By Marleen Anderson
Outsourcing small business IT support is a wise decision. This allows you to place your focus primarily on business operations, rather than worrying yourself about specialized tech concerns. You may feel inclined to rely on tech savvy employees or acquaintances to resolve issues, but that will only get you so far. Investing in real IT means that your employees are free to continue their regularly scheduled tasks and you’re not losing the productivity of someone fiddling around in an attempt to find a solution. By hiring professional IT, you’re paying a larger price, but they’ll be able to find solutions much quicker.
What Kind of IT Do You Need?
If you’re using traditional systems and relying on a lot of hardware, you’ll likely need someone who can come to your small business to handle your needs. If you’re using modernized or Cloud based systems, you’ll do just as well with remote assistance, where a support agent can access and resolve issues without the commute. This can also cut down costs.
Since you’re hiring a professional, whether they’re independent or working with a larger firm, to provide services for your business, it’s important to consider testimonials of former or current customers. You want to make sure that these services are being provided to you by an established and reputable source. If you can’t find any reviews of the services, or they aren’t generally positive, start investigating new options.
A legitimate IT company will have their certifications available to view. Only hire Microsoft Certified IT Professionals and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialists. There are a multitude of certifications that exist in the IT world, and the longer the list, the more likely that the IT specialist will be capable of solving any of your issues.
You’re calling in IT support because you aren’t an IT expert, and neither are the employees in your small business. Obviously, details and specifications get complicated, yet you shouldn’t need a dictionary to decipher what your IT person is saying to you. Make sure he’s capable of explaining things in a way that you can easily understand. Overuse of “techno-babble,” or jargon riddled language that you can’t understand at all could be a sign that you’re getting the run-around. Remember the famous quote by Alfred Einstein: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Businesses of every variety under the sun utilize IT support. If the company you’re using works primarily with businesses in a field that barely resemble yours, they may not understand your needs as well. Selecting IT support that has worked with numerous businesses with different missions is your best bet, because that means they’re more likely to be better with adaptable solutions that will specifically target the needs of your small business. You won’t get the right kind of assistance if your IT support doesn’t understand how your business works or what your aims are.
Level of Innovation
Things won’t stay the same around the office forever. As you continue to grow and upgrade, will your IT support continue to move up with you? Will they be able to make suggestions to help you keep up with the times and move with innovative technology? You need to work with IT support that is up to date and following the progression of future technology.
Select the Right Service Package
IT support is not a general term. You’ll require support in many areas of your small business, and you need to find a package that will offer everything you need. Before you enter an agreement, make sure the service is all encompassing, and that the price isn’t reflecting services that aren’t relevant to you. To avoid wasting funds on unnecessary services, speak with companies about their level of flexibility. They may be able to offer a custom package suited to you that you will be able to modify as your business grows and changes.
As you can see, choosing right IT support can be very tricky as there exists a plethora of aspects you must pay attention to. Some of them like price, availability or experience might seem obvious and you tend to think about them right away whereas others like clear communication between your company and the IT support or appropriate service packages that suit your business may not be immediately apparent. Spend a lot of time on the research and before you make a choice think your decision through unless you wish to be stuck with IT support that doesn’t fully satisfy the needs of your business.
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Marleen Anderson admits to be a technology addict wit background in web design. She is also a part of the team behind Saxons Group, a company providing IT support services and trainings.