How to Select an IT Service Provider for Small Business Owners

At IT Creative Labs, we believe in sharing valuable resources and knowledge with our readers. Recently, our founder & CEO, Noinila Ivanova, wrote an insightful article on Forbes about the main steps of selecting an IT service provider for small business owners.

Entrepreneurs are faced with many challenges when it comes to selecting the right technology company. Development teams shed light on the critical factors that must be considered to ensure a smooth and effective IT infrastructure.

Nionila emphasizes the importance of assessing the IT service provider’s experience, expertise, and track record in catering to small businesses’ specific needs. To gain deeper insights into selecting an IT provider for small business owners, we invite you to read the full article on Forbes at link.

We also want to highlight some key points from the article and provide additional thoughts on the topic.

How To Select An IT Service Provider For Small Business Owners

Key Takeaways

As a provider of development services and solutions for small businesses, we understand how crucial it is to choose an IT service provider that aligns with your business goals and can adapt to your evolving needs. However, several key considerations can help you make the right choice.

Firstly, ensure that the vendor truly understands your product or service

At IT Creative Labs, we prioritize a deep understanding of our clients’ goals and objectives. Our approach revolves around gaining a comprehensive understanding of your product or service, allowing us to sync our solutions with your vision. By immersing ourselves in your business, we can develop a tailored approach that precisely meets your needs.

With IT Creative Labs, you can be sure that we will go above and beyond to comprehend your unique requirements and deliver exceptional results.

Secondly, review the provider’s prior experience in your industry or niche

At IT Creative Labs, we pride ourselves on our diverse portfolio of successful projects across various sectors. Our team possesses extensive knowledge and expertise in catering to the specific needs and challenges that businesses in your industry face.

We have worked with clients from diverse backgrounds, allowing us to gain valuable insights. This rich experience equips us with the ability to offer tailored solutions that are aligned with your industry’s best practices and trends. When you partner with IT Creative Labs, you can be confident that you are collaborating with a team that has a deep understanding of your industry and can deliver exceptional results.

Additionally, assess the vendor’s responses to your request for proposal (RFP) 

AT ITCL, we understand that a well-thought-out and detailed response is indicative of a vendor’s commitment and dedication to your project. When you entrust us with your RFP, we meticulously analyze every aspect and requirement, ensuring that our response reflects our understanding of your specific project needs. We go beyond providing generic estimates and take the time to delve into the intricacies of your project, addressing potential assumptions and exploring the most efficient ways to build a scalable and successful solution for you.

Our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive and transparent breakdown that showcases our attention to detail and demonstrates our commitment to delivering outstanding results. By assessing our RFP response, you can witness firsthand our level of engagement and the value we place on understanding and meeting your project requirements.

Prioritize effective communication throughout the selection process 

Clear, direct, and responsive communication forms the cornerstone of our approach to successful collaboration with businesses. We understand the critical role effective communication plays in ensuring project success. From the initial consultation to project delivery and beyond, we prioritize open and transparent communication channels to foster a strong working relationship with our clients.

We actively listen to your needs, goals, and feedback, ensuring that we are always aligned with your vision. Our team is committed to providing prompt responses, addressing your queries directly, and keeping you informed at every stage of the project.

Lastly, consider client reviews as a final step 

It’s important to focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to reviews. Instead of being swayed by the large number of reviews, pay attention to the value and authenticity of each review. A few genuine and positive reviews that align with your specific needs can provide meaningful insights into the vendor’s track record and customer satisfaction. These reviews can indicate the IT provider’s reliability, professionalism, and dedication to delivering excellent service.

How To Select An IT Service Provider For Small Business Owners

About IT Creative Labs

IT Creative Labs is a leading technology company headquartered in NYC, offering exceptional services to businesses worldwide. With our holistic approach and a team of dedicated and highly skilled professionals, we are committed to crafting top-tier solutions tailored to meet your unique needs.

At IT Creative Labs, we specialize in a wide range of services designed to elevate your business. Below are some of the core competencies our team has:

  • Mobile Development. Our experts excel in creating cutting-edge mobile applications that deliver seamless user experiences across various platforms. From iOS to Android, we leverage the latest technologies to bring your ideas to life.
  • Web Development. Unlock your online potential with our innovative web development solutions. We combine captivating designs with robust functionality to build engaging websites that captivate your target audience and drive business growth.
  • Branding & Design. Stand out from the crowd with our captivating branding and design services. We will help you develop effective design and create a strong brand identity that resonates with your audience.
  • Marketing Automation. Streamline your marketing efforts and drive results with our expertly crafted marketing automation strategies. From lead generation to personalized customer journeys, we harness the power of automation to enhance your marketing effectiveness.

