Yep, I can guarantee it like the sun will rise and set. You will have those days that just plain suck. And when you have a blog those are good days to go unplugged and let people know that even you have those days.
Parts of the printing industry continue to shrink. The overall economy is not good in spite of the lies your government is telling you. Don’t believe me on those topics? Bop on over the WhatTheyThink.com and have a look at what Dr. Joe Webb is saying. He’s a damn smart guy who has been watching the industry for years.
Me and ColorMetrix are not going anywhere. I’ve been doing this for sixteen years and have no plans to stop now. I have a great, solid and loyal base of customers that has carried us through these times in better shape than most. It’s just that there is no longer any automatic easy business. You have to fight and scrape for even the tiny deals now.
I’ve worked tirelessly to make it easier and easier for our base of customers to renew their support and maintenance contracts with us. I’m working on an eBook idea about this very subject. This recurring revenue stream is key to the long-term survival of any niche software business. Our recurring customers understand this and even vocalize it often.
Servicing the base actually is the hard work. There is nothing sexy of fun about making sure the renewal notices go out and following those up with phone calls. I continue to automate the process as much as a small company can cost justify but it’s a lot of work and not fun work at that every month. In tougher times this is probably the most important work you do.
The point to this post is for entrepreneurs. When times are tough and you have your ears tucked in so you survive (remember I’ve been at this 16 year) you will end up doing a whole lot of the shitastic work you hate to do. I get through it by being glad I have that work to do for my customers.
Somehow it always works out. In the middle of all those calls and emails to bring in the much needed base dollars that are our survival I find a nugget of a lead and plan a 3-day sales trip to a far away city that quickly fills with appointments. I’m not really sure how it works it just does. Keep plugging away, keep doing the good work, keep scheduling time each day (first two hours for me) for the most important projects you are working on.
It will all work out. If not today, then tomorrow or the day after if you keep after it. Anyone else have similar days and similar feelings? Or am I just a messed up whiner on this one?
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xfp/4089484918