6 Tips for Tech Business Budget Planning

Budget planning is a key component in the recipe for success. No matter how long you have been in the tech business, you need to map out your spending and resources to make sure all areas stay on track for maximum annual profits. What can you do to get a strong start in the New Year?
Tip 1: Look at the Big Picture When Evaluating New Equipment Purchases

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It can be intimidating to look at the initial cost of buying new equipment for your business. It’s easy to fall into the habit of keeping outdated equipment or going with something cheaper to save a buck. Before you can make this important decision, take a look at the bigger picture. How much will it cost you to keep that outdated equipment running? How much more will it cost if you buy low quality equipment for less but have to replace or upgrade it before the year is out? When you know the total costs for all possibilities, that initial investment may no longer look so intimidating – especially if it is an upgrade that will allow you to expand and/or streamline your operation. Consider the cloud as well; just because you're used to the warmth and hum of servers doesn't mean that you should keep buying them.
Tip 2: If the Budget is Lean, Consider Refurbished Rather Than New & Cheap

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If the year is looking a little lean, you can help offset some of the costs by going with refurbished equipment instead of newer, cheaper products that offer fewer features and less reliability. HP offers an opportunity to purchase refurbished equipment, some of which was barely or possibly never used. These include items that were returned, part of cancelled orders, demos, overstock or equipment with cosmetic flaws. HP’s business outlet even offers a return policy so you have options if you are not satisfied with a refurbished item.
Tip 3: Accurately Project Monthly Income & Expenses

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It is easier to use averages to come up with your business budget, but avoid doing this as much as possible. Averages are average and do not tell you what individual months may bring. Project costs and expenses as accurately as you can for each month, accounting for events, holidays and other influencers. This will allow you create a realistic plan to follow that accounts for lower or higher resource and finance demands.
Tip 4: Know When to Buy and When to Build

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Should you buy or build a business solution? When there’s a gap in your operation that needs filled, it can be difficult to decide which is going to be the most cost effective option. If you build in-house, you can tailor the end product to your specific needs. This process will eat up time and resources. Instead, research available solutions and determine if one is out there that meets your needs. Next, review its cost and what is included. Then decide if it’s worth it to buy or to invest in building your own. Also remember that if you do it in-house, you will also have to support the product in-house. If you don’t have the resources available to support it long term, then buying is the next best thing.
Tip 5: Know When to Use a Server Room or a Data Center

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Maintaining servers can be very challenging. If you need many servers, then you will need a large area to house them in that is climate controlled and offers access to adequate power. This will increase your business’ monthly utility costs and will require the purchase of more equipment to manage temperature and ventilation. Purchasing the services of a data center may be a better option compared to expanding your facility and staff and installing the necessary equipment to keep the servers running.
Tip 6: Use Technology to Save on Travel Expenses

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You’re a tech company, so why not meet like one? Instead of wasting thousands on annual travel expenses, use a virtual meeting room. According to the Business Travel Association, companies all over the world spend almost $1 trillion in travel expenses each year. That’s a lot of lost cash for something that can often be done with a couple of basic computers and an internet connection.