Is it time for your small business to get help from a reputable IT Consultant?
Here’s what you need to know (plus bonus tips at the end👍):
So What Does an IT Consultant Do, Exactly?
Simply put, an IT Consultant's role is to keep your small business up to date and competitive in your industry by implementing the latest IT technologies.
With their combined knowledge of IT and business operations, an IT Consultant specializes in working with small business owners to:
- Evaluate an existing process (or processes)
- Overcome current problems and effectively meet their business goals
A lot of times, these include solving problems encountered with a business’ information technology, depending on your type of business.
They may also help their clients by providing:
- Staff training and feedback
- Procurement services
- Business process mapping
- Expert technical assistance
- Project implementation
If they're going to carry out a project or objective successfully, an IT Consultant takes a multi-objective approach.
This includes collecting information from the client (getting to know your small business), providing feedback, implementing new strategies, training, and permanently improving business processes moving forward.
Here’s how IT Consultants do it:
1. They get to know your business.
It’s an IT Consultant’s primary job to take an analytical approach to your business. And this can only begin by genuinely getting to know your organization’s unique needs, goals and objectives while taking stock of the primary processes in your business.
2. They improve your IT budget and cost control strategies.
Once they know the ins and outs of your business, an IT Consultant’s next objective should be to develop new and better strategies to help you achieve your goals in the most cost-effective way possible. Overall, these strategies will help you save money while improving your IT efficiency.
3. They analyze existing IT inefficiencies.
Speaking of IT efficiencies, your IT Consultant will also take the time to analyze, evaluate and identify the impact of your current IT processes and decisions. From here, they can determine what’s working, what isn’t and begin to formulate an action plan for improvement.
4. They help you replace outdated systems.
The replacement of outdated processes and equipment often go hand in hand. As such, procurement assistance is another key service typically provided by an IT Consultant. Ultimately this will give your small businesses the added advantage of being able to access industry-leading hardware and software at bargain prices.
5. They’ll research the competition and their strategies.
... or at least they should. As part of their research into your specific industry, your Consultant will take a close look at your competition and the IT systems, strategies, processes and equipment they use. From here, they will help implement the same (if not better) infrastructure to ensure you remain one step ahead.
6. They perform ongoing analysis and evaluations.
This includes metrics and performance analysis as a means of zeroing in on your IT inefficiencies, followed by suggestions for improvement. Many reputable IT Consultants also deliver monthly updates and quarterly reporting, so you are consistently kept up to speed on your network’s condition.
7. They help manage specific IT needs for projects.
Not only will your IT Consultant help you improve your overall IT infrastructure, but they will also help you fine-tune specific technologies and processes on a project to project basis. This is yet another huge advantage when it comes to productivity, cost savings, gaining a leg up on the competition and boosting your bottom line.
Key Tips For Vetting the RIGHT IT Consultant For Your Small Business
Now that you know how much value an IT Consultant can truly provide for your organization, how do you decide on the right candidate for your needs?
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Experience with similar companies:
Ensure they have demonstrated experience (and success) with businesses of your size within your industry.
- They should have relationships with reputable vendors:
Do they provide a vast selection of products?
- Industry certifications and accreditation:
What are their credentials and affiliations? Are they up to date?
- Examples of their previous work, case studies, etc.:
This will give you a better idea as to the real quality of their work.
- Reliable references and positive client reviews:
A reputable IT Consultant should have no trouble providing references. Plus, check out their ratings on Google, Yelp, Clutch, or the Better Business Bureau. Be sure to reach out to past and current clients to learn more about their experiences.
- Excellent communication skills:
Do they work well with people? How do they intend to convey information to you, the business owner, and your team? Do you know how to speak "tech talk"? If not... make sure your consultant is an expert at taking complex ideas and making them understandable.
- A proactive approach to training and on boarding:
How will they educate and support you and your employees? What is their approach to staff training?
- A proven system for measuring results:
What measurement system does your IT Consultant use to suggest improvements and measure success?
For small businesses that may lack IT-related management skills, resources and knowledge, an IT Consultant can bring a lot to the table.
Not only can they help you find the right IT solutions for your organization’s needs, but they will also help you boost productivity, improve your business security, and make your business processes more efficient – typically for a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time in house IT employee.
Talk with your team about some of the things you've learned here! 🗣️ Does it sound like there may be a need for an IT Consultant?
Are you looking to get more out of your IT infrastructure? At GAM Tech, we specialize in helping small businesses succeed through reliable, responsive and accountable IT Consulting Services.
By taking advantage of the affordable services we provide, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of an in-house IT Consultant without the added costs. We will help you protect your important data, get the most from your technology budget, provide customized reports and recommendations, and ensure you overcome challenges now and in the future.