It doesn’t matter if you’re a few months in or going on five years strong, you’re never not building your business. And all this building requires you to wear multiple hats.
One minute you’re preparing for a presentation, the next you’re responding to a service ticket, and before you know it, you’re in the truck driving to a Discovery. The life of a CEO is constantly go, go, go—which makes it incredibly difficult to build new additions to your business. Instead, you’re always stuck working on the foundation, and when all is said and done, you’re standing alone in the middle, holding up the roof by yourself.
It’s critical to your success that you find a way to create a structurally sound business, one that allows you to let go of the roof and to legitimately work on your business. Here are a few useful tips to help you create a stronger, more functional business.
Do you have SLAs?
If you want your life to play out at a manageable pace, then you absolutely, 100%, definitely can’t go another day without SLAs. These simple, time-bound, text-based statements give you (and your staff) room to breathe. Without SLAs, your clients will be the one to determine what level of service you provide—this could mean responding to an on-site service call within 30 minutes or answering a ticket within 60 seconds. You never know… and that’s the issue. You can find more on SLAs here—the why, the how, and a few tips and tricks.
Do your clients have an onboarding process?
You should always formally onboard your clients. You can’t just sign a deal and wipe your hands of the process. If that’s how you do things, then just sit back and wait for the questions, tickets, and complaints to roll in… because they will. Instead of doing that, you should onboard each client you bring on. This is your opportunity to deliver SLAs, processes, and expectations. Set the standards of service so your clients don’t do it for you.
Do your employees have a roadmap?
A great way to a bad business is to give birth to a new employee and then to release them into the wild when they’re barely a day old. It doesn’t matter if you hire someone with a Nobel Peace Prize and 30 years of experience working in the industry—you still need to give this person a roadmap. Allow your new hires about 30 days to get acquainted with your business, to learn your SLAs, to study your clients, processes, and solutions, and to learn from your other staff members. If you do this, each and every person you hire will be more likely to outperform your expectations and more likely to keep their new position.
Do you have the right solutions in place?
It’s important to find solutions that not only work as they should when they should, but solutions that make managing everyday tasks simpler for you and your techs. Just because you currently utilize one solution, doesn’t mean you should become a diehard loyalist of the brand—and as an IT guy, you should know this more than any other person. Find solutions that automate as much as possible, solutions that fit in nicely with your company and your clients, and solutions that focus on giving you the bigger picture. And, remember, anything that can help you see the bigger picture—like how many times a specific machine has gone down or how many billable hours a client has sucked up—is good for business, good for structure, and good for you.