We all should be operating our businesses on a budget. We should budget payroll, supplies, insurance, rent and other expenses as well as TECHNOLOGY. By doing so, you know there is a sum of capital set aside to help grow and improve your laboratory. That said, how do you determine what the budget number should look like? I would suggest it should be a percentage of projected gross revenue.
Analyzing Technology Cost for the Budget:
When evaluating the dollars spent on technology, you should look at the annual cost of a 3-5 year lease. For instance, a $20K scanner will cost about $400 a month over five years. A January purchase of this scanner would have a budget cost of $4,800 (12 X $400 per/mo) plus expenses such as travel for training ($1,000) for year one would total cost of $5,800.
How to Set a Budget Percentage?
Obviously, there are all different sizes of laboratories. Generally speaking, smaller labs tend to operate with larger percent bottom line when compared to larger labs. As a result, I would recommend that smaller labs commit a larger percentage of sales into the technology budget. Based on this approach, let’s break down labs by sales volume categories and look at what a logical budget should look like.
Please note: The numbers above are a guide and should be customized for each laboratory.
Having a technology line item in your budget will do a few things for your lab. First, you have decided to put a technology spend into the current year. This will insure you spend time to adequately determine what new technology you can add that will help you thrive and keep you current. Second, you will not get stuck wanting the next best technology with no way to fund it. And most importantly, you will be well-positioned to compete in the market.
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