I’ve been in business for 20 years, and one thing I realized recently is that there are a lot of services I provide to clients that they may be aware of and things they could benefit from that I have not been offering in a consistent way. This year I’m fixing that.
Domain and Hosting Managment and Oversight
For example, I routinely manage my clients’ domain registrations and hosting plans and serve as the point of contact for those services. This not only means that if they have an issue, they can contact me and I will address it knowledgably with their provider, saving them time and frustrationn, but that I receive all the spam and phishing attempts that plague anyone listed as the domain contact. I get one or two calls a week from scammer call centers trying to sell me overpriced services or to convince me to switch one of my client’s domain registration to another provider at five times the price. I receive the scam mail fake invoices that try to lure inexperienced website owners into paying $100 dollars to ‘renew’ a service they never ordered. I save my clients time and hassle and prevent them from needing to evaluate each offer for validity and safety, and preventing them from being scammed.
Routine Maintenance and Monitoring
Many of my clients subscribe to a maintenance and monitoring service where I keep their web software up to date and make sure if their site goes down, I know about it right away so I can fix it. As part of this service I monitor for malware infections so they can be fixed right away, and I am warned if the site is experiencing hosting issues that make it unusually slow to respond. I back their websites up to an external server on a schedule that fits how frequently they update their site, to help avoid loss of data and design in case of hacking. I started offering this service for clients who learned the hard way how vulnerable to attack infrequently updated websites can be, especially when there isn’t a recent backup to fall back to in case of issues. I prevent issues, which can be invisible, until it isn’t.
Analytics and Speed Optimization
What I do provide on request but haven’t been offering routinely is a monthly Analytics report to let them know whether their website is doing it’s intended job, and a monthly speed test and optimizing their website speed to keep it fast and friendly to visitors.
Continuity of Service and Information
I provide continuity of information about the website and their IT systems in general. Having been in business for 20 years, I am sometimes the person who has been with my client organization the longest, and often have a broad knowledge of multiple departments, projects and their history that I bring to bear when helping clients plan. I keep a secure record of all the passwords I have been entrusted with, which sometimes go astray internally over time and when staff change.
In addition – I’m on call when clients need help with setting up their email, need a new account, or they forgot how to use that feature I trained them on last year, or they need an update to their site, or they’ve lost staff and need passwords changed. They contact me for advice about how to approach a new opportunity or problem to do with their web, media or IT or if they need custom training on a software that never did come with training. They ask for another copy of that training manual I did for them 6 years ago, which they’ve lost but I still have a copy of. They contact me when the staff member who kept their calendar up to date doesn’t have time to do it anymore and they really need this year’s schedule up. They contact me if their website has gotten stale or slow and needs a fix up, or if they need stats on useage for a funding proposal. And I am happy to help.
IT Professional On Call Full Time for Rent
So I’m going to formalize these services. I have been working as a virtual on-call IT staff person for many of my clients, so I’m offering those services explicitly on a yearly contract to small and medium business and non-profit clients. Clients who retain me will receive a suite of services, including these and more, and will have the option of purchasing on-call support and content management packages.
I’m hoping to become the essential IT staff member they didn’t know they already had.