Providing computer support and maintenance for a number of clients can be challenging. Many enjoy working on multiple projects at the same time and are comfortable working until 2am daily. Over time, however, this can stress and burnout even the most dedicated entrepreneurs. In order to provide quality service and support, it is important to have focus and give your 100% while on the job. Here is my top 7 list of things to stay on top of to avoid getting burntout and stressed:
1) Have a balanced work and home life.
A good balance between work and personal life is important. Family is very important to me which is why it tops the list. By putting friends and family up there, your stress level will become more manageable and a happier technician translates to more productivity at work.
2) Schedule it.
You can’t be everything to and everywhere for your clients. Its important to put everything you need to do daily, weekly, monthly, yearly to an online calendar like Goggle Calendar in order to ensure it gets attended to. Schedule your work and personal life to get the balance we need in #1.
3) Get enough sleep.
Studies everwhere say that sleep recharges our brain cells. We provide more value to clients when we are fully rested, alert, and smiling.
4) Delegate and don’t micromanage.
If you have direct reports or subcontractors, make sure you project trust in their capabilities and skills. Let them learn from their mistakes, which can be very hard to do especially if you work with different subcontractors often. Just let it go so that you can focus on other things that bring value to your clients.
5) Document everything.
This is important especially for cross-training direct reports and subcontractors. You can’t be everywhere so having frequently updated documentation is critical. Update your business plan often as well to improve business processes. Lastly, documentation helps with taxes at the end of the year.
6) Service-Level Agreements (SLA).
Most business engagements with SOHO will probably not include any SLAs. Its important to have the expectations and assumptions ironed out with each client to ensure happy business relationships. Do they expect you to drop everything and come to the office when a problem arises? Do they expect a report everytime a service visit is initiated? What do they expect? Once you have this documented (per #5), your stress-level will not go through the roof the next time the General Manager calls you with computer issues.
7) Use templates.
Having templates makes your job easier. Have one for Outage Reports, Project Initiation, Change Request, Daily Backups, Monthly Invoices, Time Sheets, etc. These templates allow you to have a disciplined approach to operations and project activities, and shows professionalism.
This is my list and any additions or comments are welcome.