When Choosing a Building Contractor or Home Renovation Specialist, the Seven Mistakes to Avoid



The building contracting and home renovation industry has experienced a lot of bad press and publicity for a number of years, and sometimes rightly so. That is because unfortunately there are a high number of unethical and dangerous practitioners operating in this industry, preying on unsuspecting homeowners by giving shoddy services whilst making unreasonable demands for the works carried out.

Below are the seven most common mistakes most homeowners make when choosing a builder or Home Renovation contractor.

Mistake 1

Not Asking For References Regarding Previous Works Carried Out

It's very easy to simply take someone at their word regarding what they can do and without seeing some form of proof. Now in the long run, not doing this has proven to be rather costly and in some cases, be rather dangerous because of simply taking on face value, what the contractor says.

Here's a test you should carry out if you really want peace of mind and a successful outcome when it comes to getting the type of work you want done in your home - simply ask the contractor for the names of two previous customers whom you can contact or even better go round and see examples of his work.

Simply phone those customers up and ask them a few questions when you are given those names and contact details. You don't have to do this whilst the contractor is there with you, although, if you do and the contractor is more than willing for that to happen, you can make a worthy assumption that the contractor has nothing to hide and is more than likely a genuine quality tradesperson. It's when the contractor is not willing to give you any past customer details, that's the time you should be concerned, very concerned.

So, you can ask any or all of the questions below to any previous clients -

What's been your overall experience of XYZ builder/contractor
What didn't you like about them?
Would you refer them to your family or friends based on the work they carried out for you?
If possible, could I make a visit and see for myself the kinds of work they've done?
Mistake 2

Not Finding Out How Qualified the Contractors Are

It's a given that the surgeon is perfectly qualified to carry out the procedure if we underwent heart surgery or any other major operation at the local hospital. We 'd probably have no reason to distrust anything that's going on.

Creating specific home renovations and building and structural work is a skillful practice. It's a disciplined, professional craft. And, just like any regulated profession, there are certain qualifications and benchmarks that will help prospective customers to help decide whether or not a builder or contractor is qualified and professional.

It's easy to be swayed by a builder's advert or seeing their van or truck with their name and contact details on it and feel that because they are 'in the business' that they are automatically credible and professional.

Asking about their qualifications, and letting them speak how and when they achieved their qualifications, is vital if you're looking for a quality, professional contractor.

Mistake 3

Thinking a Low Quote Means Excellent Value for Money

One of the biggest mistakes when hiring a building contractor is to think that because you receive a low quote for the intended job, that you've bagged yourself a bargain. In fact, more often than not, a low quote most likely means any of the following:

Low quality materials being used for the job

Shortcuts and cutting corners in order to get the job done fast

No real attention to detail Irregular communication patterns and very little interaction ie "we'll get on with it and let you know if we need anything"

Use of unqualified staff and labourers

Poor quality work leading to the job being re-contracted at a later date. (What this means is that the job ends up costing more than probably the best original proposals and quotes from other, better quality contractors!).
The thing is, you'll be able to spot a contractor you don't won't want to carry out the work for you because if you pay close attention to these 7 big mistakes in this Consumer Awareness Guide, you'll be able to spot a rogue builder or contractor, a mile off!

Mistake 4

Going Ahead Without an Agreement or Written Proposal

Another glaringly obvious mistake is to not get anything down in writing. It's easy to go ahead with the works you want done simply based on the words from a builder or contractor. The problem with that way of doing things is that it's very easy to forget who said what and what was to be done.

And what makes things really appealing is when you're offered a discount by 'paying cash', because in that way, the contractor is essentially saying that he doesn't want to be invoiced or have anything written down because he'll be charging you much less for the work.

The fact of the matter is once the work's done, you'll have a hard time getting hold of the contractor if there's something not quite right with the job. Because, as if by magic, you will have found that the builder has disappeared from the scene. And because there's no record of things, the homeowner will be left to

pick up the pieces - which inevitably means that more time, money and energy is spent looking for another contractor. The alternative is that the works are just left as they are, incomplete, unattended and leaving you, the homeowner with another powerful reason to distrust those in the building profession as a whole!

