Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to cut costs and maximize productivity, whether by doing the jobs of three people themselves or outsourcing work that’s traditionally done in-house. It can make for a crazy and hectic ride, but when you’re pursuing your dreams, the hope is that it will pay off — in terms of freedom and finances.
One of the biggest costs and necessities facing entrepreneurs across all industries in today’s ultra-competitive business environment is IT. While hiring employees to do the work of keeping you connected is one way to make sure the job gets done, it isn’t the only one, and an explosion of amazing technologies keeps expanding your options. From doing it all yourself with the help of software and websites builders to finding a great intern, here are five ways you can bypass hiring in-house IT.
Gone are the days when all IT had to be handled by young, esoteric word-spouting employees with advanced computer programming degrees. The evolution of technology has made doing it all yourself —provided you have the time to invest in it — a viable option. Many website hosting solutions, like those on Top10bestwebsitehosting.com, even include website builders that take you from a concept through the final stages of a design to computer hardware and software that’s so user-friendly even your grandmother could figure it out, the current generation of technological machines and the programming that makes them hum are marvels of simplicity for the user. An entrepreneur really can make functioning as her own IT department an option.
2. Hire Out
Of course, not every entrepreneur is going to want to spend his precious time and energy designing and maintaining a website, dealing with networking issues, and otherwise wearing an IT hat. For the entrepreneur who’d rather put the work of IT onto someone else’s plate, it still isn’t necessary to hire an employee. Instead, outsource the occasional work to a trusted freelancer or firm.
Depending on the scale of your IT needs, you may be able to hire a single professional to work for you from time to time. If you’re a larger enterprise or have more robust design, networking, or server needs, however, you’ll want to go with an IT firm of some kind. Be sure to vet whomever you’re considering as well as you would a true employee. Should your server crash or your site go down, you need to feel confident you’re an important enough client resolution is quick.
3. Use the Cloud
One great way to stay ahead of constantly managing IT, especially since you’re looking to skip maintaining an in-house staff, is to make use of software that’s hosted in the cloud. Technology is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve so that your hardware and software function easily with one another and across the Internet and other applications requires pretty regular updating. Avoid needing to micromanage your software by choosing cloud-based applications. Companies who host their software in the cloud do all the maintenance of keeping their software current, so you don’t have to worry about it. Another advantage of the cloud is you can access your accounts on any computer that has an Internet connection — a great advantage if you travel a lot or want to access to work via multiple devices.
4. Get a Really Good Intern
College and graduate students are often in need of internships to round out their nascent resumes, and you might find a knowledgeable intern who is a real boon to you and your company. Look for someone who doesn’t just have the background and knowledge to take care of your IT needs, but who also has a desire to learn and a clear sense of what they want in an internship. Be sure to only choose someone whose goals coincide with yours.
Of course, the better qualified the intern, the more competitive what you’re offering needs to be as well. To attract the best talent, it’s best to pay an intern at least something, and if you’re able to afford it, offer other perks like health care, a metro card, occasional free lunches, and the like as well.
5. Get Covered
All the major computer hardware makers and suppliers offer a type of warranty coverage that allows you to bring in your computer, laptop, or tablet for diagnostics, upgrades, and repair for a subscription fee that not only keeps costs lower when problems arise, but also ensures you’re given priority. From Apple Care to Microsoft Assure, don’t take any chances with your IT gear.
Skipping IT is the last thing an entrepreneur should do in today’s business environment. Skipping the hiring, however, just might be a wise business move.