Partner with IT Creative Labs, and experience the power of technology fused with creativity. Let us transform your vision into reality, empowering your business to thrive in the digital landscape.

Digital Transformation Project for an Insurance Company

Over the years IT Creative Labs has implemented many different projects of various complexity and across many different niches. Our development team comprises senior professionals only and today we asked our lead backend engineer Vlad to share some insights on his work using one of the projects as an example.

The insurance company wanted to semi-automate the process of reviewing insurance claims, track statistics and semi-automate the process of filling out the forms, should the claim be approved for coverage. In order to achieve that the insurance company needed to automate the processing of user documents and to be able to obtain structured user data as a result of that processing. This automated process also needed to be integrated with the existing systems that the insurance company was using already. The first thing we did with the client is break down their requirements into smaller tasks, identifying key objectives.

Useful side note from Vlad: Any task, even the most difficult one, can be broken down into smaller sub-tasks. This concept is called Microproductivity.

Here is the breakdown Vlad & the team proposed:

Task 1

Problem: Documents were rotated differently, some were flipped upside down

Solution: Created an automated process of proper rotation for all the documents. A simple CV (Computer Vision) algorithm was used for that.

Task 2

Problem: Sometimes a scan of a document can be the size of A4 and the document itself is the size of an ID card.

Solution: Implemented a fixed-scale document template by cropping along the edge of the document and removing white space.

Task 3

Problem: Ability to identify the type of documents to be able to extract relevant fields from them.

Solution: A classifier model was implemented based on ML (machine learning), where the convolution neural network was trained on a high volume of documents and error validation (backpropagation).

Task 4

Problem: Different types of documents, a lot of older document types, hand-written documentation.

Solution: Implemented text recognition from image. A classic recognition model for Latin language was implemented.

Task 5

Problem: Extract recognized information and structure it properly mapping it to the correct fields, so it is presented in the cohesive and standardized manner.

Solution: Create an automated machine learning model, trained on specific types of documents,  to extract information from the document and fill in the fields. When the fields were empty, we used an additional filling algorithm for placing all the appropriately identified elements on the coordinate grid.

In Vlad’s own words: “Everything was simple: just several models, algorithms, training and the task was done.”

For this project the following techstack was used: OpenCV, Python, Tensor Flow, Keras. React for frontend and Flask for backend, PostgreSQL for data storage.

As a result of creating this semi-automated machine learning-based process and integrating it with the rest of the existing systems, the insurance company was able to significantly cut down processing time and human error while being able to process larger volumes without increasing its staff count.

If you have a project in mind that you’d like to chat about – reach out!

IT Creative Labs is one of the Best Women-Owned Businesses in Clutch this 2022

The IT Creative Labs team is very happy to announce that we’ve been recently named as one of the best women-owned businesses on Clutch’s platform. We are honored and privileged to receive such an incredible accolade from the industry!

Founded in 2016, our team has been one of the go-to IT consulting and digital agencies in the New York Greater Area. We’ve been working with local and global companies by providing incredible development and solutions for our clients.

It goes without saying, but we are truly proud to be hailed as a leading business on Clutch!  This award signifies our unwavering commitment and dedication to our craft. The development and digital industries are very cutthroat! That’s why we are always looking for more opportunities to grow our business, learn more skills, and gain more experience. This is what it means to be one of the best in the industry!

To officially receive this award, here is our Founder and CEO, Nionila Ivanova:


“We are honored to be ranked in the Global Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses! Getting that kind of recognition in the tech industry is especially encouraging. Thank you, Clutch!”


Of course, we would also like to thank Clutch and their team for making this award possible. It is such an honor to be considered a top women-owned business on your platform. To our clients and partners, this award is dedicated to all of you! Thank you for believing in us and for trusting us with your business.

Let’s take our business to the next level! Reach out to us today.

