January can be a quiet month and for many of us it is a great time to tidy the workshop, do staff training, update documentation, start using new software such as a professional services automation package and many other things that we normally don’t get time to do.
I like to start each year with a bang and prepare clients for the upcoming year with an IT review. You can offer this as an add-on service that you charge for, or if you have a managed services agreement you might do it under this, as it is great for building the trusted relationship.
Pick your top customers and then make a list of the areas of their business that could be improved with new or additional IT. If you don’t know what these areas are for a client then you should go and talk to them about their business and put yourself in their shoes. Make sure the list includes areas they definitely need to improve, areas they probably will see the benefit of improving but may not go for immediately, and some things that you know they will not go for. This will lay the ground work for next year’s review.
Sorts of things you might look at include iphones for key staff, new web site, desktop or server upgrades, moving services to the cloud, web monitoring, mail washing in the cloud, social media, virtualisation.
Now have a meeting with your client and go through the list. The goal is to try and secure three for four good projects over the next 12 months, and to book them so they can budget for them and you can plan them well in advance.
The next step is to create a project within EzPSA for each job, meaning that all the hardware, software and service required is captured. Prices will likely change before you actually start the job, but at least you have a record of your ideas at the start of the year and can relook at it closer to the project implementation date.
Clients really enjoy the proactive approach; just remember you are an advisor, and don’t push your ideas down their throat. Your role is to keep them informed of what is happening within the IT world and make suggestions as to how these things can benefit their business.
This is a really positive way to keep busy in January, and will generate some great projects to start using your new professional services automation package with. If you need help getting started and while you get familiar with the software, the EzPSA support team is there for you.