It was getting bad; the competition was kicking my ass. Not in terms of closing business, but in getting to my customers before me. Their product truly is a piece of crap compared to mine.
Then I lost one. My first loss ever to this competitor in head to head competition. Damn, what a slap in the face, even though they came in $150K less than me.
It was time to change my game. I realized that I was partially distracted by a string of interviews with a Fortune 5 company. I wasn’t crazy about the job, but thought that the management was great, and the company fantastic. But I really think that the company I work at now is in the midst of an exciting and challenging time. That’s more important to me than the money, and I’m happy to say that the money has always come with me.
So, the first thing to change was the mindset. I may have a shitload of people over me, that have more power than me, and more access to resources than me, and it made sense to ask them for help. But that wasn’t enough; I had to respond to my competition in a way that was scalable, focused and fast.
First, I cancelled my interviews with the other company. I needed to focus on this mission and this mission solely.
Then I developed a philosophy. Many of you have read that book, “The Four Hour Work Week”. Sounds great to have your little businesses going “ca ching ca ching” all in chorus while you’re in Fiji contemplating your navel. Yeah, dream on.
What the book did teach was a philosophy. Get rid of worthless stuff. Set up processes, automate, and/or outsource the disagreeable or less profitable tasks to others. Do what makes money, and what I like to do.
So instead of a 4 hour workweek, I’m working a 400 hour work week. I’m leveraging a number of different resources to speed up my impact including:
- PHPList- an open source email tool.
- Jblast- Fax broadcast service.
- Callfire – automated dialing service.
- A Web developer and virtual assistant I picked up from getafreelancer.com
The Internet has made these power tools very inexpensive. PHPList is a free email tool that I use from a $6.95/month web site hosted at siteground.com. The program is literally installed with a mouse click.Jblast charges between 6 and 12 cents per page faxed, and Callfire charges 3.9 cents a minute.
I can play like the big guys, and still get it under the radar on my expense account. Stay tuned. Over the next few days, I’ll give you my experience with each of these products and services.