As your business grows, your IT needs will change. Eventually, the amount of time & knowledge required to maintain your IT on your own will begin to cancel out any cost savings benefits of doing it yourself. When you reach that point, it will be time to hire an IT professional.
It’s time to hire tech support for a small business when:
- handling IT solutions takes time away from clients or core services
- your IT needs and solutions are now greater than the IT skills or knowledge base you possess
- you are not sure what equipment to get for your purposes, or what type of equipment is compatible with one another
- you bought equipment that you do not use or that proved to be incompatible with your needs
- you bought equipment that wasn’t powerful enough for your needs and you have been forced to pay upgrade costs
- you think you bought the right equipment but are not certain how to properly set it up
- you need help making yourself and/or your employees comfortable with your IT
- you need to make the IT process faster and quicker and easier for your business
The right computer support provider for you will:
- Listen to you – no matter how much they know about IT, they first have to learn about you, your business and your needs before they can be of any help to you.
- Be an expert with the right technology for you – If you want to install a small business server, a computer repairman without experience with servers isn’t the right choice. Ask about their experience.
- Appreciate a smaller business like yours – you’re not a multi-national corporation and your IT needs and budget are very different from a company of that scale. Is the IT professional you are considering experienced in IT solutions for companies like yours? Will they be flexible and agile, like a small business needs, or rigid and drown you in IT policy?
- Help you understand the technology – they will speak in easy to understand terms, avoiding technology jargon, and using analogies that clearly communicate what their proposed solutions will do for you. Your IT advisor should never try to confuse in order to gain some advantage over you and your lack of in depth IT knowledge. You want an IT advisor that is willing to serve in a fiduciary role- always putting your best interest first.
- Balance costs and benefits – by choosing to serve your best interests, your IT advisor can help you assess the benefits vs. costs ratios for each of the solutions suitable for your purposes. They will help you understand what additional benefits each cost tier offers and help you make an educated choice about what you truly need for your business.
Be sure to also consider the following:
- Has this IT company been in business for more than 3- 5 years – the breaking point for most failed small businesses?
- Does this IT company have any positive reviews online or can they provide a reference from a recent or current satisfied client?
- Can this IT professional give you an accurate time frame for implementing your solution?
- Can this IT professional provide you with an up front estimate for the solution you want to implement? Is it itemized?
- What sort of follow up services are available? Does the IT professional offer repair and follow up, or will you need someone else to maintain the services this person will install and set up?
Research shows that companies with updated IT systems benefit from more new clients and higher client retention rates. Investing in your business IT is a wise move.
TUCU is a Toronto IT Support Company.