How do you get a small business to recognize the value of managed IT services? In the start-up environment, we encounter an eclectic bunch of personality types. There is a reason people become entrepreneurs or C-level execs. When we meet the owners or decision makers at smaller companies and organizations, we can tell right away why they're where they are. They're visionaries. They're risk takers. They're competitive. They want to be in charge.
Therefore, they aren't always quick to place the fate of their business technology in the hands of a third party. They've come as far as they have by being in control and they're hesitant to give up that control. But we've learned a few things along the way.
For example, the Type A personality is highly independent but is also very competitive. So we tap into the competitive advantage that managed IT services gives them.
The Type B personality is creative and doesn't like static routines. But their ears perk up when they hear terminology like "cutting-edge," and we can then paint the big picture for them once they're listening.
But anyone we do business with has to be committed to the efficiency, security, and stability of their business technology to see our value proposition. And they have to recognize that managing their IT infrastructure is an investment they cannot take lightly.
So here are a few things we commonly have to address before any deal for managed IT services is signed.
Is my business large enough to even consider managed services?
SMBs must always think big to get big. The truth is, any company, regardless of its size or the number of people they employ, will run more efficiently if its technology is monitored, maintained, and managed properly.
These are facets of your operations that drive profitability and give our Type A personalities that competitive edge they crave. And they can rest easy whenever business is booming because their technology is built to sustain their growth. That's the big picture that our Type B personality can appreciate.
How is making another IT investment a cost-savings move for my business?
There are still many SMBs who feel a greater focus and investment should go towards their core operations or marketing and sales. They only worry about technology when it breaks, figuring they'll just call a service technician to come to the office and fix whatever the problem is. Or buy some new hardware at Office Depot.
There are some very obvious flaws to this strategy.
- You're paying way too much when it's way too late – An issue that was likely preventable with early detection has escalated into a full-blown business disruption and that on-call technician likely charges a high hourly rate, on top of hardware replacement costs, and may not get to your site right away. Being proactive rather than reactive to technology issues is important.
- Don't forget productivity killers – It's taking your employees too long to boot their computers. Servers and applications are running slowly. Employee devices are full of malware. Non-technical employees are running around troubleshooting tech problems. If you see this, your present approach to IT management is killing employee productivity and your bottom line.
- What happens internally is noticed externally – Don't think for a second that customers or clients don't notice outdated or slow internal technology and mismanagement. If your site or applications are down often, run slowly, or your customer service rep tells them "I'm sorry, our system is down", they're noticing and it's hurting your business.
When all is said and done, professionally managed IT services will give you a competitive edge, guarantee your business is always leveraging the newest most cutting-edge technology, and enhance your relationships with customers and clients – all while reducing costs.