Starting a business from scratch takes a significant amount of time and energy. Start up entrepreneurs soon realise that outsourcing specialist support can free up space to concentrate on developing the new business. It’s likely that you already have a support team that works alongside you – they may be investors, mentors, co-founders or staff. These people can help you concentrate on excelling in your product and service delivery. The external support teams are going to help you elevate your business by excelling in critical areas like accounting and tech support – focus areas that would take too long for you to master while concentrating on launching your business into the world.
So how do you choose the right tech support team to help your new business thrive? A brief but thorough review of your current needs and your future projections will establish a base line. This process may highlight some blind spots, so make a note if you don’t know the answers. When you know what you need, you can reach out to potential providers to see which one is the best fit for your business.
What are the needs of your business?
Identify the systems you currently have in place and where you project your business will be in a year’s time. It’s wise to estimate future needs so that your tech support team can design an offering that can be expanded when the business needs call for it. The more information you can bring to your consultations the better.
Consider the following:
- How many internet-connected devices do you have? Include IoT connected devices and remember that staff may have a computer and a smart device. Specify if the devices are BYOB or supplied by your business.
- Do you operate from an office space? What tech infrastructure is supplied and what have you installed? Do your staff operate remotely and connect to a central network? How do you currently manage data and security?
- Do you need hardware, or business software? Do you want to establish an email client? Do you need to integrate point of sale technology with inventory and accounting software? What systems are already in place, and are they working for you?
- Which operating systems and applications do you have experience with? Do you prefer to run your operations using a specific brand of tech? Are there any programs you won’t use?
Identify local solutions
When you have your company information to hand, it’s time to seek out a short list of local tech support providers to interview. Why do we suggest a local provider? Many international tech support teams offer services with competitive pricing, but the time zone differences and latency issues may cause delays in service delivery. Smaller, local teams can:
- Be reached with a straightforward local phone call,
- Comprehend local realities,
- Offer on-site service within a short timeframe,
- Provide continuity of service by using a small team of client managers and engineers.
Determine the priorities and specialities of local tech support providers
When you have a shortlist of tech support teams that may be able to assist you, it’s time to conduct some research. This doesn’t have to be time-intensive. Much of the information should be available online or can be chased up with a quick phone call. Find out which companies offer:
- Services that match the needs of your business,
- Cyber security as a priority,
- Support for your preferred operating system and applications,
- Clear communication channels with prompt issue resolution,
- Qualifications and third-party provider endorsements or credentials,
- Experience supporting businesses in your niche,
- Flexibility surrounding the level of support your business needs as it grows.
Interviews: It’s time to ask the hard questions
Congratulations on narrowing down your list of tech support teams that should be able to support your start up efforts. Schedule an interview with each provider to discuss your needs and their proffered solutions. Even if IT support and cyber security aren’t your areas of expertise, don’t hesitate to engage and ask plenty of questions. This is also a good time to bring up those blind spots you identified at the beginning. A good team will be able to explain their services in a straightforward way.
When they offer a package of solutions, find out if they are relevant to your business needs. If your industry has any technical requirements or compliance-related specifics, ask if the tech company can provide aligned support. A tech support team should be able to demonstrate how their platform can integrate with any established tech you have, or how their own platforms outperform them. Establish how the offered support will help you realise increased sales, manage inventory and even help smooth out HR and other administrative processes.
- The fees and charges associated with the offered services (including contract lengths),
- Any flexibility regarding changes in your business and variable support needs,
- Call-out procedures, response times and fees, particularly if out-of-hours,
- How the technical support process works, both in the establishment phase and with ongoing needs.
Once you have established your needs and interviewed potential providers, you should have enough information on hand to make a confident decision. Call your selected team and get clear about how to start engaging their services. Choosing a local IT support company to help you manage your tech needs will free you up, so you can concentrate on growing your start up or small business. There are so many benefits to working with an experienced team, particularly if your business is very new. You will be able to establish strong security protocols and behaviours from the start, which will give your clients and partners even more confidence that your business is set to succeed. Congratulations!
Computers in the City, your cyber security partner
Computers in the City is London’s longest standing IT partner. With over 20 years’ experience, we can assist you to meet your IT support, digital security consulting and cloud computing needs. Let us help you establish the tech support systems for your business. We’re proud to be local, offering 24 hour support in straightforward language that takes the stress out of IT support.