Best way to find a good IT guy?

Owner of a small construction firm. I had an IT guy, he ran off to Montreal after 6 months of nonhelp. Damn the independently wealthy!

I need someone who can do some software designing, and general IT stuff. Where and how is the best way to find someone?

I know the best damn IT guy in the whole damn Midwest. You can’t have him.

Do you need a full-time one? There are general service IT contractors that can be very good. They get to know your systems but they only come when you need them. The hourly rate may be well over $100 an hour but they only do service on demand so it tends to be economical. I know a few small business owners that have had good luck with that business model. A lot of the smaller IT contractors are self-employed so they have a big incentive to keep you happy. After they work with you for a while, much of the system maintenance can be done remotely.

No, I do not need a full time one, but I would like someone who comes in once a week or so, tunes up all the little inconsistencies.

I realize a lot of those guys are independent, how do I find a good one?

Everyone I know that uses them for a small business found them by word of mouth. The old standby would be to just talk to them, describe your systems and needs, and how they could handle it. It is like any other job interview really even though it is a contractor. They should also have references you can call. If you don’t even know how locate someone that does that type of work, maybe we could help if you give more details.

Well I am one of those guys…minus the software design part. Unfortunately the out of town charge and response times will be a bitch. If you are near a major city you might find one via a BNI chapter One of the pluses there is that if they screw you over you can complain to the group and possibly get them ejected from a major referral source.

Ok, I’ll try giving more details. I understand interviewing, I’ve been interviewing all last week for an Admin to start working for me.

There are two somewhat separate duties

  1. Software designer-has to modify or start from scratch a program for my field reps based on a multiple choice type format. This program would then integrate with the acct’ing program, create word docs and spreadsheets to track the project all the way through to completion.

2)IT stuff-standard Luddite problems. Right now I have a brand spanking new server that cost more than one of my cars and I’ve forgotten the damn password. Or I mistyped it when I was setting it up. I have a wireless network that connects all of my printers, my laptop and my desktop, but not my server, and won’t run the internet. (Thank god for air cards.) My printers will only work with some, and only under the administrator, no other users. I have to transfer info from my desktop to my server, clean up my desktop of all the garbage it’s acquired in the last 4 years, set up the server in the wireless network, get a frickin’ decent printer., etc, etc.

I’m not a complete moron, although some might choose to disagree, and some of this stuff I am capable of solving. But I am out in the field working, kinda hard to devote some quality time to this.

Does this help, or do you need other info?

I am an IT professional that specializes in large-scale project management, software development and customization for a mega-corp. #1 could end up being some serious $$$$$ if I am envisioning it the right way. The person to tackle that would most likely be a dedicated business systems analyst with strong programming skills as well as some project management skills. Don’t underestimate the time, difficulty, or length of time this may take. It sounds like a big project from the start to having it mostly trouble-free. The person that could do this is most likely not the same as the person that handles #2.

#2 is someone you can get a general service contractor for and it is much more standard. My advice above applies to this one. Again, the general service IT contractor can easily do hardware and system administration but software development is not the same at all.

The best that you could hope for #1 is to find a very eager intern that can do quality work for cheap. The most straightforward way is to call an IT consulting company and ask for the best programmer/analyst that they have for the combination of systems you need work on. The hourly rate may be $80+ dollars an hour but this will not be part-time. I am often criticized during my programming and project management for being wildly optimistic so I will try not to do it her. An educated guess may be 3+ months of consulting time at full rates, full-time.

To add to Shagnasty’s excellent reply, you may be better off looking for an existing project management application and contacting the company for consultants who may do custom configuration work if they don’t offer it already. Depending on the scale of your business, tapping an IT firm for that kind of application integration may be cracking walnuts with a pile driver. Depending on your accounting app you might be able to find an advanced Microsoft Access guy who could build something like this as an access VBA app that can interface with the accounting software, VBA can generate dynamic office docs on the fly or at least be able to generate things like project status reports and emailing them out and such. Getting it to speak to your accounting software would be the challenge…

Once you have the App a basic onsite IT service like mine should be able to cover all of your other needs

whats your accounting software called?

perhaps this might do?
They also sell a server package for larger organizations

Warning, server apps like this are not for the weak of pocketbook.

I just wanted to echo this. I think Shagnasty is overselling the scope of this project a tad. Certainly you could make it a huge enterprise level application with a staff of QA testers and dedicated hardware running a custom application, but that doesn’t really sound necessary.

A good MS Access developer could trot something like this out in a few weeks. It might need to have some on-going maintenance when bugs crop up and you’ll likely want a database as the backend which requires a little upkeep but it should be in the scope of most average IT guys. Access is what most DBAs and developers start with.

If you were in Chicago I could have this for ya in a snap.

Check out for more options as well.

It is a new user based referral system for PC Support Businesses.


Tease! Airfare is like $100 RT and I can set up a cot in the basement…Corn nuts? Cheetos? Little Debbie snack cakes?

No, I think that adapting some software that is close is the way to go. I’m looking to spend less than $20,000 and think $10,000 might be possible. I know that there is some MS products that are going to be around $15,000.

The thing is, this software has a lot of possibilities. There is no good software for construction sales, building inspectors, or other similar trades. I know what needs to be done, and how to integrate it, but I have neither the time nor the skills.

Ok, back to the same question-how do I find qualified IT help?