Do You Really Need an IT Professional? Part 2 of 3

Words I Loathe

Let me quote for you the words that I dread the most from clients: “I talked this over with my brother-in-law and he says…” “My CPA says that…” “My son is a Senior at (insert high school), and he is going to design our web page…” And my favorite of all times: “The guy at (insert computer store name) said …”

Gentle reader, I do not believe that every piece of software that needs to be installed requires an expert. I don’t even think that installing a new hard drive necessarily requires someone with an A+ Certification (an industry-recognized certification for computer technicians). As I told a friend recently, the instructions in most boxes are pretty good. I recommend that you read them.

I do, however, believe that when you do something that requires an expert, you should use an expert. To do otherwise is to risk your business. Let me show you what I mean.

Installing a hard drive in your home computer is a lot like unpacking a television set. If you break it, you may cry, but it’s not the end of the world. Moving your business from one computer system to another is brain surgery in comparison. If you mess up, you could be in real trouble.

Having a child create a web page for your business is like having the child handle your advertising. Some of the teens I know could handle it. Most would make a glorious mess of your business. And many parents I know are so blinded by pride that they wouldn’t recognize the difference.

Just because your child knows enough to create a basic web page doesn’t mean that she needs to do your business page. Knowing more than Mommy or Daddy does about the Internet is required of every child above 10; that doesn’t make your child an expert. It makes you behind on your homework.

I am all for hiring the kid at the computer store to hook up your modem or load the latest copy of FIFA Soccer 12. Perhaps they could even show you how to put the film in your digital camera. Some would try to find the latch to release the back of the camera. (A joke: digital cameras don’t have film! That’s why they are digital.)