As a small business owner, your time should be focused on delivering products and services, improving customer satisfaction and growing your business opportunities. But as businesses grow, those growing pains can leave many leaders spending more and more time on tech fires and security hurdles. If this is happening to you, it might be time to consider a managed service provider (MSP) for your small business (SMB).
Managed IT Services for Small Business
We’re often asked “How big does a company have to be to use a managed service provider (MSP)?” The answer is no business is too small. It depends more on how many end points (devices) and users need to be managed and how sensitive the business’s data is. Even a very small business of less than 20 people can benefit from having the right IT partner. The trick is finding the right one.
Small Business IT Needs
Most small businesses use a variety of technology systems to serve customers or manage their business, including for:
- Credit card processing
- Inventory management
- Customer management
Here are just a few typical areas that need IT support for small business:
- Cybersecurity and information security (including endpoint protection, antivirus, antimalware)
- Hardware (e.g., computers, servers, tablets, mobile phones)
- Software (e.g., installations and updates across all devices)
- Phone systems (cloud hosted or voice over internet phone [VOIP] systems)
- Compliance issues related to securing protected information
- Data backup and recovery, including business continuity planning
- Communication management (e.g., emails, chats, video conferencing)
Your IT support should manage all these components, keep them up to date, advise you on tools and services that could help the business run more smoothly, train your staff in best practices and more. In addition to each separate component, your IT support should help your systems “talk” to each other.
Cybersecurity is no longer security through obscurity. It doesn’t matter if they know about you or not, they’re going to get you through ransomware and different types of attacks. Small businesses have become the biggest targets because they are the softest targets.
Benefits of Managed IT Services for Small Businesses
There are many benefits of hiring the right managed service provider for your small business. Here are just a few:
- You have an entire company at your fingertips 24/7, 365 days of the year. No vacation time, no sick time, no clock watching.
- The MSP has experience handling all types of disasters, from losing a server to a flood to COVID quarantine. With a disaster recovery plan and data backups in place, your MSP prepares you to recover quickly.
- Managed service providers don’t just react to problems, they proactively prevent them. Many, like Aeko, use a flat fee service model. That means it is in their best interest to keep your business humming along with little interruption. They constantly monitor your system for cybersecurity problems, train your team in best practices and help you prioritize needed changes to your systems.
- You get not one or two, but a whole team of IT professionals who bring their collective knowledge and experience to benefit your business, at a cost that is usually less than hiring one full-time IT employee with benefits.
- No time spent on recruiting, hiring and training an internal IT employee — only to have to do it again after a few months or years. Experienced IT professionals are in high demand and tend to have high turnover.
At Aeko Technologies, we offer an additional benefit for small businesses: our business expertise. As a small business owner myself, with years of corporate experience behind me, I help our clients in any way I can to make the most of their resources and grow their business.
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IT Services Planning: Choosing the Best Partner for Your Business
Thinking about hiring an IT services provider for the first time or planning to replace your current provider? Choosing the best partner can help your business thrive and grow.