If you find yourself in need of a high quality computer consulting firm, but lack the know-how to properly evaluate the company’s competence, the following in-depth questions can help you as a small business to find the best fit for your needs.
RESELLER, “PURE” COMPUTER CONSULTING COMPANY, HYBRID TECH PROVIDER
Does the company resell different tech products, including hardware and software? Will you be able to shop for products elsewhere, or is the computer consulting company a profit center? Are services exclusive to buying hardware and software, or will you be able to buy just needs analysis and procurement?
Are there vendors – ISPs or telephone companies – that the computer consulting firm represents, and does the company take referral fees or commissions for getting you to work with certain vendors?
COSTS, CHARGES, BILLING PROCEDURES
What are the payment terms, rates and hourly billing minimums for the computer consulting business? Does the company charge for travel time, telephone support, e-mail, online support or remote support? Similarly, are there hourly rate billing premiums that apply to emergency or odd-hours services? How are these defined?
Does the computer consulting firm offer support contracts?
CLIENT REFERENCE ACCOUNTS, TESTIMONIALS AND CASE STUDIES
Get the computer consulting company to detail a long-term small business client account, a recently signed-on client and one that did not quite work out.
Can the computer consulting company show you references?
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND KEEPING UP WITH TECHNOLOGY
How does the computer consulting company stay in touch with the latest tech advances?
What are clients billed for and what is taken internally by the computer consulting company? Are there any unclear areas for billing?
TRAINING AND SHARING KNOWLEDGE
What is the computer consulting firm’s stance on handholding and user training? What kind of tech training does the firm provide? Are representatives willing to train internal computer administrators to be more independent even if it takes opportunities to bill more hours?
Added By: Computer Consulting 101 Professional Kit