IT Support for Small Businesses: Signs It’s Time to Outsource

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When you run a small business, there are a lot of different jobs you may contract out to expert companies. You likely hired an accountant, bought business insurance, and paid a professional designer to create your logo and website. So why would you keep your IT team in-house when it’s such an important part of your business. As your business grows, you may start to notice things aren’t running as smoothly as they once did. Read on to discover some of the signs that it may be time to get IT support for small businesses.

Lots of Downtime

One of the earliest signs you’ll see that you need to outsource your IT support is that your system starts experiencing a lot of downtime. When your IT support department gets overwhelmed, they may not be able to do the work needed to prevent crashes. And when they do happen, it may take longer for them to get your system back online. 

If you’ve started seeing lots of downtime in your system, it could be a sign that your IT team is getting overwhelmed. A professional team can help you get your system back online more quickly so your team can get back to work. They can also take steps to prevent these crashes before they ever begin.

No Disaster Recovery Plan

If your system does crash, what’s your plan for keeping your business running without a hitch? Do you have system backups, and do you know what you’ll do if one of your computers becomes unavailable? If you don’t have an answer to these questions, it may be a sign that you need to outsource your IT support. 

When disaster strikes, you want to have a plan in place so you can get your business back on track faster. A dedicated IT team can help you develop a plan for how to cope when the worst happens. And better still, they can help you implement that plan if the day does ever come that you need it.

High Labor Costs 

One thing many small businesses are always looking to do is to lower their labor costs. You want to pay your employees and contractors a fair wage, but at the same time, labor costs may be eating an enormous portion of your revenue. If you’re looking for a way to bring down your labor costs, one fantastic option may be to contract out your IT work.

When you pay for an IT service, you get the benefits of a full support team without having to deal with the cost of paying them all. You also don’t have to provide insurance or other benefits because the company you work with takes care of that. Outsourcing this work can help you save money while gaining even more benefits.

Cumbersome Technology 

Used correctly, technology can be an amazing tool that makes our lives easier and more efficient. But when you don’t know how to use it, that same technology can become a hindrance and a pain. You may spend more time arguing with the systems you have in place to make your work easier than you would just doing it the old way.

If you find yourself in this place, it may be time to hire an IT support team. These professionals can set up your programs and systems so that they work more efficiently for you. They can also train you and your staff in how to use them so you don’t spend your time trying to stumble through a new system anymore.

Delayed Update Schedule

If you’ve been struggling with your technology systems, you may be reluctant to run any updates that may change things further. Or if you have an in-house IT support team, they may be so busy putting out fires that they don’t have the time needed to dedicate to updates. Either way, outdated infrastructure is not only inefficient, but it can also pose a security risk.

It’s incredibly important for both your team and your customers that you keep your infrastructure updated. While your in-house team may not be able to deal with it, a professional IT support team certainly can. They can also teach you how to handle any changes these updates bring so you’re secure and always on the cutting edge.

At-Risk Data

On the subject of security risks, as a business owner, you handle sensitive information on a daily basis. This can range from something as basic as your employees’ tax information to customer data and even corporate secrets. Without the proper security measures, this data could be vulnerable to theft or ransomware attacks.

A professional IT support team can help you ensure that your sensitive data is always protected. They can set up encryption, arrange levels of security access, and keep your programs up-to-date with the latest virus protection. You and your customers will be able to rest easy at night knowing that your most precious information is safe. 

Poor Compliance

Depending on what kind of business you run, compliance may be a huge part of your daily operations. You may need to maintain nonprofit compliance, Nacha compliance, tax compliance, security compliance, and more. One of the big parts of many of these compliance requirements is maintaining appropriate digital security measures.

Your in-house IT team may not know the ins and outs of compliance requirements or what the latest changes have been. But a professional IT support team spends their days focused on nothing but that. They’ll make compliance effortless for you so you can focus on what you really want to be doing: running your business. 

Slow IT Response 

When a member of your team discovers a problem and submits an IT request, how long does it take them to get a response? If the answer is anything more than a few hours, that’s far too long. That’s time that employee can’t do their job, which means you’re losing money during that entire time period.

Oftentimes, these delays may not be your in-house IT support team’s fault. If you have fifteen active IT requests and two IT support workers, it’s going to take them some time to handle all of these problems. A professional IT support team has the resources to take care of problems within a few hours, keeping your team running smoothly. 

