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A few years ago, small businesses just needed a telephone line and maybe a single computer with a dial-up connection to set up shop. Now that technology has exploded, nearly every company needs a reliable phone system, a Web site, and maybe even a whole network of computers to stay competitive.

All that tech comes with the need for reliable people to manage it. If you're in the market for tech workers, or already employ a team to handle your infrastructure, make sure you avoid these four things that are guaranteed to insult even the most laid-back IT worker.

Get blinded by the word "free" - Don't tell your IT department or Web designers that you don't care much about the end result as long as open source (read: free) tools are used. While there are some really fantastic open source options on the market, there are some instances where commercial apps are more effective. If you tie your employees' hands by forcing them to exclusively use open source apps just to save a dime when they might not be the best tool for the job, everyone loses.

Micromanage your team - Presumably you hired your employees or contractors because you believe they have the skills to get the job done. Piggybacking on the point I made above, trust your tech workers to know what tools work best for which job. If you constantly micromanage your workers and insist on having input on every detail, you'll alienate and demotivate them faster than you can say "infrastructure."

Keep a closed mind - One of the most frequent complaints I hear from tech workers is that higher-ups often have their minds made up before projects are even assigned. Make sure to consult with your IT department before implementing any new policies or procedures that will affect them. You may want to switch the whole company to new smartphones, but your IT department may have reasons why it's not a good idea. Trust their judgement.

Lowball your IT contractors - Tech workers are a highly skilled group that spend a lot of time and often their own money keeping up with current technology. As with any field, you can always find people to work at rock-bottom rates but when your company infrastructure is at stake, do you really want to grab the lowest-hanging fruit?

What do you wish business owners knew about dealing with tech workers? Sound off in the comments.

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