Compete or get beat
In association with Wesleyan: can you risk delaying investment in new IT equipment and technology?
In today’s digital age most businesses accept that having the latest technology and equipment is vital to stay ahead of the competition. But according to research conducted by software provider Exact, the gap between practices who believe in changing with the times and those who are actually prepared to keep up is widening.
Exact’s findings reveal that 38% of UK SMEs believe their business may face closure unless they adopt a digital strategy; however, only 2% have actually done something about it. This is especially surprising given that almost two-thirds (64%) of the SMEs surveyed admitted they face competition from new digital-savvy firms in their market, yet only 6% said they are investing in new technology to keep up.
New financial year brings new opportunities
Legal firms will face numerous business challenges and much uncertainty in 2017. But with the new financial year approaching for many, this presents an opportunity to leverage the latest advances in IT to increase productivity and secure significant growth by retaining and attracting new customers. The key question practices must ask themselves is not, have they considered purchasing new IT equipment and technologies, but can they afford not to any longer?
Choosing to run a business on outdated and unreliable IT infrastructure is a sure way to get left behind. Doing nothing also brings added cost complications stemming from using inefficient, standalone systems that are possibly no longer supported. From cloud-based services, mobile apps and business analytics solutions, technology is no longer a barrier for businesses who wish to compete with bigger, more established players. But deciding how to fund significant investments must be considered carefully – choosing the wrong option could restrict your business’s ability to access the latest technology when you need it the most.
Benefits of asset finance
IT budgets can often constrain a business’s growth, due to the need to carefully manage cash flow and available working capital. Electing to pay for new investments upfront in one lump sum can be cost prohibitive. In contrast, asset finance products from trusted alternative providers, such as Wesleyan Bank, can help.
These flexible, payment-over-time solutions can be used to fund all types of IT asset investment including software, hardware and associated maintenance and support costs over a period from one to five years. By spreading the cost over a fixed term, asset finance represents the cheapest way to fund major IT projects and ensures that practices do not have to fall behind in being able to benefit from new technology developments so they can continue to flourish.
The Annual Investment Allowance
As well as exploring alternative asset finance options, legal firms should seek to take advantage of the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA). The AIA helps businesses to write off the cost of certain assets against profits in the year of purchase up to £200,000, bringing much quicker tax relief against capital expenditure compared to spreading the relief over several years. Most assets purchased for business use will qualify as expenditure, with the exception of cars and items either gifted or owned prior to the formation of a business.
Embracing the future today
In today’s volatile business environment, IT investments need to be smart. Technology evolves fast and practices need to be equally as fleet-of-foot in accessing modern systems to maximise efficiency to differentiate their services in a way that their customers now demand. Bespoke asset finance solutions allow businesses to gain rapid access to the equipment and technology they need, when they need it, to take advantage of emerging market opportunities without being inhibited by large upfront costs.
For more information about how Wesleyan can help your business, visit the website at www.wesleyan.co.uk or call 0808 115 8253.