Are you worried about leaving your business vulnerable to a cyberattack? Finding the right IT support is essential. Otherwise, you could unintentionally leave your customers’ private information at risk.
If you become a victim of a cyberattack, your customers could take their business elsewhere. Meanwhile, your company’s brand reputation might take a hit.
Before that happens, consider finding an IT service provider. With managed IT services, you can protect your business and customers. You can even use small business IT support to streamline your business.
Your team’s productivity and bottom line could improve as a result.
There are now over 882,300 people working in the computer and information technology industry as support specialists. Don’t choose the first IT support company you find online. Instead, start your search with these 10 tips.
With these tips, you can find the best small business IT support provider around. Narrow down your options using these easy tips today!
1. Look for a Large Team
First, search for “small business IT support company near me.” Start creating a list of options to research further. Then, you can use the rest of these tips to narrow down your options.
As you research each company, try to learn more about their professional history.
For example, it helps to find a long-established business. Some businesses pop up overnight, steal your money, and disappear. Instead, find a company that’s existed for some time.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing they won’t disappear overnight.
A long-established business has likely gathered many clients over the years, too. It’s probable that they’ve outlasted competitors in that time, too. An established business has probably worked out the kinks in its operations as well.
A new business, on the other hand, might still have a few problems they need to work out.
Once you’ve determined how long the company has existed, ask about their team. How large is the company? An established business has likely grown over time.
Make sure the IT support company has multiple technicians on staff. Otherwise, the company will have low availability. You might have to wait a few hours before you receive help.
If there’s an emergency, there’s no time to waste. You need help immediately.
Make sure they have a large enough team to provide the support you need.
Then, look into the company’s credentials. Make sure they’re licensed and insured. If there’s an accident on your property, the insurance will cover it.
2. Consider Their Services
It’s not enough to find a large enough team. You’ll need to make sure the IT management company offers the services you need, too.
Take the time to make a list of the services you need before you start your search. You’ll have an easier time narrowing down your options. You won’t have to vet companies that don’t offer the services you need.
Otherwise, you might not realize a company is incapable of helping you until it’s too late.
For example, you might need:
- Communication services
- Security services
- Remote support
- Cloud computing
Consider the level of support you need, too.
For example, you might consider infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). IaaS offers computing infrastructure on-demand. You can use a public cloud for your operating system and applications.
With platform-as-a-service (PaaS), you can develop your applications and products online. Your IT support company will handle storage and data serving.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) allows you to access the software you need through a third party. You won’t have to worry about downloads. It’s easy to scale, too.
You can talk to your IT service provider to determine which services best suit your company.
Make sure your managed IT services include security.
About one in four businesses are likely to become a victim of a cyberattack. In fact, a new attack occurs every 39 seconds. About 6.85 million accounts are hacked every day.
Cybercrime could cost the world $6 trillion by this year.
Remember, you don’t want to leave your company or customers vulnerable. If you’re attacked, customers might grow frustrated. They could struggle to trust your business in the future.
They might even tell others about the hack, which could impact your professional reputation.
Instead, select the support services you need to ensure your business is running at its best.
3. Measure Their Response Times
Once you have a few options, ask each IT support company about their response times.
Imagine what will happen if your entire system crashes. You could miss a chance to make sales. Meanwhile, customers will struggle to interact with your business, allowing their frustrations to rise.
Hiring a reliable IT support company can help—if the company is quick to respond. Otherwise, you could have to wait at a standstill. Your IT technician could take either hours or days to fix the problem.
Instead, look for a company that offers immediate response times.
In some cases, the response times can vary based on the services and level of support you request. Keep that in mind.
It’s not enough to find a company with quick response times, though. Make sure they have a talented, knowledgeable team, too. Otherwise, the team could take hours trying to troubleshoot and fix the issue.
4. Request a Dedicated Technician
The number of IT workers has increased 10-fold since 1970. Not every IT service provider will have the experience and expertise you need, though. As you narrow down your options, ask if you’ll work with a dedicated technician.
Working with the same technician every time can save you time in the long run.
As your single point of contact, they’ll understand your business and IT needs. They’ll know what problems you’ve experienced in the past, too.
Their familiarity with your company and IT setup can save you stress and time in the future.
Ask if you can interview technicians, too. Here are a few qualities to look for when searching for a dedicated technician.
A Passion for Technology
People who are passionate about their work often dedicate themselves to their craft. Look for an IT technician who has passion. They’ll continue learning and developing their skill set.
Their passion can inspire them to work harder. They won’t settle for fast and easy solutions, either. Instead, they’ll make sure you receive the best possible service.
