From property prices to car park charges, Cambridge is among one of the most expensive cities in the UK. We all know that. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great joy and massive opportunity to live and work in such a prosperous city… But running a business in a place where there are so many big players with cash is really demanding for those of us with a limited budget. Operating costs for small and medium sized companies are getting significantly higher every year, and in such a competitive market we cant simply pass on the increased cost to our customers.
In terms of company expenses, this lot are notorious Horsemen of the Apocalypse. If you really need their help, they will sense your weakness, and they will circle you overhead like vultures. Unless you’ve got some experience or know-how dealing with them, that invoice you receive in the mail is probably going to be more painful than you expect.
I’ve been working in IT for years. Taking into account the amount of work, knowledge, responsibility and weight on our shoulders, sometimes the high costs of services are perfectly justified. But what we do for a living, although demanding and sometimes stressful, it’s not rocket science; prices for our service shouldn’t soar just because it’s Cambridge or just because it’s a bit of programming. So, let me give you a few pieces of advice on how to save money when seeking IT services in the Cambridgeshire area.
Smaller companies tend to keep closer and more friendly relations with their customers. They usually won’t charge extra for some additional small jobs carried out on the side.
Keep in mind that a smaller company definitely doesn’t mean a smaller knowledge base. In fact, it’s very often the other way around. I fix my car in a garage with only 2 employees. The variety of cars that they have to deal with on a daily basis is so vast that they are capable of fixing almost everything, from a truck to a lawn mower. And this is quite similar in the IT world. From Sage 50 and Microsoft Word to routers and VOIP Phones, smaller IT companies can’t afford to be ignorant in any of these fields.
If a company, IT or otherwise is missing website About Us details and Customer testimonials you may question what they have to hide?! A respected IT support company should be able to provide you with details on their staff background and IT experience in addition to a good word or two from a customer. This detail should give you a clear picture of who you are dealing with.
Some people believe that’s not appropriate to bargain in the B2B world. Once you get a quote, should you accept it or find someone else who will do it cheaper for you? Personally, I like to practise my negotiation skills and I almost always can get away with 10% discount. It’s also a good thing to have a second opinion. For example, you could ask for a free IT consultancy. Whether it’s backup management or network security, the chances are that you can save some money or improve your business security at no extra cost. A good IT company shouldn’t turn you away. If you’re in or near Cambridge, try and find a company offering free IT consultancy, network check, or similar service. Not only will it potentially help you improve some aspects of your business, but it’s also a fantastic chance to really meet the company.
Try to find a small team of dedicated IT nerds preferably outside of CB1 area. Go to their website and check who they are and who are they dealing with. ‘About us’ and ‘Testimonials’ will help you to find out if they are real humans or just robots hiding behind keyboards and monitors. Ask if they are willing to give you a free advice on some IT issues you have. Ask them as many questions as you please to stress test their patience. And request a discount at the end. This will most likely save you a lot of money and provide you with a trustworthy business companion that might eventually mean more to your company than just ‘the IT guys’.
Does my advice seem a bit obvious? Maybe it is. But why do so many companies in Cambridge overpay thousands of pounds every year to have an average IT support? That’s a real mystery.
Send me an email to arrange a good time to talk. Or call us on 01223 240 088
You can also book a free network and IT consultation with us.
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