Have a moment to read something crazy? Earlier today while firmly planted on a couch, nursing a headache, dreading any further tasks I arrived at an epiphany. I wandered back to my desk and began making some calculations. Were the numbers right? Could I have been this nuts all along?
Let’s find out. First, let me explain how I got there. I attended a conference last month in Las Vegas titled ‘Microconf’ (You can watch the videos from 2012′s conference here[popup link].), a conference that is essentially geared towards single founders (like myself) that need to wear 50 different hats. One day I’ll be doing CSS, the next I’ll spend hours on the phone with banks, accountants and praying our vendors will pick up their phones. Small companies have no choice but to optimize in order to compete. We’ve got to build, grow and save all at the same time. There’s only so much time in a day, and the long laundry list we all carry the burden of is simply insane (My todo list is 82 items long, for ex.). Whether that optimization is geared towards saving time, money or reducing workload I’d like to think every bit counts.
So, back to that couch. I was dreading my ‘mailbox run’, something I often look forward to, but this headache was not letting me enjoy the idea. Every two days or so I hop on a bicycle, motorcycle or some combination thereof (I used to rollerblade back when I was a fan of neon spandex) and head downtown. Once in awhile I’ll combine these trips with a quick stop at a coffee shop to work outside, taking in the glorious sunshine. More often than not however, they’re about thirty minutes in length and will consist of me illegally parking in a fire-lane, running inside and attempting to dash out within two minutes to avoid a traffic ticket. Rarely would anything await me besides the odd bill, or notification from our bank about how much they apparently despise the earth’s remaining trees.
That’s when it hit me. How much paper, the type that go into your wallet, and the sort that go in your paper shredder, could we save if we made some changes? It turns out that 2-3 hours a week of fuel and time add up. Our mailbox costs (thousands a year), the $700+ I was spending in fuel, traffic and the 100-150 hours I was spending dancing back and forth every day or two.. all to more often than not open an empty mailbox. I went and did some calculations and it turns out for every dollar I received via mail, it cost 30 cents in time, fuel and headache.
And the kicker? We have 22 clients that mail in payments.
Email me if you have any of your own stories to tell.
I have waded through tonnes of posts on the internet about startups, web hosting, business launching and entrepreneurs and realized that there’s a few things lacking. Time and time again I’ve read about business plans, infrastructure, lines of credit & divvying out stock, but I’ll dish out the real secret sauce to launching a hosting company that very rarely has been told.