Tony Chiappetta is the founder and CEO of AMC Solutions, an IT company that helps businesses build modern IT systems that make every employee more productive and help grow their business. Tony now has 17 employees.
After being in business for 12 years, Tony had to take a step back and rework his entire business, including recreating processes, letting some employees go, trimming his client base, and the system that he uses to run his business today.
Taking Care of Your People
Being in the service business, Tony's employees are his product. He wants all employees to have a career path and be happy with their position and direction.
"There is no such thing as life-work balance in life, there's really life-work harmony. How can we align their professional goals to their personal goals in life. And make sure they're getting satisfaction out of what they do from a work perspective."
Tony wants the business and personal goals to be moving on the same path. Aside from just giving them a paycheck, Tony looks to speak with his employees about their priorities and direction.
Importance of Modern IT
"What I did 20 years ago is no longer the recommended path."
It has changed quite a bit since the early 2000s. Today, Microsoft guides the direction of the industry. It's no longer about servers and PCs, it's about services (cloud) and mobility. The previous IT standard isn't even in line with our current security risks.
Modern IT is very much related to the work-life harmony. Work is no longer a "place you go", but work is a "thing you do" on your time."
Many small businesses have a reactive approach to IT. They don't build a full system, they just make moves based on their immediate needs.
All Revenue is Not Good Revenue
In the beginning, Tony was pricing based on what the believed was fair and was offering many additional services in custom packages, looking to generate fixed monthly recurring revenue from the package of IT services. Tony grew this model to 24 employees.
Over a couple of years, this led to overwork, scope creep, and inconsistencies in processes due to continued hiring, passing off new employees to old accounts, and a lack of consistency in services. Some of Tony's employees were continually overworked and put in situations where they we continuing to fail.
Tony knew about these continued issues, so he looked to solve them by adding people to solve the problem. This became costly because these new individuals didn't have a foundation to learn from or clean processes to guide them.
"The blueprint of how to run a business from creating a vision, core values, getting the people right, how to have meetings, and process issues. It was an eye-opening moment... I came to realize how important these really are."
Tony was hiring and managing/training his employees as if they were supposed to be another version of himself. After Traction, he realized he needed more clarity in roles. He reviewed the roles of an IT firm and created entirely new internal and external processes.
The transition was very tough. Tony needed to go to all client for a firm reset of expectations, process, offerings, and price. During this time, AMC Solutions went from 24 employees down to eight. Tony had new roles, new standards for accountability, and much clearer expectations. Many employees left on their own after these changes and seeing that they didn't align with the direction of the company.
Building a sound vision and long-term plans is what keeps you going during these times. Tony would create a 10-year plan. From this, you can create a 3-year plan, then a 1-year plan, then quarterly and monthly goals that will keep you on track.
"When I first started the company, I had to be good at technology... I thought I had to study more engineering. What I needed to study was values, roles, responsibilities, and business planning. This was counterintuitive to me for a while."
Tony always brought high energy and willpower, but his energy was divided in many different directions. He shifted the energy to be more efficient by directing his energy to the basics of business planning, forecasting and creating a vision, and looking at the math behind his goals and plan to determine the pricing, services, and growth over time necessary to achieve those goals.
"Your mission and vision can change overtime because we're not living in a static world."
Learn more about Tony and AMC Solutions: https://amcsolutions.com/