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The #1 Mistake Small Businesses Make When Choosing An It Service Provider

The #1 Mistake Small Businesses Make When Choosing An It Service Provider

Small businesses are naturally resource constrained

, so they always have to make decisions with budgets in mind. However, when choosing an IT service provider, they often make the decision of which service provider to work with based on price, when they should make it based on Total Cost of Ownership.

It is tempting to make a decision on price alone, but price is only one of the factors that go into calculating Total Cost of Ownership. In regards to IT services in particular, many other factors will determine the total cost to the small business:

Hardware costs

Software costs

Total time to problem resolution

Employee downtime

Poor technology-related choices and decisions

All of these factors should be considered when choosing an IT service provider.

Most IT service providers dont have the resources to provide services that adequately address these issues on behalf of their small business clients. They know this, so they try to compensate by marketing their services based on price.

While the small business may save some money in the short term, they ultimately pay a high price in employee frustration, lost productivity, and technology purchases that arent the best fit for their business.

Obviously I dont advocate that small businesses just purchase from a higher priced service provider and expect that everything will be better, so how should a small business avoid the challenges mentioned above?

First, take a tour of your IT service providers office. Do they have the team and resources to provide immediate service to you when necessary, or are they a one-man-band?

Second, ask if they offer a flat-fee service model. Flat-fee contracts incentivize your service provider to reduce the number of problems you experience, while hourly service providers make money when their clients are in trouble not the incentives you want them to have!

Finally, ask if they offer any service guarantees. Do they stand by their word? Do they guarantee performance of your network and response time when something goes wrong?

By focusing on these issues rather than price, small businesses can avoid experiencing an unnecessarily high total cost of ownership in regards to their information technology systems.

by: The Mavster
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