In addition to downtime, there is another expense that most business owners don’t consider: the cost of bad advice when an inexperienced consultant recommends a product, service or project that is unnecessary or incorrect for your specific situation.

Another form of bad advice is when a computer consultant doesn’t take into consideration all the pitfalls and situations that will arise when implementing your project, and grossly underestimates the time and money it will take to successfully complete it. When a consultant makes this mistake, your project ends up way over schedule, and costs you 2-3 times as much in unexpected fees, hardware and software.

It’s gotten so bad that Network World recently noted, “Increasingly, IT customers are crying malpractice and railing against slipped implementation schedules, compounded consulting fees, and disappointing product performance.”

Although the price of bad advice is hard to measure, if you’ve ever been disappointed or burned by a so-called IT expert, you know the costs to your business are painfully high.

Here are just a few of the ways bad IT advice can cost you:

  • Paying for unnecessary projects, software or hardware.
  • Paying too much for repairs, software and hardware.
  • Accumulating downtime, unstable networks, data loss and security breaches.
  • Getting stuck with a “solution” that doesn’t really solve your problems.
  • Increasing the time and work you and your employees invest in rolling out a project.
  • Paying double by having a competent consultant fix what the first person messed up or complete the project you originally wanted implemented.
  • Incurring litigation costs to get your money back from a technician who ripped you off.
  • Dealing with the sheer frustration of the problems resulting from poor advice.

Trouble is, it’s hard to know that you’re paying for bad advice until you are already neck-deep into the problems. By the time you get the first inkling that you hired the wrong person, you’ve already invested a considerable amount of time and money, making it difficult, if not impossible, to end the project and look for someone else. Your best defense against all this heartache is to educate yourself before making a significant investment.