Looking For The Right IT Consultant For Your Business? Here’s Important Advice

This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links – at no extra cost for you. Please read my disclaimer here.

Every company that relies on computers to do much of its work needs an IT consultant. Computers are machines, and like any machine, they will break down from time to time. What’s more, the internet is always changing, which means that no matter how good your systems are today, they might not be as strong tomorrow or next month.

To stay ahead of these changes, you need a computer expert at hand who can guide you through the choppy waters of this new digital world.

Some companies have decided to have a full-time employed tech guy or an entire team. Others will outsource with a consultant, and there are quite a few options to choose from. Ideally, these people should have ITIL certificates.

There are consultants from mainframes who have been working on big machines for years. There are specialists in designing servers and networks, some of whom may have never even used a computer themselves!

Some focus on programming applications while others will help your company to better maintain its social media presence. Furthermore, the barrier to entry is extremely low - there might be at least one consultant down the street from you. It can be a tough decision to make when looking for the right person for your team.

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to ensure that by hiring an IT consultant, you get exactly what you need from them without wasting time or money. 

Here are some of the most important tips.

Define your service requirements

The first thing you will want to consider is what kind of advice or work your business needs. There are a lot of tasks that an IT consultant can do for a company, and it’s important to be as specific as possible when describing what needs to be done

Looking For The Right IT Consultant For Your Business

Managed IT Services in Los Angeles are a great choice to consider for setting up diagnostics since they offer different packages and do most of the work remotely. This allows your company to maintain its regular order, and even request performance evaluation after the workday is over.

Of course, it’s very different if you need an IT consultant to handle on-site maintenance regularly or restore lost data from backup. In that case, do your homework and get several quotes from people who specialize in each of those tasks before making your decision. 

What is this person’s experience?

It might sound obvious, but experience matters more than anything else when hiring an IT consultant. You don’t want to hire someone with no track record at all because there are some things that only time can teach a person.

Make sure they have experience working on systems similar to yours. If you own a small retail store, it doesn’t matter how good the consultant is at programming - they won’t be able to help you if they have no experience in the retail business.

Likewise, if you are a large company with many different systems, don’t hire a consultant who specializes in only one or two of them. Instead, find someone who has a broad range of knowledge and experience so they can be more helpful across the board. 

Check their references

It’s always a good idea to check the references of any potential employee, especially when it comes to hiring an IT consultant. Ask for the contact info of previous clients and see what kind of work they did for them. You can also ask these people questions about how well the consultant communicated with them and how knowledgeable they were about the company’s systems.

If you don’t have any personal contacts who can recommend an IT consultant, there are plenty of online resources where you can find lists of them. Just make sure to do your due diligence before hiring anyone.

Check their references

How to find the best one for your company?

You can ask your colleagues, relatives, or even friends for recommendations if you are not sure who to hire. Not everyone can recommend someone good though, so don’t use family members as a reference unless they know what kind of work an IT consultant does!

The other option is to let the people you hire do the job of finding consultants for your company. If your current IT support recommends someone or suggests starting with one consultant and adding more later on, it might be worth considering. After all, they know their own business best. 

What about pricing?

This is where things get tricky because every company has different financial resources available. Some may decide that hiring an experienced consultant will allow them to grow faster than keeping the existing internal IT staff, while others will see no reason to spend more money on outside help when they can simply ask their current employees for help.

The way to decide whether you should hire an external person or not is very simple - try it out. Set up a meeting with an IT consultant to discuss your requirements. Then, let them do what you want them to do - if it’s worth it, then keep hiring them; if not, find another one without any regrets.

Remember that hiring an IT consultant doesn’t necessarily mean you are giving up control over everything related to computers in your company. You can always work closely with your consultants so that they understand exactly what you need from them instead of wasting their time and yours. 

Know what they specialize in

IT consultants usually specialize in one or more fields. Some of them may be good at programming, others work with networks or offer maintenance services for existing IT infrastructure. A good question to ask any potential candidate is what they specialize in - this will make it easier for you to figure out whether their skills match your requirements or not.

Before asking for references, it might not be a bad idea to do some research yourself on the different specialization services IT consultants often offer because this is one of the biggest differences between them. 

The reason for this is that some services cost more money than others do, which means you might want to hire someone who offers a less expensive service even though their previous references were not as good. This way you won’t risk wasting your money. 

Seeking a good fit

It takes experience in human relations and a good communication strategist to be able to properly interview someone. The goal is to make sure that everyone understands what is expected from both parties before any agreements are signed. This includes understanding the company culture, their interpretation of the work required, and what type of communication works best for them.

Seeking a good fit

Remember that it might take a few tries before you find the perfect fit for your business when it comes to hiring an IT consultant, so don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out the first time around. Just make sure to always keep the lines of communication open and be as clear as possible about your needs. Make a list of questions you can ask your potential consultants to learn more about them professionally: 

  • How long have they been in business?
  • What are their rates/hourly pricing? 
  • Is there a way to get a free consultation with them before hiring them?
  • Do they offer discounts for longer engagements over time, etc.? 
  • What different services do they offer and what is the cost of these services?
  • What is their area of expertise? 
  • How do they work best - what type of communication do they prefer (phone, email, in-person)? 
  • What are the hours of operation? 
  • What is the turnaround time for completing projects? 
  • If I need something done urgently, will they be available to help? 
  • Do they have any experience working in my industry/with my type of company? 
  • Can they provide training to my employees on how to use and manage the new systems/software?

Looking for an IT consultant can be a daunting task. It's important to remember that you don't have to go it alone, however. By following these simple tips, you can make the process a little less overwhelming and find the perfect consultant for your business. 

Conclusion: looking for the right IT consultant for your business?

There are many reasons why it makes sense to hire an IT consultant rather than trying to do everything on your own. The easiest way to find the right candidate is by looking for recommendations from people who have hired consultants before and asking potential candidates about their specializations so you know exactly what kind of work they will be able to offer when they start working with your company.

In addition to making sure that the individual can fit your budget and scope of business, it is also important to introduce your working culture to them. This way they can plan to fix anything in a way that will do minimal intrusion on your workflow and operations, as well as get up to speed with the company's culture.

Make sure to ask the consultant a lot of questions, as this will help you figure out if they are a good fit for your company or not.

A few things you might want to ask about, including their rates, what services they offer, and what areas of expertise they have. You can also inquire about their communication style and how available they will be to work with you on short notice if needed.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}