How To Choose An IT-Provider
Your technology is important – it’s an essential part of your business. Without it, you can’t do the things you need to run your day-to-day operations.
So you want to make sure that your technology is taken care of.
That’s why it’s important to find the IT-provider that’s right for you.
Your IT-provider is an important long-term relationship for your business. It’s a relationship that requires trust and mutual respect.
It’s almost a partnership.
You want to have a partner who is capable to deliver the expertise you need and has your best interest at heart.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to know beforehand which IT-providers are right for you and which aren’t.
Here are some signs you can look for to find an IT-provider that’s right for you:
#1: Are They Responsive?
One of the most important criteria to look for in your IT-provider is responsiveness.
When you run into a technical problem, you want to get it fixed quickly. The longer you have to wait, the more money you lose.
So when you turn to your IT-provider for help, you want them to help you immediately.
When talking to a provider, look at how responsive they are.
How long does it take for them to get back to you? Do they contact you when they told you they’d contact you?
If they don’t respond to you quickly right now, they might also leave you hanging when you need them the most in the future.
Also, ask if your IT-provider has Service Level Agreements outlining how quickly they’ll respond to incoming requests, and how often they adhere to them.
We have internal Service Level Agreements in which we guarantee that we’ll solve your problems within a short timeframe.
If your IT-provider has something similar in place, that’s a good indication that they’ll actually be responsive when you turn to them for help.
#2: Do Other People Recommend Them?
You might not know how good the quality of service of an IT-provider is before doing business with them. But other people do.
Someone in your professional network might be able to recommend an IT-provider to you.
Ask around in your network to see which IT-providers they use. Are they happy about them? Do they perform well on all the criteria that are important for you?
If nobody in your network has any good recommendations, you can always ask the IT-company for references.
Any good IT-provider should be happy to provide you with a list of references of customers they’ve worked with in the past. Give them a call to see how satisfied they are.
The bottom line: if the company is good at what they do, you should be able to talk to their satisfied customers.
#3: Do They Listen?
Your business is unique. And the technology needs your business has are unique as well. So you need a technology solution that’s right for your specific situation.
When discussing your problems with a potential IT-provider, pay attention to what solutions they recommend to you.
Do they listen to what you’re looking for? Do they ask you questions to understand your specific situation?
Your IT-provider should always listen to what you’re looking for and recommend a solution based on your specific needs. They should never recommend a generic solution out of the box, or make you spend a lot of money on expensive equipment without good reason.
If they don’t listen to what you’re saying, then the odds are they don’t have your best interests at heart.
#4: Are They Willing To Do A Short-Term Project?
When things work out well between you and your IT-provider, you’ll probably end up agreeing on a long-term contract.
That only makes sense – after all, you want a long-term partner to take care of your technology for you.
But that doesn’t mean you have to start that way.
Before locking yourself into a long-term contract, you first want to make sure that the relationship is to your liking. You need to experience that they deliver the quality they promise, and are pleasant to work with.
That’s why you might want to try a short-term project first to test the waters.
Any good IT-provider would be more than willing to do this. They know that their service is good and that anyone who works with them will want to continue that relationship.
They don’t need to lock you into a long-term contract before you start working together.
That’s why we offer a three month risk-free trial, where new customers can try out our services, and see if it works out to their liking first.
If your IT-provider insists on a long-term contract and is not willing to do a shorter project first, you might not want to get in business with them.
#5: Is Their Staff Professional?
The staff you get to talk to before you go into business with an IT-provider are a good indication of who will be helping you when you run into a problem.
Who are you talking to?
Do you get to talk to experienced technicians, or are you talking to sales reps who have no clue what they’re talking about?
You want to talk to qualified experts for all your tech problems. And you want them to be friendly and professional.
If you’re dealing with sales reps with a bad attitude, a lack of knowledge or a personality that doesn’t match your company culture, then think twice before doing business with them.
#6: Do They Recommend The Best Solutions?
Technology is diverse and moves fast.
There are a lot of solutions out there, some of which are better or more widely supported than others. And new solutions are constantly popping up that make older solutions obsolete.
Ask the IT-provider you’re talking to what kind of solutions they usually recommend.
You want an IT-provider who is up-to-date on the latest developments in the industry. You want them to recommend solutions that are on the forefront of technology, but are already proven to work well, and widely supported.
On top of that, you want them to recommend solutions that are cost-effective, instead of the latest and most expensive equipment out there.
If the IT-provider insists on particular obscure solutions and does not adapt to the changing technology landscape, then they might not be right for you.
#7: Do They Qualify You?
The biggest mistake most businesses make hiring an IT-provider is that they choose a company whose personality doesn’t fit theirs.
Just like you’ll have to figure out whether your IT-provider is a good fit for you, they should do the same.
You BOTH have to figure out whether you’re right for each other or not.
Among other things, they need to make sure that your business is right for the personality of their team, their company culture, and the amount of staff they have.
Just like you’re asking them questions, they should be asking you questions to figure out if you’ll work well together.
If they take your business without asking any questions, that’s a bad sign. They might just be in it for the money.
Make Sure Your IT-Provider Is Right For You
The bottom line:
Your IT-provider will be one of the most important relationships you have in your business, and will likely last for years to come.
They are responsible to keep your technology working well, so you can focus on work.
They’re that important.
So make sure that you’ll find an IT-provider that’s right for you.
We might be that IT-provider.
We’ve been helping small businesses simplify and solve their IT-problems since 2001.
Want to see if we’re good fit?
You can try our services three months, risk-free to see if we’re the IT-provider you’re looking for.
If you have any questions or would like to talk to us, contact us here.