20 Things to Consider When Hiring an IT Professional – A Guide For Small Business Users

Eventually, the amount of time & knowledge required to maintain your IT on your own, or by an administrator fumbling through manuals and Google searches, will begin to cancel out any cost savings benefits of doing it yourself. When your business reaches that point, it will be time to hire an IT professional.

It’s time to hire an IT professional when:

handling IT solutions takes time away from clients or core services

your IT needs and solutions are now greater than the IT skills or knowledge base you possess

you are not sure what equipment to get for your purposes, or what type of equipment is compatible with one another

you bought equipment that you do not use or that proved to be incompatible with your needs

you bought equipment that wasn’t powerful enough for your needs and you have been forced to pay upgrade costs

you think you bought the right equipment but are not certain how to properly set it up

you need help making yourself and/or your employees comfortable with your IT

you need to make the IT process faster and quicker and easier for your business

The right IT advisor for you will:

Listen to you – no matter how much they know about IT, they first have to learn about you, your business and your needs before they can be of any help to you.

Be an expert with the right technology for you – if you don’t use a Mac, you don’t need a Mac pro. If you want to install a small business server, a computer repairman without experience with servers isn’t the right choice. Ask about their experience.

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Appreciate a smaller business like yours – you’re not a multi-national corporation and your IT needs and budget are very different from a company of that scale. Is the IT professional you are considering experienced in IT solutions for companies like yours? Remember, IT covers a vast landscape of knowledge and skills so ask questions to find an IT Advisor that will suit your needs.

Help you understand the technology – they will speak in easy to understand terms, avoiding technology jargon, and using analogies that clearly communicate what their proposed solutions will do for you. Your IT advisor should never try to confuse or obfuscate in order to gain some advantage over you and your lack of in depth IT knowledge. You want an IT advisor that is willing to serve in a fiduciary role- always putting your best interest first.

Balance costs and benefits – by choosing to serve your best interests, your IT advisor can help you assess the benefits vs. costs ratios for each of the solutions suitable for your purposes. They will help you understand what additional benefits each cost tier offers and help you make an educated choice about what you truly need for your business.

Be sure to also consider Free Questions To Attorney the following:

Can this IT professional provide a testimonial or reference from a recent or current satisfied client who runs a business similar to yours, with similar IT needs?

Does this IT professional have the specific experience required to service the IT solution you currently have or want to implement?

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Can this IT professional give you an accurate Cost Efficiency In A Firm time frame for implementing your solution?

Can this IT professional provide you with an up front estimate, on paper for the solution you want to implement? Is it itemized?

What sort of follow up services are available? Does the IT professional offer repair and follow up, or will you need someone else to maintain the services this person will install and set up?

If you have questions or concerns that normally arise when running a business, will this IT professional be available to answer your concerns? Will there be a charge for questions and advice?

If you experience an IT emergency, how quickly can this IT professional provide service to you?

Weigh the answers to these questions carefully and create a “Must Have” and a “Nice To Have” list for your business. Then, factor in your budget, and finally, choose an IT professional for your business based on all of the above factors.