Clutch Certifies IT-Creative Labs as Top-Notch Women-Owned Company

At IT Creative Labs, we aim to bring in beautiful ideas to help you improve your business efficiency. Our team is filled with creative thinkers and talented individuals who can deliver impeccable results and drive your company forward. Since 2016, we have been solving problems and delivering innovative solutions across the entire spectrum of modern business needs.

Our dedication as a team has allowed us to be featured and recognized by some industry leaders. Hailing from Washington, DC., Clutch is a B2B platform that is widely known for its vast directories of client reviews, market research, and agency rankings. The platform connects potential clients and service providers from different industries and locations from all over the world.

Clutch has a certification program that is widely sought after by service providers with special causes. The program allows agencies to self identify their veteran, gender, and racial minority identities. Clutch created this certification program to help socially and economically disadvantaged vendors showcase their services and connect with clients.

It is our pleasure to announce that we have been recognized as one of the leading women-owned companies on Clutch. We are thrilled to reach this wonderful milestone this 2021. Our team is grateful for the platform that Clutch has given to service providers like us.

“Throughout various industries, women-owned companies provide a unique and important perspective that’s often overlooked.” stated Clutch Customer Experience Analyst Carolyn Rider. “We want to highlight these companies for everything that they bring to the table, from their thoughtfulness to their detail-oriented mindsets.”

In addition to that, our company was also recognized as one of the best email marketing firms by The Manifest, a company listing site.

Our whole team is genuinely grateful for the overwhelming support from our clients. Their trust has allowed us to reach these inspiring mileposts. We can’t imagine ourselves here new without the fantastic and priceless relationships that we’ve built throughout our engagements.

Do you have an engagement in mind? Let’s hear it! Send us a message and let us know how we can work together.

IT Creative Labs Responds to Covid-19

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.

Therefore IT Creative Labs is launching a Covid-19 Response Program. In a nutshell the Program allows any small business, including individual entrepreneurs, to receive free web design and web development services from our company. The Program is intended to help as many small businesses as possible to get their products and services online without any burden of additional costs and expenses to do so. Another goal of the Program is to get the businesses back up and running in the shortest time span. For that reason we are setting up a special Squad team that will be dedicated to delivering quick, efficient, functional solutions.

It is important to highlight that even though the program is open to any existing or new business in need, IT Creative Labs has limited capacity and will accommodate as many requests as it can handle on the first come first serve basis.

The Program is open to any business impacted by the lockdowns across the globe and is absolutely free. You can apply here.

Stay safe, healthy and keep your spirits up.

How is IT Creative Labs Different from Other Vendors

It is true, we are one of the many IT consulting firms out there, offering a suite of services that are not unique to the industry, such as custom software development for web and mobile applications; digital marketing services in the realm of email marketing, marketing automation, marketing cloud solutions and data management; recruiting for the IT sector.

So what makes us unique? WE CARE, WE DRIVE, WE DELIVER. 

We like to tell our new and prospective clients that what really makes IT Creative Labs stand out is that we have a human-first approach. That means we don’t have resources – we have people and teams, and each client is not just another project but a long-term relationship.

IT Creative Labs was founded on the human-first principal. That is exactly why every long-term contract employee at our small firm gets up to 10 days of paid time off per year. Every.Single.One. How many companies do you know who offer their consultants paid time off? How many of those are small businesses?..

We are also very keen on diversity and inclusion. And for us those are not just fancy buzz words. Being a technology company we are aware of the gender gap and IT Creative Labs is making its own contribution to narrow that gap. Our current team ratio is 50% women, 50% men and includes talented human beings from all walks of life and parts of the world. Not bad for a trivial IT consulting firm, right? As far as we are concerned this is just the beginning. Our CEO is committed to continue to improve the well-being of her employees and continue to promote inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.

So that’s a sneak peak into what kind of vendor IT Creative Labs is beyond all the technical expertise and certifications.

Forbes Executive Luncheon

A couple weeks ago I, amongst a few other executives and founders, was invited to attend a Forbes Executive Luncheon. There were a few companies representing technology services, a couple digital marketing and influencer marketing agencies, a few businesses working in real estate and even a private jet services company. Overall a great mix of industries and minds. There were a few topics put forth for the discussion. However most of the questions were targeting us as professionals in our fields rather than targeting us as professionals representing our companies. And i must admit at times it was rather challenging to separate the two concepts.

