Having your small business’ IT managed effectively is one of the more important factors in an organization. But the questions in today’s blog is that do you have to be local to the IT provider or will it not affect you?
To a certain extent you do because of the reasons that will be covered in this blog. It’s more common sense to go for a provider that’s local or a quick drive from the business. For example, if your business was based up north, you wouldn’t go with a provider that’s all the way down south. However, it all depends on different factors of a provider as you’ll need to assess their performance.
There are several factors to take in to account when choosing your provider which you can see on our previous blog “How to Choose the Perfect Service Provider” – but in this case it is whether it’s best to chose a company that’s very close or a little distant from your business.
There have been occasions where a business’ server has gone down and will not reboot after remote attempts and communicating with the customer which is why an urgent site visit is required. Other situations such as hacking and errors that cannot be fixed remotely always require a site visit.
Depending on the urgency of the problem we may put the phone down and dash to the customer to help.
Therefore, it’s ideal to be close to your provider so that if any emergency visits are required it won’t take long for them to get to you.
The closer you are, the better and more efficient it is for staff to travel. As an Oldham based business, we operate across Greater Manchester because with us being a small team, it’s better and more effective for us to target SMEs in this region. If a business provider is relatively large and have multiple sites in different locations, they have the ability to target larger areas.
Sometimes a site visit can take up a whole day depending on what the purpose of the visit is for. I wouldn’t be very practical if we had to visit a client that is more than an hours drive because the journey would take up too much especially if there’s traffic to take in to consideration too.
On the odd occasion we may have to work on equipment in our workshop so whatever problems you’re having we may need you to drop the equipment off. If a provider is more than an hour away from you, this can be time consuming for you and also for the provider. This is why it’s more efficient for
you to choose a provider that doesn’t live a million miles away from you (so-to-speak).
Initially an IT provider will need to visit your site to analyse the set up of your office, equipment and network. Plus, face-to-face meetings are always better to get your requirements across rather than over Skype meetings or telephone call. It also starts the build of a relationship between the provider and the business – customer/business relationships are important.
Being far away means the only options are via Skype or telephone call which means that it’ll be harder to communicate and form that initial business bond with one another. More over this, we conduct reviews for a business every so often which consists of travelling to site and analyzing what additional requirements they have and looking at their current network.
In conclusion, your provider doesn’t always have to be directly round the corner to you. As long as you can both travel to each other without taking up too much time of your day then it’s efficient for both of you.
It will also give your provider the chance to visit you onsite in emergencies and it will not take long for them to reach you. The quicker they’re there, the quicker the problem is resolved.