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Monday, August 21, 2006

More Computer Consulting 101 Hiring Tips (Part 2 of 2)

What kind of questions do you need to ask when hiring a computer consulting firm? Make sure that you don’t miss this important list of questions.

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?

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?

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?

Research/Developments and Keeping 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?

Training Approach 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?

Blogged by Joshua Feinberg