If your company needs a reliable computer consulting firm, you might not know how to gauge what “reliable” means. Once you determine why it’s so difficult to find the right computer consulting firms and ask basic and important questions of the potential vendor, you need to look at expenses and more carefully at the consultant’s credentials.
RESELLERS, PURE CONSULTING COMPANIES AND HYBRIDS
You need to ask your potential computer consulting firm what type of services it provides. Asking the following questions will help you decide how to approach the relationship or if you want to at all:
1. “Does your company resell tech products including hardware and software?”
2. “Is your company a profit center or can we buy products elsewhere?”
3. “If we buy products elsewhere can we still use you for needs analysis and procurement?”
4. “Are there any other ISPs or telephone companies that your company supports, and do you accept referral fees or commissions for steering clients towards certain vendors?”
COSTS, HIDDEN CHARGES AND BILLING
These questions will help you determine expenses more carefully of a viable computer consulting firm:
1. “What are your payment rates and hourly billing minimums, and what do you consider billable and not billable?”
2. “Do you charge for travel time, phone support, e-mail or online support? Do you have remote support?”
3. “Do you have hourly rate billing premiums for after hours or emergency work, and how do you define this type of work?
4. “Do you have IT support contracts, and if so, what are the costs and the benefits to me?”
SAMPLE QUESTIONS ABOUT REFERENCE ACCOUNTS, CASE STUDIES AND TESTIMONIALS
1. “Can you tell me more about one of your long-term small business clients?”
2. “Can you tell me more about recently signed clients, and about a small business client that didn’t work out?”
3. “Do you have references?”
QUESTIONS REGARDING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND HONING SKILLS
1. “How do you stay abreast of new developments in technology?
2. “How exactly do you bill your clients and absorb costs?”
TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE
1. “What are your thoughts on hand-holding and detailed user training?”
2. “What kind of tech training do you offer?”
3. “Can you train an internal computer administrator to be more self-sufficient at the expense of your job security and billable hours?”
It’s important to find an independent computer consultant or computer consulting firm that is the best fit for your business. Using these questions to guide you through the hiring process will help you find the best person for the job.
Blogged By: Computer Consulting 101