Who could have imagined the world in its current state just a few weeks ago? It’s surreal and a little unsettling. While I don’t personally make a habit of worry, this is certainly a great time to think on the times and create a strategy for not only navigating it, but utilizing it to your greatest benefit.
The IT industry has not only been critical to health care, government, and education infrastructure but critical keeping small business working as well. For that, I commend every one of you. However, the initial influx of Work From Home (WFH) requests is about to die down. A few of your clients may not be able to survive the mandated shutdowns, or may be cutting back workforce and therefore some of your agreement revenue. What are you going to do about it?
To quote a favorite author, “DON’T PANIC”
One of the primary roles we serve for our clients is facilitation and accountability to their own strategies and ideas. So let’s take on this change together and break down where we need to focus our intention.
Yes, the WFH madness continues a bit longer. Do what you need to do. I wouldn’t necessarily hire-up to keep up with demand, as these are uncertain times. The good news is, you no longer have to educate your clients on why resolution times are a little longer. They know what’s going on. Keep the steady march. As your own employees may now WFH, see if they are willing to step up to help quell ticket volume. What was once a 1 hour commute to work, round trip, is now a 10 step walk. Perhaps they can put in an extra 30 minutes for WFH requests.
Is there a contractor you can call in with little ramp-up time? If you need more manpower, let’s get it done, but don’t commit to long term right now. Also, I HATE cancelling meetings, bit if you need a week off from meetings because the ox is in the mire, then by all means, do what you need to do.
Don’t put this next part off indefinitely, Set a goal. If you cancelled your weekly meetings, don’t let that completely derail you. You can only operate in emergency mode for so long before you need to regroup with your team and get everyone back on the same page.
In fact, many of those urgent WFH requests should be spawning projects. Time to create client infrastructure for those extra VPN or RDP sessions. Get your sales resources back to selling, even if that’s just you.
Start thinking about the very real possibility that you are going to come out of this just fine, but a few of your competitors might not. What can you plan to start monopolizing on that also serves your community better?
I almost hate to bring this last part up, but I’m also seeing a potential issue. You’re a great person, doing a lot of good right now. Do not fall behind on invoicing and collections. In fact, you are so in demand, you need to tighten up your policies and start collecting money up-front, if you are not already being paid monthly. A few of your clients might not make it, or they may have to make some tough decisions on who to pay next month. Don’t be on the wrong side of that decision. Thanks to you, they are still in business through this crisis, so there should be no issue prioritizing your payment.
As those WFH requests begin to die down, and some of those less fortunate clients begin to do layoffs, furloughs, or temporary shutdowns, DON’T PANIC! Here is where you should be spending your time to come out on top:
- Keep Marketing
- Been meaning to get into Social Media? Now is the time.
- Same for video blogs
- Updating your website.
- Learning about Google Ads and SEO
- Get your team to work on technical and soft-skills training
- Need to upgrade your (Vendor Name Here) Partnership?
- Wish your Help Desk knew more about networking?
- Implement those urgent security projects internally you’ve kept putting off
- 2FA not fully implemented yet?
- How about getting SSO more ubiquitous among all your tools?
- Maybe even that documentation project?
- Sure spend some time looking at your expenses, but cutting expenses has limited returns
- Many may have some temporary relief available
- Don’t spend hundreds of dollars of your time saving $10/mo, though!
- Keep Selling!
- If you’ve looked at other tools or consultants, consider if now is the time to get to know them better.
- Reach out to your competitors and see how they are faring
- Maybe you can help, and add revenue (or be a great community member)
- Maybe one is distressed and now is the time for an acquisition of the company, clients, or employees. They may be downsizing.
Another great benefit of the value Eureka Process offers is our intimate connection with IT Service firms throughout the world, helping our audience more clearly see what’s going on. I’d say the general stats are that about 20% of our clients are bit panicky, being hit with verticals or geographies that are causing their clients to not be able to work and therefor causing agreement pauses, reductions, or cancellations. The good news is, 80% of our clients are enjoying a hay day right now, with many of those already looking into the future with how they can sharpen their saw to make business even easier and better in the weeks and months head.
Those are my ideas and I’d love to hear what other thoughts you have on the matter. If any of you are struggling or worried, PLEASE give us a call. This isn’t a sales pitch. If we can help our IT community thrive, we know we will all be better for it.
P.S. Don’t quit! Read what happened the one time I quit here.