The big advice is to get things written down. And if the contractor doesn't want to go down that route, then you know you've come across someone you'll want to pass on, quickly.

Mistake 5

Assuming The Job Will Be Completed on Time

One of the biggest headaches many homeowners face when hiring a builder or contractor is about having the job finish on time. It's a mistake to simply believe what the contractor verbally says when it comes to timelines and deadlines because most builders are notoriously known for breaking promises and commitments when it comes to finishing jobs.

A true professional will give you specific timelines he expects to complete the job. And the reason he can give such a reassurance - and with extreme confidence - is because he's thoroughly analysed the job that has to be done.

More importantly, he's developed a number of carefully constructed business methods and ways of doing business that makes the whole customer and contractor relationship, a wonderful one.

Mistake 6

Creating a 'Part Works' Arrangement

There are hundreds of DIY books, tip sheets, informational resources that are available showing people how to create their own patios, extensions, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. The fact of the matter is that even armed with the greatest will and intention in the world, there are only a handful of people in a thousand who can start, follow and finish through with particular DIY house projects.

The number of botched up, incomplete and unfinished jobs, is scary.

The big mistake here is negotiating with a builder to finish off the job you have started. Now although you may have invested time and money in getting the job half done (or to whatever state or condition it's currently in) the worst thing to do is get a cheap quotation for someone to finish off what you've started.

And, if you do find someone who agrees to 'patch up and make good what you've started' be prepared for the ugly things that follow because it's more than likely that the whole job will have to be started again with a new contractor - thus costing you even more money as well as hearing about the total dissatisfaction of it all from members of your household.

Mistake7

Not Asking for Written Guarantee

Mistake No 7 is not asking for any guarantee on the finished job. And it's easy to skip this part because when you're looking at a finished piece of work, one automatically assumes that everything will be fine and that there here will be no need to call on the contractor or builder again.

Of course, we all know that it's only AFTER a job has been completed that we then see how good the work really is, because that's the time a written guarantee is essential.

When you ask a contractor "do you guarantee your work?" (which essentially means that - depending on the kind of job - that you the customer, will be covered against any kind of collapse, structural damage, botched up job! ... and if after asking the contractor and this question says" yes" but does not give you anything in writing, then that maybe the red light signal to put a halt on things.

Professionals delivering excellent service and super quality work will have no hesitation in giving a written guarantee. And the real fact of the matter is that because it's your home, and because you'll be living there for some time to come, it just makes plain commonsense to get the best job you can afford from a builder or contractor you can trust.

And if it means paying more than the quick fix, fly by night contractors, (because all they are after is your money, without giving an equivalent value in return) then you'll find in the long run that it's always the best option and, it'll work out to be the cheapest option because there will be less expense needed later on in re-doing the job and fixing because of poor craftsmanship.


You don't have to do this whilst the contractor is there with you, although, if you do and the contractor is more than willing for that to happen, you can make a worthy assumption that the contractor has nothing to hide and is more than likely a genuine quality tradesperson. And, just like any regulated profession, there are certain qualifications and benchmarks that will help prospective customers to help decide whether or not a builder or contractor is qualified and professional.

It's easy to go ahead with the works you want done simply based on the words from a builder or contractor. The fact of the matter is once the work's done, you'll have a hard time getting hold of the contractor if there's something not quite right with the job. ... and if after asking the contractor and this question says" yes" but does not give you anything in writing, then that maybe the red light signal to put a halt on things.

Energy Efficiency - Purchasing an Energy Efficient Room Air Conditioner



Are you in the market for a new air conditioner? Have you been considering a room air conditioner instead of a central air conditioner but aren't sure what you should be looking for? Purchasing an air conditioner of any type should be researched before hand simply due to the amount of electricity your air conditioner could potentially use. , if you purchase the wrong unit you may end up with extremely large monthly electric bills and inefficient cooling.

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As a consumer you definitely want to find the best performing unit for you. You want to find a unit which is very energy efficient because not only will it save you money in the long run, it's better for the environment as well. Energy efficiency is about making the best or most efficient use of energy in order to achieve a given level of comfort and convenience.

