We get it. Being a small business owner means juggling limited resources, there just never seems to be enough time, money, or manpower to go around. It’s difficult for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to justify leveling up work-tech under normal circumstances, let alone during periods of inflation and rising costs.

SMBs are more likely to focus on survival than larger organizations.

Now may not feel like the ideal time to spend money on technology. But given the business efficiencies and scaling opportunities that they provide, work-tech investments aren’t extras, they’re essentials. 

ROI doesn’t lie: work-tech investments pay for themselves, with companies saving 25% to 40% when they use automation software to streamline business processes.  

In this article, we’ll dive into the real value of your work-tech expenditure, the best way to manage a small business IT budget, and how you can make the most of your small business technology solutions, even during uncertain times.

1. Focus on building the right infrastructure before taking on more people

When thinking about how to manage their IT budget, most small business owners worry their infrastructure won’t support hiring more employees. In fact, that’s quite okay. If you’re slowly scaling a smaller team as you build capacity, you’re doing things the right way around. 

By using technology to automate tasks where possible, you can free up employees for higher-level tasks — or even replace personnel altogether in the case of low-value repetitive tasks. Another reason to put infrastructure first is so you can offer remote and hybrid employment contracts that attract and retain top talent. To support remote workers, you need to invest in the necessary hardware and increase your cyber security safeguards. 

SMBs have more employees working in remote or hybrid roles than working on-site. 

2. Exploit the full potential of payroll and HR tech to reduce costs and increase efficiencies

Without automated systems, human resource (HR) tasks can hinder the growth of small businesses. Payroll taxes alone can absorb as many as 5 hours per single pay period. Add to that the time spent on recruitment, employee onboarding, benefits administration, compliance, and termination, and there’s not much left for the higher-value tasks that can propel your business forward. 

An integrated system for payroll and HR keeps critical processes in one platform for a time-saving and cost-effective solution. 

3. Budget for infrastructure changes 

Particularly in inflationary times, the real value of your tech is its potential to reduce costs while increasing employee productivity. Businesses that automate processes wherever possible can limit operating expenses by saving man hours, improving workflows, eliminating errors and rework, and enabling employees to focus on high-value tasks that grow revenue.

Allocating a budget for infrastructure changes gives your organization room to grow when it needs to most. The return on investment (ROI) from investing in technology pays for itself, and tech-savvy companies are rewarded with a prosperity boost when others are struggling to keep up with the effects of inflation.

Companies that adopt key technologies gain a significant revenue premium, particularly during times of instability. 

4. Plan your workforce

The most important way to manage expenses in your small business is to keep a close eye on your workforce so you can understand where there are gaps and where you can streamline.

Bear in mind that hiring new employees costs twice as much as retaining the people you have. Instead of expanding your workforce, ask yourself what you can automate, which manual tasks you can eliminate, and how you can best support your employees with reskilling and upskilling so they can be more productive. 

An insider with a well-established knowledge of your company and familiarity with the way you do things is worth his or her weight in gold. Learn about your employees and use people analytics to gain insights that will help you build their commitment and enhance their productivity. That way, you will avoid churn and create long-term organizational resilience.

Learn how PrimePay saves SMBs time and money

There’s no need to be afraid of technology expenses just because you’re a small business owner. Precisely because money’s tight, you need to bet on a sure thing. A strategic investment in payroll and HR tech will take the weight of people management off your shoulders,

turbocharge efficiency in your small business, and provide you and your staff with the time — and the data — you all need to stay on track, plan your next moves, and step into the future with confidence. 

PrimePay at your service.

PrimePay can partner with you to offer support throughout the entire employee lifecycle. Learn more about how PrimePay can help you streamline HR processes. Click here to view our breadth of HR Solutions.

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