactive to change instead of being proactive. There is no opportunity for them to plan and spread the cost of change over many years and they will instead have to act quickly and spend a lot of money all at once whenever things go wrong.
A solid IT infrastructure will also help you to make the most of all available e-commerce opportunities. New software often allows you to simplify or speed up the administrative processes, which will ultimately save you a lot of valuable time that can be used in better ways to improve your business.
Outsourcing is another way of improving the infrastructure of your small business, especially when used in conjunction with software that allows people to work collaboratively without the need to even be in the same country.
Small businesses in need of a way to save money in these difficult times should look carefully at changing their infrastructure first, as it will not only mean spending less money but will also make their entire business more efficient overall.
Disclosure: The author Stefan Töpfer is CEO of WinWeb.com - a leading cloud based small business infrastructure provider (small business software, e-Commerce solutions & business process outsourcing) - the views and opinions expressed are his and are based on over three decades of personal experience as a serial entrepreneur, #1 small business blogger, mentor and angel investor in the SME/SMB sector.