Owning a business in the modern world means adopting an online platform and running digital operations. Consumers have come to rely on the speed, convenience, and accessibility that comes with living in modern society. If you can’t keep up with these types of demands, your business will quickly become irrelevant.
However, if you’re like most business owners, your primary specialty lies in what you do, whether it’s manufacturing, retail, construction, etc. In most cases, your areas of expertise do not include IT (information technology).
As such, you’ll need to hire IT professionals to help you run the digital aspect of your company.
The question is, how do you find the best IT providers who you can trust to take care of your business (and your budget). We are here to help you answer that question. Keep reading for a complete guide on how to find and hire IT professionals.
Ask About Pricing
First, let’s talk about one of your top concerns as a small business owner, your budget. Naturally, you’ll want to find IT professionals who are competitively priced. This is one of the major benefits of outsourcing IT services.
Outsourced IT services can be far more affordable than hiring an in-house team. Yet, they can also provide the same outstanding IT services you would get from an in-house IT department.
Research local and non-local IT services and reach out to get a free quote for their services. Then, you can make an educated decision on who to hire.
Find Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Before you hire IT professionals, take some time to learn more about the top companies on your list. Dig around on their website to find customer reviews and testimonials from other business owners. What do other professionals have to say about these IT providers?
Are the IT workers knowledgeable, attentive, and helpful? Do most business owners recommend outsourcing IT to the company?
If you can’t find reviews on the IT team’s website, use Google to search for the IT company’s name and “reviews.” Alternatively, find the IT company’s social media profiles where they are likely to publish customer reviews.
Find Out What Services They Provide
Next, find out what services the IT professionals provide. Most IT companies can provide help (physically or remotely) to troubleshoot issues on company computers and databases. They should also provide a cloud service to back up all of your business’s files, data, etc.
However, other services include things like:
- Computer repair
- Help desk/support
- Email assistance
- Office phone setup
- And more
Hiring the right IT professionals may come down to your needs. What IT services will your company need now, and in the future?
Ask About Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is one of the most important responsibilities of IT providers. Because most businesses are online, cyber hackers and other criminals attempt to steal important data from small and large businesses alike. To protect your company, your staff, and your customers, you must invest in adequate cybersecurity.
Therefore, when considering IT workers, ask about the level of security they provide for their clients. How much experience and expertise do they have in data security?
Remember, however, that nothing is guaranteed. Multi-billion-dollar companies experience hackers and security threats frequently, and they employ high-level IT teams.
Inquire About Their Response Times
One of the most important things, as a business, is productivity. The productivity and efficiency of your company depend on your equipment. If your website or network goes down, it affects your bottom dollar.
Therefore, when hiring IT providers, you must ask about their average response times to emergencies. Do they have 24-hour It services? How long does it usually take them to respond to customers?
Outsourcing IT, as noted earlier, can be a fantastic decision. However, you must ensure your company is a priority to them. If they are overloaded with clients, they might not be able to help you quickly and efficiently.
Ask About Experience and Expertise
As the world continues to progress technologically, IT skills are becoming more commonplace. In fact, most people have children in middle school and high school who possess more technological expertise than they do.
However, that doesn’t mean that every IT provider is qualified to handle your company’s needs. We recommend screening potential IT teams based on their experience and expertise in the field.
For example, how long has the IT company been in business. What education, certifications, and professional training do the IT workers have?
Assess Their Communication Skills
In business, the importance of communication skills cannot be overstated. The more clearly you communicate with your staff, the smoother your company will run. Effective leaders are clear, concise, and direct.
You shouldn’t expect anything less from your IT professionals. This can be an issue if you’re working with IT providers from another country. The language barrier can affect your ability to effectively communicate with one another, despite their IT expertise.
Therefore, before hiring an IT team, spend some time communicating with them in real-time to assess your ability to communicate with one another. Do they understand what you expect from their services? Will they be able to effectively communicate with your and your staff to guide you through troubleshooting IT problems?
Find Out About Their Client Satisfaction Policy
Finally, IT professionals should provide their clients with a satisfaction guarantee. Credible IT providers stand behind their services. As such, they should include a client satisfaction policy in their contract.
What happens if you’re unhappy with their services? Will you be bound to a long-term contract, even if you’re not getting the quality services you deserve? How does the IT team handle complaints and other issues?
As a business owner, you know that your number one priority is making your customers happy. You should demand the same from your IT department.
Trying to Find IT Professionals You Can Trust?
As you can see there are plenty of things to think about before hiring IT professionals. Don’t hire the first IT company you see, nor the cheapest one you find. Follow the guide above to make the best possible decision for your company.
And if you’re looking for more professional advice, stick around for a while and check out some of our other articles. Our blog was created to help entrepreneurs like you find the help they need to thrive in the modern business world.