IT Support for Small Businesses: Finding the Perfect Fit

If you run a small business, navigating IT decisions can be daunting. We’ve seen it time and time again—businesses in a stage of growth where they need IT support for their growing team, but they aren’t quite ready to hire in-house IT staff. If this sounds similar to the predicament your business is in, you may benefit from hiring an IT managed services provider that operates as your go-to team for IT support and strategy. 

Choosing the right small business IT support plan and provider can feel overwhelming, but with a few guideposts to follow, you’ll be set up for success. This article aims to demystify the selection process, ensuring you align your choice for a small business IT support provider with your specific business needs. We’ll dive into:

  • How to assess your small business IT needs
  • Types of small business IT support services
  • Choosing the right IT support team for your small business

Let’s get into it. 

Assessing Your Small Business IT Needs

The first step in choosing IT support for your small business is to gain an understanding of your unique requirements. Does your small business need straightforward IT support (the type that keeps the lights on), or are you looking for more comprehensive services? 

For example, some industries demand specialised IT support due to regulatory compliance. Others are sensitive to cybersecurity due to the nature of the business and its data (like financial services or healthcare providers). Consider what your business looks like today and how it will look in the future, so you can opt for an IT managed services provider (MSP) that aligns to your growth trajectory.  

Types of Small Business IT Support Services

There are generally two service models you’ll see when researching a small business IT support provider. Here’s a breakdown of each. 

Managed IT Services 

Most small businesses prefer to sign up for a managed services plan. Essentially, your business pays an ongoing monthly fee for comprehensive management of your IT services. This model is beneficial because it ensures your IT provider is proactively monitoring and maintaining your systems, making updates, and mitigating cybersecurity risks. Plus, when the WiFi goes out or your computer is glitching, you’ll have immediate access to a support desk that troubleshoots and resolves your issues. 

On-Demand IT Services 

A more ad-hoc service model, on-demand IT services are suitable for small businesses with intermittent IT needs. This model is typically more reactive, meaning you’ll reach out to the IT support provider when an issue occurs and pay for services as needed. While this can be beneficial from an immediate budgeting perspective, using on-demand services may not actually save you in the long run. Why? Because just like performing oil changes on your car, having regularly monitored and maintained IT services will lead to less issues in the long run. 

Choosing the Right IT Support Provider for Your Small Business

When evaluating potential small business IT support providers, consider the following factors: 

Experience and Specialization

Search for providers that have a strong background in supporting small businesses, and preferably in your area. For example, at IX Solutions, we provide small business IT support services in Calgary, Vancouver, Interior BC, and across the Western provinces of Canada. We’ve helped small businesses like Dryco, STARS Air Ambulance, and Calbridge Homes to modernise and maintain their IT infrastructure, supporting their teams to work more efficiently. 

Service Scope

Confirm that the IT services provider offers the specific services your small business requires. For example, at IX Solutions we work primarily with Microsoft services and PCs. If your business uses Apple computers and MacOS, you may want to find a provider that specifically supports these types of devices. 


When your IT network goes down, there’s nothing worse than waiting hours on end for a response from your MSP—so efficient and responsive support is a key factor to look for. Similar to how we operate at IX, most MSPs will have standard service level agreements that guarantee a maximum response time for issues depending on their severity. Ask for these timelines to ensure they’re able to meet your expectations, within reason. 

Feedback from Similar Businesses

Reviews from other small businesses can provide valuable insights into the MSP’s reliability and effectiveness. Search for Google reviews, testimonials on the provider’s website, and case studies to get honest feedback from other clients. If you can’t find social proof that they’re great to work with, you may want to continue your search. 

Prioritise Cybersecurity in Your Small Business

Even small businesses need to be concerned about cybersecurity these days, so you’ll want to find small business IT support that prioritises data security. At minimum, your MSP should be having conversations with you about basic small business cybersecurity measures like multi-factor authentication, data backups, and employee training. Ask them how they plan to protect your organisation, and look for a response that weaves in these strategies (and then some). 

Balancing Budget and Quality

For small businesses, finding a cost-effective yet quality IT support solution can be challenging. But there’s a reason we refer to IT as an investment, rather than a cost. Investing in a slightly more expensive, but more reliable service can prevent expensive issues down the line, making it a wise long-term decision. 

The right MSP will be willing to have a candid conversation with you about small business IT budgeting and ways to maximise your IT efficiency with limited resources. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for—but you also want to ensure you’re getting a great bang for your buck.

Small Business IT Support in Vancouver and Calgary 

Now that you have a blueprint for choosing an IT support provider for your small business, you’re set to make your final decision. Just ensure your top choice:

  • Aligns with your business objectives
  • Offers scalable services
  • Provides proactive support
  • Fits well with your business culture

By considering your unique needs, researching potential providers thoroughly, and focusing on a blend of quality and cost-effectiveness, you can establish a supportive partnership that fosters your business’s growth and stability. If you’re ready to put us to the test, explore our services or get to know us better on the blog. And if we hit the mark, send us a note! We’d love to hear from you. 

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