It’s hard to admit when you’re in over your head, right? We’ve all been there. As a small business, if you’ve put stock into another small business to manage your technology, you rely on them to make the best recommendations for your business. It’s what allows you to rest easy and actually do the work that you love. But what happens when that starts falling apart? There are a few warning signs that your IT company or 1-man shop is starting to fail you. Check out these reasons that your IT company’ ego is interfering with your business:
You’ve missed out on business because of your technology.
This one is tough to swallow, but finding out that you missed out on a project or new client because your phones were down or your e-mail wasn’t working is a huge blow. It’s enough to frustrate even the most patient business owner. Having a reliable line of communication with your clients is not just important – it can make or break the future of your business. But what would cause something like this to happen? Doesn’t your IT company have your back? The truth is that very few small IT companies or 1-man shops have the ability to ensure uptime for their clients. Larger IT companies (15+ people) often spend tens of thousands on monitoring software that sends notifications when businesses are down and prioritizes them so that the support staff can fix it immediately. In situations like this, the client sometimes doesn’t even see that they were down. But if you’re being serviced by a very small company that doesn’t have these tools – you may not know until you follow-up on an e-mail that wasn’t delivered.
Your users are complaining – but IT says they’re all good.
Slow workstations, incorrect access, dragging servers, internet that just isn’t doing the job – these things are very frustrating for your top performing users. They need technology that keeps up with their speed. When your technology is underperforming, you should listen closely to your users rather than your technology company. Some small IT companies make excuses or downplay major issues because they’re afraid of losing the customer. Rather than communicating that they’re in over their head, they lay low and solve the issues that they can, but often not in the appropriate timeframe. Hold your support team to higher standards by requiring a 15-20 minute response time and no more than 2 hour resolution time on minor support issues.
You’ve lost data – and weren’t told about the risks surrounding your backup.
In business we have to closely manage budget, and because our bank accounts aren’t limitless, most options that we choose with regard to IT security are going to leave us slightly exposed. It’s an IT providers job to mitigate that risk and educate you on the best practices with regard to your data. Make sure that rather than digging their head in the sand and hemming and hawing when your system goes down and backup is insufficient that your IT provider is appropriately communicating how your backup and business continuity processes work. You never want to be in a position where your IT company isn’t offering you the entire picture.
They’ve gone MIA.
Your IT partner should always be a phone call away. Often, when smaller providers are in over their heads or understaffed and overwhelmed, they’ll go off the radar. Barraged with unhappy, underserved customers – they have dug quite the hole for themselves and rather than settling the situation head on and admitting that the organization they’re supporting has outgrown them, they ignore the issues and businesses grow more and more discontent.
If you’ve experienced any of these issues or have an IT provider who doesn’t have what it takes to service your organization in the way you’re expecting – it’s time to make a change. While it can be difficult to let go of someone who has helped you to grow and been there for you when you needed them – their time has expired. Part ways gracefully and begin your search for a provider that has the tools, team and expertise to service your organization’s technology in the way you deserve.