What Should a Small Business Look for in an IT Provider?

From farmers to the the local coffee shop to the major corporation, in today’s world every business functions in the realm of technology. However, not every business can have an IT department or expert on their team. Rather for many small businesses, perhaps yours, it is far more beneficial to outsource technology needs to an IT support company, allowing your hardworking team to focus on the business. So what does small business IT outsourcing look like and how can you determine which provider to choose? Where do you even start? Here are some things to keep in mind.

 

First, when it comes to small business IT outsourcing be sure to look at each providers track record? Who are their they references? How long have they been in business, and serviced these clients? If all their clients appear relatively new but the company has been around for awhile, this could be a red flag. It’s worth looking a little deeper.

In regard to small business IT outsourcing, another aspect you’ll want to remember is adaptability. Look for a company able to work around your needs not the other way around. Often smaller businesses choose a product that “almost” fits and tries to make it work like a shoe that is too small. You can squeeze into it but you stumble a lot. Does the provider evaluate individual needs and chose products and services that fit or do they preset plans they’ll want to squeeze you into? Furthermore, will your needs be evaluated once at the beginning or throughout your relationship? Unlike your shoe size, your business is always changing. Is the IT provider on top of the latest trends and adjusting to your evolving needs?

Is the IT provider available whenever a problem arises? If your server crashes at 3pm on a Saturday, can they respond quickly so as to not have a negative effect on daily operations? Is the team big enough and appropriately skilled to handle these demands? They may be available 24/7 but are they overworked causing you to wait hours for help? Are employees knowledgeable about all possible problems, the latest developments and varying operation systems? Don’t be afraid to request credentials and ask how the work load is divided. Keep in mind they’ll be working for you and need to fit your needs.

A final aspect you’ll want to keep in mind as you outsource to the right IT provider is cost. You’ve worked hard for your money. Spend it wisely. Only you (and your accountant) know what you can spend on getting the best IT…

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