FORTUNE Small Business:

Where can I find tech gurus?

Clueless about IT? Fear not! FSB's Anne Fisher shows how to pick the best techie for your company.

By Anne Fisher, FSB Contributor

(FSB Magazine) -- Dear FSB: I have a viable idea for an e-commerce company. My time is limited (I own three other businesses), so I'd like to hire some IT pros with the business and technical savvy to make my vision a reality. Since I'm not a techie, I need advice on finding the right people.

- Steve Martin, President M. Martin & Co. Jewelers, Chicago

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Dear Steve: To help you start an Internet business, says Colleen Haviland, you'll need "a star with a track record. It's hard, because they're in demand." Haviland should know: She has worked in IT staffing for more than 20 years and runs Xsell Resources, a tech recruiting firm (, and an online IT search firm called Readyto-, both based in Willow Grove, Pa. With your lack of tech know-how, you should retain a veteran headhunter such as Executec ( or TEK Systems ( to screen candidates. But, says Haviland, "hiring two or three good e-commerce people through a recruiter could cost you $60,000 to $80,000."

Want another option? Consider one of the many web-hosting firms that help entrepreneurs design websites and get them up and running in days. A web host deals with details such as processing payments, collecting sales taxes, and offering 24/7 tech support. Yahoo Small Business (, which has built websites for more than a million businesses, is among the most popular. But some business owners say that it doesn't offer the best value. While there are numerous sites that attempt to rank web hosts, such as, which names its No. 1 pick, they are best viewed as starting points. Talk to the host's customers and ask your own vendors which service they use. Web hosts are cheap - charges $7.95 a month.  Top of page