How to Afford Your Small Business Technology Needs with a Small Business Loan or Business Line of Credit?
Just because you own a small business doesn’t mean you have small technology needs. And in today’s competitive, technology-driven market, even small businesses need cutting-edge tools. But when you add up hardware, software, networking, website and telecommunications costs, you’ll often find quite a bill. Taking out a small business loan or business equipment loan can help you afford the right technology without draining your existing cash flow.
You can use a business loan calculator to determine your expected cash flow to small business loan amount ratio, but first, determine how much you need to borrow to meet your technology needs. This is something you can do yourself, or you can hire a technology consultant to help you assess your needs, make recommendations and help you implement your new equipment. Regardless of who makes your plan, consider the following five categories when calculating your small business technology needs.
1. Hardware Costs
From PCs and servers, to printers and scanners, even the smallest business will need some form of hardware technology to compete in today’s business environment. In this area more than the others, the larger your business, the larger your costs will be. A business equipment loan can help you ensure that you can afford the hardware to meet your needs.
2. Software Costs
At a minimum, you’ll at least need basic desktop productivity software. You can usually purchase this software as a package that should include word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and basic database applications. You will likely also want to consider accounting, customer management, e-mail and line-of-business software.
3. Networking and Security Costs
Because networking and security are often behind the scenes of technology, it’s easy for small business owners to overlook them, much to their misfortune. A strong and secure infrastructure can keep customers happy and protect you from future liability. This is another area where a business equipment loan or business line of credit can especially help small business owners afford the system they need.
4. Website and Online Presence Costs
In today’s digitally-driven market, it can be tempting to fork over thousands to build a slick website and online presence even before your first small business sale is made. Don’t. Instead, balance the right mix of initial paying customers with how competitive your industry is online. While you may eventually need a website managed by professionals, there’s no need to blow your whole business line of credit on this single expense upfront.
5. Telecommunications Costs
Though this expense is generally much less expensive than it was even a decade ago, a reliable phone system is something that can’t be overlooked. Even if you can conduct your business on the go with only mobile phones for you and your team, it’s still important to shop around for the best deals and the best service for your unique needs.
Although totaling up your technology needs and costs can be daunting, don’t avoid buying the tools you and your team need. Inefficiency and unsatisfied, unproductive employees are more expensive than what you’ll ever spend on technology. Take advantage of free tools like business loan calculators to plan your needs before your regret any hasty decisions.
About the Author: Sponsored content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.