As a small business, you are always making difficult decisions about when to do things in-house, and when to outsource certain processes or projects. When it comes to IT work, there is often a steep learning curve. Sure, you can do the work yourself but it may take precious time and resources to train yourself, and even then, it might be done wrong. That’s even before we get into regular maintenance and troubleshooting.
From creating secure and reliable networks to digital marketing plans and collateral, there is so much to consider when building the IT side of even a small business. But investing in proper IT services can have fantastic dividends.
Holding back on properly investing in IT services may lower your productivity, reduce efficiency, and see you fall behind your competitors. Nobody wants to miss out on any of that. So let’s talk about why small businesses hire IT service companies to hire experts.
What are IT Services?
IT Services is a broad term for the contracted development of custom software for business. So just like you might hire a cleaning service to vacuum your office, you might hire an IT Service company to manage the development and management of your services and systems.
What Services are included?
There are many kinds of IT Services and each company is going to have its own unique options. Let’s talk about some of the most common IT Services that small companies contract out:
- Website Design and Hosting
- Network Services
- Custom Program Development
- Digital Marketing
Let’s run through each one and check them out a bit more.
Website Design and Hosting
It seems almost unimaginable that you could have a business without a website these days. You might be surprised to learn that around 40% of businesses these days don’t have a website. If you find yourself in that camp, then it’s time to get on board.
And people’s expectations for how a website should look and function are higher than ever before. But building and hosting websites takes skills and knowledge a small business owner might not have. And even those who do may find their time is better spent running the business than the website.
Building a great website goes hand-in-hand with online marketing and SEO (search engine optimization). You want your website to be mobile responsive, load quickly, and look nice. You can reach your target audience better by having solid marketing and SEO tactics.
Your website might be the first interaction a customer has with your business and the value of that first impression is huge. Ensuring that customers see your business in the best possible light is worth investing in experts.
Even small companies find they need their various devices to connect and talk to one another. Plus, they need all of their tech protected from intruders. But sometimes setting up reliable, secure networks can be complicated and is often time-consuming.
We’ve all had fights with printers or faulty internet. Who hasn’t ever wanted to toss their laptop right out the window?
Fighting with tech is exhausting and frustrating. Bad IT setups can leach time and efficiency out of business. You want your tech and devices to be reliable so you can spend more time working and less time troubleshooting.
Businesses who’ve hired high-quality IT services contractors often find the experience worth the investment. Network services often expand from basic services to more comprehensive services like emergency help desk support, data backup, disaster recovery services, and more. Hiring professionals can expedite the process and ensure that it facilitates work instead of making more of it.
And it might keep you from throwing a laptop out a window.
Custom Program Management
Custom software can create fantastic opportunities for businesses to optimize workflows and services. In her article on Technology Advice, Tamara Scott says, “The software that provides the highest value to companies is often the hardest to implement.”
We know this to be true from years of experience. When software is built for your business it provides the biggest return on investment. And when there is so much value to be had from custom software, it’s worth hiring a company with knowledgeable and reliable experts to help you along.
Marketing has grown into a living part of the business. The days of brochures and billboards doing the majority of marketing are long gone. Social networks, blogs, video, email, and many other forms of digital marketing are becoming common, trusted forms of building a customer base and communication channels.
In his Business.com article, Don’t Go It Alone: The Case for Hiring a Marketing Expert Ryan Ayers says, “Modern marketing is complex and requires a wide variety of skills and breadth of knowledge that can take years to acquire. Your business can’t limp along until you’ve learned everything you need to know about digital marketing.” That’s a powerful endorsement of the value of hiring an experienced digital marketing team.
How to Choose a Great Service Provider
How do you go about choosing the right service provider?
Just because a business is large doesn’t necessitate the need for a large IT services company. The company you hire needs to be able to make you a priority. You’ll be able to identify over-extended and bolstered promises from IT Service companies pretty quickly.
So, what do you look for?
- Clear and reasonable SLAs (service-level agreement). If the company has experience in solving tech issues, they’ll know how long a service should take and what you can expect to spend. Make sure they can offer service agreements that are created before the work begins.
- Specific services and areas of expertise. A great IT Services company will have individuals who are experts in specific parts of IT Services. They’ll offer years of experience and knowledge that only a focus can offer.
- A company that wants to understand what you do so they can provide what you need. Are they asking you a lot of questions about what your needs are, or are they only talking about what they do?
- Look for references! Who have they worked for and who was happy with the job they did.
Contact Atiba for IT Hosted Services
Atiba has a talented and knowledgeable crew ready to help you get the most out of your IT. Our team of IT professionals over 20 has years of experience in focus areas to ensure that the work you need is done properly, quickly, and meets your needs.
We’ve helped many businesses just like yours grow their IT capabilities to better serve their business (check out our Case Studies).
We’re part human and part geek and we’re excited to help you! Contact us today for your project quote.