I know there are tons of small businesses out there struggling with IT, even basics like anti-virus and e-mail. Unfortunately, lack of knowledge can often mean you aren’t even aware that there are better and cheaper ways of doing what you are doing.
Last Autumn, the County Enterprise Boards launched Tech-Check to address this widespread problem. It’s a simple but highly effective initiative to help businesses sort out their most pressing technology problems.
For €150, you get up to two 3-hour sessions with an IT expert who will go through every aspect of your IT usage and needs. They then come back with a report highlighting your highs and lows and a small set of specific recommendations to improve things.
Disclaimer: I am one of the people used by the Cork CEBs to provide this service.
Unfortunately, the uptake on Tech-Check has not met expectations. I think there are a few reasons for this and I hope I can clarify things a bit.
- It’s not for IT companies, it’s for any small business (from 1-50 people) who needs guidance on any aspect of technology whether it’s mobile phone usage, internet access, security or even getting a small web-site up for less than €250
- You are getting far more than €150 worth of consultancy, it is very heavily subsidised and I think the value for money is amazing
- The CEBs are very sensitive to conflicts of interest and the consultants cannot offer their services to actually implement the suggestions they make
- The feedback I have received from clients so far has been phenomenal. I’ve advised everything from one man training businesses and solicitors to multi person sports centres and they have all ended up with better setups and in some cases, saving lots of money.
- You do not need to know the first thing about IT or technology to apply for a Tech-Check. The less you know, the more help we can provide. Ignoring the fact that I help provide Tech-Checks, I genuinely think this is the smartest thing to come out of the public service in years. There are thousands of businesses who can benefit and your entire investment can be just €150. I think you’d be nuts not to sign up, even if you think you don’t need it!