A desire to run your own business is usually the driving force behind the establishment of a small business. Anyone who has taken the step to becoming a business owner is immediately faced with a myriad of business issues requiring “immediate” attention. This is where you need to have the experience and/or professional advice to effectively sort out the critical 20% you need to focus upon.
Using a consultant at this stage may be a good way to go. I was warned by a seasoned executive early in my career to be wary of using consultants. He told me “consultants come in, borrow your watch to tell you the time, and leave with your watch”.
I am not as cynical as he was. I have used consultants for help in areas where I knew that I lacked te skill set, or the NEED to do things myself. I use the term “consultants” loosely. There are many areas where a small business owner should engage an outsider to help, and that person may not use the title of “consultant”.
In our case, one of the areas of expertise I brought to our new business was Human Resources Management. I am an accredited practitioner (Lifetime Senior Professional in Human Resources or “SPHR”) with around 20 years of experience. You might find it interesting to know that nearly the first thing I decided to NOT do, when starting up, was manage our Human Resources. I did it because I knew what it was going to take to stay on top of this function. Even in a small organization it requires a lot of work to do it right, and I had other things that needed my attention. So, we hired a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) to take over this function and have never looked back.
If you are not an IT expert, you need to seek the help of one when putting your business plans together. Since our business is supplying IT products and services, we often see small businesses wasting a lot of time and money by not getting good IT advice from the start.
Buying equipment without consulting with an expert often leads to obtaining equipment that is not appropriate for use in a small business environment. Why? Because computers are not all designed to run all the software a business needs.
Ideally, an IT expert is consulted before thousands of dollars in IT resources are purchased or brought from home. An expert should be used to take a look at the business environment and the business plan. Questions to be considered include: What software will be used? Should the business use a file server environment now, or in the future? How much data will be processed and stored? Where should the data be stored – locally or in the cloud?
An expert will help answer these kinds of important questions. The answers will then help you assess the financial resources needed to get the right hardware and software into the company at the start. Missteps at this point may have serious financial consequences. However, proper planning for IT support will provide a solid base for growth.
Keystone IT is a company of experts. Give us a call and we will support you – not try to sell to you.