Business Management – Always being in contact

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Always being in contact

This is another installment of my Business Management posts, geared towards those of us who are business owners and/or consultants.

As you know, my company provides 3rd party IT support services to clients. I’m a genuine ‘techie geek’, but I’m also a business owner who is responsible for client service delivery. I’ve got staff, but it’s still ultimately my responsibility to ensure that my staff are providing the quality and level of service that my clients expect.

So, what happens when I’m not around ?

This is the bane of every business owner’s existence. Whether it’s travelling for work, pleasure or necessity, we need to ensure that we’re always in contact and always available. Murphy’s law dictates that the moment we hop aboard an airplane, that domain controller that’s been running flawlessly for 3 years is going to spontaneously fail for no reason at all. I’m not exaggerating here, but something similar happens nearly every other time I travel. And since I live in a more remote location, I travel more than the average person does. I’m on a plane probably once a month at least.

So what can we do to deal with this issue ? Well, first of all, resign yourself that you can never “really” be on holidays. If you understand this and accept it beforehand, then your vacations will be much smoother and less stressful. It’s when we think we can literally be “away” and out of reach for 2 weeks when it gets stressful that we can’t. Aside from that, the biggest thing to keep in mind is that you need to be in contact. Other than when I’m in flight, I have my smartphone on me, charged, 24/7. Sometimes I get 2 calls a day from my staff looking for guidance, sometimes I get 20. This is the nature of being a business owner, and being responsible for everything. We’re seeing the deployment of in-flight WiFi on some flights now too, which I had the pleasure of trying out for the first time on a United flight from Vancouver, British Columbia to Phoenix, Arizona. While on that ~2 hour flight, I troubleshooted a printer issue, instructed staff how to fix a firewall and real-time remotely controlled a computer that needed some permissions changed.

Always being available and ready to assist is a given requirement for those of us that choose to own businesses and work for ourselves. A lot of people don’t realize this and aren’t willing to make that commitment, which is why a lot of small businesses fail early on.

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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