Startup maintenance can get costly fast. This is especially true when you are just starting out. Your new business will have fixed costs and ongoing costs.
The fixed costs often require a lot of investment upfront, which already puts a dent in your budget. The ongoing costs are those such as software, consulting, and maintenance costs.
Knowing what these costs are going to look like and how to manage them to keep them within your funding limits is crucial to keeping your startup alive in the early and even late stages.
Therefore, in this article, we are going to discuss 5 ways to reduce your maintenance costs in your startup.
That way, you and your team can focus on marketing, sales, and innovation in the technology that you provide to solve problems for your market.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
Breakdowns are no small problem. They can destroy the trust and ease of use with your customers.
If users depend on your app (whether it is native or online) and they find themselves unable to log in or use it, it also affects their bottom line. Always keep this in mind.
You can prevent breakdowns by hiring proficient technicians that maintain your servers, for instance. It is also advisable to have multiple backups of every piece of information that you handle. Having 5 or 6 servers may seem extreme, but imagine a day with heavy traffic.
The last thing you want is for your service to be down for any period of time.
The investment (and make no mistake, it is an investment, not an expense) in preventing breakdowns by having redundant versions of your codebase will save you in the end.
It’s well worth the price because the alternative is to lose customers — a result that would cost you far more.
Invest in Employee Education
Your team is the lifeblood of your operation. Startups often try to take shortcuts by hiring those with little experience in the fields where you need expertise the most.
Invest in your employee proficiency in a few ways.
First of all, hire the best talent you can afford. If you need to go with newer, less proven team members, be sure to have a structured onboarding and training period.
Two to three weeks should be dedicated to teaching them the basics of your startup, how your technology works, and how to troubleshoot.
In addition, your networking at conferences should involve outside consultants.
No one can be an expert in everything. Consider spending the extra resources on someone specializing in a very narrow field for a short time without needing to maintain them full time.
Track Your Inventory
What kind of inventory do you keep on hand? Is it digital, physical, or both?
It is likely that your inventory is not invincible. You need to know how much you have, its lifespan, and what kind of maintenance it requires.
Track it with an app built in-house or using a variety of free or low-cost software solutions that allow you to automate this process.
It makes your life easier, and you will always be able to deliver upper management with a precise overview of your assets.
Technology is indispensable, particularly in the realm of asset management. You need to be aware of what you have, what you’re going to need, and how to predict the costs that come along with these needs.
Of course, this includes sales and acquisitions.
Being aware of asset management best practices will help you get started on the right track when it comes to the needs of your startup.
There are various software solutions for asset management available, allowing you to know what you have on hand, what you’ll need, and how to predict costs, sales, and acquisitions.
Don’t be afraid to use technology for the benefit of your business.
Adopt Predictive Maintenance Practices
Predictive analytics is a tool that every startup will benefit from.
Certain assets, like servers, computers, and even phones, will need to be maintained. They need to be cleaned of old, useless files and physically taken care of.
Every piece of equipment has a lifecycle. Using predictive maintenance practices based in Big Data and any previous information you have collected gives you the power to decide when and how to maintain your hardware and even software.
For instance, you may know that your backup storage needs a redundancy after a certain number of years.
In other words, you need to transfer the important digital information that you are holding about your finances, trade secrets, and customer information. Otherwise, you risk losing everything.
An ounce of predictive maintenance on a regular schedule is worth its weight in gold. It allows you to continue to serve your market without getting lost in the details that technology should be analyzing and handling.
Even your CTO (Chief Technology Officer) should be spending the bulk of their time on higher-level concepts.
Every startup is created differently and has a unique angle with which they approach their market.
Still, no matter what industry you are in, you need a way to maintain your costs and keep them low. This way, shareholders and team members can benefit financially.
But it goes much deeper than that.
By having an organized way to maintain your technology-hardware as well as software assets — you can increase the speed with which you innovate and provide better solutions to your market.
The end result is that you win loyal customers. They grow to know, like, and trust your software and your approach to solving their problems.
And in business, solving problems is the key to success.
So don’t fall victim to common mistakes with start maintenance costs. Use the 5 tips above to make sure you can proceed with speed, accuracy, and value that causes your company to thrive, even in times of a pandemic or global economic downturn.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters