Business owners are notoriously thrifty and rightfully so. When an enterprise is in its infancy, every resource except time is precious. Dave Ramsey calls small business owners “CEOs – Chief Everything Officers”. If a toilet needs to be plunged or the building needs to be painted, the CEO does it.
As a business grows, the demand on the CEO’s time grows and time becomes precious. They find it worthwhile to hire an inexpensive service to clean the office or mow the grass and recapture those hours to do things that earn the business money.
Soon the CEO hires people to serve customers, first in small ways and then increasingly in managerial roles as the business grows. At this point things begin to get complex and the “CEO” takes the Chief Executive Officer role. HR paperwork, team management, meetings, financial reporting, and many other tasks become important and valuable to the company. Technology becomes important too. If technology is moving slowly or causing frustration, the CEO is losing some of those hours he is paying to recover.
When technology becomes important to the success or efficiency of a business, it’s time to consider professional IT management.
Very small businesses (1-3 employees) can typically handle managing IT themselves. Systems are not complex, you know when equipment is having problems, and the team can easily communicate issues and work around them.
When considering professional IT management, companies with 3 – 10 employees should assess whether their business depends on technology or whether they expect to grow beyond the 10-person threshold. If the answer to either of those is “yes”, then expert guidance can help establish a firm foundation for growth.
Businesses with more than 10 computer users almost always benefit from professional IT management. At this stage technology is critical to the success of the company, employees need it to accomplish their assignments, and they do not have the time or the inclination to solve technical problems.
Professional IT companies such as Lighthouse IT are akin to accountants –when you’re small you can probably do it yourself, but as you grow larger the issues become more complex and you find that hiring an outside expert saves you time, money and reduces risk.
A professional IT company is not just a help desk. At Lighthouse IT, we take care of the entire Technology Life Cycle: plan & budget, implement & manage change, proactive monitoring & maintenance and end user support.
We often find that new clients are spending too much on internet and phone bills. Sometimes they are paying for monthly subscriptions they’re not using. Frequently we find new clients believe their most important data is backed up, and they’re stunned to find that it is not. They often have security issues that would result in fines due to violations of HIPAA, PCI or other compliance organization rules.
Our clients find that the benefit of increased team productivity and hard-cost savings greatly exceed management expense. Of course, the peace of mind produced by having a team of experts proactively monitoring, managing and maintaining their critical infrastructure has a value beyond dollars.
If you find yourself as a Chief Everything Officer and need to be the Chief Executive Officer, contact us to see how Lighthouse IT can save you money and free your time.