Archive for November, 2009

I/T on a Budget
November 30, 2009

The first time I started a company, we sank oodles and oodles of money in to unnecessary I/T and tech “stuff.”  Off the top of my head I remember…

$60/yr – domain hosting for 4 domains (the main one as a .com, a common misspelling of the main one as a .com, and then .net versions of each.)

$70/month – 800 number with a “vanity” number that spelled part of the company name.

$100/license – ACT! CRM software.

$160/month – DSL line with super-duper speed that our IT guy assured me we HAD to have.

$40/month x 2 for phone lines.

$30/month – Project management software.

$50/month – credit card processors x 2.

——

 

Granted, that was 4 years ago and things have changed but I can’t help but get bugeyed when I look at those figures in old financial reports.  Now, it is INFINITELY easier and less expensive to be an organization with strong, solid, secure I/T infrastructure.    Here’s how…

Domain Hosting:  $10 a year for only the .com of our domain.  If someone can’t spell, why should I pay for it?

Site Hosting: 19.95 a month for 99.99% uptime and great 24/7 support.

Phone and Internet: $75 month through Clear.com for unlmited WiMax, which comes to about twice the speed of DSL in the Austin area.

800# – $12.95 a month, with voicemails sent to me as MP3s in emails, unlimited forwarding, hold music for 5 extensions, etc.

Fax: $9.95 a month – converts the faxes to email so I get them on my Blackberry.

Project Management – Basecamp.  $20 a month.

CRM – Highrise – $25 a month for 5 users.  Accessible from anywhere

Email – Gmail for Business – FREE.  I think you have to pay $30 a year per account now, but we got in early so we don’t pay anything.

 

Anyway, technology has changed a lot so there are a lot of cost-effective ways to do everything from building a website to handling your CRM.  And there are people out there who will try and convince you that more expensive products are worth the price.  They aren’t.  At this point, if you have ANY tech knowledge at all you can find free CRM software (like SugarCRM) and set them up without a lot of hassle.  More importantly, once you start making money you’ll be even more pained to see even a little of it go out to something overpriced.

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Checking In…
November 24, 2009

Has it really been so long since I posted anything?  Interesting.  4 months is a long time for a business blog to not be posting much about business.  But I’ve moved from one thing to another:  I’m not building a business anymore but rather, I have one.

That’s not to say I’m not focused on growth and expansion and making things “bigger” all together, but the day-to-day operations of simply managing and maintaining what we’ve already built takes up most of the day.  It’s rewarding to be “here” where the business makes money and sustains itself.  On the flip side, the entreprenuerial attitude has to get pushed to the back a little bit in favor of practical engagement.