Most small business owners are do-it-yourselfers. They build their businesses from scratch, doing everything from accounting and marketing to sales and customer service in the startup phase. If they have an IT background, they also take care of their own computer networking and maintenance.
Once they pass the startup phase, smart business owners outsource or delegate these tasks so they can concentrate on growing their business. Sometimes it’s difficult for owners to know when they’ve reached the tipping point – when hiring a professional is better for business than DIY.
Andrew Hartman is a small business owner who can easily recognize the DIY tipping point. He’s the president of Syndeo Communications, an IT consulting firm in San Diego. Andrew has been helping small to medium-sized businesses transition from do-it-yourself to managed IT services for almost 10 years.
Here’s what he tells his clients:
How do you know if you need help from a professional IT consulting company? Ask yourself these simple questions.
Is your computer network slow and unreliable?
Are you losing productivity due to sluggish computers?
Does your current infrastructure provide you with more problems than solutions?
If you answered “yes” to any or all of the above, it may be time to speak with a professional IT consultant.
As Andrew consults with clients to assess their technology needs, he also educates them on the benefits of outsourcing IT services. “Outsourcing IT can help small to medium-sized businesses gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace while also allowing them to cut costs,” he explains.
The competitive advantage comes from focusing on the core activities of their business – without worrying about hardware, software, and backups. Syndeo clients also benefit from:
- Access to management skills in addition to IT expertise
- Reduced overhead costs by outsourcing functions that can be easily moved
- Staffing flexibility for operations that have seasonal or cyclical demands
- Business continuity and better risk management
Andrew compares managed IT services to insurance. “If a small business spends hundreds of dollars for commercial insurance on their property, their furniture and their building, shouldn’t they also insure their data? If they lose all their data, but still have their desks and equipment, can they stay in business?”
Are any of your clients approaching the DIY tipping point? Try asking them Andrew’s three questions.
And maybe one more: How fast can you restore from a backup?
Photo Credit: Rick Hunter via Deviant Art