The short answer is, if you are asking this question, you need one. But you may not be sure how to find one and what questions to ask to find out if they are the right fit for you.
The long answer is, does whoever you are working with meet your needs? Let’s talk about a few things that go into that:
Do you have IT hardware?
In this digital age, we all need and have computer(s), so I’m skipping the question we once asked – do you have a computer. Even if you don’t have a computer, pretty much everyone has a smart phone or a tablet, which all falls under IT. Everyone, by the way, includes the people who don’t really know how to use them.
- Do you need an IT service?
If you have IT hardware, you bought the hardware from a provider. Some of these providers will provide repair services, and some of them won’t. Because you need the hardware, you have to work with some kind of a provider, even if all they do is sell you a new device.
The question is, is the provider a good fit for your company?
- What services do they provide?
If we all need someone to purchase our equipment from, as a business it’s also great to have someone who can make the technology work the way it should. Some home customers that we know just buy new and never repair, but this can lose you a lot of data if you haven’t set your IT up right. A good IT service can help you move data from one device to another and help devices talk to each other. Some good home IT services do provide these kinds of services, but a business service definitely will.
Additionally, as businesses get larger, the more devices (e.g., Internet equipment, computers, printers, etc.) your business will accumulate. The more devices, the more things that can go wrong. Residential IT services will involve you in many more decisions than a business IT service will want to do. The business IT service can just take care of IT issues for you but will also consult you as needed along the way. The more parts of this that your IT service provider can you do for you and the more skilled your IT service provider, the more peace of mind that you will have that everything works together in a secure manner.
You’ll also want to make sure that the service provider you choose to work with can cope with your systems. Some providers don’t handle Ethernet networks. Some don’t handle Windows computers.
- Can the IT provider you choose fix your problem?
There are some providers who don’t fix the problem you brought the computer in for. Even if you bring it in multiple times and complain, it still doesn’t get fixed. That’s an example of an IT service that doesn’t work.
Bring the same computer into a reputable provider, on the other hand, and he might tell you it can be fixed. Let the reputable provider take a look at it, and it gets fixed after a few days instead of spending days not working. As a business grows, you as the business owner understand that time is money. Getting the computer fixed in an efficient manner allows you to make more money.
This isn’t to say that everything IT-related can be fixed because it can’t. Quite a lot can be fixed but sometimes it costs to fix more than you want to pay. As your business grows, the more crucial the latter (and the prevention of problems) can become. That’s what a good business IT service can provide you – the choice of the best solution for your business from many options.
- How well do they know you, your system, and your business?
There are some places you will go, and you get a different person every time. The bigger your business becomes, the more complicated and idiosyncratic your IT system becomes. Someone who understands your system has a huge advantage in knowing what went wrong and how to fix it. They also know how to prioritize the work. Someone who understands what it means to you when your computer goes down is in a much better position to do what they can to get you going than someone who doesn’t.
In closing, some residential IT providers can provide good service to micro-businesses in their early days if they are knowledgeable and responsive. However, the quicker you can get a business IT service involved, you will be making smarter IT decisions, and you will have fewer headaches later on. They understand how important it is for you to stay in business and how to get you ready for the growth you want to see.
Call Tech Lab at 414-208-4682 to see if we fit you and your business!