As with the questions we asked before, these questions are also created to help separate fact from fiction. Here are a few more questions you should ask before hiring a computer consulting firm to work with your company.
Are You a Reseller, "Pure" Computer Consulting Company, or Hybrid Technology Provider?
Does your company resell various technology products, such as hardware and software? Is this a profit center or do you mind if we shop for our products elsewhere? And if we do shop elsewhere, can we still purchase your needs analysis and procurement services?
Are there any other vendors, such as ISPs or telephone companies, that your firm acts as an agent or affiliate for? In other words, do you accept commissions or referral fees for steering business toward certain vendors?
What are Your Costs, Hidden Charges, and Billing Procedures?
What are your payment terms, rates and hourly billing minimums? What is billable and what is not billable?
Do you charge for your travel time? Telephone support? E- mail/online support? Remote support?
Are there any hourly rate billing premiums for after-hours or emergency service? What constitutes "after hours" or an "emergency"?
Do you offer support contracts? What are the cost and benefits?
Do You Have Client Reference Accounts, Case Studies, and Testimonials?
Can you tell me about one of your more long-term small business client accounts?
Can you tell me about one of your more recently signed-on clients? Can you tell me about a small business client who didn't work out and why?
Can you provide references?
How Do You Keep Up With Research and Developments while Keeping Your Skills Sharp?
How do you keep up with new tech developments?
What do you bill clients for and what do you absorb internally? Are there any gray areas?
What is Your Approach to Training and Knowledge Transfer?
How do you feel about handholding and in-depth training with users?
What kind of user and technical training can you provide?
Will you train our internal computer administrator to become more self-sufficient, even if it takes away from your "job security" and opportunities to bill more hours?
Learn more about hiring computer consulting firms in the full article (link above).
Blogged by Computer Consulting 101