Is your company looking to hire an IT firm? Unfortunately, unless you’re tech-savvy or experienced with IT contracts, there can be hidden costs that you wouldn’t expect or know to look for. While it can sound appealing to go for the cheapest firm, that decision can end up costing you more in the long run due to carve-outs and hidden fees in the contract. Cheaper IT firms will omit certain services from the original agreement and later nickel-and-dime you to add them on or by quoting you inadequate solutions that you’ll later need to pay to upgrade.

To help you weed out these companies that are not the bargains they advertise themselves to be, there are a few key elements to consider when determining if your quote is insufficient, overpriced, or underquoted.

Insufficient Compliance And Cybersecurity Protections:

A ransomware attack is a significant and devastating event for any business; therefore, it’s imperative that the IT company you’re working with isn’t just putting basic (cheap) antivirus software on your network and calling it a day. This is by far the one critical area most “cheaper” MSPs leave out.

Antivirus is good to have but woefully insufficient to protect you from serious threats. In fact, insurance companies are now requiring advanced cyber protections such as employee cyber awareness training, 2FA (2-factor authentication), and what’s called “advanced endpoint protection” just to get insurance coverage for cyber liability and crime insurance. We provide those standards in our offering, so not only do you greatly reduce your chances of a cyber-attack, but you also avoid being denied an important insurance claim (or denied coverage, period).

Inadequate Recovery Solutions:

One thing you also want to make sure you look for in your IT firm proposal is that they do daily backups of your servers and workstations, as well as any cloud applications your company uses (Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, etc.), because online applications do NOT guarantee to back up your data. You also need to make sure your backups are immutable or unable to be corrupted by hackers. Again, most insurance companies now require immutable backups to be in place before they’ll insure against ransomware or similar cyber events.

Transparency About On-Site And After-Hours Fees:

This might take you by surprise, but most IT firms will charge EXTRA for any on-site or after-hours visits. We include ALL of this in our agreements, but ‘cheaper’ MSPs will intentionally leave this out and add it on later to make the sticker price appear lower. Make sure you understand what is and isn’t included in your service agreement before signing. This is all fine if it is what you agree to and understand what you are getting, just keep your eyes open.

Nonexistent Vendor Liaison And Support:

Will they help you with all of your tech, or just select pieces that they’ve installed? Some IT firms will charge you hourly to resolve tech support issues with your phone system, ISP, security cameras, printers, and other devices they didn’t sell you but that still reside on the network (and give you technical problems). These fees can stack up over time. Be sure if you need that kind of support you outline that when you are looking for a new Mac-based MSP.

The Value of an Experienced Consultant with Business Acumen:

When it comes to Managed Service Providers (MSPs), one size doesn't fit all. While the size of the MSP isn't the sole determinant of quality, it's crucial to consider the expertise and experience of your main point of contact. Your ideal partner should offer more than just technical know-how; they should serve as your Technology Translator and provide vCIO (virtual Chief Information Officer) level support.

Here's why this distinction matters:

  1. Experience Matters: An experienced consultant can bridge the gap between technology and business. They're the person you turn to when you have questions about how a CRM system can enhance your business operations or what benefits it can bring to your organization. They don't just install hardware; they provide insights into aligning technology with your strategic goals.
  2. Business Acumen: Your MSP should do more than fix technical issues. They should have a grasp of your industry and business objectives. This business acumen ensures they recommend solutions that align with your unique needs, helping you make technology decisions that drive growth and efficiency.
  3. Depth of Experience: The true value of your MSP relationship lies in the depth of experience your consultant brings to the table. It's not about flashy marketing materials or a long list of services; it's about having a trusted advisor who understands your specific challenges and opportunities.
  4. Personalized Service: Smaller MSPs with experienced consultants often offer a more personalized experience. They take the time to understand your organization thoroughly, tailoring their services to your requirements. This level of attention and care can be challenging to find in larger, one-size-fits-all providers.
  5. Flexible Partnerships: Unlike bigger MSPs that may have minimum requirements like 20 computers or a minimum monthly fee, an experienced consultant is more likely to work with you to find solutions that fit your budget and business size. It's about providing the support you need, regardless of your organization's scale.


In conclusion, when choosing an MSP, remember that it's not just about the company's size or marketing buzzwords. The key is finding a partner with an experienced consultant who can translate technology into meaningful business advantages, offering tailored solutions that meet your unique needs and objectives.

Before you commit, it's crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of what's included in the service agreement. Comparing IT service providers solely based on their monthly fees can be misleading. To ensure an apples-to-apples comparison, furnish all potential candidates with a detailed list of your requirements. Merely inquiring about monthly fees won't provide a fair basis for evaluation.

If you're interested in experiencing dependable, top-notch IT support, schedule a consultation. We'll provide you with a comprehensive quote that encompasses all your needs. To set up a consultation, please click here and book a free discovery call and see how we can help you grow your business.



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