Are you fully using the tech you pay for?

by | Nov 14, 2020

Hey, I’m Michael Eckstein 👋, and this is ‘Ordinary & Necessary’, a weekly newsletter about the boring business topics that don’t get enough traction on the web, but will help you manage and grow your business. You signed up on my website. If you’d like to unsubscribe, just click the link at the bottom of this email. No harm, no foul, I’d love to have you back sometime.

Recently, I’ve been making an effort to guest appear on more podcasts. There’s dozens of guides that explain the process, including how to find good podcasts, what emails to write, how to be a good guest, etc. The better guides usually have one thing in common: shiny new toys (specifically software that automates cold outreach). And, I’m a sucker for shiny new toys 🙃.

After wasting entirely too much time, I realized that my CRM can already do 90% of what I needed. It can track contact info, autofill custom details into email templates, keep track of my outreach tasks, and automate a lot of the outreach process. It can even automatically send all my outreach emails. It just can’t do it at scale, but I don’t need scale (or to spend an extra $50/mo).

The problem is that I’ve been using my CRM for nearly two years and haven’t used half these features. For two years, I’ve missed out on the additional efficiencies and haven’t made full use of the money I was spending. Then, in four hours on Tuesday, I set up new email templates with custom autofills, auto-reminders, and a new pipeline to track these podcasts which should save me 30min+ per podcast which can easily add up to 50-100hrs+ over the next year. But, that makes me think, how much time have I (and possibly you too) wasted by not fully using my software?

Unutilized efficiency – Modern software is incredibly powerful and feature-packed. For example, accounting software can now read receipts, learn how you categorize transactions, send e-payable invoices, and create reports that used to require expensive, proprietary Excel sheets (yeah, proprietary Excel sheets are really a thing). Using all the features in the software that you already pay for can save you hours each month – eliminating tedious admin work, increasing your profit/hour, and freeing up time to take on more client work.

Unnecessary expense – On the other hand, you may not need all those extra features. You may only need the features found in a $10/m CRM instead of the higher-end $100/mo CRM. In that case, consider downgrading to either a less expensive tier or a different software. A client recently downgraded their accounting software and saved $20/mo. It isn’t a life-changing amount of money, but it’s easily an extra date night per year.

Shiny new toys – Stop buying shiny new toys. If you truly needed that new toy, you’d know. That’s it. That’s the whole bullet point.

Action Item: Mini-audit your software stack. Set up the features and automations you haven’t been using so you can be more efficient. Or, downgrade the software and save some money.

Have a great weekend and stay safe!
Michael Eckstein

P.S. Know any small business podcasts that are looking for a guest? Give me a shout.

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