May 2007
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Month May 2007

My Business – Me and My Computer.

So many books you read about business (e.g. Nick Rampley-Sturgeon’s “Small Business, Big Profit”), seem to view small one-man or one-woman businesses as no more than a glorified job.As I’m just in the process of discovering, having just set up my own business, it’s not.For one thing, you have to go out and sell your business, you haven’t got a nice manager there to give you work, and if there’s no work in, or the computer goes pop, you can’t just sit and have a gossip, you need to go out and find more work or you don’t get paid.Small and micro-businesses are still businesses.... What gets me going is that she is only been doing this for a short period of time and already has learned that as a one man business nobody really cares about your business or is interested in what you do - why is that?I believe her great business attitude " I don't plan to grow beyond me and the computer..."

WinWeb hits 200’000 users.

We had a very good day today - I am happy to announce that we have now over 200'000 registered users on our systems. The growth in our users numbers has been contributed by steady organic online growth and a growing number of reseller and OEM deals, where our product is bundled.

Being an ex-monopolist telco

Very little of the progress in those years was innovated by them, since up until then they had no need to, they did not know how to - little has changed.So while I also have my doubts that these telcos will be able to provide any additional services, this is their only road to survival.... On the other hand maybe they learn this way what customer service, reliable infrastructure and running a business really means.But here is the thing, what the ISPs - with IP networks - did to Telcos, bloggers are doing to the traditional media, that is why they are sharpening their knifes pencils and the SaaS community is doing to the big software boys - we are cannibalizing a market and demand created by the likes of Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, in my case Sage and others, in many cases because they provide a poor service and product for inflated prices.

Being rude to your customers.

However, it took quite some time to get the luggage to our rooms, so we missed the room service deadline.Which is where our next problem starts, I asked for something to eat for us, so we had a loaf of bread, butter and some fruit delivered to our room, the bread was still in it’s plastic wrapping, we collapsed laughing when we saw that.... Who gave this place five stars or did they just buy a sticker set.The next thing was, I made a reservation for the a la carte restaurant for the following evening for 19:15 hours, later I checked and what a surprise I had no reservation.

FREE software with 24/7 live support – anyone?

But most of our almost 200k users have been acquired by direct contract with larger businesses with a stake in the small business sector - customer churn hurts anyone, even big boys.Bearing in mind that I already said software has little value, I would like to discuss our current thinking for the near future with my readers and would be delighted to get some feedback on the blog or by email.... The clients would be served well with a free accounting system including our famed 24/7 support (see Paul Druckmans - former President of the ICAEW - testimonial).OnlineOfficeFor OnlineOffice (a 5 - user license) we would put out this "advertisers" pricing, including ALL the OnlineOffice products included in our price-list to endusers: Up to 100 licenses - GBP 100 / US$ 200 per month ( GBP 1 / US$ 2 per lic.)

Just paying the bills!

But, let me ask you this, how does a franchisee, corner shop keeper, and other small often family run businesses make it big or more importantly do they even want to make it big.I believe they just want to pay their bills and make a decent living.... You can work for more than one organisation, so losing one is not the of the world.I know a number of Virtual Assistants who do exactly that, they work from home (low overheads, see the kids coming from school almost every day and no traveling every morning to work), work for 5 to 15 clients (spread of risk, job security), work when they want (time for a private life) with a little network of like minded people as backup.

Blogging Roundup – 2007.05.18

- What a surprise, am I shocked - not really!Great projects, great clients - These are the ones that move industries forward.From Vinnie Mirchandani:The Genius of Marc Benioff - I'm not sure it ends there, SaaS and real services is the future (SaaSaS).From David Maisters:Do you have a trusted Advisor?... - Interesting question, I'll will ask this in the SME context later.Good to Good - That would be my clients then, most of them want to pay bills, not buy a jet!From Zoli Erdos:TiEcon 2007: The new face of entrepreneurship - It's time to retire at my age!From Jeff Cornwell:Liability Reform and Small Business - didn't I mention politicians before?Impact of Over Regulation - Good for Kentucky and Maryland.Business or Hobby?

Success or Failure – Who cares?

Most people deny making mistakes exactly for this reason, but the reality is we ALL make mistakes, I certainly do.Small Business Infrastructure - Grow your success, contain your failure.So how can you survive this initial "trying to get it right phase", even if it goes wrong? You could use our Small Business Infrastructure - SBI to test drive your business and later grow it more safely into your success story.SBI allows you to stay compliant, grow you business in an business friendly and supportive environment, outsource non-core business processes, save on overheads and capital investments and enables you to run your business on a shoestring.

Has software value?

Some are suspicious, others are unnerved by our approach to distribute our software.Well to begin with the question is wrong, because we give all our software away, we in reality only charge for hosting and associated costs, such as our 24x7 support, bandwidth use, hard disk space, etc.!... This market sector has always been impossible to service, not so anymore.On-Demand Software + On-Demand Services + 24 hr Support & Advice = SBIHaving said that, we are all about providing a Small Business Infrastructure (SBI), that means using on-demand software (SaaS, web-ware, Web 2.0, etc.) to provide on-demand services, 24x7 support, business advice and intelligence, business compliance and other benefits to our clients.

Business Prevention Measures

It is Jeff Cornwall day today - I do not need to add anything to this!

WinWeb Business Cloud - Creating Financially Sustainable Businesses