Why Hire the Owner?

Most I.T. techs, especially younger ones, that may come to work for you do not own their own company. They are usually employed by a firm that staffs such techs. Although there's nothing inherently wrong with that, there are some potential disadvantages that you should be aware of.

Turnover

As with many companies, employee turnover is a problem with tech support and consulting firms. The tech that was assigned to your account may leave the company for greener pastures, especially if he or she is good. A new tech would be assigned and would have to learn your systems all over again from scratch, just like the previous tech. And that's assuming the I.T. company assigns techs to accounts in the first place. Some do not -- you may get a different tech every time. Additionally, each tech has his or her own way of doing things.

This isn't an issue when hiring the owner like me.

I've worked in I.T. departments of major energy companies (Gulf Oil, Shell Oil, Duke Energy, Southern Union) for some twenty-five years. I've done my corporate thing but grew tired of the endless mergers, acquisitions, and corporate grind so I quit my job (voluntarily, was not laid off or fired) in 2006 and hung out my shingle. To quote a friend back in Houston, "I am absolutely unemployable now". e.g. I've been spoiled by the flexibility and joy of being self-employed.

Motivation and Conscientiousness

Without disparaging anyone in particular, an employed tech is probably not going to be as careful or conscientious. The tech doesn't own the company after all and isn't personally invested in its reputation. He's less likely to observe or address other possible issues outside the specific reason for the call.

 

The owner, on the other hand, lives or dies on the reputation of his/her company and relies on good word-of-mouth referrals to earn new business. He's more focused on his work, being accommodating, and making sure his client is happy.

Cost

When a I.T. firm sends an hourly tech, there are (at least) two mouths to feed: The tech doing the work and the owner who takes a major cut of the billables. The tech himself may only make half or less of what the firm charges. That results in a lower paid, less motivated tech, while the owner who does nothing substantial from your perspective keeps the rest.

These are just the main reasons why hiring a business owner makes sense.

I am an independent I.T. consultant. I design solutions that help small business get the most from their technology.