They may be popular names, but you should choose managed service providers instead of Best Buy’s Geek Squad and we can prove to you why. 

It’s been a decade since BestBuy decided to enter the managed services market when they acquired MindSHIFT with Geek Squad. In 2011, Best Buy had about 25,000 managed desktops which were minimal in comparison to the entirety of managed service providers, but they’ve definitely grown since then. At first, some managed service providers may have gotten a little worried, but it’s obvious that it was a small drop of blue in a sea of green.

Best Buy, Staples, and other big brand names are pretty recognizable so it can seem obvious that they’re trustworthy and offering a service that works. But, when it comes to managed service providers, we have proof that you should leave the big names at the door – or save them for your retail purchases.

Anyone can be a “geek”

Geek Squad and other similar brands are dedicated to retail first. This means that when it comes to providing B2B services, they’re still learning.

Best Buy’s prerequisites for working as a “geek” for Geek Squad include:

  • Being 18 years of age.
  • Having some tech background.
  • Basic technical troubleshooting abilities.

The average Geek Squad employee makes about $10 to $20 an hour in Florida. That’s a pretty low bar when you consider that someone with extensive IT knowledge and experience in making much more than that. So, in many cases, those with the right tech-chops will pursue careers along other paths – especially if they can prove that they have the knowledge and dedication to work within a more business-to-business tech role, such as – you guessed it – a managed service provider.

Don’t fall for all the “guarantees” because they might not be what’s actually important to your business

It’s great that Best Buy guarantees 24/7, 7 days a week access to technicians, right? That may be something some managed service providers don’t necessarily guarantee. But what are you getting when you make that phone call at 2 am?

Managed service providers create a relationship with their clients. They understand the ins and outs of businesses and know what’s important. It’s less about getting someone new every time you call and instead of reaching someone who already knows your networks, devices, and business infrastructure and can get straight to work when troubleshooting issues arise.

Expert managed service providers also go through a much more in-depth training regime prior to becoming full-fledged IT professionals. They are more experienced with solving more complex computer issues, have access to software, tools, resources, and security that big box brands may not even sell on their shelves.

Managed service providers rarely see a problem they haven’t faced before. They’re also far more dedicated to proactively managing your business infrastructure to prevent hiccups and downtime. In most instances, Best Buy will react to issues as they arrive, visiting your business when your systems are down to fix an issue. And, if they can’t fix it, Staples will send devices away to get fixed elsewhere, adding to the downtime you’re already facing.

It’s not necessarily cheaper to choose Geek Squad over a Managed Service Provider

Managed IT services in the United States charge anywhere between $25 – $300 per person per month. It can increase from there if you add on other value-added services, like advanced security. So, if your business is a team of 5, you can expect about $500 a month. If you’re using computers daily and require access to multiple networks, programs, and more — this cost is worth it, especially if you’re obtaining services from a highly experienced IT service provider. Remember, this includes visits, remote fixes, and other facets involved with MSPs.

Geek Squad, on the other hand, charges about $300 per off-site visit. Individual services can range from $20 to $1500 dollars per requirement. Monthly plans are also available that can run a small business set up fee of $99 plus $25 to $50 per person per month. Most services are done in-store and require an appointment to book, such as a repair, update, or troubleshooting. You’ll have to drop off your device and come back for it later – sometimes days later. Most often, you won’t have anyone checking up on you, automatically managing specific services and other benefits of working with a dedicated MSP.

The TotalTech plan from Best Buy, which is another option for small businesses, costs about $200 per year for 6 devices only. This includes a printer, phone, and other devices that aren’t necessarily a desktop. So, if you’re an entrepreneur working alone with a printer, a laptop, desktop, and smartphone, you’ve already pretty much used up your available devices. Oh, and this does not include any repairs, remote services, and other services. Those fees are extra. You do get a discount though, so that’s good, right?

Before you go…

If you’re a business that’s growing and scaling, you’re likely to outgrow the services that Geek Squad can provide. You may not be large enough, however, to hire a full-time in-house IT person, but you still want a wide range of IT skills from someone who understands your networks and can support your individual business needs.

You need a real managed service provider that can handle all of your infrastructures, be dedicated to protecting and maintaining the health of your business, and become a trusted source for repairs when and if the need presents itself.