Small business is all about efficiency. The ability to maximize and streamline productivity is often the difference between making it and closing up shop. One area where a small business can really see dramatic return on investment is in the area of computer networking.

Establishing a strong and focused computer network for your small business can be achieved in a number of ways?whether you decide to take on the task yourself, hire a qualified IT professional or go outside to either a small cost-effective remote network service provider or one that can provide both on-site and remote services.

Perhaps the most cost-effective approach to establishing a network for your business lies in the do-it-yourself model. Its cost-effectiveness is key, as watching every penny, to a small business, is vital to success. It also, however, requires a certain degree of technological expertise, something that few small business owners, especially those who don?t deal in computer related services, tend to lack. Then there?s the time commitment. While small business success is often rooted in the amount of time the owner and his or her employees spend on nurturing client relationships, product quality and customer service?using that time to set up a small business network can be an expense of time that?s too dear. Before you set off on your own, do the research and get a solid grasp of what establishing a network for your small business entails.

The other facet of this is establishing a small business support network, which can be achieved in one of three ways; bringing on an additional employee who would serve as your small business network support; looking for an outside provider who can not only bring people in to establish your small business network support and then monitor it from outside, thus decreasing costs over time; the last being the ability to hire an outside network support company that can handle all your small business network support needs from an off-campus location.

Obviously bringing another employee to set up your small business network and support it is not the most cost-effective of these options.

As a small business owner, you not only have to add an additional salary or hourly employee to your payroll but you also have to consider benefits and possible turnover, which can result in having to hire another person to take over the Small Business Network Support role in your office.

Bringing in a hired gun, one that can not only come in and establish your network but also provide support either on-hand or from a remote location is, perhaps more cost-effective hiring a specialist employee, but there are still some things to consider. You want to compare various providers first based on your needs (size of the network and types of services) while ensuring that you can have a solid working relationship with the selected provider. One good question to ask is what type of background they have in providing small business network support.

Perhaps your most cost-effective plan for creating a small business network and getting the small business network support you need lies in using a remote provider. There are many to choose from but you want to create a similar checklist of questions and needs as you would for a small business network support provider that actually comes to you?mainly what are their qualifications and how would they approach your need threshold.

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