An Overnight Success… 14 Years in the Making
LIVE Consulting was recently awarded Best IT Services in Colorado by ColoradoBiz Magazine. We are very proud of this award and so grateful to everyone who voted for us.
When we won this award, we realized that our success didn’t happen overnight. Over the years, we’ve learned many valuable lessons. We wanted to share three tips for success with you in hopes that it will help with your own business.
Tip #1 - It All Starts with Hiring...
We take time in our hiring process because we are looking for the right person who will be the best fit for our team and our culture. We aren’t necessarily looking for the individuals with the most technical knowledge as our current teammates can teach that later to the right person.
Changing someone’s personality is much tougher than teaching the technical aspects of the job. We learned this the hard way by making some less than stellar choices in the past. But as we learned from those mistakes, we’ve been able to create a better, more collaborative hiring process.
We now have our candidates go through a group interview with four to six of our current team members to make sure that everyone feels they would be a good fit culturally. The hiring decision no longer rests on one person’s shoulders.
Hiring right the first time can lead to less turnover among your employees and will allow you to grow your company quicker, so you can become the best you can be.
Action Steps for Your Business - Review your hiring process. This includes everything from the number of interviews you conduct to the questions being asked in the interview to who is asking those questions. You want to make sure that you are not only asking technical questions, but also questions to see if the candidate would be a good culture fit.
You can take the hiring process one step further by making sure that once you hire that perfect employee, you have everything up and ready for their first day at work with our New Employee Checklist.
Tip #2 - Know Your Enemy - Study the Competition
Sun Tzu and Zack de la Rocha were onto something...
As you size up your competition, you gain insight into yourself and your own business. Without competition, we wouldn’t have won our award. Studying the competition allows you to step up and fill in areas where your business can grow and continue to be better.
Use the information you gathered from studying your competition to make improvements to your own business. You are not looking for ways on how to attack them. Jealousy and directly attacking your competition is not the way to go. Focus on ways that you can improve your business.
At LIVE Consulting, we study our competition to see what they are doing well and what we need to improve upon. For example, your competition might be doing a great job on social media or might be getting a ton of online reviews and you are not. What can your business do to improve in these areas?
Action Steps for Your Business - Do some online sleuthing to see what your competitors are and are not doing. Do this on a regular basis. Take these findings and establish a process to apply them to your own business.
Tip #3 - Communication
Communication is one of the fundamentals of business success, but it’s often one of the areas that businesses don’t spend much time improving.
There is both internal communication with your own team and external communication with your customers and prospects. Both forms of communication need to be constantly monitored and improved upon.
You need to make sure that you communicate your company goals and values to your employees and that they understand them. You also need to effectively communicate to your prospects and customers the benefits of using your services.
Then there is the most often overlooked component of communication, which is listening.
Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”
(two philosopher references in one blog post...a new personal record)
Once you have communicated your message to your employees or customers, you need to listen to their responses and reactions. Based on this feedback, you may need to adjust your message.
Use the feedback that you gather by listening to your employees, prospects and current customers to learn how to improve your business. If you ask the right questions and actively listen to their answers, you’ll see that there is a goldmine of information that you can utilize to make your business the best it can be.
For example, we have a feedback system in place for every IT support ticket that our technicians close. We want to make sure that we are solving our customers IT issues and that they are having a positive experience working with our team.
Action Steps for Your Business - Send out surveys to both your employees and your customers to see how your business is doing. For our customer surveys, we use SurveyMonkey. Internally we use Officevibe which allows us to anonymously gather feedback from our employees. At the very least, create a simple and easy way for your customers to give you honest feedback.
The award for Best IT Services Provider in Colorado is a source of pride for all of us at LIVE Consulting, but it took us time to get here. We are always striving to improve our business and how we deliver the best service to our customers.
Using the three tips above have helped us in our quest to be the best, and we are excited to see what the future has in store for LIVE Consulting.
If you feel that your IT issues are holding your business back from becoming the best that it can be, let us help you out. We offer a FREE Network Audit.