The more groundwork you do, the easier the selection process will be
You need to be clear about what your needs and wants are and you need a system for prioritizing the latter. You also need to make sure that all relevant people agree with whatever specification you draw up. Even though getting all relevant stakeholders on board can be a challenging (and time-consuming) process, it will save a lot of time and frustration later on (for both you and any potential IT support partner in Placerville).
It’s also a good idea to think about where your business is going and what that could potentially mean for your future IT support needs. If there’s a serious possibility of you needing (or just wanting) to make any significant changes, then it could be sensible to limit your current search to IT support partners in Placerville who could support your potential changes.
In addition to drawing up your specification, you’ll also need to come up with a robust (meaning fair and consistent) strategy for analyzing the responses you will ultimately receive to your requests for proposal. In principle, you can do this later if you want to. In practice, it may make sense to do it now to save you having to pull in the stakeholders all over again and go through further rounds of discussions.
Take your time over the initial long-listing process
This is basically an extension of the previous point. Obviously, this is way too early to do the sort of proper due-diligence checks which will become necessary later on, but it’s quite early enough to take a good look at the sort of information which is easily available on the internet. In fact, you’ll probably find most, if not all, of it, on the company’s website.
In simple terms, before you add a company to your long-list, make sure that you are confident you know who they are, where they are and what they do. You could also try finding out what other people say about them, but this is not necessarily so each with IT support companies as it is with business-to-consumer companies. You’re not likely to get the same number of reviews and just looking at a handful of opinions can provide a misleading impression for all kinds of reasons.
Make sure your request for proposal covers everything important
If you have done your groundwork thoroughly, then you should be able to explain your needs and wants clearly and succinctly but with sufficient detail to be understood. It’s also in your best interests to highlight what are your deal-breakers and what are your negotiables. That will spare an IT services company in Placerville the time it takes to put together a proposal if they never really had any serious chance of winning the business and it will save you the time of analyzing a proposal that was never likely to be suitable.
For the sake of completeness, be aware that it takes time and effort to put together a meaningful response to a request for proposal. This means that you should expect there to be a time gap between you sending your request and it being fulfilled. You should, however, also expect to be sent an acknowledgment of your request along with an indication of when you should receive a full response.
Remember culture-fit matters
In the old days, IT support was seen as being all about technical skills. Obviously these are still very important, but these days there is much more emphasis on people skills and general company culture and that is very much to the good. Basically, your IT support partner is effectively going to work as an extension of your internal organization. It’s therefore to everyone’s benefit that your company cultures gel.
It can make life a lot easier if you look for an IT support partner in Placerville who has some experience of your industry, or at least of SMBs in general. As an absolute minimum, you should be comfortable that they treat SMBs as serious, valued customers and not just as ways to fill the gaps left by corporate clients.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced and reputable IT support partner in Placerville, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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