Fresno is the economic center of California’s San Joaquin Valley. The city, with a population of around 500,000 residents is noted for its relatively low cost of living, its affordable housing, its vibrant cultural community and its sustainable water system. For small businesses, Fresno offers incentives and business tax credits as one of the largest free enterprise zones in California.
If you own or manage a small business in Fresno, you likely know the challenges of trying to wear a variety of “hats” during any given day. It’s not unusual for a small business manager to act as the company’s human resource director, the sales manager, the accounts receivable clerk and the purchasing agent. One role that it makes sense to outsource is your IT services. There are a myriad of good reasons to do this. Not only will hiring a quality IT firm free up some of your time, but you’ll have IT experts on call who are familiar with your company and you can rest assured that you have cybersecurity measures in place to guard your customers’ sensitive personal and financial information. You can even use your improved cybersecurity and tech prowess in your marketing.
Deciding to hire a Fresno IT company is easy. Finding a good company that will understand your company, how you operate and your hopes and dreams for the future is a little more difficult. The best place to start your analysis is within your organization. Below are just a few questions that you’ll want to ask yourself and your staff before meeting with a prospective IT company:
1. How does your company use technology? Each business is unique. It might be a helpful exercise, in more than a few ways, to poll your employees and see how much time they spend each week on technology tasks. Is your company mainly using technology for communication or do you use it to track sales prospects through the pipeline, prepare sales proposals, interact with customers on social media and/or forecast growth? Having a good feel for how you use technology will help you find a company that best meets your needs. This exercise can also uncover potential bottlenecks in your technology processes.
2. What skills does your company already possess and what skills does it need? There’s no sense in paying for IT knowledge and skills that you already have in-house. However, the IT field covers such a vast array of products and skills that it’s unlikely that a small business has everything you need among your staff. Taking inventory of what you have and what you need, in regards to IT skills, will also help you find the IT company that best complements your existing staff. Plus, you might uncover some hidden IT talent among your current employees. You’ll want to hire an IT firm that can fill in those blanks.
3. What is your financial model and budget? In addition to asking yourself what you can afford to budget for IT services, it’s important to prioritize what technology additions are the most important to you and your business. However, keep in mind when you are reviewing your budget that having an IT service package can often save you money, since you won’t have to hire and house an IT department, you’ll limit your downtime and your staff will be able to work more efficiently with proper IT training.
4. What are your pain points? What parts of technology cause your staff stress or cause you to miss deadlines with your customers? Is it a computer or website downtime? Slow Internet speeds and page load times? Software issues? Or perhaps cybersecurity? Maybe you have training issues that you were unaware of, such as staff spending much more time than necessary getting a particular program to work. These pain points should be your starting point in discussions with a potential IT managed services provider.
Apex Technology Management, one of the largest managed IT service companies in California, has recently expanded into the Fresno area. We offer affordable, customized, managed IT service plans as well as cybersecurity, cloud services and business continuity planning.
To learn more about finding a quality Fresno IT company and to schedule a free consultation, contact Apex Technology Management. We’ve been helping California businesses of all sizes with their IT needs for more than 25 years.