An IT consultant can provide services in many different ways. In the past, I helped my clients by providing mostly reactive services. Something would break and I would get a call to fix it. Small businesses that I worked with rarely had the money to spend on a proactive approach. Both of these approaches put IT in the supporting role. A small business can get so much more from working with an IT consultant.
Here are 3 big reasons to look into hiring an IT consultant.
Increase your billable hours
Congratulations! You built a business around something you’re really good at. After a while you find yourself spending a lot more time doing IT (and other admin work) and less time doing what you’re really good at. Your billable hours just went down and with them your monthly revenue. Sure, all these things need to be done but should they not be done by someone who is good at doing them? Experts usually provide better results and take less time.
Improve efficiency and productivity
A good IT consultant should be able to look at your business processes and find a way to improve them by using solutions and tools to save you time. This usually translates to more revenue and higher profits, especially for larger businesses because of scale. An outside perspective can help identify simple ways to optimize a complex process.
Save money by only paying for hours worked
If you’re a small business that is looking to hire a full time tech person, you should consider hiring an IT consultant. Assume that a cost to hire a Technical Support Specialist is $60,000 per year (closer to $70,000 with overhead). An average employee only works 3 out of 8 hours every day. If you hired an IT consultant for 2 hours per day (they are usually faster) at $100/hr, it would cost you around $48,000 per year. You can use the other $22,000 to generate additional revenue.
With an IT consultant you get someone with the knowledge and experience way above that of the Technical Support Specialist. Technical Support Specialist can provide your business with proactive and reactive support but usually can’t help you with strategic planning or business development.
IT consultant as your business partner
Here is a bonus reason.
For me to be successful I need my clients to be successful. My ideal client is one looking for a long term relationship rather than a quick fix. Because of that, I go above and beyond for my clients. This means helping them by stepping outside of the IT box and leveraging my marketing and business development experience. The lines are blurred anyway because IT is used to optimize, enhance and deliver solutions across all aspects of a business.
I learned a couple of things over the years. Get a second opinion before spending big money on projects you know you need. Get a third party with the knowledge to ask the right questions. Also, don’t assume that a company that can sell you on their service, knows how to deliver that service properly and professionally.
As a small business owner myself, there are times when I need someone to lean on. Someone to run my ideas by. I would gladly be that person for my clients, for the sake of our relationship and mutual success, paid or not.
Make sure that the IT consultant you’re hiring has the knowledge and expertise to help you generate more revenue and not just fix your broken computer.