Reliability and reputation are important traits and losing time can seriously affect both of them, which is something I discovered the hard way.
By day I’m marketing content specialist at StorageCraft, but by night I’m a volunteer writer for an independent local magazine. I specialize in music and I was recently asked to write a review for a performance by an experimental opera company based in Provo, Utah. I picked up my date, cruised down to Provo, and grabbed some tasty tacos at a choice restaurant in historic downtown. After leaving the restaurant, I rushed to BYU where the performance was being held, and eventually found a parking spot before hustling to the theater.
At the door, I discovered I was thirty minutes late to a performance that was only an hour long. Luckily, the guy at the door was kind and still let me in.
I had no idea what was going on in the performance and was extremely confused (it was an experimental opera, remember). By the end, I realized that I couldn’t do the write-up. I’d only seen half of the performance and I knew I couldn’t give a fair critique. I emailed the editor to let her know, and received a nice digital chew-out about how important it is to be on time to performances.
When I go to performances, I represent not only myself, but the magazine as well. By losing just a short thirty minutes of time, I affected not only my relationship with the magazine, but their relationship with the opera company as well. Luckily, the people in charge of the opera weren’t too upset, but if it had been a large, well-known band or someone with a professional publicist, we’d all look like a bunch of jerks and we’d lose out on opportunities in the future. Losing time can easily damage a reputation. Because of my mistake, guess who’s off of the favorite writers list at the magazine? This guy.
But why was I late?
There are always exceptions, but I decided a long time ago that if you’re late to something, you planned poorly, usually by not giving yourself plenty of extra time. If you waste time waiting in line for a haircut or an oil change, it’s because you didn’t leave early enough, or didn’t make an appointment. Either way, you planned poorly. I was late because I simply didn’t leave early enough, and because my tasty tacos took longer than I had planned for (one of many time wasters that should’ve been rolled into my equation ahead of time). If I had planned on there being a few issues (traffic, taco trouble), and given myself plenty of extra time to be there early, my reputation would be just fine. Business downtime works the same way.
If you take the time to plan, you avoid losing time (we explore this in great detail in our latest ebook). There will likely always be a little bit of downtime following a failure or small disaster, but you plan in order to reduce it. Losing a client’s time will damage your reputation as an MSP, as well as the reputation of the client you’re serving—not to mention the cost of the downtime itself. If your reputation is affected, your ability to earn profits in the future is affected, and reputations are a lot more difficult to repair than a downed server. Don’t be like me, plan ahead and save everyone some time—your reputation is at stake.
Like this post? Let’s take a look at how quickly downtime can kill profits.