Their dedication can benefit your business and IT infrastructure.
An Understanding of Your Industry
Ask each IT service provider you speak with about their prior experience. Look for someone who has worked with companies within your industry. Their understanding of your industry will help them understand your IT needs.
They’ll have an easier time providing you with the services you need.
Ask each technician how much they know about your industry. Have they worked with a business like yours in the past? Ask them how they helped that business, too.
Make sure they’re up-to-date with the latest technologies that are relevant to your industry as well.
The Right Specialty
Look for a technician that knows a little about a lot. Their well-rounded knowledge will ensure you always get the help you need. Then, ask if they specialize in a certain area, too.
For example, you might need a data communications professional. Maybe you’re more interested in finding a security specialist.
Make sure their specialty matches your specific needs.
Loves a Challenge
Look for someone who loves a good challenge. They won’t crumble under stressful situations. Instead, they’ll see a challenge as an opportunity to learn.
If you’re experiencing a challenging IT issue, they’ll keep working until they find the fix.
IT issues usually happen at the worst possible time.
Make sure your IT service provider has a flexible work schedule. Choose someone who offers help 24/7, 365 days a year.
Otherwise, IT issues could impact your productivity. Remember, you’ll benefit from getting help right away.
Strong Communication Skills
Many IT specialists only speak “techie.” When choosing an IT support company, make sure you can understand them. The technician you work with should have strong communication skills.
You might need them to speak with your shareholders or customers. If their communication skills are lacking, it could cause problems.
Instead, choose someone who can explain the problems you’re experiencing with ease. They can help you learn more about your own systems.
Choose someone who pays attention to small details, too. A detail-oriented technician will catch the smallest problems. They’ll make sure those small issues don’t become major ones.
Their attention to detail could save you time and money in the future.
5. Consider How They Log Calls
Consider how each IT service provider logs their calls.
For example, who will you speak with during a call? You might reach a call center as your first point of contact. Then, you’ll need to wait until you speak with your technician.
You don’t want a call center pushing your call from one person to the next. Instead, look for a company that has an efficient setup. Make sure you can reach your dedicated support specialist with ease.
Otherwise, you might get frustrated every time you call the IT support company.
6. Ask About System Familiarity
Ask each IT management company about the technology and tools they use. If they’re not using top-notch programs, they could fail to help your business.
For example, they might use a CRM system. Maybe they use emails to route requests.
Make sure they’re using remote management and monitoring tools.
Then, ask about the systems they’re familiar with. Remember, you’ll want to make sure they’re familiar with the systems you use. Otherwise, they could waste valuable time trying to troubleshoot the problems you’re experiencing.
7. Review the Contract
Ask at least three IT support companies on your list for a copy of the contract. Then, determine what’s included.
Some companies cover labor charges. If they have to visit your business, they might charge you for travel time and mileage.
Get an itemized list of what’s included to avoid surprises.
8. Look for Remote Support
Consider choosing a small business IT Support company that offers remote management.
The company will operate off-site using remote monitoring and management tools. They’ll have an easier time offering 24/7 support.
If you experience a small issue, they can catch it before it becomes a major problem.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing someone is always monitoring your system.
9. Ask for References and Case Studies
Each company on your list will try to convince you that they’re the best IT service provider around. You don’t have to take their word for it. Instead, ask the company for references and reviews.
Speak with at least three of their current clients. Ask the client about their experience with the IT support company.
Would they recommend you choose someone else?
You can use case studies to determine if the company is actually helping its clients, too.
10. Consider the Cost
About 59% of businesses use outsourcing to reduce expenses. Before choosing an IT support company, consider the cost.
Ask the company if they offer pay-as-you-go support, an hourly rate, or a fixed price.
You might want to consider an a la carte option, which might better suit your budget. Take the time to discuss your options with your IT support provider. They can help you determine which plan fits your needs.
For example, you can discuss break-fix support. With this option, the small business IT support company can charge you by the hour.
You can decide whether to pay after services rendered or in advance.
Otherwise, consider a fixed-price contract.
There’s also managed IT services support. The IT support company can actively manage your systems. Their 24-hour monitoring will ensure there’s a fix as soon as something goes wrong.
You can get back up and running immediately, which can benefit your reputation and productivity. Your ROI could rise as a result.
Start Your Search: 10 Tips for Finding the Best IT Service Provider
You don’t have to hire the first IT service provider you find. Instead, use these tips to vet your options. With these tips, you can choose the best IT support company around.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing a professional team is always available to help your business.
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