5 Steps on How to Setup IT Infrastructure for Small Business

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How to Setup IT Infrastructure for Small Business

Imagine you own a small but growing bakery, and your business is booming. Orders are pouring in, customers are flocking to your store, and you’re thinking about expanding. 

However, managing orders, inventory, and customer data by hand is overwhelming. It's clear you need a better system. This is where learning "How to Setup IT Infrastructure for Small Business" becomes important. 

No matter if you run a bakery, a retail shop, or a small consulting firm, setting up good IT infrastructure can —

  • make things run smoothly, 
  • boost productivity, 
  • and help your business grow. 

As an award-winning Managed IT Services provider, we’ve helped many business partners set up a strong IT infrastructure. 

Here, we'll walk you through the steps to create a solid IT setup tailored to your business needs based on our practical experience.

First, Let’s Show You Some Stats and Facts Why IT Infrastructure Matters for Your Small Business

IT infrastructure is all the tech stuff a business needs to run smoothly. This includes hardware, which are physical devices like computers, servers, and networking equipment. 

Software, such as operating systems and business applications, are also part of it. Additionally, services like internet connection, cloud services, cybersecurity measures, etc. also fall under it. 

In today's digital world, having a strong IT setup is a must for small business operations. Here’s why:

First, Let’s Show You Some Stats and Facts Why IT Infrastructure Matters for Your Small Business

Rising Security Threats

You know that cyberattacks are increasing and becoming more expensive to deal with. IBM's 2023 report says the global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was USD 4.45 million, a 15% increase over the last three years. 

So, at this point, good IT systems, like firewalls and data encryption, can help protect your business.

Increased Productivity

Up-to-date computers and software can make employees work faster and more efficiently. Based on Insight, nearly 80% of IT professionals see better productivity with cloud migration. 

Better Customer Experience

If you have a reliable IT system, you can keep your online store and booking tools running smoothly. Happy customers are more likely to come back and tell others about your business.

Scalability

A well-planned IT setup can grow with your business. You can easily handle more employees and data as you expand.

Remote Work Flexibility

More employees are working from home, and a secure, accessible IT system makes this possible.

Now, Here Comes the Step-by-Step Process on How to Setup IT Infrastructure for Small Business 

Here, we’ll show you how you can set up an IT infrastructure that supports your small business's needs.

Now, Here Comes the Step-by-Step Process on How to Setup IT Infrastructure for Small Business 

Step 1: Assessing Your Needs

Before you rush into buying cool gadgets, stop and think about what your business really needs. Here are some important questions to consider:

  • How many people work for you?
  • What kind of tasks do they do? Do they need special software or online tools?
  • What information do you need to keep safe? This could be customer details, money records, or new ideas.
  • Do you have an office, or do you work from home?

By figuring out your needs, you can decide what kind of tech setup will work best for you.

Step 2: Budgeting for Your Tech Stuff

Setting up your IT infrastructure can cost a lot, from buying gadgets to paying for the internet and keeping everything running. 

Here's a tip: 

It might be tempting to choose the cheapest option, but remember, cutting corners on important tech stuff can cause big problems later. 

Try to find a good balance between what you can afford and what you really need. Decide how much money you need based on what you've figured out your business needs. 

Set aside money for buying gadgets, getting software, paying for licenses, and keeping everything running smoothly.

Check out a sample which will give you an idea about initial and ongoing costs:

Initial CostsHardware purchases (computers, servers, networking equipment).
Software licenses and subscriptions.
Installation and setup fees.
Ongoing CostsInternet and cloud service subscriptions.
Maintenance and support services.
Regular upgrades and replacements.

Step 3: Getting Your Tech Stuff

Now it's time to pick out the right tech for your business! Here's what you'll need:

Hardware

This includes desktops, laptops, tablets, servers (if needed), printers, and networking equipment like routers and switches.

Software

This covers the operating systems (like Windows or macOS) on your devices, as well as productivity applications (like Microsoft Office), security software, and any specialized software required for your industry.

Internet

This is how you connect to the outside world. When picking an internet provider, think about speed, reliability, and security.

Saving and Backup

It's important to keep your business data safe. Don't forget to back up your data regularly in case something goes wrong.