Outdated Infrastructure

Technology moves at the speed of light these days – in some cases, quite literally. If your company wants to keep up with the times, you need to have an IT department that can handle regular system upgrades. If your IT team is already struggling to keep up with your current system, they may not have the time to do the work they need to do to replace systems that are starting to get outdated. 

A professional IT team knows the latest and greatest in system upgrades and can help you put them in place. Not only do they have the know-how needed to install these systems, but they also have the time. You can simply focus on your business while the professionals keep you running the best systems around.

No IT Scalability

When you see an opportunity to grow your business, you need to be able to take it. But when you have an in-house IT team, you may hesitate to hire more employees or expand your sales offerings for fear of overwhelming the IT department. This can limit your bottom line and hold your business back from its full potential.

When you work with a professional IT company, you can get as much scalability as you need. Whether you need the occasional question answered or a full-time team working for you, you can expand as much as you need without worrying about whether you’ll have the support you need. Some companies even allow you to scale your pricing plan to pay for only the support level your company needs.

High IT Turnover

Another warning sign that it might be time to contract out your IT work is if you start having a high turnover rate among your IT department. When your internal IT support workers start getting overwhelmed with requests, their stress levels go up, they may have to start working longer hours, and they have to work harder during those hours. They may not stick around for too long under those work conditions, and you might find yourself constantly conducting IT interviews.

Contracting out your IT support to a professional company can help to ease the load on your current support team. You can even combine the two – keep on your in-house team and allow the pros to provide some backup as needed. This way no one carries too much workload and your IT team will stick around.

Need for In-House Expertise

While having an in-house team can be fantastic, especially if these are employees who have been with you for years, sometimes you need some extra expertise. You may bump up against an unexpected problem or have a very specialized question. No matter how good your in-house team is, they may not have the answers you need right off hand.

A professional IT support team is more likely to have the answers you need at their fingertips. And when you work with the right company, you shouldn’t have to wait hours or days to get a response. It will be like having the full team under one roof, without the extra stress and expense.

Split Focus 

When you’re running a business, you have to wear a lot of hats on a daily basis. You have to be an accountant, a manager, a warehouse manager, a salesperson, a conflict mediator, and more. And when you run your own IT support department, you also have to add “computer expert” to that list of demands.

Sometimes, you just want to be able to focus on what you love most – running your business. Outsourcing your IT support can take one of those distractions off your to-do list. You can let the pros handle your IT expertise needs while you keep your focus on your customers and your products.

Slowed Revenue Growth

Having your focus split and your IT support limited can do more than make your business a little harder to manage. It can actually start to slow down your revenue growth. If your system is outdated, unsafe, slow, and out of commission half the time, customers will start to notice, and your employees won’t be able to work as effectively.

Hiring in a professional IT company can cost you some money, but you’ll more than make it up in revenue growth. These companies can ensure that your system provides a solid experience for both your customers and your employees. And with you able to focus on the work that’s really important to you, you’ll see your revenues start to rise in almost no time. 

Less Competitive Edge

One of the most important things you can do to keep your business successful is to make sure you keep an edge over your competitors. Customers will be loyal to the company that provides the best experience for them. You have to be able to wow your customers from the moment they encounter your business if you want to stay afloat.

A professional IT support team can help you give your customers the most seamless experience possible. They’ll ensure all your systems run smoothly and your team has the morale they need to provide an excellent customer experience. They can also give you more time to focus on the next thing you can do to stay on the cutting edge of business. 

Get IT Support for Small Businesses

Running a small business puts a lot of demands on you, but handling your own IT support doesn’t have to be one of them. Getting the right IT support can help you keep your in-house IT team happier, your system running better, and your revenues on the rise. They can also give you the space you need to focus on what’s most important to you in running your business. 

If you’d like to get the best IT support for small businesses, check out the rest of our site at Be Structured Technology Group. We help support, protect, and secure your business, as well as helping you strategize for the future. Contact us today and discover what an award-winning Los Angeles IT support firm can do for you.

About Chad Lauterbach

CEO at Be Structured Technology Group, Inc. a Los Angeles based provider of Managed IT Services for small business. I desire to help small businesses better utilize technology by assisting in high level planning to make sure that new systems will benefit them both operationally and financially. I am careful to implement and support systems using industry best practices.