How can I make IT support business less stressful?

Chris Martin

Pen and business graphRunning any business during these turbulent times is stressful. Operating an IT Support Business which deals with those businesses most affected by the recession – smaller companies — is especially nerve-wracking.

We think tthat the best way to reduce stress is to start implementing services that generate recurring, predictable revenue streams – often called Managed Services.

And here’s why: it better matches your planned revenues with your planned costs. The closer you can bring these two numbers, the better you’ll sleep at night.

So, what’s involved in delivering Managed Services?

  1. Learn to market & sell these services – Learn to price and tune contracts until you know how to make money on them. Some months you might lose on a customer who has big trauma, but mostly, if you’re doing the technical thing well – you’ll be OK.
  2. Be Efficient – Also, look at efficiency; do as much remotely as you can using tools like HoundDog, now GFI MAX,’s Remote Monitoring and Management System. (But be careful: you’ll need to balance this with turning up to the customer for face-time, because this interaction helps you spot hidden needs that can turn into profitable sales for you.)
  3. Look at Staffing Costs – For the first time in years, the dice are stacked in the IT companies’ favour. There is an abundance of IT guys looking for a job, rather than an abundance of jobs looking for an IT guy. Accordingly, this means that the price of the IT guy comes down. And the ones who are already with you, well, there is less opportunity to move, so this invariably means lower pay increases (if any).
  4. Use your equipment sales and one-off projects as the cream on the cake. Try and ensure your monthly contracts almost guarantee you’ll break even and you’ll be sitting pretty.

IT Services (Managed Services) is one of the more recession-proof games to be in. Small companies are looking to offload costs by outsourcing. Make this recession count in your favour.