What is a Room Air Conditioner?

A room air conditioner is an air conditioning system designed to cool a room or rooms instead of the entire house. In comparison to central air conditioners, room air conditioners are dramatically less expensive to operate - even though they are often less efficient.

While central air conditioners often need higher voltage connections a room air conditioner can often be plugged into any 15- or 20-amp, 115-volt household circuit. , if you have a larger room air conditioner you may need a dedicated 115 volt-circuit.. In only the most extreme cases will you ever need a dedicated 230-volt circuit.

Room air conditioners are often vented or window mounted so they can effectively expel hot air out. Be wary of any room air conditioner that does not offer proper ventilation.

How are Room Air Conditioners Rated?

Room air conditioners are rated not on in SEER but rather in EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio. The EER of a given room air conditioner is calculated by dividing the cooling capacity in British Thermal Units (BTU) per hour by the power input in watts.

While the national appliance standard requires that any room air conditioner built after 1990 to have an EER of 8.0 or greater, and the latest Energy Star standards require in some cases an EER of 10.7 or greater I support the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) recommendations. The ACEEE recommends at least an EER of 11.6. Why? This will guarantee your unit is energy efficient throughout the year and when it is needed most - the hottest summer months.

Selecting a Room Air Conditioner

Once you've decided to purchase a room air conditioner make sure you look for the Energy Star label. If every room air conditioner sold in the U.S. were Energy Star qualified, we could prevent 1.2 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions to put that into perspective that is equivalent to the emissions from 100,000 cars. Energy Star room air conditioners use at least 10% less energy than conventional models.

In the room air conditioner game Energy Star isn't the only certification to be looking for. AHAM Certified room air conditioners have their EER ratings verified by an independent laboratory.

Getting the Right Size

Room air conditioners like all air conditioning units are rated by the number of British Thermal Units (BTU) of heat they can remove per hour. Another common way of rating air conditioners is by the "ton," some example are 5,500 BTU per hour or 14,000 BTU per hour.

Getting the right size room air conditioner for your application is crucial. , if you get the wrong size you can easily waste large volumes of electricity.. The size of your air conditioner depends upon:

How large is your home and how many do you have?
How much shade do you have? Do you have shade on your home's windows, walls, and roof?
Are the ceilings and walls of your home insulated properly?
Do you have air leaks?
How much heat do you, the occupants, and appliances generate?
Remember the key to any air conditioners efficiency and performance depend on you properly matching the size of the AC unit to your specific application.

Then you can always use the free AHAM tool, if you find this a bit confusing. AHAM offers a handy online tool which can help you calculate your air conditioner (or evaporative cooler) needs.

http://www.cooloff.org/sub_cool.html
Installing your Room Air Conditioner
When you install a new room air conditioner you should try to locate the air conditioner in a window or wall area near the center of the room. It is also beneficial to install your air conditioner on the shadiest side of your house. Try not to let your installation increase air leakage - you can minimize this by fitting the either the room air conditioner or its ventilation snugly into its opening and sealing gaps with a foam weather stripping material.

Are Room Air Conditioners my only non-permeneant cooling option?

If you live in a drier climate, somewhere with a relatively humidity level below 50%, then you may be well matched for an "Evaporative Cooler" sometimes referred to as a "Swamp Cooler." An evaporative cooler cools by using a fan to force air through moistened pads. As the hot air passes through the pads, the pads absorb the heat and cool the air in some cases as much as 15-20 degrees.

Evaporative coolers are not for everyone. In the wrong climate, in the wrong conditions an evaporative cooler can create conditions of high humidity in the air which in turn can cause condensation and even corrosion.

In the right conditions and climate, evaporative coolers, can provide cost very effective cooling. When compared to air conditioners, evaporative coolers use an average of 75% less electricity. Evaporative coolers are very energy efficient.

, if you think you are a good candidate for an evaporate cooler you can use the free AHAM tool referenced earlier to calculate the proper size for your specific application too.

