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There are a wide range of companies available offering IT support;  from “one man bands” to large multinational organisations. So how do you choose the IT support company  that is right for your business ? We suggest that you do a little research to find the answers to the following questions…

How much will IT support cost?
Costs will vary but are currently £65.00 + vat per hour for site visits. If someone is charging less than this you might wonder what qualifications and experience they have and how long they are likely to continue trading.

What are their contact details & location?
Sounds obvious but if a support company only publishes mobile numbers they may be just a one man band working from home. If a company is located outside your area then ask yourself how long might it take to get a technician on site in a real emergency.

How many people work for the company?
A “one man band” may be less expensive but what if they fall ill or are away on holiday? Can you be sure that you will still get the support your business needs?

How long have they been trading & how experienced are they?
We have seen many IT companies come and go during our time in business (now over 12 years). Companies that are still around after the first 5 years may be considered a safer option.

What qualifications/certifications do they hold?
The most common questions we get asked are how did you learn all this and how do you keep up with the technology? The answer is training, experience and more training. Courses and examinations for Microsoft or CISCO qualifications, aren’t cheap. A 7 day course with 3 examinations (each requiring an 80% pass mark) for Microsoft Certified IT Professional status typically cost £3500!

Do they have professional indemnity insurance?
It’s always reassuring to know that a supplier has insurance even though we’ve never known of any I.T. support company that has had to call on it!

Are they a registered company that charge VAT?
We all feel that registered limited companies that are also VAT registered are just that little bit more reliable and really do mean business. With registered companies it will be possible to get details of their accounts from Companies House so you can easily see how they are doing.

What affiliations do they hold?
Again we probably all have more confidence in businesses that are members of institutes such as the Chambers of Commerce or the Small Business Federation and even better are members of recognised trade associations.

Can you get references from their customers?
Don’t be afraid to ask for details of existing customers that you can contact and ask for references. A good IT support company will be only to glad to have their customers singing their praises.

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