How do people get tech support for a small business?
One thing I miss about the corporate life is that I had an IT department I could call when I had a computer problem. Now I don't have this support and I feel like I am letting a lot of tech things slide and it's going to come back to bite me. What are people doing for cost effective tech support?
Hi Ms. Elizabeth and Ms. Dunham,
Glad to have received this question as I relate to the need very well.
We often categorize our business as a "small business," but fail to recognize its value. I once insured my system for a significant sum and then asked myself, how do I justify the invested cost? The vendor than asked me how do I value retrieving lost data if something happens to my system, especially with all the banging occurring during travel. The loss would be much higher and it happen and was able to successfully retrieve what I needed to.
Now imagine the customers you would be (or are currently) delivering to and how they would be affected if your system was down? This is how I thought 2 years ago after being an avid PC diehard fan. Then in 2012, I decided to make 2 significant changes. Flash Hardware - System, Light, Compact, and Great customer service including protect files online that is google docs on the cloud.
I did just that and have had great service since then. With files on the cloud if my system (MacBook Air) for some reason is in the shop my communication with customers is seamless from the cloud. It is light that I carry it in a small backpack easily and makes it mobile.
Apple, as you know has these help centers and are very prompt in their service and of course there is always some variation to it and one usually gets good service there.
Good luck to you and hope your system is back up and running again soon.
As far as you don't have hardware problem, and are interested to learn a few things, you can find easily many tech gurus on different groups that are ready to help. Depending on your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux) and also your software, you can find groups in google and yahoo.
Thanks for your question. What city are you in? I own a growing computer technology shop, we specialize in all makes and models. If we can be more specific about what you need, we may be able to assist you with your needs and cost efficient (based on your budget). If you'd like, call my google voice number 706-363-0302. Thank you, have a Blessed Day!
Often the best way is to ask contacts you meet in the business world who they would recommend. Those contacts can be on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or in real-life.
Carrie, as an IT company we have quite a few smaller businesses that come to us for support as and when it's required. I would suggest that if you are looking for cost effective support on a pay as you go basis talk to other local small businesses for recommendations or attend local networking groups to meet up and build relationships with local suppliers.
Look in your local area for computer consultants. I work almost exclusively with small businesses to help them navigate the tech minefields,but not all small IT shops are the same. When looking around, ask what type of experience they have and get some customer references. You may only need basic help if you are a 1 or 2 person business, or you may want to look for someone with more networking and business technology solutions experience. Microsoft has a program called Small Business Specialist that may be of some help, but it is geared at working with server environments. It is a good start to helping you find someone to help with your needs, but it is not the ultimate sign that someone is right for your company.
Managed services can be great in monitoring your systems and catching things ahead of time, but make sure you get a shop that can show up if you have network issues or something that prevents them from accessing your systems over the network.
I am sure you have had your answers from many experts and one that I can share is another dimension. We are into remote IT services, which is also called Managed Services. We appreciate that your needs are one off, if something stops working we get connected to your machine remotely and administer it and get it out, say even for periodic anti-virus scan, email configurations etc.
You can may be adopt that as well, which gives you a human attention, just like how you would get in your corporate life and certainly it is cost effective!
I'm not sure how big your business is or even if you have an office, but I know that your local Telecom rep should have contacts in that industry to help you. Who do you buy your Internet access and phone services from?
There are a lot of IT technical specialists on LinkedIn. I would imagine ythis is where a diverse network is most beneficial and I would suggest you look to your network for some generosity of spirit with a view to building long term connections which could lead to establishing your own IT resource in time. I would imagine asking for advice and or pointers wouldn't hurt.
With all due respect Carrie, I am a former corporate IT Professional. The question I always ask is what is the type computer problem you have. I own a Dell and a HP, both of which have support, unless you purchase your equipment through a 3rd party vendor.
There are IT providers available, but you must wade through a lot of untested areas to arrive at the support you and your business must have.
You also need to keep in mind many Corporate IT professional only understand Macro environments and can unintentionally lead you down a series of rat-holes you do not need to travel.
I can only recommend you define the problem you are experiencing precisely. Then when you search for support you will have a clear picture of the right person, the right technology and the right questions to ask to achieve the right service you need.
Finally, you may want to look at CDW for your computer equipment. It is the go-to provider for corporate IT pros. Short of CDW, Dell is my go-to for business owners and HP with whom I spent a business cycle as a consultant is a good provider but with a price tag to match and a 35% markup.
Hope this helps.
A lot of IT Service companies can probably help you, just like Target Systems Inc does http://bit.ly/U2eg7E , but you might not always get the best price. Of course there's always the Geek Squad.
There are online companies that will have you install agents on each computer in your business and they use remote access to troubleshoot and fix your problems. It is sold on a subscription basis mainly and it is pretty effective. It is not 100% standoffish because you have to plug and unplug cables and the like, but they do walk you through the process like experts. I did a Google search on "online tech support" and a bunch come up right away.
There are many "computer repair" shops or consultants that act as tech support for small businesses. I recommend looking in your area to see if you can find such shops.
Here is one example: http://www.xpertekusa.com
I have all Apple products and bought the Apple one-on-one and also can easily make Genius Bar appointments. They also have a small business package that I don't think is too expensive that products support to your whole team when needed. But, again, this is only for Apple products.