At PVC, I’m the business guy. While I’d like to consider myself a writer, anyone that has ever copy edited or even read my work knows otherwise. As a Publishing exec. for the last gazillion years, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Without great writers, and great copy editors, ultimately you get lack-luster prose like this. However, I can supply some interesting business solutions based on history.
There’s an old saying, “on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”. Translated, if you’re projecting an image of a large company via your website or marketing materials, then no one needs to know you’re a one man shop, or a small business. Here are some great tools and some personal advice on how to move your production/post business forward.
For a small monthly fee, you can project a much larger image when your clients or prospective clients call your phone or 800 line. For a base of $10 dollars a month, or roughly 2.5 Venti Lattes at Starbucks over 30 days, you can have a virtual PBX system. You know, “welcome to Company “X”, if you know your party’s extension, please enter it now. To dial by last name, please press 5″. For only $10 you can sound like a large company. We have an 888 number for vendors and potential advertisers. We’re a small company, but we can sound like a big one when clients or potential clients call.
You can have extensions forwarded to your staff, or to mailboxes. If you’re a company of one, forward the extensions to different mailboxes and you sound like a much larger entity. If you’ve got employees or contractors, this allows them to get their calls wherever they are. Forward to their main line, cell phone or all. One cool option is that you can also create an extension that simply acts as a marketing piece. “If you’d like to learn more about PVC, please press 707. Then your pre-recorded informative piece plays. Hint: Use you’re better half, or the GotVmail talent to record your messages.
Combine GotVmail and GizmoProject and you have the makings of a decent phone system. At PVC, we use a GizmoProject number as the main line. Think of Gizmo just like Skype, voice over IP and that’s exactly what it is. Plus more. I’ve signed up for Skype, and prefer GizmoProject.
As an early adopter, I tend to push the envelope on technology, and how it can assist my daily routine. You see, I’m inherently lazy. However, I prefer to think of my laziness as creative solutions to find more time in my day.
If you run a business, one of the least fun tasks is the book keeping. If you have a full time accountant – great. Most likely you still need to keep the books, and then forward to the accountant. When preparing to launch PVC, I searched for the best program I could find. I actually came up with several very decent alternatives. I settled on QuickBooks Online for a couple of reasons.
1. I use multiple computers – PC and Mac all day long. Having the “cloud computing” option with QuickBooks makes the ability to maintain decent books no matter what hardware I am on.
2. I also travel a lot. If you own your own company you still need to keep track of expenses via an expense report of some type. For me, the ability to access QuickBooks online wherever I am on a daily basis if necessary, means is that in three weeks from now, I don’t have to try and remember where was dinner during NAB, or how much did I spend meeting with potential writers. If I can keep my records for the day, I can upload to quicken wherever I have internet access. Will it work with my iPhone, yup. As I understand it, QuickBooks is coming to iPhone 2.0
Here are some other tools that I personally couldn’t live without:
• iPhone allows me access to the site wherever I am
• Mac Air gives me the ability to do proposals, web updates and more without lugging around a ton of weight
• Lenovo x300. Read above for Mac Air, but for all of my business that requires a PC. Yeah, yeah I could run a PC on my mac – and do. However, I still prefer the stand alone PC and the Lenovo keyboard is the best in the business – period.
• AT&T broadband internet access. I can hit Starbucks, or the golf course, and update information, or handle what I need to without skipping a beat.
• more to come!
These little pieces of tech keep PVC running, along with other such pieces that I couldn’t live without. More coming…