Finding an IT consultant is not hard, there are probably hundreds in your neighborhood, all with varying degrees of expertise and areas of focus. It is very important that you find the IT consultant that is best for you and for your business.
Jeff Keihl of TechShortcut.com gives five tips on finding and working with local tech service providers for small businesses.
The following areas of focus will help you determine whether a tech service provider matches your business need.
Does the tech service provider advise, design, install, develop, integrate, support, manage, repair or provide training for a technology solution? Does the tech service provider subcontract any of the work out to anyone else? If so, you will need to evaluate the subcontractor as well.
Know whether the tech service provider specializes in networking, web graphics, financial management applications, search engine optimization or VoIP? Be wary of very small technical service providers that claim to be experts in a wide variety of services. It can be very difficult to remain current and experienced in several different technologies. Internet services are here to stay so find out whether the service provider focuses on implementing in-house solutions, Internet services or both.
Does the tech service provider specialize in the products or services for your industry’s unique needs?
Ramon’s added comments: If you are a real estate agent, you want to ensure that your IT consultant knows something about your industry and has experience helping others. Your needs are not entirely unique, but there are some areas of your business that are special to your industry. Maybe you have a small law firm, an IT consultant who knows the needs you have in working with partners, clients, court rooms and other lawyers will be invaluable in developing a solution for your law practice.
Does the tech service provider specialize in the products or services from just one manufacturer, such as Microsoft or, does the tech service provider support a variety of products and services?
Ramon’s added comments: It’s important that your consultant is able to find the best solution for you and not just steer you to the vendor they work with. Granted, having a relationship and recommended solution is good and should be expected. But if your IT consultant works with Google, and Microsoft is the best solution, they should be able to offer a Microsoft solution or vice versa.
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