Our top 4 IT outsourcing tips for small and growing businesses
When you first start out in business, it can be difficult to know when to invest in additional support and infrastructure. IT is critical to the running of a business from day one and often not an area of expertise for those in charge.
But, accepting a charge into the business is a big decision, especially when you might still be experiencing lumpy cashflow and have so much else to consider financially.
At Advoco, we focus on working with small and growing businesses so we thought we’d share our top 4 tips to make IT outsourcing work for you.
1. Understand your needs versus your wants
When you need your investment to go as far as possible, the last thing you want it to spend it on unnecessary ‘nice-to-have’ products and services. You need to be getting as much value as possible out of these early investments which is why we always like to operate as an extension to your team: a partner with the same goals as you. It’s incredible how often we are approached by businesses who have heard about something new on the market and think it’s critical to their business. We are able to drill down into their real needs and then advise them on what would be best. This means we provide our clients with what they need, rather than what they want, even if it means they pay less.
2. Look at the support options available
These days, there’s no one-size-fits-all for any service business and so we’ve developed flexibility in how we price and deliver our expertise. We have set packages to use as a start point but will always provide a bespoke quote based on your exact requirements. For really small owner-managed businesses with only one user, we’ve come up with a realistically low price point. Our plans grow from there – often alongside our clients’ businesses. Having a service provider that can scale with you is a real value-add because it avoids wholesale change to your provider at a later date, when the business is more complex and more users stand to be affected by changes.
3. Look at the payment options available
As well as being flexible on our scope, we also offer different ways of paying for the support you need. The most flexible of these is our Pay-As-You-Go Support package, where you are firmly in control of what you spend. These can be used my smaller businesses who don’t yet want to commit to a monthly charge, but are also excellent as a top-up or extra cover for a small IT department within a larger organisation. Advantages of this approach include there being no need to block-book our time, transparent pricing, and agree ceiling on billable hours and full progress updates via our ticket management system.
4. Work strategically with your provider
By focusing on building a long-term relationship with our clients, we believe we can add more value by pre-empting their future needs and being able to tailor our services even more. Our expertise enables us to provide everything from individual/short-term project support to an entire outsourced IT department and our clients’ peace of mind is the main outcome we look for when designing your solution. This partnering approach also feels seamless, reduces the risk associated with making continued changes to your systems and solutions and we put n place a clear SLA so you know you can trust us to do what we say.
These days, working collaboratively is essential to ensure we all have the resilience to meet business challenges head-on. It’s no longer enough to go through the motions to deliver a service: we believe that a customer/supplier relationship should run deeper. It’s about support, evolving and growing together, and offering the very best value.