Our 10 goals for 2011:
1. Widen our service offerings
We are strictly an on site service business with a strategic partnership with an exclusively in shop business. As we move into areas not covered by our partner, we must step up to the plate and provide stem to stern service.
2. Expand our service area
In the annual review of our service plan we have discovered that much of our competition in the surrounding areas have closed or reduced their capabilities. Since we tend to be more profitable than the standard IT shop business model, this is a golden opportunity we cannot pass up.
3. Build our stellar reputation
Our reputation is one which can only be dreamed of. 97% satisfaction and active recommendations. While we have yet to turn business away, we have been close a time or two. As we expand, we need to make sure to keep this as part of our cultural identity.
4. Remain debt free
Sounds pretty basic, but it isn't easy. We do borrow money occasionally to make larger jobs possible, but never for general operation, and the funds are repaid as soon as the job that made the loan necessary is complete. The result is that we don't have matching office furniture, our vehicles are older, and the office computers are a mish-mash of models, but we never worry that an incoming call might be a creditor asking for his share.
5. Hire more techs
Yep, we hit that point. As we expand the area, we must hire more to meet the same service levels. Again, this must be done without changing our culture. I must admit that the thought of hiring the wrong person and poisoning the almost family relationships we have here keeps me up at night.
6. Improve skillsets and certifications
This goes along with the expansion plans. As we get more people, we can partially specialize some of them. All of our techs are required to pass an in house test within 90 days of employment and the A+ within a year, but we have put measures in place to make further certifications worth their while.
7. Improve visibility
While our name and logo are known, we could do more to separate ourselves from the herd. For the first time last year we have a dress code. Nothing draconian, but this has helped a little in differentiating ourselves from the tech who wears sweats when dealing with customers and doesn't bathe regularly (no, I'm not kidding). This year we will go one step further by providing company jackets and logo shirts.
8. More networking
In our area, not much happens on social networking sites beyond, well, social networking. It is not yet a good venue for us. There are several face to face networking opportunities in the area which should be taken advantage of.
Since we are heading into a new service area, it stands to reason that we should advertise. The truth is that we could stand to advertise in our old service area too.
10. A process of constant improvements
We already periodically review the service level, customer satisfaction, and business plan, but more will be required. We must figure out what works, from tools to processes, and make these our SOP. We also need to identify what doesn't work and leave it behind.
Keep Up with TechRepublic