Using Your IT Tools Wisely

Richard Tubb

empty blackboard We’re now well into February and I am willing to bet that like me, you know someone who on January 1st made a New Years Resolution to visit the gym more.

They might have even signed up for a new Gym membership. They may have even visited a few times in January.

But now we’re in February? Not so much.

It’s not unusual for people to associate buying a tool such as gym membership and splashing out cash with decisive action.

The problem is, the tool is just that – a tool – and it’s only by consistently using it that you will get the job done.

Don't Let Your IT Tools Gather Dust

I see a similar pattern within Managed Service Providers and IT Solution Providers.

For instance, they invest in an IT support tool, such as Remote Management and Monitoring (RMM) software, as they know they need one to help their business grow. They implement one or two features, but then the day to day grind of work overtakes them and implementation slows down.

Once the excitement of buying in a new IT tool fades, they are left with an often very expensive reminder of all the things they are capable of doing, but aren’t actually doing. It can be very demoralising.

The thing with RMM tools is that they are powerful. Really powerful!

Running an IT company is one of the most complicated types of businesses you can run, and the most popular RMM tools have been built from the ground up to try and address as many of the necessary jobs associated with running an IT business as possible.

And so they should – buying in an RMM is a big step, and you want to know that those tools will grow with you as your business grows.

But the challenge with these RMM tools being so vast is that it encourages IT businesses to try to implement everything, as soon as possible. Subsequently, when they fail to do this – the tool sits gathering dust.

Implement the Smart Way

By far the better way is to be smart and highlight what is really important to your clients, and implement features that support that.

For instance, make sure that Hard Disk space and Anti-Virus updates are monitored. Test that in the event of a failure, you are alerted correctly to the problem.

Then test on multiple clients to ensure the feature works across the board, and importantly, document how you setup that monitoring and alert feature to ensure you can easily roll out to all your existing clients as well as new clients when you bring them on-board.

Then, move on to the next set of features you’d like to implement.

While the temptation might be to try to do everything at once, you’ve got a business to run in the meantime. Slower and steadier steps often ensure you consistently implement features and those features are working, rather than flood you with meaningless alerts which might obscure genuine alerts and thus de-values the whole point of running an RMM system.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

This philosophy goes for other areas of your business beyond IT support tools.

That expensive marketing program you bought but never used? Start small. Pick one example of marketing and work on that. Sure, you’d love to be doing Direct Mail, Social Media, cold calling and more – but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Choose one, make it successful and build on that.slow turtle

That business networking group you paid to join but haven’t attended in a while? Find out the next set of dates for meetings and put them in your diary. Then attend. Pretty soon it becomes part of your routine and instead of beating yourself up for the money you’ve wasted, you start to realise the value.

Those books you’ve bought. Have you read them? If they don’t provide any value to you anymore, give them away. But if you’re not making time to read them – you’re not using a tool that you’ve already invested in that can help you improve. Make a point to begin reading one later today – a 15 minute break will be good for you anyway!

Take Tool Inventory

We’re all guilty of buying tools we know will help us and then neglect to use them – but if you take stock of the IT tools you already have, you can both save yourself money on buying another similar tool that won’t offer you anything new to the one you already own, and you can make a conscious decision to use the tools you already own to do what they were intended to do – help you.

 

As the former owner of an award winning IT Managed Service Provider, Richard Tubb works with MSP’s to help them increase sales, take on employees and build up relationships with key industry contacts. You don't have to do it alone any more - contact Richard and have a chat about your needs and how he can help you.