Getting the IT Support You Need
If you own a small business, your attention is directed toward your customers and the products and services you provide, and things will go smoothly with your hardware and software until you encounter a problem and or decide to expand. This is proof that you need ongoing IT support if you want to succeed.
What you can do
You can start by searching for “tech support” on AngiesList.com, Yelp.com, or a similar service that provides local reviews. In addition, you can post an ad on Craigslist’s “Gigs Offered” section at no cost and invite IT professionals to respond.
If you use a lot of computer equipment from a particular brand, visit the manufacturer’s website to find resellers or partners in your area that provide IT support. A number of electronics companies, including Dell, offer customer offer consulting and customer support within their guides for small businesses.
What you should expect
The professional you hire should be interested in getting an overview of your business, as well as the technology behind it. They should also become familiar with your system with special emphasis on backup and data security. This will include the antivirus tools, software, Smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops your employees use.
In a best-case scenario, your IT technician will be able to assist you with a long-range plan for you system based on your budget and plans for the future, along with a periodic check on its progress. They should also know how to respond to your questions and explain what is being done in language that is user friendly rather than overly technical.
If you find someone who provides several viable options within your price range, they have done their homework in order to give you the information you need. This IT expert realizes that it isn’t always necessary to buy the most expensive products, and they will help you find tools that are suited to the scope and nature of your business. For example, if you own a small boutique, your financial data could be stored on a USB key that you can take with you at the end of the day. However, if you manage a law office or investment firm, you data will need additional protection to be in compliance with privacy laws and other regulations.
A savvy IT expert stays abreast of the latest developments in the tech industry to determine when various products have been created and updated. You can easily see if they do this by mentioning a relevant item that you have seen or read about recently.
Certification is essential
Relevant certifications include Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), and in regard to networking, they should have A+ or CompTIA Network+ accreditation. If you have a Mac shop with multiple needs, find an Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP).
Remember that finding the IT support you need will save money in the long run, and it can be the deciding factor between just getting by and growing you business.