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In many parts of the world air conditioning can seem like a life saver, but it comes at a cost - first in dollars spent for electricity, and second in carbon dioxide pollution from the generation of electricity. According to the the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) we create an astounding 140 million tons of CO2 cooling our homes. You can easily save electricity by purchasing a correctly sized Energy Star rated room air conditioner. By saving electricity you are doing your columbia sc air conditioning repair part to fight global climate change.


Have you been considering a room air conditioner instead of a central air conditioner but aren't sure what you should be looking for? Purchasing an air conditioner of any type should be researched before hand simply due to the amount of electricity your air conditioner could potentially use. In comparison to central air conditioners, room air conditioners are dramatically less expensive to operate - even though they are often less efficient.

While central air conditioners often need higher voltage connections a room air conditioner can often be plugged into any 15- or 20-amp, 115-volt household circuit. When you install a new room air conditioner you should try to locate the air conditioner in a window or wall area near the center of the room.

A Birthday Invite Can Be Unique



There are not many events that bring out the excitement and happiness in a person like their birthday. In many cases, adults can get almost as excited as a child when their birthday is approaching. That said, most children are bursting with happiness and pleasure at the idea of an approaching birthday.

The birthday invite can set the mood for the party which is typically held when someone has a birthday celebration. In many cases, a child will have a birthday party each year to celebrate the day of their birth.

Some families mail out a birthday celebration invitation inviting all of their friends and family to an intricate affair complete with a magician, pony rides or enjoyment of that sort. In a diverse family, a child's birthday may well be a simpler celebration of just a couple close members of the family and friends. Just like each family is unique, so are their birthday celebrations.

If you are having a birthday celebration for a child that will be a deluxe celebration, then it seems that the invitations should reflect that festivity. Of course, with something as fun and as essential as a birthday party, the invites can be as simple or an elaborate as you wish.

You can find the perfect birthday invitation in a variety of different places. There's been a surge of party type stores in the past many years. These specialty stores are the ideal place to buy all your party supplies. From favors to decorations to costumes, these party stores have everything you need.

If you want to organize all the facets of the party within the same theme, these types of stores are especially helpful. Which means that you can get party hats, invitations, plates and napkins in the same decorative style. Party stores are also fiesta couples shower invitations great sources of inspiration should you be looking for ideas to add to what you have began.

If you're the crafty sort, you'll be able to even make your own birthday invitation. By allowing your inner creativity to come through, you can create a truly unique invitation.

With regards to the invitation, you may use it to actually set the mood of the entire celebration. Whether it's for a child or an adult, a birthday party can be an engaging and festive time for all.

Life's events will be remembered for years to come by they guests, so make sure the birthday invite is made from the best quality materials. The design is also important, and should be memorable and eye-catching.


The birthday invite can set the mood for the party which is typically held when someone has a birthday celebration. In many cases, a child will have a birthday party each year to celebrate the day of their birth. It's a fantastic occasion for a lot of families as no two birthday parties are the same.

If you are having a birthday celebration for a child that will be a deluxe celebration, then it seems that the invitations should reflect that festivity. Of course, with something as fun and as essential as a birthday party, the invites can be as simple or an elaborate as you wish.

5 Tips For Choosing the Right Chiropractor



We've all been there before: trying to choose between a list of potential businesses or professionals with very little of substance to go on. Most of the time we rely on online reviews, glances at web pages, and if we are lucky we may know someone who has been to that business already and can tell you what to expect.

Going to a chiropractor is an important decision, even more so because many people do not know much about chiropractic to start with. Some are open to seeing a chiropractor but have no friends or family to steer them to the right person, and have no experience with chiropractic that would make an Internet search easier. Using broad terms often will net you nothing more than a list of chiropractors who do a lot of advertising and who fill their websites with keywords just to attract visitors via Google.

Choosing a chiropractor is in many ways a very personal decision. With so many types of DC's out there that means that you can probably find one tailored to your needs. This article will outline how to conduct a good search that will show you all the local chiropractors and allow you to tell them apart so that you can make the best choice.

