Did you know that less than 80% of small businesses in the United States were using technology to communicate with customers in 2020?
Digital tools have become a resource for providing excellent services and increasing efficiency.
If you want to improve technology at your company, but don’t have the education, you should work with an IT team.
Continue reading to discover how to find a managed IT company that will support your business!
Identify Your Needs
One of the most critical factors to consider when searching for a managed IT company is what your needs are.
Your needs can be influenced by the size of your company and the technologies that you use. Service Level Agreements are a great resource for discovering what each company can do for you. Compare your needs with the services that the department offers to find the most practical choice.
Set goals and look at your company’s progress to find the areas you are lacking technologically. If your systems often glitch or get hacked, an IT team can offer security measures and ensure the safety of your info.
Other IT needs could involve developing your brand. It’s good to find members with graphic design and web design experience. Each business has unique needs that a managed IT department can help with.
Set a Budget
Meeting the needs of your company should be a top priority, but you don’t want to go into debt for it.
Sit down with your financial department to determine how much money you can locate toward IT services. Knowing your budget before speaking with companies can save time and help you find affordable options worth your time. Identify budget constraints and ensure that you can accomplish your goals within your budget.
Many businesses fail because they underestimate the costs of getting new equipment and software. Your business needs must be identified before you can get an accurate number for your budget.
Try to avoid spending more than 10% of your company’s revenue on IT services so that you don’t strain yourself in other areas.
Research Local IT Groups
The IT industry is quite competitive and most communities have a couple of options to select from.
Search engines can help you discover local options. If you are looking for an in-house IT team, being nearby is a must. Smaller businesses with few IT needs can get away with hiring an IT company that is further away.
It’s best to find an IT team in your area in case you need equipment fixed. These team members can go on-site to your company and fix items without having to ship them.
If you aren’t happy with your local options, you can look for services in nearby cities. Larger cities have more options to choose from and the prices are typically more reasonable.
Many IT support teams are in California, which makes it a difficult area to find a great choice. You can visit bestructured.com for a great team working from Los Angeles. Be Structured provides IT services for many industries and can provide consultation if you aren’t sure about your needs.
Once you narrow down your options, you can conduct price comparisons.
Use your budget to discuss costs with the IT companies. Having a conversation, versus just looking at their price sheet, can help you get a deal. When you meet with the team or call them, as questions about discounts or promotions they offer, especially if you have a large company.
Companies that have been around longer often charge more for their services. This is because they have more experience to offer and can meet the demands of larger businesses. When you run a large corporation, costs will increase since more IT members will be managing your account.
The total cost of services will reflect the support you get. When you invest more into IT, you can expect better results. An in-house team can also cost more but are worth it.
Before signing a contract, discuss upfront fees involving software and equipment. You should also know what the ongoing expenses will look like for getting maintenance, training, and support.
Most IT companies can provide potential customers with a list of references.
Calling references can help you make a final decision since you can have an open and honest conversation with another client of theirs. Customer service and technical support are common topics to discuss during these calls.
If you don’t have time to make or call or can’t connect, emailing is another option. Emailing the references can help you can the same information and begin a dialogue. It helps to get previous and current customers as references to gain insight into how the company has improved.
Another item you can discuss with the references is the security protocols the IT team uses. Data backup and recovery services should be easy to understand and come provided.
Check Online Reviews
If you want to learn about an IT company, online review sites are one of the most helpful resources.
Nearly 90% of people in the United States use online reviews to find new brands and trustworthy services.
Reviews provide experiences and a representation of the services that each company offers. This is a great place to start researching since it can pose questions and help you learn more about your company’s needs.
If you find negative reviews that are concerning, don’t be afraid to address them with the department. While you speak with the customer support team, you can ask about how previous issues were addressed. Since management and policies change, you mustn’t overlook options because of a negative review.
Know What In-House Services Cover
Many people recommend getting an in-house team, however, there are limitations with this option.
Managed IT companies are becoming popular since they can offer around-the-clock services. In-house teams typically work the same schedule as your business and only work when they are on location. This prevents you from getting the necessary help in the middle of the night when you lose all of your data.
In-house IT is helpful for training and fixing equipment, but you get more for your money with managed services. The managed IT teams typically have more staff for on-demand help and there are more minds to resolve problems.
Another benefit of managed IT is that you can get improved security coverage. The in-house team will easily get distracted helping staff and have less time to monitor problems.
Network With Others
Business ownership involves relationships with people in your industry. They can help you make better choices.
Network with other businesses in your area to discover which IT companies they are using. It helps to ask competitors since they are in the same industry and have similar needs as your business. While you network, you’ll discover each company’s reputation and if other people are satisfied with their services.
Contact Customer Support
Whether you want to identify your company or not, you can contact the customer support line and ask questions.
Calling the IT company’s support line can provide insight into a few things. Not only will you see how customers are treated, but you can also discover how long it takes to get help. As a business owner, the last thing you need is to be stuck on the phone, waiting for help.
Look for an IT service company that can answer your questions and find resolutions quickly.
When it comes to finding an IT department, you need to get a team that you can trust with your business.
IT services are meant to help improve productivity, but when you work with a less-experienced team, you may notice delays. IT members with more experience can put security measures in place and understand each industry’s needs.
Managed IT services are best because the members are highly educated and have been working in specific industries. Specializing in each industry helps owners continue work without worrying about digital concerns.
Find the Best Managed IT Company for Your Business
Understanding your company’s technological needs will help you find the best-managed IT company in your area.
With the support of managed IT services, you can confidently improve systems at your business and use technology. As a small business owner, you can use IT services to improve efficiency and communications with customers and vendors.
Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals on your search, you can also look up online reviews to discover more. Having an IT company by your side is a practical decision with many benefits.
Make sure you read our latest blog posts for more info about the IT industry and how to improve business technologies!