For small businesses that aren’t tech companies, finding the resources and talent to manage your I.T. systems can be a daunting challenge. As the leader of a small business or a growing startup, the majority of your time, energy, and capital is most likely invested in building and maintaining your core business functions.
You probably use technology to help you with tasks as varied as internal communications, finding new customers, and keeping your data safe. The trouble is that you don’t have time to spend on thinking about these tools, let alone managing them. That’s why an I.T. support company can be such a valuable partner.
Sure, we’re biased, but that doesn’t mean we’re wrong. We’ve seen over and over again the positive impact our services have had on small businesses.
Taking Control of Costs
Anyone starting a company knows that cash flow is king. One of the reasons entrepreneurs turn to technology is to automate everything possible and keep human capital expenditures to a minimum.
Often, startup founders or small business owners will handle I.T. themselves as they bootstrap their companies and work toward gaining traction. Does this sound familiar? It’s either you or that “techie” person on your team who has a full-time job but is also handy with computers.
That helpful employee who can reconnect you to your printer, reset your lost password, and update your accounting software will be just as nervous as you when the challenge suddenly becomes supporting the functionality of communication, keeping data safe, empowering remote employees, and supporting the people using the technology that you’ve bought as a small business.
At that point, you need specialists. You have two choices: either create and staff an entire I.T. department or outsource your I.T. support. Because you don’t really have the budget to support one full-time I.T. employee, let alone three or four, it’s time to bring in a partner.
An I.T. support company will give you access to the knowledge of multiple I.T. people with experience providing support across a range of industries. Most important, this expertise comes at a fraction of what it costs to keep a team in-house.
Collaboration When You Need It
As your business grows, you’ll be faced with a number of critical technology-related decisions. Unless that’s your particular expertise, you’ll quickly feel out of your depth. If you’ve partnered with an I.T. support company, however, you can ask all kinds of questions. Your support team can help you vet new technologies and get feedback on your options. They may even point you toward avenues you hadn’t considered.
You should be able to say to your I.T. partner, “Hey, I went to a seminar this weekend, and the software vendor demoed this awesome software. Is this something that I should have?” Your I.T. partner will be able to tell you whether this will work on your network, whether it will run on the internal network or will be completely cloud-based, and what other expenses — like more bandwidth or processing power — will be involved. It can also explain the difference between an update and an entirely new piece of software, even when the latter looks like the former.
If a new piece of software makes sense for your business, your I.T. partner should be proactive about showing you how it will work in your environment. It will also let you know if you should be aware of other technical considerations, like needing to upgrade operating systems or existing hardware before that software can be effective.
In other words, the partnership should be strategic. Your I.T. support provider won’t just show up when something needs fixing — it’ll be with you through each step of your journey as a business leader, filling in knowledge gaps so that you can make the best decisions for your company, both now and in the future.