When it comes to staying competitive, businesses need every advantage they can get. That’s especially true for small businesses in Ohio, which are seeing some of the highest growth rates for small companies compared to the rest of the US.
Small businesses constitute 99.6 percent of all businesses in Ohio and employ 2.2 million individuals or 46 percent of the state’s total workforce. It’s a thriving ecosystem and one that can be difficult to break into if a startup or SMB doesn’t have the right technology at its back.
Starting a business is exciting but stressful. There are all sorts of details to remember and get exactly right – some of them can be dangerous to get wrong. That’s why Ohio small businesses turn to reputable managed service providers for their technological needs. Here’s why that’s smart, and how Blue Technologies can help.
The Technological Struggles of Startups and SMBs
Starting a business isn’t easy – neither is finding the right technology for the job. There are so many options available to the average consumer (and even more for businesses) that it can be incredibly overwhelming. To make matters worse, startups and SMBs frequently need the same level of technological maturity as their more established rivals. Consumers are digitally literate and impatient. If a business can’t deliver the desired experience, they’ll move on to one that does.
However, startups and SMBs frequently face an uphill battle when it comes to finding the right technology. Among the many challenges they face include:
● A limited budget that may preclude the outright purchase of the hardware or software they need
● A lack of awareness of the possible tools that do exist
● Limited technological expertise, particularly in the case of cybersecurity
● Incomplete knowledge of compliance requirements or other regulations
● A lack of space for major hardware, like printers
How a Managed Service Provider Increases the Odds of Success
A managed service provider is a third-party specialist to whom startups and SMBs can “outsource” part or all of their technological infrastructure. MSPs are well-known for their ability to put more powerful technology into the hands of organizations while keeping it affordable. There are several different types of MSPs out there:
● Managed print services: These professionals ensure that SMBs get accessible, professional, scalable printing infrastructure, and the support they need to maximize uptime.
● Managed IT services: These guarantee that a company has information technology – phones, computers, routers, and supporting software. Startups rarely have full-blown IT departments, so a managed IT service provider can fill in the gaps.
● Managed network services: While many providers bundle cybersecurity services into managed IT services, others don’t. Still, cybersecurity is critical because 58 percent of all hacking attempts target small businesses.
● Managed document services: These professionals help companies create a robust document management strategy to keep on top of their paperwork.
In all cases, managed services deliver the technology, strategy, and expertise that a startup or SMB might be lacking. This ensures business owners worry less about technology and more about business.
How to Identify a Reputable MSP
In 2017, the managed services industry was worth an astounding $156 billion – it’s estimated to be worth just shy of $300 billion by 2023. There are a lot of providers out there, serving a real business need.
However, not all MSPs are created equal. When looking for a reputable MSP for a small business, consider the following tips:
● Look for an MSP with demonstrated experience in startups and SMBs: The needs of small organizations can look very different from the requirements of large corporations.
● Seek out process-oriented providers: These providers emphasize operational efficiency on their site and emphasize the fact that managed services should simplify and streamline workflows. This means they’ll work with existing business processes rather than do a rip-and-replace routine.
● Ask about industry awards, official recognition, or certifications: This shows that an MSP is recognized in the industry, and is dedicated to keeping their skills and knowledge current.
● Choose a local provider: Small businesses in Ohio benefit from a local provider who understands the community and business environment. They’ll also be more aware of state or city compliance regulations for specific industries.
How Small Businesses in Ohio Can Get Started on the Right Foot With Blue Technologies
There are a tremendous number of opportunities for small businesses in Ohio, and the burgeoning startup scene reflects that. However, just because a company is new doesn’t mean it gets a free pass on crucial infrastructures such as its information technology or cybersecurity. Even the smallest businesses are held to the same standards as their larger rivals by competitors.
Starting a business is hard. Work with an experienced managed service provider to make sure that the office (no matter how small) has everything it needs. Blue Technologies is thrilled to help make entrepreneurial visions a reality in Ohio.
Blue Technologies is a premier office technology provider for businesses in Ohio. Start a conversation now with a specialist.