You may not realize it but your small business is vulnerable to malware and cyber attacks or some other kind of security breach on your computer systems and network. In 2012, nearly 87% of small businesses suffered a security breach, at least 80% of these problems were caused by the use of weak or poorly picked passwords. It has been estimated that somewhere between 75 and 85% of the attacks originated from within the companies themselves. This makes it crucial to have a good plan in place. Maintaining your computer systems and network is something you may want to outsource to a good business IT consulting company. This is a very cost effective way many small businesses keep their networks operating smoothly and securing. Here are some tips to hiring the right company for your business.
- Decide what you need. Before you can talk to a business IT consulting services company, you need to know what you need. This may require you to do some research. You may have a general idea of what you need but you also need to do your homework. Do you have an ecommerce site? Does your business deal with confidential medical, financial or legal data that needs to be protected? Are you considering moving your storage or operations to the cloud? You need to spend some time working on what you need, want and expect from any IT consultant.
- Talk to people you know. You know other people in your industry. As the people you know who run businesses like yours what business IT consulting firm they use to handle their computer network and systems’ needs. The best way to get good products or services is to get a personal recommendation. You may not end up going with the company your friends or associates work with but this can give you a great starting point for your search.
- Research several companies. Once you have a few companies in mind, do some research. This can be as easy as punching their names into Google and checking what you find. All business IT services companies have their own websites and should have testimonials, check them. It can be very easy to fake testimonials on their websites. You should be wary of any comments or complaints that are left anonymously because people are more likely to complain than to compliment. When you talk to the companies, see if there are any current or former clients you can talk to.
- Get a business IT consulting company that knows your industry. Different businesses have different needs. These needs can be very specific to the industry they are in. If you run a medical or legal office, you have different needs from a company that sells cosmetics or offers lawn maintenance services. The only thing all of these businesses may have in common is the need to provide excellent customer support and to have their computer systems and networks secure. Ask about the company’s experience working with your industry.
- Go with a business IT consulting firm that asks you a lot of questions. You need to have your questions answered, the firms that you are considering hiring for your IT needs should have a number of questions for you. That shows you a number of things such as their interest level and the way they interact with their clients. You need them to tailor their plan to deal with your IT needs to your specific situation and they cannot do that without asking questions.
- Ask about their after hours policies. You company may be open certain hours and days but your computer network needs to be functional 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days of the year. You may need emergency IT help on the weekends, in the evenings and even during the holidays. Make sure the IT services company that you end up hiring can be there during the times when you need them the most.
Many people do not think about their computer systems and network until there is a problem, hiring the right IT business consulting company will prevent them from occurring.