When do small businesses need to start thinking seriously about IT support and how should they locate a trusted IT provider? — those are the issues PCWorld explores in a new informative article.
Small businesses often can’t afford to invest in a dedicated IT technician. On the other hand, they can’t risk being bogged down by slow servers, losing data that isn’t backed up or enduring disruptions in their communication and information processing technologies.
Fortunately, says PCWorld, both cloud computing and out-of-office IT support and service providers can aid small businesses who can’t (or won’t) rely on in-house support.
Both SaaS solutions and external IT consultants lower the upfront costs, and both allow small businesses to focus on their strengths — the front-end business of getting a product to market and selling to prospective customers.
But IT consultants and managed service providers can do more for a business than just react to tech breakdowns and crises. They can recommend IT solutions that take into account the company’s budget constraints, and they can play a crucial role in creating scalable systems that will allow small companies to grow.
Smart SMBs, says PCWorld, are seeking a trusted IT help provider sooner, rather than later.
Finding a Trusted IT Consultant or Support Provider
But where should a small business owner find that crucial, trustworthy IT help?
PCWorld suggests a number of strategies — strategies MSPs and IT support providers should also be aware of as they hunt for new clients. First, PCWorld recommends that small business owners check online review sites like Yelp.com or AngiesList.com, which specializes in user ratings of construction and home repairs services but also has a section on “computer repair and services.”
In addition, companies that purchase significant amounts of computers and services from such electronic companies as HP or Dell should check the maker’s website for local partners or resellers that might also offer support services.
PCWorld also falls back on the always important word of mouth. They advise small business owners to ask business associates with similar IT needs where they find their support.
For further information on what small business owner and managers might be seeking when they want IT support, check out the full PCWorld article and also their foreboding, forthcoming story on “what to avoid in an IT professional.”