You have a great idea for a business and you decide to go for it.
You’re going to create the next unicorn startup! But what help do you need to bring it to life?
A financial plan? If you are raising funds to fuel your new company’s growth, you will definitely need to have a plan about how the company will grow.
A marketing and sales strategy? You will, of course, need to know where your customers will come from and how you are going to maintain the revenue stream over time.
People management? As your business grows, you will need to take on more people to do the work. To keep those employees happy – and to recruit new ones – you will need to ensure they are properly remunerated and find their work rewarding.
And being a modern business in the current climate, some of your team will be working remotely, meaning you will need up to date technology. With this in mind, what kind of things will form part of your IT strategy?
Here are some ideas:
- Are you using the latest and smartest business productivity tools? If not, you won’t be as competitive as some of your market rivals
- Your marketing data is a valuable asset; it needs to be properly maintained!
- Is your data and your infrastructure secure? You will need to protect against cybersecurity threats that can disrupt your business
- Is your website efficient and attractive to your target audience? It will need to be constantly optimised
- Can you integrate an e-commerce shopfront into your website?
To get your IT setup right you need to start early, plan for the future, and instil good habits throughout your organisation.
The Different Types Of IT Support
Investment in technology can be very expensive, so you need to make sure you get it right. This can be a daunting task.
Having the correct level of external IT support can be a great help at this time. But what should you be looking for in an IT partner?
In general, there are two types of IT support on offer:
- Break/fix – In effect, this involves having an expert to call on when things go wrong. This approach is generally the more expensive one in the long run, and is akin to buying an umbrella after it has started raining
- Hire An IT Support Partner – This involves having an organisation work with you and advise you on a timely basis, usually for a fixed monthly cost
In our experience, the latter option has proven to be the most cost-effective and painless way to handle your IT management.
What Should You Look For In A Potential IT Partner?
- Proven Experience: Look at who they work with already. If they are working with companies similar to your own – or companies that you respect – it is likely they will provide you with a good service
- Make Sure They Share Your Values: If you are planning to build a relationship with a company, you need to believe you will enjoy working with them
- Upfront Costs: Like you, IT support companies need to make a profit, but they should be clear with you about how their charges are formulated. They also need to ensure there will be no hidden costs!
- Be Sceptical Of Companies Who Say They Can Do Everything! An IT company that tells you it can support your IT, build a top-quality website, and improve your rankings through amazing SEO, is probably overstating its capabilities.
However, if they explain that they are experts in certain areas, and will call in outside experts to help with other things, then they are probably being honest.
However, above everything else, trust is the most important element when selecting an IT Support partner.
When you sign that support contract, it should be seen as a commitment from both sides to ensure that IT is a successful function of your business that grows with it over time and consistently delivers a competitive advantage over your industry rivals.