What Does IT Support Cost For Small Business Owners
Do you ever ask questions about what IT support costs small business owners? Do you wonder how one company can manage to afford regular IT support while another seems to struggle to pay for a single call to a service provider?
The answers to these questions are usually simple and often have to do with whether a small business chooses to use a managed IT services provider. Small business IT doesn’t have to be expensive but it often is if you’re paying for it hourly versus it being included in a flat monthly fee.
We’re going to examine what IT support can cost a small business and how you may be able to reduce these charges.
The Average Hourly Cost of Small Business IT
When paying for small business IT support services by the hour, the price will vary based on the experience level of the technician, how large the firm is, the scope of the job, your location, and the overall market price.
Small IT firms will typically charge a lower hourly rate than larger ones because they have less overhead (and typically fewer resources to solve problems). Most of these smaller IT firms will charge somewhere between $75-100 per hour.
Larger firms that have more than 10 technicians will have more financial requirements but also more experience and resources. The firms will likely charge anywhere from $150-225 per hour.
Independent contractors are usually the least expensive option for small business IT support but their hours can be limited, the vetting process is left up to you, and your solutions will be based only on their current knowledge and what they can glean from the internet. Services of this nature typically run around $50-80 per hour.
Unfortunately, hourly rates for IT support will mean that technicians have little incentive to find the root cause of a problem because continued service calls mean continued payment. Additionally, when a technical issue arises at night or on a weekend, you will pay extra due to the timeframe.
Hiring an In-House IT Staff
It’s understandable why small business owners don’t care to pay for hourly IT support. Because of this, many company owners consider the cost of hiring their own, self-managed IT support.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the most cost-effective solution, either. Hiring a single technician with some experience in the field can cost Chicago business owners upwards of $118,000 per year. If the technician has several years of experience, this number can easily jump to $131,000-157,000.
Aside from the outgoing expense of hiring your own IT support, you’ll also have to figure in the staff member’s benefits if you choose to offer them. These benefits may include paid time off or medical leave, continued IT training, 401k costs, and insurance – all of which will add a hefty price tag to the yearly cost of $118,000.
Unlike hiring an IT company, your technician will eventually need vacations or to take time for family emergencies. This time away from the office could put your business at risk.
The Cost of Managed Services
If repeated service calls from hourly rate technicians is wearing on your patience and an in-house staff seems too limited, you might consider using a managed services provider.
Managed services providers are a fantastic way to maintain your infrastructure and to ensure that all of your questions and IT support needs are met, whether it’s 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning.
A mature IT managed services partner gives companies much more value while costing businesses far less than hiring independent contractors, your own in-house IT department, or an IT firm that bills by hourly rates. The cost of a managed services plan will largely depend on how many employees and workstations your business has.
Using a managed services provider also gives you the benefit of cost-savings from minimized employee downtime and their increased productivity.
What’s Included in IT Support Service Packages
When choosing to use a managed services provider for your business’ IT support, you may have a choice of service tiers that range in price. These prices will reflect the amount and type of services that you receive.
Generally, you can expect a service package to include network monitoring, anti-virus software, software updates, some hardware upgrades, system networking, and help desk technical support. You may also receive password protection and the ability to restrict different users’ access to various parts of your infrastructure.
Many managed services providers also offer mobile device and print management, cloud computing, backup services, and disaster recovery planning.
Because every provider is different, their service packages may have some variation of the types of solutions in each tier as well as their pricing. With this said, the best service providers will wrap your costs into one monthly fee which allows you to anticipate your IT support costs and budget for other expenses.
Ideally, instead of guessing at the types of IT services your business requires and having to pick between packages, the managed services provider you choose will offer a complete package, inclusive of all services at a rate that’s based on your company’s size and complexity requirements – like if your business was under any compliance for instance.
Reducing Your IT Support Costs
IT support costs for small business owners have historically been relatively expensive, if not completely out-of-reach. Unfortunately, not having IT support when you need it will usually add to your overall operating and equipment costs, ultimately forcing you to spend more money than needed.
At Spot Migration, we offer managed services packages that are billed as a flat monthly fee and include everything your company needs from an IT department. Our technicians are friendly yet professional; with IT experience that is bar-none, and we take pride in our ability to respond within an hour to any issues our clients may have.
If you’d like to learn more about the cost of our IT support for small businesses, book a call with us. We’d be happy to discuss your options and help you decide the best IT support solution for your company.