Let’s talk about managed services. Technically, what I do as an IT consultant is offer managed services. I don’t call it managed services because managed services can mean a whole lot of different things. What I offer my clients is a local IT staff. Their beck and call! Small businesses cannot usually afford to hire an IT staff. However, some businesses do have an IT staff, but they still farm out key processes. For example, they have someone managing their databases for them remotely. Databases are a very specialized part of IT, and you can build a career knowing nothing but how to run databases. You may not know how to plug a network cable into a computer, but you can still have a successful career as a database admin. So, some companies hire out their databases to manage service companies.

Perhaps what we should do is stop thinking of managed services as IT only. For example, here are some things that you might want to pay somebody to handle for you. There’s cloud storage. There’s server maintenance. There’s data backup and disaster recovery. There’s authentication. There’s network monitoring and security. There’s systems administration. There’s infrastructure management.

By and large though, managed services do involve IT processing. So what are the advantages of, say, hiring me to take care of your IT? Well, for one thing, I’m going to look at your business situation as something that I need to proactively protect. I need to spot problems before they occur and take care of them without any downtime. It takes someone a little obsessive-compulsive to do that, and I’m happy to say that I am obsessive-compulsive in that way.

Additionally, I have access to technologies that you may not know about. These technologies can do things for your business that you did not know could be done and can save you a lot of money and a lot of downtime and increase your bottom line, which of course is the most important thing about having a business. I am also trained across many aspects of IT, which means that I can handle everything from network connectivity to database queries.

You may have a person on staff who’s good at one thing, perhaps desktop support. That doesn’t mean they’re going to know what to do if suddenly you don’t have internet access.

The most important thing that I offer through managed services is safe, secure backup. If you have a disaster on site, let’s say a fire, your data is safe because I’m going to have it backed up in the cloud. The other huge worry out there is ransomware. If you manage to click on something and allow ransomware into your office network, it is going to find and encrypt every single file that it can get to. And most offices offer servers which everyone can connect to for file sharing and the like.

That means if your machine has write access to such a share and you get ransomware, it will delete it. Once again, I keep your files safe off-site, where ransomware cannot reach, so your files will be safe with me.

Some of the disadvantages of managed service is that the companies doing it are often huge, located in different parts of the country from where your business is. This means no local support. The big advantage of having me take care of your business in northwest Arkansas, in communities like Rogers, Bentonville, Gentry, Siloam Springs, Fayetteville, Springdale, Farmington. Pea Ridge. Thank you for watching. Is that I am a quick drive away. Manufacturing. Managed services can also be expensive. I do charge my clients a monthly fee. This monthly fee provides them with unlimited off-site backup. And unlimited remote support. I also monitor their networks, etc., and spot problems before they arise, if at all possible.

I had to spend about 25 years in IT before I felt confident enough to go out on my own as a consultant. Because I have to know everything that could affect your small business. And the fact that I do concentrate on small business as my client base means that it is possible for me to fulfill that obligation and efficiently and securely take care of any IT needs that your business may have. What about being a one-man shop?

Well, I am a one-man shop now, but I have plans to not be one in the future. Right now, I’m doing a great job of handling every situation that arises. And if one of my clients has what we call a fire to put out, I will quickly get it put out.

But at some point, I will be adding on some manpower. It looks most likely that my first employee will be my son, who is in his upper 30s and who has done IT since his teens. He, like me, has a good broad band of experience in the IT world. And there’s not too many situations that will surprise him. How big will I get after that? I don’t know.

Right now, I love being a small enough company that I don’t have to worry about a lot of corporate headaches. I don’t see myself ever having an HR department, for example, or ever having to give my employees sensitivity training. Instead, what I concentrate on is being invisible to you while you’re IT. Infrastructure is working flawlessly. And if you’re a small business owner, I suspect that’s exactly what you want. hink about trying to hire an IT person who can handle anything that comes up at your company. How much would such a person cost? Trust me, it’s not going to be cheap. This is why. Small businesses are much better off hiring me to take care of their things for a reasonable monthly fee. Another situation you might face with your own IT person is that someone offers them a better job. I’m not going to do that. If I partner with you, I intend our partnership to last years.