1. Are you going to a chiropractor simply for pain relief, or for general health?

You can loosely separate chiropractors into two groups: mechanistic chiropractors and holistic chiropractors. All chiropractors know of this distinction, and in fact the profession has been in a general state of low-level internal conflict along this fault line since it's inception. Some chiropractors know this as a war of "mixers vs. straights". The internal conflict, which actually has many positive benefits, has been ongoing since the start of the profession in 1895. This duality is a strength of the profession: without the holistic character of chiropractic we would be physical therapists who adjust the spine, and without the mechanistic character of chiropractic we would lose sight of the very real benefits to health that chiropractic care provides millions of Americans every year, and the real detrimental effects of spinal joint malfunction (subluxation).

2. Do you want long-term care or would you prefer to have your complaint treated and then have your case closed?

Many chiropractors, with varying degrees of scientific evidence to back this up, promote chiropractic as a viable alternative to traditional healthcare. They view chiropractic as a way to foster the health of your nervous system through chiropractic spinal adjustments, which then allows the body to function at a higher level. Chiropractors and patients all over the country will attest to improved health with less illness and injury after they incorporated chiropractic into their lives. Regular adjustments help adults and children cope with everything from allergies to headaches, and people who want to avoid prescription medication often choose chiropractic instead. Hard scientific proof to validate this is difficult to come by due to inherent problems in designing a study capable of testing the "chiropractic lifestyle" and it's effect on general health, but case series' exist and we've likely all met someone who will swear up and down that chiropractic is keeping them out of the doctor's office.

On the flip side of this coin are chiropractors that will work to promote proper joint function at the injured area and then rehabilitate the joint and supporting soft tissue, after which they will release you from care. There is a value in this, just as there is a value in wellness or maintenance care. Releasing a patient after their pain is gone will save the patient money. It will also please the patient's health insurer - not that your insurer's happiness should ever be a factor in making health decisions, but unfortunately they hold power over your health in some very important ways so there is a value in not ending up in anyone's crosshair at your insurer's corporate headquarters. Rather than promote continuing care, a mechanistic chiropractor will work to correct the immediate problem only. Many times back pain may stem from a weak ankle or knee, so your chiropractor may very well focus on a spot that isn't painful, so do not assume the location of your pain is the cause of your pain.

A fundamental difference between mechanistic and holistic chiropractors is that the holistic chiropractor will treat the patient beyond the scientific limitations a more mechanistic chiropractor would self-impose. A mechanistic chiropractor may treat low back pain by working to rehabilitate a sacroiliac joint and then release the client when the sacroiliac joint returns to normal, pain-free function. While imposing limits on treatment based on the limits of what peer-reviewed research can substantiate is important, holistic chiropractors acknowledge that progress in science occurs by pushing the limits of understanding and treating patients in ways that current best evidence may not fully support.

3. Are you injured or are you dysfunctional? In other words, did your pain come on suddenly from an injury or did it set in more slowly due to something you repeatedly do?

Sudden pain usually means an injury occurred. Sometimes it is a car accident, or a fall, or a sports injury. These type of injuries may be what a certain type of chiropractor focuses on or even has certification and increased training in. In cases of these types get more info of injuries you want a chiropractor who can confidently treat strains and sprains, who can differentiate different types of injuries, and who will recognize when an injury is too severe for them and is also diligent enough to see certain warning signs and refer you to other providers when necessary. Many holistic chiropractors, though not all, are prone to viewing the spine in terms of subluxations only and may therefore miss the subtle signs of a more severe injury that requires the expertise of a specially-trained chiropractor, an orthopedist or neurologist. Not a firm rule, a more mechanistic chiropractor may be a safer bet when a painful injury is involved.

4. What professional associations serve the chiropractic profession, and how can this help you find the right DC?

There are two large national organizations that represent chiropractors: the ACA and the ICA. State associations are more varied, so it is difficult to discern much about a chiropractor from looking at his or her state association membership unless you look into the political or philosophical leanings of that organization - a lot of work for finding a chiropractor. To make things simple, know that many ICA chiropractors actually oppose the ACA, and vice versa, so you can glean more from their membership (or non-membership) in national organizations than you can from other things you might find on the website or online listings for a chiropractor.