As a business owner, founder, CEO and jack of all trades i am fully emerged in my business, so much so that positioning myself as a leader and professional in the industry outside my company is not something i have given much thought. Not until the luncheon at least. Working on a personal professional brand is definitely important and should not be disregarded. I am guilty of that, giving 100% of my attention to building the brand of my business and in the process, leaving my own branding behind. So I have decided to take action in that regard. I will be writing more about technology. In the near future I will be sharing insights on choosing the best e-commerce solutions available on the market, talk about integration solutions and the client 360 options and share other useful tips and advice related to the services IT Creative Labs offers, which are: software development, digital marketing and staffing.

Another observation that I would like to share is around some of the issues businesses face. Interestingly enough, as different as our industries are, the issues we have to deal with are exactly the same. One of the major challenges discussed was around hiring the right people. Needless to say it is a very broad and multi-dimensional subject. During the limited time that was allocated for the discussion, we agreed that an overall more human approach to recruiting needs to take place. Among other recommendations that surfaced were: coming-up with creative questions to see how the candidates handle unexpected situations and making hiring as well as letting go decisions quickly. Staffing is part of the suite of services that IT Creative Labs offers, so certainly I will be sharing more insights and recommendations on the subject in a separate blog post. The post will be based on our expertise along with professional insights from some of the leaders in the industry of technology services and staffing.

In the meantime, here are a few shots from the Forbes Executive Luncheon.

Forbes IT Creative Labs
Forbes IT Creative Labs

Forbes IT Creative Labs

Time Management Techniques for Small Business Owners

Below is an excerpt from an article authored by our CEO and published on Forbes.

Small business owners often find themselves stretched too thin and struggling to keep up with the rapidly growing demands of their businesses. Below are a few real working strategies on how to streamline your organization’s processes and manage your time effectively.

Be Strategic About Your Corporate App Suite

It is very common to use multiple tools at work for different but complementary purposes. Ultimately, we end up being forced to duplicate pieces of work across several applications. One of the first steps to optimizing your team’s time is to eliminate duplicate effort as much as possible. You can start working toward that goal by choosing the correct set of tools to institute in your organization. With the abundance of options available on the market, it might take a bit of time to select the best solution for your company. However, this time investment will pay off big in the long run. Three important points to keep in mind during the tool’s evaluation process:

  • Be certain about the purpose and compatibility of the application. What purpose will the tool serve? Do you already have a tool that could perform the same functions? Does the tool integrate well with the rest of the applications used in the organization?
  • Be strategic about your selection criteria. Consider applications that can not only comply with your organization’s needs for the time being, but would also be able to scale up and support your growing business needs in terms of capacity, functionality, customizations, integrations, etc.
  • Ensure the app suite you institute is used by everyone across the organization. That will allow you to promote effective online communication and knowledge sharing and increase productivity.

Continue to Forbes to read the whole piece.

Official Member of Forbes NY Business Council

We are proud to announce that IT Creative Labs is an official member of Forbes New York Business Council.

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NY Email Marketing

A lot has been going on at ITCL and this post I would like to make a little different. It will still be industry focused (because we live and breathe technology and innovation) but it will be more personal. In the time when most of it can be done by an AI assistant it feels right to take a moment and jot a few words myself. 

A couple years back we had the honor to be represented at Forbes Under 30 conference as well as at NY Tech Week. More detailed posts on each to follow. This year we have big plans for our small company. In addition to our consulting and software development services (web, mobile) we are expanding our email marketing services, which will be consumed by digital marketing services. We have been working hard on establishing this line of business last year and are thrilled to finally “get it off the ground”.  Please welcome NY Email Marketing, your go-to digital agency for all things email marketing and what I like to call a digital marketing hub. It also means that we are hiring to expand our strong team of Salesforce Marketing Cloud certified professionals and experts in other digital marketing platforms, such as IBM Marketing Cloud, Adobe Marketing Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud and others. Because Digital Marketing is such a buzz word and because there is a plethora of marketing cloud platforms out there and because it is very easy to get confused which platform would work best for your business and because we would like to share our expertise with those in need, we are preparing a very cool case study on the subject. We will review top 10 digital marketing platforms and rate their features to give you a good grip on the current offerings and to empower you to make informed strategic decisions on which digital marketing solution would be the best option for your business.

Excited to congratulate the team on the launch of a new email marketing hub!

Digital marketing solutions provider.

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