What to Look for in an IT Partner for Your Small Business or Startup

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 1/24/13 7:40 AM

small business IT partnershipStarting up a business and maintaining a financially stable small business takes many vendors and partners. One of the most important partnerships you will form will be with an IT support provider. Your small business IT partner can help create systems that improve your organization and workflow. Expert IT support provides the foundation on which to grow your business. Before choosing a start-up IT partner, you need to know what to look for. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right partner.

1. Types of service

A great IT partner for start-up company needs should offer a wide variety of services. You will need on-site, remote, end-user and emergency support. Working with different vendors for your IT support generates confusion. Simplify your support needs by finding a total solution. One company offering all the basic pillars of IT support your business requires.

2. Expert system analysis

Your small business IT support partner must be able to look at existing systems and determine weak points and areas for improvement. As a business owner, you know where you would like to see improvement, and your IT partner must be able to make infrastructure suggestions for achieving those goals.

3. Flexibility and Mobility

All great companies respond fluidly to emergencies and changes in the marketplace, but it is especially important to deal with an IT partner that understands these challenges. Technology grows and changes every year, and you do not have the time to spend investigating every new product offering. Your IT partner supplies in-depth knowledge of new opportunities and solutions like what kind of mobile solutions may help your operation. . Additionally, the flexibility to work with external systems is a must. Your technology must integrate seamlessly with other systems to give your business the greatest flexibility.

4. Experience with start-ups

Every IT support company offers a different focus. You need to find one familiar with the needs of a small business start-up. As a new company, you will not have the existing infrastructure to build on. Instead, your small business IT partner will need to design and implement that infrastructure. This means they must have an understanding of the needs and the flexibility to react both stated and unanticipated, of a new start-up.

5. Forward thinking

No one opens a business with the intent to close after only a few years. Instead, you continue to plan for the future. An IT partner that only deals with the problems of today could leave you facing increasing expenses as the IT world changes. Work with thought leaders that incorporate your goals into an overall IT strategy to create systems that grow with your company. Be sure to meet with your IT partner once a year to visit the IT plan and budget for your business.

Finding the right IT partner is one of the most critical tasks for a new business. Every business, large or small, relies on technology to run their company. Managing the ever changing world of IT solutions for businesses takes organization and an understanding of technology as well as how to successfully implement it into your company. Discuss your needs with your IT provider to be sure that you are both on the same page. Make sure they offer the wealth of service you need and start building a long-term relationship with your IT vendor.

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Topics: IT Outsourcing, Small Business IT Support, IT partners


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