I originally wrote this article as an email to one of my personal friends (he owns a small business in Little Rock, Arkansas) that was looking to hire a technology company to manage his computers. He found this guide to be invaluable in his search. So I am publishing it here so others can benefit from it too.
How do you find the best IT Support in Arkansas? Use these four easy steps.
Step 1: Be Proactive and PLAN
As a business owner you will never wake up and decide that you NEED “IT Support”. But, one thing you already know is that you need your computers to work.
The unfortunate truth is that many business owners wait until their systems come to complete stop to call us! Imagine waking up tomorrow morning, walking into the office and nobody is working. They all look at you and at the same time say, “THE SERVER IS DOWN!”
That is the most expensive way to leverage an IT Support Professional. Usually, it is a COMPLETELY RANDOM stranger that comes in and works for an astronomical rate but you pay it willingly because you need your computers to work.
If you get one thing out of this article, it is this… do not wait for your server crash. Start planning now. For a small business, the total costs accrued when a server crashes is usually over $10,000. Don’t wait. Start planning now.
Step 2: Ask Friends About Various IT Support Providers
We all know, personal references are by far the best way to find good contacts. So, start there. Call friends that have small businesses, post a message on facebook, or ask the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. Then, after you get a list of companies, schedule a meeting and tell them, “I am interested in finding an IT partner that can help make sure my computer systems never go down.”
This is a strong statement, but it is important to give expectations immediately. And remember, we are having this conversation because you know that you need your computers to work. And if there is trouble, you’ll need fast response that doesn’t break you with high unexpected costs.
Step 3: Meet with the Engineers
It is important that after you feel comfortable with the company you are about to deal with. So meet with their engineer that would be assigned to your company. This may seem odd, but the engineer is usually not the sales guy. And unfortunately, no matter how much you like the sales guy, he will walk out and you will never see him again. Your engineer is who you will rely on when things go bad. You will be in a panic and you need to make sure you like the engineers, not just the sales guys.
IT guys are infamous for forgetting about tasks you assign them. So, be sure to ask these questions:
- “How would I assign tasks to the engineer?” – You should have a phone number, email, and at least a secondary contact person.
- “How do the engineers verify that tasks don’t get lost in the shuffle?” – As a business owner, you need to verify that the IT support company has some type of task management system.
Step 4: Ask what their plan is for continued maintenance
Computers need to be maintained. Just like a car requires an oil change, computer require normal maintenance too. An IT support company should have a plan in place for performing maintenance.
[warning]If they say they only come in when you call them, this should be an immediate red flag.[/warning]
Because, remember, you’ll only call them when you’re computers are not working and you need your computers to work.
[info]I hope this has been helpful. If you are interested in learning how to keep your computers online all the time or interested in hearing the Scale plan, call us now! [/info]