This section tries to provide ideas on how much it is going to cost your to support your IT infrastructure both start-up and on an on-going basis. Review each section below take into account those areas that you are going to implement and update your budget with the appropriate costs.
Knowing the costs up-front and the on-going costs helps you decide when you are going to open the doors. Accurately estimating those costs determines how long you can keep the doors open.
Setup costs are those things that you must pay for before you open your doors. There is a myriad of things from printer & paper to joining industry associations and hiring accountants and lawyers. You need to have a good idea on all the costs involve and be prepared to spend it.
What’s important here is that setup costs are NOT on-going costs and are over and above the day-to-day running of your business. Consider them the “entrance” fee to the game.
Similar to setup costs you need tools from day 1 that enables you to maintain your company and your service. What’s key here is that just having the tools is important, but knowing how to use them effectively is critical! If you cannot use the tools effectively, consider hiring a consultant that can – delegating areas that you are unfamiliar with is strong business practice.
This is probably the most important section to get accurate. Monthly costs are key to effective planning and there should be no huge swings in these buckets from month to month. It is also important NOT to over budget these buckets so that you have “extra” at the end of the year – budget as accurately as you can and adjust each quarter if necessary.
Annual costs are usually limited to a handful of accounts like association memberships and other types of subscriptions.
One are usually overlooked are annual upgrades to software – upgrades are important in order to keep maintenance and support for your applications. Consider upgrades as “insurance” options. You can sometimes “skip” an annual upgrade but be sure you understand the ramification and the cost of lost data if some disaster does happen.