At this point, cloud storage (Google Drive, Dropbox) is a must-have for small businesses because:

  • It allows teams to remote access and work on files from anywhere.
  • Cloud storage is reliable and offers real-time collaboration features.
  • It typically has a fixed monthly fee per employee, which ultimately saves costs compared to maintaining on-premise servers.
  • Cloud storage services offer robust security measures to protect against cyber-attacks and data breaches.
  • While not a complete backup solution, cloud storage effectively backs up and protects business files.

Safety Stuff

Cybersecurity is a big deal! Use things like firewalls, antivirus programs, and strong passwords to keep your data and network safe from online threats.

Step 4: Setting Up and Managing IT Infrastructure From Start to Finish

Now that you’ve gathered some ideas from the above steps about what you’ll have to think out, what costs you’ll have to bear, and what tech stuff you might need.


Now, it’s time to set up and manage a robust IT infrastructure.

Checking Phase

Here, at the checking phase, we’ve already covered what you’ll have to assess for your business needs and budgeting. 

Here are some extras:

  • When inspecting your current network infrastructure, you can start by checking where to place networking equipment like switches and routers for the best performance. 
  • Here, you must assess existing cables to ensure they're in good shape and compatible with your plan, while also identifying any challenges like short cables or weak Wi-Fi spots. 
  • Additionally, you must assess environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and potential sources of interference to ensure optimal network performance.

Procurement of Hardware Phase

  • Choose reputable vendors for hardware purchases.
  • Select hardware components based on your needs and budget.
  • Ensure you receive quality hardware with a good warranty and customer support.

Installation Phase:

  • Set up network devices like routers and switches.
  • Connect and organize network cabling neatly.
  • Mount network devices securely and accessibly.
  • Configure network settings, VLANs, DHCP, and wireless access points.
  • Enhance network security with firewalls and encryption.
  • Set up network services like DNS, DHCP, and VPN.

Testing Phase:

  • Test hardware and software functionality.
  • Conduct cybersecurity testing to identify vulnerabilities.
  • Involve staff in User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and provide training.

Documentation Phase:

  • Document network installation details, configurations, and IP addresses.
  • Provide staff training on network usage and security.
  • Establish a maintenance schedule for ongoing monitoring, updates, and backups.

Step 5: Getting Help When You Need It

While you can set up basic IT stuff on your own, there are experts who can help you with everything. This is a good idea if you don't know much about IT or if you're too busy to handle it all yourself.

Which Small Businesses Might Need On-Premise IT Infrastructure and Why?

Cloud solutions are popular, but sometimes, having on-premise IT makes sense for some small businesses. Let’s check out:

Which Small Businesses Might Need On-Premise IT Infrastructure and Why?

Businesses with Sensitive Data

Businesses that deal with sensitive data, like banks, hospitals, and law offices, often prefer on-premise servers because they offer more control over security.

Businesses with Specialized Software

Companies using specialized software like manufacturers or engineering firms might find on-premise setups helpful if their software isn't available in the cloud.

Businesses with Unreliable Internet

Businesses in remote areas with unreliable internet might choose on-premise infrastructure because it's more dependable.

Businesses with Strict Compliance Requirements

Industries with heavy regulations might require specific data storage solutions best met with on-premise servers.

Choose Next Level Connected for Your IT Solutions

If you're unsure about choosing cloud-based or on-premise IT, Next Level Connected’s IT Solutions can help. We offer expert IT consulting tailored to your needs. 
From assessing your needs to setting up solutions, we’ve all the options covered for you. Our team can help businesses of any size with managed IT services, cybersecurity, and network management. 
With our experts, smooth operations, and constant support, our IT Solutions is the partner you can trust for business growth. 
Book a consultation today to see for yourself!

Wrapping Up

So, we hope that you’ve now a pretty good idea from the recommended steps on how to set up IT infrastructure for small businesses. By following the steps in this guide, businesses can make sure they have a strong base to support their work, boost productivity, and stay ahead. Each step, from figuring out what's needed to putting solutions in place and getting help when necessary, is important for creating a strong IT setup that fits the business perfectly.

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