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Does this sound familiar?

You are a professional in your chosen trade.  You attended school or training.  You practiced your skill for many years and have lots of evidence of your professional status.   But even though you are a trusted expert, your customers ignore, or sometimes even argue with, your advice.  The results of these actions vary from no impact (maybe they went with another trusted expert and received the product they expected) to extreme impact where their business or happiness is destroyed.

This happens quite often in the IT industry.  Everyone today has a computer, router, phone (even VoIP), WIFI and smart devices at home.  So the computer tinkerer takes this “skill” or “knowledge” to the office and cobbles together a solution that resembles their home setup.  When an IT expert is called in because the business owner “tinkerer” doesn’t want to manage IT anymore, the defenses come up and the trust in the expert goes out the window.  I get it – who wants to be told that what they built isn’t going to take the business forward?  But if you’re not an IT professional, then don’t try to be an IT professional.

This recently happened to one of our peer IT companies.  For the last two years, the IT business owner has been encouraging his retail client to mature their online sales presence, including purchasing a CRM and e-commerce solution.  The advice was given repeatedly, only to be ignored by the retail business owner – they didn’t trust that the IT professional had their interest in mind.  Now, during the COVID-19 shutdown, the retail store is closed up and the business is struggling.  They have no capability to sell online, and with no sales, the funding required to spin up the solution is unattainable.

If you have an IT firm supporting your business and you DON’T TRUST them, then cut your losses and find one you can trust.  If you are doing it all yourself, think about whether that’s really what you should be spending your time and effort on.  How could you grow your business if you let someone else manage IT for you?

They provide guidance and advice to their customers, and the customer either ignores the advice or argues that another approach is better.