Most small business owners, when pressed, admit that there are parts of day-to-day administration that they don’t have the expertise to handle themselves. Most do it anyway, because they don’t have the staff to address the issues that arise. Chief among these administrative tasks is IT. Unless you’re a tech company, chances are you don’t have the staff available to keep up with the newest trends in tech for your business.
Imagine how great it would be to entrust your IT decisions to someone whose entire focus is technology. While you may not have the budget to hire a full-time IT person, you can still benefit from the depth of knowledge that a dedicated IT staffer brings by working with an IT agent.
Businesses today need differing degrees of help when it comes to making tech decisions. Technology for business is more than just computers; also included are smart phones, wireless and networked printers, Bluetooth devices, tablets , and many other pieces of equipment that require managing in order to make a business’ IT a successful whole. Developing a relationship with a company that can help your business to make IT decisions can be as effective as hiring a full-time IT staffer for the same function.
Selecting an IT company to develop this relationship with isn’t as simple as doing a Google search and calling the first one in the results list. While the top listing may be the highest-ranked company available in your area, the fit may not be right for your business. Here are some questions you need to consider:
- Are they financially stable?
It’s no secret that IT can be financially demanding, regardless of company size. Companies with a solid financial background will help you to make decisions based on your bottom line, not theirs.
- How long have they been in business?
Despite society’s fascination with the new and the now, when it comes to working with an IT company, you want the stability and expertise that comes with a lengthy tenure in business. You’ll want to entrust your IT to a company with a solid track record and the assurance they will still be in business a year from now.
- What is their staff turnover rate?
A low turnover rate suggests that the company finds and retains a knowledgeable staff, capable of handling a wide variety of tech issues. Fewer of their resources are dedicated to retraining newbies; instead, those resources are utilized for furthering knowledge and training. Most importantly, a low turnover rate means that their staff will learn your system and retain that knowledge for the long-term. This allows for quickness in solving problems that arise, which benefits both your productivity and your budget.
- Can they advocate for your business when dealing with vendors?
Some companies are reluctant to work with vendors outside of their own developed relationships. While it can benefit your company to work primarily with vendors selected by an IT company, sometimes a different source is necessary. If they approach this situation with an open attitude, you can be assured of an unbiased recommendation with which to make a decision.
- Do they promote ongoing training for their staff?
Keeping up-to-date on the newest technology is a daunting task, but the best IT companies actively pursue additional training and certification for their staff. This helps when it comes time to upgrade your equipment or software, as you will receive the most current knowledge and advice to assist you in making decisions.
Because IT can be something of a maze to navigate, it makes sense to entrust your IT decisions to a company that will work with you to determine the best options for your business. A good IT agent will approach this relationship as a partnership, mutually beneficial and constantly evolving. With an IT company solidly in your corner, you can focus on your core business and rest assured that your IT is being handled with your best interests in mind.