It’s never been more important to make the right decisions in your IT business.
The reality is you won’t get it right every single time.
Sometimes you will pick the wrong horse despite your best efforts.
As anyone running their own company knows, making the right decisions - while remaining profitable - is not always easy.
There is an old saying “A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush”…
This is the dilemma you face in business every day…
Do you let go of the bird in your hand, in the search for the 2 that are in the bush?
Well, you might end up with 3 birds, or maybe none!
As an installer, how can you possibly keep up with cutting-edge technology in the exponentially growing IT industry - and ensure you have the best options for your customers?
Ultimately it will be about what core principles and rules you use in your decision-making that will work long term to minimise the bad calls - and optimise the best ones.
Here are some foundational principles you can use to stay on track when navigating the technology terrain:
1) Secure the bird in your hand first
Put the bird in a cage or somewhere secure.
Although the nature of the industry is that things move fast, it’s important to make sure your existing clients and business are well looked after and in good shape before pursuing too many new opportunities.
This includes developing good systems in your business in the key areas like customer service, installations guidelines, cashflow and financials analysis, managing relationships with key customers, and your marketing and sales systems.
2) Keep watch to make sure security is good
Check regularly that the cage door is secure and the bird is safe. Keep watch to make sure all the systems you have set up are running properly.
As a business owner, this means you are keeping control of your business. Not necessarily doing everything yourself, but maintaining a good handle on operations, ie knowing exactly where you are now, and exactly where you are heading.
This means knowing your KPI’s for things like enquiries, quotes, conversions to sales, margins, and of course profitability!
3) Be strategic when deciding which opportunities are worth pursuing
You are unlikely to be able to catch both birds at once. In IT there are opportunities everywhere, but only a few that will make the biggest difference for your business right now.
Smart business owners think carefully about which ones have the best chance of winning and if the potential gain is worth their time.
Your time is valuable, so you don’t want to be running around burning up energy, time, and resources in the wrong areas.
4) Bet small & often to get ahead
Remember the Sony/Beta vs JVC/VHS videotape-format-war in the late 70s and early 80s?
VHS won conclusively in the end, but many people brought Beta recorders and found the technology was soon redundant.
With the speed of technology today, which horse you back is not always obvious.
So make small bets until it’s clear which technology will dominate.
5) Use already proven technology when you can
If the technology is proven, then that is the safest bet, at least in the short term.
Playing the odds will secure more profit for your business and happier customers most of the time.
6) Be ahead of the game by following trusted sources
It’s important to keep ahead of your competition with the latest technology options, but you have limited time and can’t investigate everything.
So stick to a few reliable sources for your information and listen carefully to what they say.
Today we are drowning in information. If you are subscribed to 30 different sources, you will quickly become overwhelmed and confused.
Be highly selective of your information sources. Only allow a small number of compatible sources to advise you.
7) Don’t do it alone
Make sure you have someone to help you make decisions and keep your business on track and profitable. This could be a colleague, trusted supplier, business partner, or a coach/mentor.
The most successful business owners never try to do it all alone – they know with the right advisors around them, they will reach their goals quicker, see the opportunities, maintain an edge over their competition, and become more profitable.
Just because you are in business for yourself, doesn’t mean you have to be by yourself.
You may have others you use also. However, what’s most important is you have solid principles to run your business by, come back to for decision-making when you are under pressure, and accountability in place to help you stay on track.
If you don’t, you will find emotion will be the deciding factor in important decisions.
Which might mean you don’t take any birds home for tea, and in business that can be costly.
Written By: Daniel Fitzpatrick, Business Solutions
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