Running a business is an exciting experience, but it can be tough too.
Maybe you started your business fresh out of college. Maybe you took over a family business. Or maybe you previously worked for a TSP and started your own business vowing to never allow the same problems you saw there.
Whatever the case, you should avoid making the following 10 mistakes at all costs – regardless of how experienced you are or how large your business is.
1. Failing to create and stick to a business plan
Do you think your business is too small for a plan? Have you failed to create a business plan because you’re too strapped for time?
If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, it’s time to change the way you think about your business.
The truth is, no matter how small your business is or how busy you are, you need an agile business plan. Your plan will be one of the best predictors of the future success of your company. Plus, it’ll provide you with a referenceable roadmap to achieving your goals.
2. Charging the wrong amount for your services
When you start a business, it’s tempting to base your fees on what your competitors are charging. After all, that’s the best way to do it… right?
Not quite, because there is no one set rate for the services you offer.
Think about it. Every TSP has different expenses and processes. And every TSP provides unique services and value for clients.
As a result, it’s best to base your pricing on the value you provide clients and what it costs you to perform one hour of service.
Learn exactly how to calculate that cost – known as your full hourly overhead burden – in this eBook. That way, you can set the right price for your IT services.
3. Failing to establish processes early on
Many IT companies start with a team of a few talented people handling a small number of clients. But as they grow, they hit a point where they can’t scale any further.
The reason for that stunted growth?
A lack of documented processes that streamline daily business activities. If you don’t have these processes in place, even your most hard-working team members will find it hard to be productive.
To combat this issue and ensure that your company is well-equipped for continued growth, use ConnectWise® to create built-in, automated workflows. These workflows can help you throughout your service process – from sale to invoice – and fill in the gaps wherever you lack automation.
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4. Not tracking time accurately
If you want to discover what’s really going on at your business, tracking time is the way to do it.
Not only does tracking time hold your employees accountable –it helps you make sound decisions by providing you with insights on:
- Whether or not you need to hire new people
- When you should charge more for your services
- Whether or not you’re successfully meeting your SLAs
Want to learn where your company is spending the most time? Use ConnectWise to track everything, and you’ll get the information you need to boost profitability.
5. Being too risk-averse
Do you remember when offering managed services was the “next big thing” for TSPs?
If so, you’ll also remember that the TSPs who failed to take managed services on as a practice area suffered – big time. Because they were afraid to take the risk of implementing a new service offering, they fell behind the competition.
The lesson here?
Take calculated risks and always strive to improve so you can stay ahead of the competition. For example, consider jumping on the current trend – cloud services.
After all, you don’t want your business to stagnate and end up becoming one of the 95% of small businesses that fail within the first 5 years!
6. Putting quotes together in spreadsheets
Let’s face it – spreadsheets weren’t designed with quoting in mind. They make the entire process cumbersome and time-consuming.
No matter the size of your business, you need professional-looking quotes that can be tailored to your company’s unique quoting needs. Not only does a solution purpose-built for quoting allow you to make a great first impression on potential clients – it allows you to save time and streamline the entire quoting process.
Consider using ConnectWise Sell for your quoting needs – it gives you the functionality you won’t find in any spreadsheet! When you use this professional quoting software, you’ll send a clear message to your clients that says you know your stuff when it comes to using technology to gain a business advantage.
7. Not marketing your business
We get it. Running a business keeps you busy. It’s easy to spend 100% of your time delivering value to your clients – especially if you’ve always relied on referrals to land new clients.
But wait a second – why are you limiting the potential of your business? Why not tap into a global marketplace by actively promoting your business instead?
For example, you can (and should!) build an online presence with a well-designed website, use SEO keywords to boost your website traffic, and use social media to get on your target audience’s radar.
You can use ConnectWise Campaign™ (formerly CampaignDirector™) for all of your marketing activities, including:
- Setting up a calendar
- Building and tracking email campaigns
- Qualifying leads
- Tracking website activity
- Analyzing metrics
- Viewing real-time data
With ConnectWise Campaign™, marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated, or time-consuming. We’ve got all the features you need to attract your target customers.
8. Failing to provide value to your customers
It costs more to bring in new customers than it does to keep existing ones.
That’s why you need to make sure you’re not devoting all of your attention to winning new business – you have to provide your current customers with value so that they stick with your business long-term!
For example, you’ll want to check in with your customers regularly and take care of their technology in a way that proves your value to them.
Also, use ConnectWise to create reports you can use for Quarterly Business Reviews. During these reviews, go over the issues that were resolved and remind your customer how much time and money your services are saving their business.
Remember, the key to customer retention is making your customers view you as a trusted advisor who is key to their success. If you do, you can feel confident knowing your business will remain profitable.
9. Not automating manual tasks
As a technology company, it’s your job to streamline your clients’ technology. So, how can you expect them to trust you to do that if you can’t even streamline your own systems?
Don’t put your own business on the backburner. Use ConnectWise Automate to automate any IT process or task that’s slowing your business down. That means everything from simple scripts that restart stopped services to complex scripts that configure entire workstations!
Not only will using ConnectWise Automate make your work day run more smoothly – it’ll improve your customer service by allowing you to resolve issues faster.
10. Running your business with disjointed applications
There are few things as frustrating as having to use 10 different applications to accomplish a single task. Not only does it waste time – it often means that there’s a greater chance for error during the execution process.
Stop frustrating your employees and customers, and start providing better support with the ConnectWise suite of products. It’s full of seamless solutions that help you achieve your goals deliver the kind of productivity that drives game-changing customer support.
Now that you know what’s wrong, take action.
Every business owner makes mistakes – there’s no doubt about that.
But the successful business owners? They’re the ones who recognize their mistakes and actively work to correct them.
So if you’re making any of the mistakes in this post, take action and make positive changes. And consider the ConnectWise Suite – it can help you in every step of the way as you grow and develop your business.
ConnectWise has all the solutions you need to make it happen.