10 Smart Questions to Ask Before You Hire Managed IT Services for Your Small Business
If you’re looking for managed IT services for your small business, there are a lot of options out there. With the ever-increasing threat of cyber attacks and ransomware, choosing the right company could literally save your business in the event of a serious disaster. But you might be wondering HOW to choose a managed service provider.
As you look for managed IT services for your small business, finding the right fit is important. We’ve developed 10 questions you can ask a prospective managed IT service provider to gain insights on whether they have friendly support, proactive monitoring, and a team of experts.
1. What size managed IT client do you typically serve?
If a managed IT service provider services businesses larger than yours, it stands to reason that they may give priority to a larger client. It’s important that you choose a managed service provider that specializes in small businesses. They’ll better understand the needs of small businesses and give you the attention you deserve.
2. How much experience do you have?
Given the complexity of IT management, it’s important to find a company with significant experience in IT as well as experience serving small businesses.
3. How are you staying on top of changing threats?
Technology and the cybersecurity landscape are constantly changing and your managed IT service provider should be keeping abreast of the best ways to protect your business.
4. Do you offer 24/7 customer service?
Hackers don’t work 9-5, so your IT company shouldn’t either. A serious ransomware attack or disaster can happen any time of the day or night, and you need accessible support whenever the worst happens.
5. Do you offer in-person support?
While many issues can be addressed with remote managed IT services, at times it’s important to have in-person support if a serious issue arises. Find a managed IT service provider that can fix things on-site rather than require you to ship off hardware for repairs. On-site support can greatly reduce repair delays and downtime.
6. Do you customize an IT plan to fit my needs?
Your business is unique, and it’s important that you find a partner willing to customize services to your needs. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t have to pay for what you don’t need. Plus, they should be willing to work with your existing IT. If they’re going to require a large investment in new IT software or hardware, they may not be the right option for you.
7. What is your support staff like?
Let’s face it — technology can be frustrating. Think about the kind of person you want on the other end of the line when you need help the most. Customer support should be friendly and helpful. It’s also important that they can speak in lay language instead of technical jargon! Finding a technology fix is much easier when your managed IT support can clearly and simply walk you through a solution.
8. Do you offer training for my staff?
Staff training is an important component of getting the most out of your technology. Plus, your staff is your most important asset in keeping your network and data secure. Are they trained and educated? If not, your managed IT service provider should be willing to work with your staff to educate them about phishing, ransomware, and other threats to your business.
Read: “Don’t Click That Link! Show Your Employees How to Prevent Cyber Attacks” here
9. What do your current clients say about you?
Find a customer-centric company with satisfied clients. Request referrals and talk with some clients to make sure that “what you see is what you get.” Is the company honoring its SLA (service-level agreement)? Do they give their clients the attention they deserve? Do they specialize in managed IT services for small businesses?
At SandStorm IT, we make it a point to ask clients if they’re happy with our services. When we asked our customers if they would choose SandStorm IT services again, 97 percent of those surveyed said they would choose us again and more than half of our new clients are from referrals alone.
10. How will I know that backups are happening?
This is an incredibly important question! Sadly, we’ve seen situations where a managed IT service provider wasn’t properly monitoring backups. And when a disaster happened, the backup wasn’t there. If an IT company doesn’t have a process in place to verify backups with you they’re leaving your systems and data vulnerable to breaches.
Read about SandStorm IT’s backup services here.
Finding Managed IT Services For Your Small Business Starts With The Right Questions
Now that you’re equipped with a list of questions, we hope you’re able to find a managed IT service provider that is the right fit for you. Managed IT services for small businesses can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your business.
At SandStorm IT, we’re happy to talk with you about your needs as a small business. We’ve been serving small businesses for more than 30 years, and we’re known for our customized IT plans and friendly customer service.
We’d love to get to know you. Please feel free to reach out and set up a free consultation and see if we’re a fit for your business.