How many hours do you put into your MSP business during the week, yet it still doesn’t seem to be enough. You try and you try to squeeze 36 hours into a 24-hour day, and it just doesn’t work. You go through cycles of hiring and firing to meet demand – but demand just keeps on shifting.
My hope with this article is to get our readers thinking as to how you can break free from the chains of bondage to your business, freeing your time for growth.
Stop Saying I and start saying We
It’s time you start to realize that you don’t have to do it all, or be it all. Learn how to delegate or even partner. What are the pain points of your operation which keep you or your tech’s tied up the most?
Try outsourcing a portion of these operations – whether it be your MSP Help Desk and NOC or perhaps, sales lead generation or anything else for that matter. There is always a vendor who will be willing to help.
Concerned you will lose control? With today’s technology you can easily keep your finger on the pulse of whatever function you have outsourced. Using Autotask? Your outsourced Help Desk provider can integrate seamlessly with your instance.
With call recording technology and reporting available through phone systems – you can closely monitor anyone who is speaking to your leads, or customers quite easily.
If you have tried everything else, isn’t it time to try something new? The power of “we” is much more effective than “I”.
Baseline your Time over 4 Days
Some experts say you should do this exercise for a whole week. Based on the fact that we’re trying to break free from the chains and not add more work to keep us tied up, I’m suggesting that you track what you do for your business for a period of four days.
What do you do during those days and how much time does it take you. At the end of the four days, you can analyze your log and see if there are corners you can shave off to make you more productive.
Schedule your Time. Quit Juggling Multiple Tasks at Once.
How many times do you answer the phone and check your email? Every time you do – it takes time away from what you were initially working on. If you’re in the middle of a very important project, this can ruin your train of thought and can even open the door to potential errors.
The same is true of Internet Messenger services. Do you show that you’re “available” all day so every time someone needs to interrupt your day; they ring you up on chat?
Here’s how I do it:
I set specific times when I am available for all unscheduled incoming communications.
This allows me to prioritize my responses, and co-ordinate with my administrator as to what needs immediate attention vs. what can wait. Obviously customer inquiries come first – and sales people chasing me usually get bumped towards the lower priority section of the list (unless it is something I am about the pull the trigger on).
After the first 4 days of base lining your time – try another 4 days using this approach. But be diligent as it will take quite a bit of getting used to.
Once you do, you may be surprised as to how much your productivity can increase simply by taking back control of your time.
Cross Train Team Members to do your Work!
Why do you think you should be the only one trained to do your job? Share the responsibilities… and the work.
It is easier said than done – perhaps because of our innate fear of losing control. But having a business that can truly operate with you in the background simply steering the boat is truly a liberating thing.
Whether it be a contractor or employee. If they have proven themselves competent and reliable, ease up. Give them a little time to breathe and be creative – and even think for themselves. If you’re always hovering over them, they’re going to expect you to hold their hand for everything – forever. Stop it!
What else have you tried or do you use to keep in control of your time?