This was something I wrote a year ago and though it had posted. However, the scheduler didn’t work correctly. So this is counting toward my goal this month and I’m going to make minimal changes.
Originally written Nov. 26, 2018 Updated Sep. 5, 2019
You know how sometimes things come at you one after another…
Yeah… me too.
So I have been wanting to do a follow-up post on what I have learned about male infertility for months now, but I have also been busy working my behind off…
Sometimes it’s like we make ourselves busy to avoid the things we should do. The funny part is when we are avoiding that one thing it might cause us to become really productive in another area.
So for about 1-1/2 months I have really been knocking out some things that are fairly important but some of them I have managed to put off doing for years. You know the stuff that is “important not urgent”…
Possibly it will make more sense when I take the time to articulate what I am thinking…
On Another Note
For the first time in years I see a few things clearly that I was missing before. I know how I should have structured Better PC Health to grow it at a rapid rate and be able to sell it for a very high price. I think I had thought about this before but could never see clearly how to make it work.
Originally my thought was to make something that made a difference. A real impact. I had this vision of virus writers and bot handlers looking out on their maps of infection and controlled zombie PCs and seeing a huge void in the Tulsa/Oklahoma region. I would imagine them scratching their heads and wondering if people in the Midwest just didn’t have computers.
I now know the vision was and is possible but I should have designed a healthy profit and clear path for growth.
I feel like the plan I have come up with now is decently solid.
[note from 2019: this plan has changed somewhat and will be detailed in a future post]
The plan would be pretty straight forward.
- Offer to partner with shops/providers on an Alpha version 2.0
- Charge them 1 of 3 ways either: franchise, license, or 1 time lifetime early adopter membership
- Use the money to take the existing system to the next level
- Sell franchises and continue development
- Or offer the whole system up for grabs as a kind of business ready to go
This plan seems so obvious now. I could do the same thing with the InfoFlow and the myriad of other products and services I have created. Each would be slightly different, but the concept is the same.
I did try something like this with the InfoFlow. I met with or spoke with the providers I could find that seemed to be in the space. I went out and talked with the end users I thought could use the thing.
I did demonstrations and installed a few, but never got much further than that.
What I have learned over the last few years is how important it is to not be the one doing everything all the time. I think that is why we can call these things failures.
[Thanks Todd for that lesson]
I’m still that guy to a much larger part than I want to admit. [Now a year later I think things have improved on this front, but I also think I have learned many new lessons about how to work with and manage other people.]
So let’s use some real world examples here and show why always being “the guy” is a huge mistake. It isn’t scalable at all, and when I go down all systems go down, but this is only the tip of the iceberg.
When I first went out to sell Better PC Health something interesting happened when I would make a sale. I would become very busy for about 3-7 days. During those 3-7 days no other sales could be made, my time was occupied by cleaning, securing, and setting up the computers I had just contracted to manage.
This sounds great except for there are few problems.
- I have to charge more than I designed for the system to account for lost time
For instance I could lose 3-7 weeks selling and setting up a new client. That is because the turn around on new clients was not a quick decision that someone would just jump right on. Of course there is always exceptions, but in general you can count on about 4 weeks before hearing back from someone. To speed up the process I would be in contact weekly and stop by often if I was in the area.
- Support calls are much higher when there are new clients
This should have likely been obvious but it wasn’t something I really had a way to plan for… see the service is designed to reduce problems and possibly eliminate service calls. But I would often spend 70% of my phone and computer support time taking care of issues that were not actually covered.
I started doing this due to ignorance on my part and often it could be easier to just take care of the problem instead of trying to explain that they needed to call a 3rd party support. This of course depends heavily on the client and the situation. However, I got to learn of new issues and things to watch for.
I had not thought this through well enough and eventually it became a burden on the system… if we can call it that … aka you can’t call me and me alone a system.
- When I’m Sick on Vacation or Just Want to Breath
Then what??? Even after eliminating most of the actual support calls and making the support software run smoother I still had no “out”. I was still too large to sneak away and too small to hire it out.
- There Can Only Be One Ring to Rule Them All
Me… Yes, when you’re the only guy showing up and the one doing the work. Suddenly you are the only one they trust to service their computers. I mean for most people computers are still a great deal of magic and mystery.
For most people they are “private”… I even read an article recently about how our brains operate differently in our hyper connected world and most of our computers and phones have become extensions of our minds. Try telling someone you are going to have someone work on their computer systems they don’t know or see…
I’m still not diving in as deeply as I could, but I think you can start to see the picture.
Let’s talk about the first thing on my list for creating a solution and then go through why it solves nearly every issue I outlined here.
Ok, so we are starting out and call or visit every computer shop in town. This is our up-front work. We make an easy offer. This is my pitch:
“You join my program, and I will give you software and teach you how to use it to clean computers faster than you ever thought possible. You will be able to make them more secure and give your clients peace of mind while charging them monthly or quarterly or even yearly as opposed to when they occasionally bring their computer to you or call you for a service call.
“Further you will be notified preemptively of hardware issues that are detectable, network and virus issues that are detectable, and this can prompt a call or email to your client giving you business. In other words you will see before their hard drive fails that it will happen and be able to call them up and say something like, ‘Mr Client, I can see in my system that your hard drive is about to fail and lose all the data, why don’t you let me take care of that before it is a costly disaster that we both want to avoid’
“Now because you are cleaning computers faster, taking preemptive action and have a new recurring revenue stream you can support more clients and you can afford to advertise to get those new clients!
“If you don’t sign up then Computer Shack down the street will and in 1 or 2 years time they will get all of your clients and you will be closing shop because my product makes your service so much better you can’t do without it.”
Following this road problems 1-4 have just been automagically solved. Our new partners find the clients. They are already taking the support calls and should actually see a drop in calls. It’s not me. Last the clients already have built-in trust for the computer guy they have been working with for years.
The influx of money from the new partnerships can be put 100% to development, and new and long planned features can be built on top of the existing system rather quickly.
Now that I have typed this out I do actually like it better than when it was just rolling around in my head. It is kind of exciting to see how a plan can come together. Think about the possibilities. If current owners were not willing to partner it could be sold as franchise to people in their mid 40’s to about 55. It could be sold as a retirement vehicle like a McDonalds.
[Interesting to see this a year later. I say this has some merit.]