When choosing an IT provider, there are so many options available and it may seem overwhelming. Do you go with a national superstar? An award-winning local firm? An international up-and-comer? How do you choose? For small businesses like yours, it’s usually best to go with a local provider. Here’s why.
1. Providers in your community may understand your needs better
A local IT provider is based in your area. They may understand many things about doing business in your community better than a company located in another metro area. This understanding may extend to your company culture and values, your operational needs and limitations and even your business patterns throughout the year.
Local providers of managed IT services simply have more insight into the physical landscape that surrounds your business. They know what local events are important for your business, why they are important for your business, and that you may need extra support during that time. They can meet your needs better than a company based elsewhere simply because they share more common regional knowledge and experience with you.
2. Local companies can meet in person
If you choose an IT company based somewhere else, you may never get to meet your account rep or the people working on your technology live and in person. Phone calls and video conferencing are great, but nothing beats a face-to-face meeting for building relationships. With a local company, you can see their offices, meet the whole team and then take them out for a burger and beer at the local tap when the meeting is over.
If you like the idea that you may run into your local IT rep at the grocery store, your kids’ T-ball game or the popular brunch spot in town, then a local IT company is right for your business.
3. They are in the same time zone
Calculating time zones can be a hassle. The further away someone is, the greater the difference in time and schedule availability. Some areas use daylight savings time and others don’t, further complicating the matter. Planning calls with non-local providers can be more of a challenge when a greater time difference means a gap in business hours. Your team or their team may have to come in early or stay late to make it work, which can create disconnects in availability, especially against meeting and family activity schedules.
A local provider is in your time zone, so their business hours probably align closely with yours. This can lead to better account management, communication and customer service for your business.
4. You can support a small business in your local economy
Just as you would hope someone local chooses your small business to support the community, you can do the same. Working with another business in your area provides support for your local economy and can result in stronger referrals. When small businesses support each other, everyone learns and becomes a better, stronger business.
Strengthening your local economy is not just an added benefit in the equation. Money spent at local businesses stays in the economy in larger amounts than money spent at large corporations or chains, so you’re being a good corporate citizen by going local for your IT services.
Contact 3 Points for more information about how a local IT firm can support your small business.