So much for remaining ‘small’, ’boutique’, ‘a one-man show’. For the past few months I’ve been dying a death of a thousand cuts but only slowly realizing it. Pardon me while and add some ketchup and pepper on my words as I’m about to eat them right in front of you and it’s not going to be pretty.
Despite my best efforts to contain myself I just can’t and I have to accept that Forward Multimedia has grown and continues to grow and I just can’t handle it by myself as I did in the past. 100+ sites in my portfolio means that many clients. Site updates, maintenance, requests for proposals, troubleshooting, client visits, phone calls, replying to emails, texts, What’s App, Skype calls, Teamviewer sessions, local clients, foreign clients. It’s beginning to feel like work… and I don’t like work.
Forward Support Desk- THE GOOD
Enter official Forward Support. I now have someone (who I’ll introduce below) to assist me with general support requests like site content updates, graphic work, online marketing etc., which would free up some of my time. Not to diminish the work of my new assistant, but by now many of my tasks are routine and don’t require (what I think) are my innate abilities until the site reaches a certain point.
Forward Support Desk- THE BAD
I’ve always told clients that I’ll make any update that will take me just a few minutes at no charge and charge only when ‘water gets more than flour’. Guess what? Water has gotten more than flour. A few minutes multiplied by X number of clients and we can all do the ‘mats’.
The situation is untenable and will lead to inefficiency and ineffectiveness, and more importantly UNHAPPY CLIENTS. I’ve had to personally call a few clients to apologize and explain why their tasks are getting pushed to the back of the queue. Thankfully I have good relationships and understanding clients.
Prepaid Maintenance Plans ARE NOW REQUIRED
It goes without saying that my new assistant is not working for button. I have to insist on and enforce paid maintenance plans, something I haven’t emphasized in the past.
Some tasks, mainly the platform maintenance will still be handled by me as these updates sometimes have issues that can break a live site.
Now buy a PREPAID block of hours, $350 TTD for 2 hours of maintenance
What your Prepaid Maintenance $ covers
The classification below is just for you to better understand what maintenance covers. New clients always ask about ‘Maintenance’. Most, if not all, think maintenance is just updating their site with new content like images, text, news items. As you can see, it’s that and more.
Platform MaintenanceUpdate WordPress CMS to latest versionUpdate website template to latest versionUpdate WordPress plug-ins to latest versionsBacking up site/databaseDomain/Hosting/Email renewals
Website MaintenanceEditing, adding content, posting news/blog itemsDesign/change slide imagesImproving website design, adding/enabling new featuresTroubleshooting- website down/errors/email issuesMalware clean up/Hacked site repair
How hours used are tracked/deducted
There is no way for a client to estimate how long a task would take and so they are literally at my mercy when I tell than it took (or will take) so and so many minutes/hours. However, I firmly believe that my clients know and trust me implicitly to accurately measure maintenance hour usage.
After any maintenance work, clients will get an update on the task(s), with the time taken, and the balance of hours remaining. Your prepaid time DOES NOT EXPIRE, that’s why it’s not a monthly charge. It expires when I actually spend time doing maintenance work.
Introducing AVIONNE NIAMATH- Official Forward Multimedia Support
I’m pleased to introduce Ms. Avionne Niamath, my new assistant and Official Forward Multimedia Support. I’ll let her tell her about herself in her own words below, but I can honestly say that she’s absolutely competent and has hit the ground running having started about a month ago.
By coincidence she’s also from Princes Town (like me), a past student of St. Stephen’s College (like me), and a past student of School of Accounting & Management (like me).
She has a great working knowledge of WordPress, but more importantly, understands my language of web design, and I’m not referring to coding language specifically, but rather, she understands the ‘where I’m coming from’ part. This means I don’t have to explain things twice, and I can rely on her to properly interpret tasks.
Unlike me, she doesn’t walk on water just yet… but I believe she has the potential to get there 🙂
Please note that Avionne is official Forward Multimedia Support but not exclusive. She is also a freelancer who does projects under her own name.
Now hear from her herself…
I’m Avionne Niamath; graphic & website designer, amateur chef, dog lover and most recently, Client Support at Forward Multimedia. Before joining the ranks at Forward Multimedia, I worked in the website development industry for five years. During this time, I had the opportunity to meet & interact with many new & different people. I’ve learned that there are LOTS of distinct personalities out there.
My studies at School of Accounting & Management led me to the career path I am now on. I attended their South Campus shortly after they opened their doors and after three years, I proudly walked away with First Class Honours BSc Computing & Information Systems.
I considered this to be a real achievement since during secondary school, I still wasn’t sure of the direction I wanted to take. My education at my alma mater, St. Stephen’s College was not exactly centred on a specific discipline. I did a combination of Science & Languages (what they called “Modern Studies”). Although I didn’t know what career these subjects would lead me to, it did feel pretty awesome to see a Grade I with Distinctions next to “Mathematics” on my CXC results sheet.
St. Stephen’s College was still my home for the next two years while doing A-Levels.
I’ve been told that my greatest strength is also considered to be my weakest point.. I am persistent. So, much so that it can border on annoying. Like when someone in my house has to ask me to do something at least five different times, but I just can’t leave the task I am handling on my computer. But fear not, the trait that is considered annoying by some, will be a bonus for the Forward Multimedia customers requiring website support!
Nevertheless, here I am today; proud to be part of a highly-revered website design company in Trinidad & Tobago. I am eager to make sure that your website keeps the “Forward Multimedia standard” it was initially built with.
I’ll be sending clients a special notification about the new Forward Support Desk with additional client-only details and guidelines about how official support will work and impact them. Overall, the intention is to have a better management of website tasks in a more efficient and timely manner to ensure that all client websites continue to work as they should for them.