Thursday 25 June 2009

We Are Only As Good As Our Word

It is an old cliché, yet, it rings very much true for us today.

Our client’s time is extremely valuable. Since we deal with SMB, our primary client contacts tend to be the business owner or one of the partners in the firm.

So, when we make a commitment and are unable to keep it, and that commitment causes our client to lose time or face with their clients, it costs them ... and at times it can cost them dearly.

Thus, it is important to follow through with our client when we have made a commitment to provide products and/or services.

A simple phone call well ahead of time to let them know that things are not working out as planned is critical to maintaining a level of trust between us and our client.

If the situation warrants it, we need to have a backup or contingency plan in place to make sure they can follow through on the commitments they have made to their clients based on the soon to be provided product or service.

In the long run, it is our experience with the products we work with and with the suppliers we rely on that enable us to provide a fairly accurate assessment of the timeline for a project.

When we put a solution together, we make sure to provide a buffer of time to cover for things like no stock on products or the need to work out licensing structures for software.

When working with existing networks that have had other folks managing them, there needs to be a time buffer in place to cover those unforeseen situations that are bound to crop up and throw the project time budget into the red. This is especially true with SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migrations.

With this understanding, we can be faithful to our commitments providing the products and services we said we would at or below the cost we quoted for.

With the Cloud looming, and I.T. becoming more and more a commodity to business owners, we can take the above knowledge, experience, and reputation and use them to develop new directions for our business relationships.

And one other thing: the commitment goes both ways.

When suppliers or others we work with on a regular basis continually make promises to us and fail to follow through on them, we will be not so inclined to rely on them for future business needs.

Our Word is our Gold.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

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