Having proper IT support can make or break your small business. In the event of a tech disaster, the outlook is bleak for the future of small businesses. As many as half of small businesses will never recover, succumbing to the disaster and closing their doors. The best defense is a good offense, and that’s what a good IT team will provide for you. The needs of every business are different, but there is a good general checklist you should use when trying to find the right candidate(s) for the job.
- Make Sure They’re Certified
There’s nothing wrong with hiring someone, or a small group of people, who bill themselves as freelance or independent IT specialists, provided they have the proper certifications. IT specialists who have gone through the proper channels to become certified will have those certificates available for view. Always look for Microsoft Certified professionals.
- Consider Their Past Clients
If, for example, your small business is a coffee shop, it may not be a wise decision to hire IT support that works primarily with businesses that deal with sports equipment. Your needs are vastly different. Some IT support will be quick to adapt to your individual needs, but making your selection based on who they have been working with so far and what they’re already capable of will remove some of the risk.
- Choose Tailored Solutions
As a small business, you aren’t going to have the same needs as a large corporation. This means you don’t need to be paying hand over first for services that are useless to you. Opting for IT support that will offer you a custom package that only covers the services you need will prevent waste and direct the IT professionals’ attention to the areas where you need it most.
- Find Value for Money
If you don’t have complex technology and a lot of needs, don’t feel tempted to spend way too much on an in-house support professional. Many IT firms offer remote services for a much lower price. You’ll be getting support at a discount for the convenience your support is provided with. On the other hand, don’t cut corners if you need the extra help. Sacrificing the integrity of your business in order to safe a few dollars is one of the easiest ways for your company to disappear from the market.
- Investigate Their Reputation
Everyone wants to start somewhere, but you can’t afford to find out your IT support team is not cut out to succeed when your business is on the line. Read the reviews of past and current clients but always remember to remain objective as no one will have a 100% success rate. Sometimes clients have unrealistic expectations and post negative reviews, and other times clients will have fair expectations and be completely let down. Weigh that information discerningly.
- Speak the Same Language
This doesn’t have to do with finding a firm based in your country, but finding a firm that can easily communicate with you. If your IT support is explaining their services to you, but it sounds like they’re speaking ancient magic spells, this isn’t a good sign. You need to know what they’re providing for you and how they intend to resolve technical issues. IT support that speak strictly in jargon are something to be wary of. Know where your money is going.
- Consider Growth Factors
You’re small now, but you may not stay that small. In an ideal world, you would find IT support that would be able to grow with your expanding business. This means learning new technologies and covering an increasing amount of infrastructure. Getting the right people the first time means you won’t have to repeat the process of finding proper IT support as you continue to succeed in your field.
For something as crucial as IT support, you should never make a hasty decision. Communicate with every fitting IT firm you can find to make sure you’re making the right commitment. As long as the security of your business isn’t hanging in the balance, there’s no problem with being picky.
By – Marleen Anderson is a technology blogger working for Saxons – IT support company from Australia. She loves to spend her free time taking long strolls on the nearby beaches.