Staying profitable is an ongoing challenge for any small business, as budgets are tight and customer interests are split between competitors. Around 50% of small businesses fail after five years, with 18% happening within the first year. Avoiding becoming a failed statistic is crucial to longevity in any industry. Yet, doing that is easier said than done. That’s why small business IT consulting has become a valuable service.
Technology is fast-growing, with innovations every year, and finding ways to integrate those ideas is vital to stay a step ahead. That means offering unique services and products while making the most out of limited resources. With an IT consultant, that process can be done much more quickly and effectively than most companies can handle alone.
What Is Small Business IT Consulting?
Small business IT consulting provides technology guidance and support for smaller companies. That can include auditing, digital transformation, integration planning, software solutions, and providing input on current IT issues. Since most IT consultants have hands-on tech support experience, they’re familiar with broader business strategies and understand the day-to-day challenges of technology.
With 38% of failed startups blaming a lack of money, there’s less leeway for mistakes. Outsourcing with an IT consultant can help maximize resources. That’s done through targeted IT solutions based on a business’ needs, reducing wastage in unnecessary areas. Their advice also factors in the return on investment for any new cost, ensuring that their services benefit their clients and pay for themselves.
How Much Does an IT Consultation Cost?
IT consultations can cost anywhere from $75 to $400 per hour. The cost range is due to many factors, such as IT experience, location, industry, type of technology, and the scale of the project. In some cases, consultants can work on a per-project basis or provide ongoing consulting services for a flat monthly or annual fee. Cheaper consultants often lack experience. In contrast, expensive ones are expected to have a proven track record of successful IT projects.
What’s Considered a Small Business?
The SBA defines a small business as having a firm revenue of $1 million to $40 million and anywhere from 100 to 1,500 employees. The exact number depends on each industry. Some studies describe them as being any company with less than 500 employees. Considering that 46.4% of private sector employees work for a small business, contrary to its name, it’s a massive part of the US economy.
What Are the Benefits of Small Business IT Consulting Services?
There are a range of benefits of small business IT consulting services, which cater to each organization’s needs. They can offer everything from broader insight into technology solutions and strategies to pointed feedback on topics or functions. Here are some of the main benefits:
Most small business IT consultants have a history of working as technicians. That means they have practical experience troubleshooting common issues and developing solutions, allowing them to recommend what’s realistically possible.
Small Business Experience
Well-established consultants have outsourcing experience with businesses of many sizes. They all have unique ways of operating and unexpected challenges. With that experience comes greater accuracy in judging the right solutions for each company.
Small business owners are creative and hard-working, putting care into everything they do. Yet, being close to your service or product can make it hard to be fair with yourself. An IT consultant can offer a balanced neutral perspective and can keep goals and expectations grounded in what’s achievable.
If an organization is planning major infrastructure changes, adding an IT consultant can help. Whether providing input on strategies being discussed or presenting alternative ideas that clients didn’t think of, having an IT expert on the project team increases the chance of success.
Managing vendor relationships can take a lot of extra time and expense. That’s doubly true if you don’t understand what you need. Vendors are often trying to upsell extra products that won’t be used. That leaves some overpaying for a bundle that seems like a good value but could have been cheaper if narrowed to essential services.
Sometimes, a small business owner knows technology issues but needs help figuring out what to do or where to start. Companies can get professionally developed technology strategies by using outsourced IT consulting services. Not only do they factor in current needs and issues, but they also consider scalability and future growth.
Most IT solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all and have to be adapted to better serve staff and customers. A small business IT consultant can provide the best way to customize solutions. That will increase efficiency and productivity while being affordable.
Training & Education
When implementing new technology, some staff may need help learning it. Part of the outsourcing process can include staff training and education. That ensures everyone is familiar with how something works and has a contact point for any questions.
Small Business Assessments
Even if a small business isn’t ready to commit to an MSP, a consultation can be a good starting point. That can help them analyze current needs and functions. It can also be used to check IT compliance, ensuring that a company meets industry regulations and guidelines.
Cost-Effective IT Solutions
Companies often struggle to budget for tech, making it difficult to get it at an affordable price. Consultants can research different market solutions to develop a custom tech stack. That approach better serves businesses while also decreasing costs.
Whether it’s a security hole or poor data management, IT consulting services can assess the strengths and weaknesses of any small business. From there, improvements can be made parallel to other new initiatives. That reduces risks and increases protection against future threats.
Boost Your Small Business With IT Consulting
Small business IT consulting can be a game-changer for companies to modernize and set themselves apart. With vast experience, a consultant gives custom solutions that can solve your tech challenges. By doing so, it can also position your business for long-term success. Benefits like cost-savings, strategic planning, risk reduction, and small business assessments allow them to provide immense value for an affordable cost.