5. Should you consider their testimonials, websites, and reviews? And how important are personal referrals?

You may find out soon enough that many chiropractors use one of a handful of companies to make their websites. This means that if you go to ten different chiropractor's websites you may see the same website over and over again with just a different DC's name on it.

Chiropractors would be better off by ditching the spinning 3D spines and instead putting actual content on their sites. These sites are loaded with content but very little, if any, of the information on the site is unique to that chiropractor. Even articles with bylines that include that chiropractor's name are probably not articles written by that actual chiropractor.

Often, though, businesses game the system by making fake reviews. Quite often a bad review (that is legitimate) will be followed with numerous illegitimate good reviews in order to drown out the bad one. Getting past the illegitimate reviews you may actually be able to get a lot of good information from reading reviews, so don't hesitate to use a search engine to search for "jones family chiropractic reviews" and see what comes up.

Testimonials should be looked at as marketing, but of course they probably are real stories from real patients. The chiropractor is choosing what message you want to hear. This chiropractor wants you to view them as a specialist in back pain if they choose 5 patients who talk about the chiropractor curing their back pain. That is what they want you to know they specialize in if they talk about kids and allergies. In this way, testimonials can be used to get a look at the chiropractor.

Personal referrals are the best source of information since it is direct and typically unfiltered. Ask a friend or family member and you will get an unbiased opinion. The best chiropractors (and the best attorneys, realtors, and even bakers) all get most of their new clients because they treated the clients they already have so well. People are quick to complain about poor service, so when someone has a good thing to say about how they were treated then you should recognize this as worthy of your attention. Think of it like this: that person experimented with a chiropractor so you don't have to. A personal referral from someone you trust is easily the most valuable information you will come across.

That's it! I hope these five tips help you narrow down your search for the perfect chiropractor. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all considerations, but it is a great way to structure your search and find the DC who fits your needs and will provide what you are looking for. Take care and be well.


You can loosely separate chiropractors into two groups: mechanistic chiropractors and holistic chiropractors. A fundamental difference between holistic and mechanistic chiropractors is that the holistic chiropractor will treat the patient beyond the scientific limitations a more mechanistic chiropractor would self-impose. Many holistic chiropractors, though not all, are prone to viewing the spine in terms of subluxations only and may therefore miss the subtle signs of a more severe injury that requires the expertise of a specially-trained chiropractor, an orthopedist or neurologist. To make things simple, know that many ICA chiropractors actually oppose the ACA, and vice versa, so you can glean more from their membership (or non-membership) in national organizations than you can from other things you might find on the website or online listings for a chiropractor. If they choose 5 patients who talk about the chiropractor curing their back pain, then this chiropractor wants you to view them as a specialist in back pain.

Defining Managed IT Services



Managed services is a broad term for outsourcing many functions in business. Small and medium business owners will find that IT companies offer varying descriptions of what they consider managed IT service packages.

Managed Services Defined

Wikipedia defines managed services as "the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses. This can include outsourcing HR-activities, production support and lifecycle build/maintenance activities."

Over at the MSP Alliance, they describe it as "the proactive management of an IT (Information Technology) asset or object, by a third party typically known as a MSP, on behalf of a customer. The operative distinction that sets apart a MSP is the proactive delivery of their service, as compared to reactive IT services, which have been around for decades."

And finally, Gartner defines a MSP as a company that "delivers network, e-management, system and application services across a network to multiple enterprises, using a "pay as you go" pricing model. A "pure play" MSP focuses on management services as its core offering. In addition, the MSP market includes offerings from other providers - including application service providers (ASPs), Web hosting companies and network service providers (NSPs) - that supplement their traditional offerings with management services."

Basically, the industry defines managed IT services as a program in which some portion of IT service is done proactively and with some sort of monthly fee. The process and results may vary depending on how the individual company approaches their support package.

Many IT support companies simply add some sort of service with a monitoring package for a nominal fee and call it managed services. On the other end of the spectrum, a full-time Managed Service Provider or MSP, will have an end-to-end platform in which they take responsibility for their clients' technology and a laser-like focus on improving the overall client experience and their technology results.

