Today is National Backwards Day. It has me thinking about how many companies pick their IT consultant completely backwards. Even more backwards why you keep your IT consultant. Let’s break it down a bit.

How you select your IT consultant, or any consultant for that matter.

1.       The internet
2.       Direct advertising
3.       Cold call – walk-in or on the phone
4.       Part of a trusted network or professional organization that you belong too
5.       Word of mouth/recommendation

Once you have found them then the process of interviewing, meeting with staff, trying to figure out if they are in fact a good fit for you and your organization. You look at their character, experience, problem solving skills, communication skills and even their interpersonal skills.  Let’s face it there is a lot riding on the decision. You trust someone or organization outside of your company to do what is right by you and by industry standards.

Now you have made your choice and you move forward with your shiny new consultant. They hit the ground running. They are responsive to your calls. They fix your problems, sometimes before they are even problems. They are just what you have been looking for…..or oops you made the wrong decision. They over promised and under delivered. They make mistakes every time they touch your computers, your data, your network. Back to square one. And so the cycle continues.

In a perfect world, the first choice is your best choice. The consultant does exactly what you expect and even goes the extra mile. They take your calls after hours, as they know that your work is as important in the evening and weekend as it is during “normal” business hours.  You grow with them and they with you. You become a family where everybody strives to make the family/business better. You allow your consultant to manage your technology so you can do what you do best. Run your business.

 

So what is backwards you ask? What about this process seems to be broken? We believe that the first step in selecting a new consultant or even retaining your old would be to start by making a list. List the top 100 things that you are looking for in a consultant. Make it very specific. Break it down into several categories. In the case of IT it might look like:

1.       Industries they specialize in
2.       Client size they work with most
3.       Consultant size – how big are they
4.       Hours of operation – do they work outside of normal
5.       Fees
6.       Accreditations – Microsoft certified, BBB Rated

I think you begin to see the point. A list could quickly be over 100 items. Even better 200. Be very specific. If you want your consultant to wear crazy shirts and jeans, list that as well. Obviously, some items carry more weight than others. Some are deal breakers. Some would be nice to have. Put them all on the list.

If you believe in the laws of attraction you will understand this exercise. It is miraculous when you get clear about what you want, by writing it down, how quick it will show up. This by the way is an exercise that works in 100% of the areas in your life. That is a different Tech Tip but one that I always love to discuss. So, start with your list. Start with the smallest details. Put the biggest details. Put everything down you can think of and a bit more. When that is complete you will be amazed but your consultant will likely find you.

The flip side…..

The rest of the equation is you and your company being ready for the kind of consultant that is going to show up. Let’s face it, in today’s thriving economy everybody has great clients and full workloads. Adding a new client may have to take the place of an old client. Are you the right client for them? You want to be the right client because the flip side to that is you don’t work well together. There may be no trust. There may be no taking care of you when you need to be cared for the most. This is an important concept. And we all deserve to work with the greatest consultants. You owe it to yourself and your company. Do this exercise at the beginning of a new year. Create something or someone that is the best possible combination of you and them. There is an equation: 1+1=3. That is, that sum of the companies together are better than their individual parts. You could expand that further as you add more resources. Imagine where your business could grow when you have the time, the resources, money, expertise and all the best tools and people to get your there.  

We are happy to have these discussions with you about your Technology needs. We are happy to refer you to the best technology partners we work with as well. Give us a call or send an email and let’s create something powerful.

For now, Happy Tuesday Tip Tech backwards…. And we look forward to more forward thinking with you.