Bad employees can ruin a business from the inside out on various levels. They can fail to complete projects on time or at all, spread negativity, drive customers away, just to name a few. But even if your employees are resistant to the bad employee it can still cause major issues and drive your good [Read More]
It has been three months since I started using You Need a Budget. I’m pleased to say that I’ve stuck with it and am really starting to get my budget under control. Here are a few things I’ve learned so far.
We spend a lot of money going out to eat. Well we use to. Now [Read More]
For a few months now I’ve been working with a client to connect SalesForce to their website. Overall it has been a good and interesting process. Originally they just wanted to keep their user/company data synced but exploring what I have access to as far as SalesForce data I found a goldmine to improve the relationship between the company and their customers. My client has been pretty diligent about keeping records when ever they interact with a customer. They record when ever they talk to the customer on the phone, what the conversation was about, every email, every product/service order, what certifications they have, and a ton of company information. All of which I have access to and the ability to pull it into the website. Because my client is so meticulous about collecting data I have the opportunity to customize the user’s experience on the website based on the company/customer interaction history and so can you. But how?
Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the customer life cycle and how a customer moves through a business. This is just a rough idea but it got me thinking what I started to break it down. I realized how much not only my business is missing but also how many other businesses fail to [Read More]
As a web developer I have the skills to build all sorts of cool web based applications. I love being able to build features and applications that make any one’s life easier. But sometimes it backfires on me. Mainly, I can and have spent weeks, months and even years building and changing features if I’m left unchecked. Which recently happened and caused me to get stuck in a customer feedback loop.
I build a feature based on a customer suggestion about two years ago. No one else used the feature until about a year ago, two more customers have started using it. Those two customers had suggestions for the feature. All of them were pretty easy to do so I implemented them. It didn’t change the core functionality so I thought everyone would be happy. Well the changes annoyed the original customer and they wanted a few things changed. Fine, no problem. But those changes annoyed the other customer. Who then wanted further changes. I went back and forth between the customers for about a month. Neither were happy. I finally gave up, let my customers know I have to move on to other issues and will circle back later.
I should have handled this completely differently. But How?
Today I would like to share a story about a now old client of mine. It is just something I have to get off my chest. For obvious privacy reasons I’ve made a few changes but overall this is how it went down.
Over the past few months I’ve been witness to a buyout that has destroyed my client’s business. It is difficult to watch as I have been a part of their company for a long time now. I understand that buyouts and acquisitions usually never turn out well for employees of the bought company. However from what I understand this one should have been different. In fact my client was promised it would be different. I guess he should have gotten it in writing.
Long ago I worked for a small company. My business was pretty new and I was looking for money any where I could so I agreed to work part time. I helped this company bring a failing web application back to life and to production. Part time ended up being full time. But they promised [Read More]
I was talking to a friend of mine this past week about his job. He was rather frustrated about some sweeping changes that have been going on where he works. In short the company is going for a more measured approach when it comes to work. They want to set goals, track time spent on projects, and in general measure the day to day activities. The system isn’t intended to micro manage but rather help the company figure out where employees are spending their time and if it is important. Which is good and something my friend agrees with. This change isn’t about firing people, the company really cares about its employees and wants every one to be happy along with having a productive, profitable company.
In general I’ve always felt I’m pretty good with money. My parents taught me the value of a dollar, why it is important to save money, and why debt is bad. But I’ve never really had a budget. I never felt I really needed one because I wasn’t living pay check to pay check and at the end of every month I had spent less money than I brought in.
However, over the past few years as I make more money I started to succumb to lifestyle inflation. In most respects I think I’ve done a pretty good job of cutting back and not giving in but it is a constant battle. The other thing I realized is I couldn’t tell where all my money is going. Yeah I have a record of it because I rarely pay in cash and use my credit card for everything (paying it off in full each month) but that doesn’t do much for me if I’m not managing my money. So I thought it is time for me to get a budget.
I am regularly in meetings that cost anywhere between $300 to $3500+. Sounds crazy right? Not for me, and not for most people. On average I spend 3-5 hours a week in meetings. These meetings vary in size. Sometimes it is just the development department, 8 people. Sometimes it is the whole product team, 35 people. [Read More]