I sometime check out competitors websites (partly to get ideas, partly to compare them to my website, and partly to see if I can pick anything that they don’t do (which I can do to get some advantage)).
Anyway, I’ve noticed an trend. I’m tempted to say amusing trend, but I’m not sure if thats the right word.
A lot of competitors who rank very well, seem to get their webites designed and optimised by outside companies.
I can understand this for most industries, but if a computer service company is not able to design and tune their own website in-house, then I wonder about their range of technical skills.
If a company has a narrow range of skills (particularly in the computer service industry), then their business will suffer when (not if, but when) the industry changes character.
To me, a computer tech who can, for example, only fix hardware, and doesn’t want to know about software, will eventually go broke / lose his job.
Since starting my business, I’ve found that one of the traits that has kept Computer Aid viable, has been its flexibility. I can singlehandedly do hardware, software, website design, SEO, marketing, sales, accounting, purchasing, etc.
Some would say: why do it all yourself, when you can pay someone to do this for you?
Well, to me, thats a luxury I cannot afford while Computer Aid remains small. I keep overheads as low as possible, and I keep my finger in many technical “pies” (so an industry change shouldn’t affect me much). I can think big, act big, but I won’t spend big unless I’m earning even bigger.
So far, It’s worked out well, and I cannot see many obstacles ahead.
In the end, all of my business expenses need to be paid for (by my customers). Since I genuinely care about my customers, then I owe it to them to keep my fees as low as reasonably possible, by keeping my expenses as low as possible.
I keep this in mind for all my business expenses (eg buy a small economical car, rather than a large car to feed my ego…)
I do similar with advertising. I need to advertise, but so far, with my local paper advertising, I’ve only needed (and could only justify) a small 3-line advert in 3 local papers. I see many others with much larger and fancier ads, which must cost at least 3 times as much… but does 3 times the cost equal 3 times the customers? Does 3 time the size equal 3 time the quality? I’m not so sure. I made sure I chose my wording very carefully, as I didn’t want my ad to say what everyone else said, yet it would appeal to the kind of customer I wanted… And there *are* customers that I don’t want to deal with, but luckily they don’t tend to call me (it sometimes pays to NOT be the cheapest in town!)
Which leads to one of my favorite business sayings: I’d rather do nothing, than work for nothing.
Looks like I’ve wandered away from the original topic, so I better stop here. Until next time.