When searching for an IT company to help develop your business, you become inundated with options. It might feel impossible to decide which one to choose, especially if you don’t know what to look for. With 66 percent of small businesses relying on mobile devices to manage operations and the same percentage knowing they would fail without wireless technology, it’s no wonder SMBs are looking for an IT company to keep them connected. Technology keeps our businesses running efficiently, and takes work off of busy SMB owners’ and IT Managers’ shoulders.

However, there are several factors that can distinguish a good IT company from a bad one.  What marks a company as a “bad” IT company? Just by asking around and talking to the IT company itself, it is easy to discover if the IT company could potentially be problematic.

Focus is on IT Products, NOT on Providing IT Solutions

A company that focuses on the customer and customer satisfaction rather than products will do better in the long run. Instead of focusing on selling all the services and products they can, a successful IT company will be responsive to its customers’ needs, working to find specific, data-driven solutions for your business.

To determine an IT company’s customer focus, check out its webpage. Make sure there is an easy way to reach out for support. Consider researching its reputation.  Do they have a good working relationship with their customers? With other businesses and vendors? If not, the IT company’s existence may be short-lived.

When companies neglect to sustain relationships, most businesses lose 40 to 50 percent of their customers every five years, according to B2B International. If a company is not focused on the needs of their customers, they will leave for companies that are. If this occurs, the IT consulting firm you are relying on is at greater risk of going under.

Instead, look for an IT consulting firm that strives to make you happy: your problems are fixed in an efficient manner, technicians are helpful and approachable, and your needs are prioritized.

Employee Retention is Low

A company that constantly cycles through employees is one to avoid. Many companies will let experienced professionals go in order to hire newer employees in an effort to keep costs down. In theory, this makes sense. If the company saves money, it might trickle down to you. However, this is rarely the result. Employees who have been with a company for a longer amount of time have loyalty to the company. They are extremely knowledgeable about the workings of the company and chain of command, and are passionate about the work they are doing. Ask around about how long employees have been working there and see what you find. If employee retention is low, that is a definite red flag.

This goes for overworked staff too. In every job, especially in IT, problems arise and some overtime is required. However, if the business is growing but the amount of staff is staying the same, it means employees are overworked and most likely undercompensated. A company that doesn’t take care of its employees or isn’t willing to expand with its growth can negatively affect your relationships with the employees, and your company might not get the attention it deserves. If understaffing is the case, this could slow down your operations if any problems arise, costing you money and productivity.

With “Break/Fix” Help Can Come Too Late

59 percent of IT companies use a managed service model, rather than a “break/fix” one. The industry is shifting in approach because when IT companies employ a break/fix methodology, it puts your revenue in jeopardy. If a problem occurs, either an in-house or a third party IT company must find a time to diagnose and fix it. As a result, your business is put on hold.

In addition, it is impossible to budget when using a “reactive” IT company that uses this methodology. A problem may take one hour to fix, or one day. Without being able to predict the solution and the time it takes, the cost is unreliable.

Instead, look for a more proactive consulting firm that stays on top of your network and solves problems before they affect your time and productivity.  neteffect technologies will monitor your network 24 hours a day and ensure everything is running smoothly. Issues such as security breaches and lost data are quickly resolved, and antivirus software and security patches are maintained.

Issues in Communication

To maximize productivity, you need your emails and phone calls returned in a timely manner. If an IT consulting firm is not responsive to your inquiries, your network may face issues that could have otherwise been avoided. Extended ticket times result in a loss of time and money, so finding an IT company that quickly responds to your needs is essential.

neteffects technologies provides a guaranteed response time through their help desk. Instead of waiting for a specific engineer to fix a problem, the help desk connects you with one of many IT experts to answer your questions. Through our system, you can track the status of your ticket so you are never left in the dark.

They Lag Behind Current IT Industry Trends

An IT company that is not using up-to-date software and technology could jeopardize your business’ security and productivity. The company you choose should be aware of the latest malware and cyberattacks and how to safeguard against them. They should be able to recommend cutting-edge technology that will grow your business and offer you cloud solutions that have been proven to work.

The engineers at neteffect technologies have expertise in the most effective ways to secure your specific network and maintain its efficiency. They have the knowledge to help virtualize your server and the ability to help you reach total connectivity. By accessing these up-to-date technologies,your business more likely to reach its potential.

It may take some investigation to choose an IT company that fits your business, but in the long run it will be worth it. Finding the best company to suit your needs will save you money, increase your productivity, and keep you connected.