As a business owner, you need to decide what level of IT support is right for you. Small businesses frequently operate under the “break-fix” model. Break-fix is exactly what it sounds like: you run your business normally until something breaks, then you pay someone to fix it. Managed Service Providers, like us, offer a monthly service agreement to handle all of your IT support. But remember, not all managed services are created equally.
While the break-fix model appears the simplest out of the gate, it ends up costing more than you think. The ‘breaks’ cost you more because you’re stuck with unexpected hardware and software costs, and the ‘fixes’ cost you a lot more due to downtime, outages, and lost potential revenue. You can read our blog post from January that explains why the break-fox model does not work. At some point, you’ll get tired of your CFO running into your office with a stack of bills from all of last month’s fixes.
Working with Vendors
Finding a vendor that works well for your business is essential. SMBs often seek out vendors that offer full solutions. These deals are usually better for the client as well as their revenue and profitability.
Choosing a vendor that offers a complete solution means you won’t get ‘nickel-and-dimed.’ When a vendor gives you the option to pick your solutions it often sounds too good to be true. However, this way often makes things more complicated for both you and your client. It also makes it hard to predict revenue and costs going forward.
SMBs Need Efficiency
Efficiency is paramount for SMBs and this translates to your customers too. When vendors offer features individually, the SMB purchases separate parts as individual products. With a turnkey solution, they have one single comprehensive package. Otherwise, you’re spending money on features that you thought were included. Unbundling your service might also mean ending up working with multiple vendors. What you need is a single vendor; a one-stop-shop for all of the features you need. Bear in mind that this vendor also needs to be able to adapt to you in the future too.
What SMBs Need Their Vendors to Know
SMBs need a vendor that recognizes their role in supporting your business. We buy, employ and use their technology to run our businesses. SMBs should expect their vendors to listen to them and help them build their business. If you suspect you’re being nickel-and-dimed, then this isn’t a partnership worth pursuing. Don’t stick with it because it might seem like an easy option or because it’s hard to find a vendor that checks all of the boxes. You can maximize profitability and ROI with a vendor that works for you and works with you.
When new features become available, they should not be a separate offer or a stand-alone service. SMBs need to ensure the vendor they work with can future-proof their plan to add any new features onto their existing offering.
You need a solution that will meet your needs straight out of the box. It should be a ready-to-go turnkey solution that will make you satisfied in the knowledge that you have all you need to be able to solve any business problem. It’s vital not to settle when you’re looking for a vendor. If the vendor doesn’t look out for your and your customers’ interests, can you call them a partner?
If you are having issues with your vendors, please contact us at any time. We want to be sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.