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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More Hiring Tools from Computer Consulting 101

Your company most likely could use the help of a reputable computer consulting firm, but you may not know the right questions to ask to make sure you get the firm that fits best with your needs. The first part of this article gave a list of the challenges faced by small businesses when looking for a computer consulting firm along with four preliminary questions. Below are additional questions that can help narrow your search further for your ideal computer consulting company.

RESELLER, COMPUTER CONSULTING COMPANY OR HYBRID TECHNOLOGY PROVIDER

1. Does your company resell hardware and software?
2. Are you a profit center or can we shop for products elsewhere? And if we do shop elsewhere, can we still buy other services from you?
3. Do you work with any ISPs or telephone companies directly, and do you accept referral fees for directing your clients towards specific vendors?

COSTS, CHARGES AND BILLING

1. What are your rates, hourly billing minimums and terms? What do you consider billable?
2. Is travel time, telephone support, e-mail/online support and remote support an extra charge?
3. What are your billing procedures for after-hours and emergency service, and how do you define these items?
4. If you have support contracts, what are the costs and benefits?

CLIENT REFERENCES, CASE STUDIES, TESTIMONIALS

1. Tell me about a long-term small business client account.
2. Tell me about a recently signed client.
3. Tell me about a small business client that didn’t work out.
4. Do you have references?

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND SHARPENING SKILLS

1. How do you keep abreast of technology advancements?
2. What is part of client billing and what do you absorb internally?
3. Are you willing to do handholding and in-depth user training?
4. What kind of technical and user training do you offer?
5. Are you willing to train our internal computer administrator to work more independently, even if it does not give you as much job security or as many billable hours?

Created By: Computer Consulting 101