Plan ahead and reduce down time

Having to call someone for help is never something anyone wakes up in the morning and looks forward to doing, especially when you’re in the middle of something that is time critical. The question to be asked is whether there is anything that can be done to minimize the times that you are out of action.

The answer is a BIG yes. There are many things that can be done.

Before I go into detail, I will mention an analogy that I have worked with for many many years. I call it the seesaw effect. The more resource you put into something, the less the likelihood that you will have an issue. The less resource you put into something, the higher the chance of an issue. In this analogy, the resource could be money, your time or even bringing in a professional resource to help where you need it.

In real terms it is like buying an insurance policy. You can go with the simple no frills option that might only cost $25/month, but when its time to make a claim you realize that you have very little coverage and have significant out of pocket expenses. On the other hand you could invest more in the premium and your out of pocket expense is reduced. It is about determining a risk level that is acceptable to you and your business.

A few ways to manage risk can include:

  1. Plan to avoid outages– have hardware redundancy.
  2. Have a fall back plan, ie a secondary printer, or a 3G internet connection.

The types of risk mitigations are endless and your IT service provider is able to assist here.

When you do call tech support for help, here are a few tips that will help reduce your time on the phone:

  1. Who noticed the issue, as the source of the facts will always provide more insight on the issue.
  2. What is not working, or not working in its ideal form?
  3. Where is the issue, ie the computer name, printer model?
  4. When did the issue happen, or when was it working last?
  5. How do you know its not working properly?

Although these are simple questions, they greatly aid in where to start looking to troubleshoot the issue.

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