Taking Care of Business – Learning to Lead an IT Business

Do you remember that old rock song Taking Care of Business? This really should be the anthem for your
technology or IT business if you have decided to move on from being a freelancer to running a service technology company. But just as it is important to keep the technology running smoothly by staying up to date on the latest tools for your clients, it is important to keep yourself in good shape as well. Your clients depend on you and you can’t service them if your energy is low because you put yourself last when it comes to your health.

Taking Time to Make Time

In a recent interview in Inc. Magazine with Carrie Kerpen, CEO of social media site Likeable Media, she talked about how hard it was for her to move from COO to CEO. It wasn’t just the responsibilities that she was facing; as partner and co-founder that wasn’t the problem. She knew that as the front person for the company she would need to be in her best shape physically to handle the stress.

For many women in the technology world, and there are getting to be more of us every day, this can be difficult. We are used to putting others first. This includes our kids, our family and often our fellow workers or our employees. But if you are moving from a self-contained business where you are the technology to running a service business of any kind, you will find yourself stretched very quickly. This is when it is important that you take the time to plan for the stresses this business hands us.

Your Health is Your Company’s Health

It is important to realise that you are responsible for more than just you now. With a company, even if it is only one or two employees, making your health your priority should be on the top of the list. We have all worked for bosses who vented their stress on their employees. It doesn't give you good workers or good results. It can also add to the stress for everyone.

Taking care of your own health, eating right and using a gym, sports team or other physical stress outlet can not only make your job easier, it can make your company more successful. Burning the midnight oil and thinking non-stop about client problems won’t make you a better CEO, it will just make the business feel like a burden instead of an accomplishment.

Organization is Part of the Solution

Besides the kinds of things that Carrie talks about in her interview, such as getting on a good nutrition plan and using exercise to work off stress, you also need to have tools that help you stay organized. Writing down your goals, knowing what you are working towards, these can all be part of creating a successful business. This includes a blog or diary to express your emotions so they don’t end up all over your client. Technology has been great at giving us some other tools for staying focused on the business at hand.

If you know how your techs are handling the work and where the work is coming from in the pipeline, your job will be less stressful. That is where having the right PSA software to keep track of the workflow will be a great boon for you and your company.  There are so many tricks of the trade that will help you to keep the administration work down, build the relationships with your clients and manage your costs.

At one time this was done in various software programs by different departments. Remember those long boring meetings where each department reported what they were working on and how they were succeeding? When you have all that information in one tool, online and available through the cloud to everyone, it makes for one less headache.

Taking the Next Step

With tax season done and a new fiscal year on many business owners’ minds, now is a good time for new beginnings. Are you thinking of starting up your own tech service business? Have you had one for a while and are looking for ways to refresh your enthusiasm for it? Everyone needs a little reminder now and again why we are in business and what makes it work for us.

What are your biggest challenges to start or grow your business? You know you will need to be charged up and ready to take them on. Getting into shape, physically and mentally is a good next step for any business.  What’s your story for getting into shape for your business?

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