How to Choose a Computer Support Service for Your Small Business

If you’re starting up or running a small business, you’ll definitely need a reliable IT infrastructure. Depending on the type of commerce you are involved in, data security and computer reliability can be critical factors in the very survival of your business. You may well hold responsibility for protecting your customers’ data as well as that of the business itself. In many cases you will have a legal obligation to protect the personal information of your customers or clients.

At the same time, running the front end of your business is where you need to focus your energy and that of any employees who work for you. It is for this reason that many small businesses pay little attention to their computer support needs. For many, the cost of hiring IT support staff is prohibitive, even if the business is running a server based network. Instead, business owners are inclined to rely on ad hoc computer support and repair as and when it’s required.

As witnessed daily by data recovery and computer repair services here in New Jersey, when something does go wrong, it usually creates an immediate business crisis. Small business owners whose computers have failed are often frantic when phoning around the local repair shops. The business has stopped along with their IT system and they need help immediately.

The benefits of securing a computer support partner to monitor and manage the smooth running of business IT become all too clear when faced with a data emergency. If you’ve already recognized the advantages and are wondering how to choose the right computer support, you’ll find some useful tips here in this article.

The Advantage of Going Local for Computer Support

One of the big advantages of contracting with a network and computer support service is remote support. Knowing that someone is taking care of your IT system remotely while you focus on your business is a big comfort. It doesn’t necessarily follow though, that the location of your computer support provider is irrelevant. By choosing a partner who is based locally, you have the added benefit of being able to access your provider directly via their Storefront.

With a local provider, building a relationship of trust is a more realistic proposition. You can benefit from 24 hour remote support, while at the same time getting to know the faces behind the service. Local providers will often be accessible and amenable to providing on-site support when required. You can put the care of your hardware and software in the hands of one local provider. At the very least you can easily take a piece of faulty hardware directly to the provider’s storefront if you need a fast repair.

What to Look For in a Business Computer Support Partner

There are a number of qualities you should look for when deciding who to entrust your network or computer support to. It’s desirable to have a provider who takes an interest in your actual business and not just the IT system you use. By understanding your customer base and how you work with information, a good provider will be able to help you make the right choices about your data security and solutions for backup.

Look for a provider too, who can offer a service which is tailored to the unique needs of your business. One size fits all is not likely to apply when it comes to IT and computer support. At the very least your chosen partner should have a range of price and support levels from which you can select the most appropriate.

When discussing your needs with prospective support partners, be wary of any who hide behind lots of IT jargon. A good provider will know that you don’t do “Geek Speak” and will make sure you get clear information delivered in the language you understand. Make sure you answer lots of probing, but relevant questions. This is as much about getting a feel for the integrity of the answers as much as the facts contained in them.

Also check the credentials of any prospective providers that you interview. Desirable qualifications for an IT and computer support technician to hold are:

Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
CompTIA Network+ or A+ accreditation (for network support)
Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) if your business makes use of Apple products extensively.

Beside understanding the qualities to look for when deciding who to entrust your computer support to, it pays to know the signs of someone to steer clear of.

Providers to Avoid

As already mentioned, any provider who speaks to you in acronyms and jargon, without attempts to clarify is best avoided. This is not the sign of someone who knows what they are talking about, it’s more likely an indication that confidence is lacking. Also be wary of anyone who starts trying to sell you on anything, especially those who try to push a single brand or type of technology. Unless you are in the market for new IT equipment, your service provider should have the capabilities and willingness to support whatever hardware and software you currently operate with.

Unfortunately there are always those providers who are more interested in upselling than in genuinely helping you and your business. At the opposite end of the spectrum though, watch out for fly-by-nights. Any representative who starts mentioning shortcuts or less than legitimate ways to support your business should quickly be shown the door.

Take a Long term View of Computer Support

If you want to confidently leave your computer support in the hands of a contractor, it’s important to take a long term view. Don’t contract with someone solely because they offer the best price, or the most attractive sounding package of options. You should look at a computer support provider as a long-term partner and that means you need to have the feeling that you can work with them. This is why it’s important to explore the values of prospective partners by having an in depth discussion before signing up to anything.

If you are looking for small-business computer support in New Jersey, Dave’s Computers would love to hear from you. Dave’s Computers provides an honest and professional approach to your computer support needs and will not try to upsell or offer you services you don’t need. Give Dave and the team a call to discuss your requirements on 908-428-9558.

by David Molnar

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