You wouldn’t just hand over your books to anybody on Craigslist who claims to have ‘experience with accounting’ would you? Of course not! Why, then, would you trust a security, networking or communications company simply because they have a website? The answer, of course, is that you wouldn’t. You would make sure that any company you hire to help you with such sensitive information gets a thorough vetting. Here is how you do that:
Understand What It Is You Need
When you are hiring a network security or communications company, it is important that you understand–at least at a basic level–what network security entails. You don’t have to be as well versed in it as industry experts but you need to at least understand the answers a potential provider gives to the questions you’ve been told to ask. Understanding how these systems works–even at a basic level–will help you weed out the wannabes from the pros. You’ll also be less likely to get taken for a ride when it comes to your budget. Speaking of which?
Figure Out Your Budget
Your network security and communications processes are two of the most important in your business. Without them you don’t really have a business. It stands to reason, then, that if you want the best, you will need to pay a fair rate for those services to run smoothly. This is not the time for bargain basement shopping. After all, you likely don’t choose the cheapest phone, provider and plan for your personal security and communication devices, right? Why would you do that with your business?
That said: it’s important to understand what the market rate is for these services so that you can adjust your budget accordingly.
It’s important to find out what other people think about a company. Every company website has a testimonials page and that’s a perfectly fine place to start. It is just as important, though, to search out independent reviews. Search for sites that curate reviews as well as individual blog posts, articles, etc. It’s also a good idea to reach out to other businesses in your area and ask about what providers their CEOs have chosen for security and communications. They’ll be able to clue you in as to who is best in your local area.
Run a provider’s name through Google’s News search. This will turn up everything from independent reviews to current events to press releases sent out from the company itself. It’s a great way to find out about any pro-bono services they provide (like giving discounted VOIP or security to schools) as well as whether they’ve been involved in any lawsuits or other problems.
How They Really Work
To find out how they really operate, check out your potential providers at sites like Glass Door, which is set up to allow employees to post anonymous reviews of employers, salaries, etc. It’s important to know how companies treat their employees. You can find out a lot about what your provider really offers through these reviews. Look, in particular, for reviews from people who worked in the sales and IT departments. If the IT guys insist that a security or communications company is sub-par in its knowledge or employee education, that’s a red flag!
There are lots of providers out there to choose from, so learning how to find the best ones for your business is important. These tips should give a good start on how to do just that.