11 tips to help you choose the best IT support company for your business

You might be the foremost expert in your field, but when that’s not IT and you need your business to run like clockwork, how do you know which IT company to choose?

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Discover some top tips on choosing an IT company that's right for you, from Gloucestershire-based ReformIT.
Discover some top tips on choosing an IT company that's right for you, from Gloucestershire-based ReformIT.

It has never been as essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes to have smooth and efficient IT to be able to function and compete.

Protecting this vital artery of the business – from your company mobile phone and laptop to ensuring its software and systems are reliable – is a constant challenge, but looked after properly, it allows business owners and managers to do what they do best without distraction.

Find the right IT business in Gloucestershire, with the right technicians to remove that worry is easier said than done. Which is why we put together some tips to help you make the right choice.

1. Firstly – stop!

Don’t just pick the first company you find on the internet! Choosing which IT firm to look after your technology is one of the most important decisions you will make for your business. It goes without saying you will need someone competent and reliable and, if possible, in your area.

2. Establish what kind of client you are

IT companies come in all shapes and sizes with particular target markets. To save everyone’s time, it is important to ask yourself what you are looking for. You might be a small business, in which case look for an IT firm which is a specialist in small businesses and reflects this in how they charge their customers.

3. Ask for recommendations

While having your IT support business geographically close to you certainly has benefits, it should not be the only deciding factor. Do not just use the internet to create your shortlist, ask for recommendations from other businesses you trust with similar requirements. Then do your research to find out if they are qualified to protect your data and meet your needs.

4. Talk to customers

It’s the old adage – that a company with happy customers should be happy for you to talk to them. Testimonials are good, but bear in mind a company will never put you in touch with a customer they are not confident with. So, try and talk or email one yourself.

5. Work out whether it's a good fit

You may have found a business, asked its customers directly and been impressed, but make sure you ask if it has the skillset you need for your business. Is your business Microsoft or Apple orientated? If you run specialist applications, choose someone who knows these inside out.

6. Establish if support will be there when you need it most

No one can predict the future, but a business that has been around for a while is more likely to be here in the longer run when you need it because it has adapted to the changing needs of its customers. You don’t want to arrive at a crisis to realise your support is nowhere to be found.

7. Find out if it's investing in its people

Longevity might also hint at investment. IT is fast-changing, and good technicians will continually be retraining. Experience can be worth its weight. The advent of cloud computing, for example, has changed how IT systems are run and supported. Has the IT company that you are considering moved with the times?

8. See the bigger picture

If your business has multiple offices doing different tasks, don’t just think about the one you work in. Consider all aspects of your business, communicate that and make sure the firm you are thinking of hiring has the staff to cover your business if the need arises. It may even offer a free IT audit.

9. Work out if your IT company can handle growth

You may only want a limited service initially, but what if your company grows? Does the IT business have the skills and resources to aid that growth and is it the kind of firm which can deliver other help too – like VOIP, advice on software updates, and help you handle new products and licences?

10. Ask if it can support you remotely

Those businesses already using IT companies which were able to support them remotely when the pandemic hit probably felt pretty pleased with themselves. If remote working is something your business has learned to value or is part of its day-to-day, the IT firm needs to be able to provide this.

11. Consider what will it cost

You’ve done your research, you’ve found a business with the right skill set, its customers have given it the thumbs up, you’ve weighed up guaranteed response times and how long the contract is for. Then, of course, you need to consider your budget – the hourly rate or retainer and the real cost to your business. Get this right you can get on with running your business knowing there will be no unexpected bills in your inbox.

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