The Theory and Purpose

The basic theory behind the value of the service is that as a company grows and relies more on their technology, calling an IT company to resolve problems becomes costly and cumbersome. Some companies begin looking to have some proactive IT management mixed into their current strategy. There are many levels of monitoring and review in a proactive strategy. The overall goal should be to utilize the proactive activity to reduce the amount of reactive issues and business risks.

Alternatively, some companies opt to hire an internal IT person. Managed services, when done properly, should offer companies a cost effective solution that reduces reactive problems and helps the client plan for future issues and business changes. Using economies of scale and through best practices refined and developed across a base of clients, a good managed services approach should certainly be more cost effective than hiring internally and deliver better results.

Variations of Managed Services

While the definition can be somewhat vague, the variations are also sometimes confusing. Listed below are some of the more common "managed services" offering that a person may come across. While some would argue that the most basic offerings are not managed services at all, they are included if only to illustrate how much variation exists.

Monitoring Only

A monitoring only package is the least expensive and least effective of any managed services approach. It probably should not be considered managed services, however, many MSP's use it as an entry level service at a low cost.

Limited Response

The next step for many companies, this approach allows for some issue remediation. Any problems here that fall outside of the defined perimeters incur a service fee.

Hybrid Approach

This approach allows for companies that employ their own internal IT personnel while utilizing the resources of a knowledgeable and well-equipped managed services IT company. Many times, a business has the need for a full-time technology employee for a specialized purpose. Typically, using this approach, the internal person can focus on his or her specific function and allow the managed services company handle the issues that occur outside of those perimeters. Using this model, the managed services company should be able to implement their process to positively affect the client's business while the employee is then not burdened by unnecessary distractions.

Note: Many companies feel the need to have an on-site person to more quickly respond to employee issues. This approach is usually costly and is generally not necessary. When done properly, the managed services approach should focus on minimizing the need for a reactive response by avoiding most day-to-day issues, negating the need for an on-site technician. Remote response can many times be faster than waiting for a person to respond, even if they are in the same building. In the rare occurrence of an issue that requires on-site personnel, an MSP should be well-equipped to respond appropriately.

Remote-Only Help Desk Support

Using this approach, the managed service company is able to implement their entire process with the only limitation being that any on-site service will be at an additional, sometimes discounted, cost. This model can be very effective for companies that require little on-site response or have a dispersed workforce. Most companies that use remote-only support can benefit from the higher level of service and results that a good MSP delivers and only pay for on-site response as needed.

Full IT Department

The full IT department package places all of the responsibility for the client's technology results in the hands of the MSP. When done properly, the MSP can utilize tools, technology, best practices and a well-developed process to:

Drive down reactive issues
Increase client productivity
Consult on technology decisions
Provide a multi-year budget
Reduce the client's overall business risk of data loss and downtime.
When a reputable managed service provider engages a client using this approach, they are committing to provide a positive result for a set monthly fee.

What Do You Need?

With the many variations and sometime loose definition of managed services, the typical business owner can be confused by multiple service delivery models. When pricing between companies can differ by large dollar amounts, this can be especially daunting. Business owners can sometimes lump all IT companies into the same category, but usually there are large disparities in approach, expectations and methods.

IT can be simple and an asset to your company, but making the right decision between MSP's can seem overwhelming. When evaluating a managed service provider to maintain your company's technology, focus on the results that the MSP promises. It is our belief that the best approach is for the MSP to be involved in all aspects of a client's technology. By getting to know our client's business and technology, we are more effective in providing the very best IT support and management. Managed service providers offering to partially manage your network are usually hoping for the big payday that comes when something equally big goes wrong.


In addition, the MSP market includes offerings from other providers - including application service providers (ASPs), Web hosting companies and network service providers (NSPs) - that supplement their traditional offerings with management services."

The basic theory behind the value of the service is that as a company grows and relies more on their technology, calling an IT company to resolve problems becomes costly and cumbersome. It probably should not be considered managed services, however, many MSP's use it as an entry level service at a low cost. Using this approach, the managed service company is able to implement their entire process with the only limitation being that any on-site service will be at an additional, sometimes discounted, cost. With the many variations and sometime loose definition of managed services, the typical business owner can be confused by multiple service delivery models.

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