Finding a dependable Computer Repair and Service person can be a daunting challenge, particularly if your a busy small business person. You just don’t have the time or background to go searching for the Small Business Computer Consultant that’s a good fit for you. Online referral services, like Angie’s List can give you a head start in finding a mobile, onsite, IT Consultant you can trust and depend on, but that’s not everything. There are still a number of pieces that have to fall into place before you hear “click”. You have to match skills to your IT needs, Software expertise, Scheduling to Availability, Budget to Contractor rates, etc. On top of all this you still have to go through the process of finding out if you’re compatible in terms of personal style and business attitude, which can differ widely. Experience is a big plus, but some old dogs resist learning new tricks. So where to start, and what to look for?
Here’s a punch list of essential qualities and project management skills a Small Business Computer Consultant should (IMHO) cultivate, to inspire loyalty and trust in both new and existing Clients:
His/Her primary concern should be quality assurance: comprehensive, accurate, efficient, and cost effective (below market rates).
Moves out of their own way, and yours: Values your time, careful not to perform unnecessary diagnostics that don’t yield practical results, is not always right, etc.
Knows what he/she’s getting into, and can say when he/she doesn’t know. Engages in careful planning and research, to find out what he doesn’t know, prior to an installation or upgrade.
Does his homework beforehand: Makes sure that software and hardware meets and exceeds the minimum technical performance requirements published by the software manufacturer. Verifies that 3rd party, proprietary, business software, written for a certain industry has adequate support commensurate with the cost.
Trusts but verifies: Goes around the sales rep, and contacts the manufacturer and/or vendor’s technical support department to further verify the requirements, technical specifications, and known issues, and that patches, updates, or service packs are available to address known issues.
Is Consistently Diligent in his efforts: has the tenacity to apply the above principles, before, during, and after any Client hardware or software installation. In so doing, your Small Business Computer Consultant will formulate affordable, practical, and effective solutions for your small business.