Alight, you have chosen your new software package, your staff is on board, and you are ready to go. So let’s talk about priorities.
The number one thing that will drag out a software installation, is not making it the top priority for your company. (Read that again.)
I have seen this happen time and time again. What should be a 30 day project (or less) is stretched out to 3-4 months or more because the vacation rental company treats their software installation like a “if we have the time” kind of project. And they usually don’t have the time. (The longest installation that I was involved with took nearly 2 years because the company put it at the bottom of their list of things to do.)
I get it, you have a business to run. Guests to call back, staff to help, issues to deal with, owners to keep happy, e-mail to respond to, lunch to eat (if you’re lucky). Not to mention a new software system to learn, a website to design, data to enter, choices to make, and a never ending project list. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Maybe if you had a larger staff you could make it a priority, but being a small company it just isn’t possible, right? Or is it?
I’ve seen small (3 person) vacation rental companies get completely up and running, staff trained, new website designed and launched, and all data entered into cloud based vacation rental software in under 30 days. They did it because they made it their #1 priority. Everything else came second.
They didn’t ignore the rest of their business. They just made sure that they got done whatever it was they needed to on their installation that day first, before they tackled anything else. They also put in a few extra hours here and there if it called for it. And they were happy they did it because it was all behind them before they knew it.
There’s an old saying that goes “What’s urgent isn’t always important, and what’s important isn’t always urgent.” Use this as a guide when approaching your software installation. There are a ton of things competing for your attention every day, but they aren’t all important, and they aren’t all urgent. Some of them, in fact most of them, can wait. At least for a few hours. What is important are the things that are going to help you reach your goals.
I recommend to clients that they make their software installation the focus of the first couple hours of their day. Come in, get your coffee, and get to work on the installation. Come in a little early if you need to. Don’t listen to voicemail, don’t check e-mail, or Facebook, or read the paper, or talk around the water cooler. That can all come later. Focus on your installation.
Watch videos, enter data, and follow up with your vendor, whatever needs to be done that day. (A good software vendor will provide you with at least a loose outline of steps that you need to take to complete the installation. If they don’t, or you need help in this area, contact me via the Contact tab and I can help you.)
Once you’ve completed your installation tasks for the day, then move on to e-mail, phone calls, voicemail, staff meetings, etc.
Now, there are some things like reservation inquiries and angry owners that can’t always be put off. But you can develop a plan to deal with these if/when they pop up.
- Designate one member of your staff to follow up with inquiries while the rest of you focus on the installation. You made need to rotate who this person is on a daily/weekly basis.
- If you get an e-mail or a call from an angry guest or owner and it just can’t wait, step away and deal with it and then come back to the installation. If it can wait, tell them that you need a bit of time to look into what is going on and that you will get back to them by the end of the day. Then get back to your installation tasks.
The truth is, we accomplish what we prioritize. So make sure that you are prioritizing the right things and your installation will run a lot more smoothly and be completed in a much shorter timeframe.
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