Are you about to sign up a new customer for an IT consulting agreement? If so, great, but have you thought about whether your firm has the resources to service that new customer effectively?
Turning down new work is never a desirable thing to do, but you must always make sure you have the capacity to take it on. This is especially important if you run a “one man band” IT consultancy or one with only a couple of staff.
Obviously, your company needs to grow somehow, but spreading yourself too thinly at the wrong time can be a recipe for disaster. Not only will you fail to please your new client, you may manage to alienate your existing clients in the process too.
So, with that in mind, here are five questions you should ask yourself before signing up to that new IT consulting agreement.
1. How “up against it” do you feel at the moment?
Do you feel like you never truly catch up on your work? Are your call logs full of unresolved issues? If so, it’s clear you’re struggling to keep up with your existing workload. So, unless you plan to take on staff to fill the gap, it’s almost inevitable that you will annoy clients, as you don’t truly have the capacity to handle all of them.
2. Do you have suitably qualified staff on your team?
Serving a new client effectively isn’t only about you. Does the rest of your team have the necessary skills to look after the new systems? If not, you could have a problem, especially if you ever want to take any time off, which is what we’ll come onto next.
3. Have you thought about holiday coverage?
Arranging good holiday coverage is a nightmare for small IT firms, especially one-man-bands. Some individual consultants have to make do with snatched weekends, or stressful holidays with constant interruptions.
If all of this resonates with you, is taking on yet another client really going to improve things? The answer is probably “no.”
4. Could you cope with two system outages at once?
This question is all about being ready for the “worst case scenario.” It may be an unlikely scenario, but you have to consider what you would do if everything went wrong at two sites at once. If there’s just you on the team, you have to accept a certain element of risk, but could one more client make that inherent risk more extreme?
Be honest with yourself on this issue—if you’re not, it’s only you who will live to regret it when, one day, the nightmare scenario inevitably comes to pass.
5. Can you confidently meet your service level obligations?
Only you can answer this one honestly! You should never enter an agreement that you’re not fully confident you can comply with. If you think you might start missing service level targets from an early stage, then it might be time to boost your team before you take on any more customers.
Have you ever had to say “no” to an IT consulting agreement due to a lack of resources? Let us know in the comments box below.
Topics:- Computer Consulting Business