Thunder Data Systems

Creativity = Opportunity

Creativity = Opportunity

I had been telling Stacy that for many people, the most difficult part of starting a business is actually telling others that you are! I had read that once you lay it out there, people will wait for you to fail. I don’t know if I agree with the sentiment, but I do know that the fear of failure keeps many would-be business owners from taking the first step.

Another fear is lack of money. In a book I am revisiting from my bookshelf, “Growing a Business”, I read an interesting point by author, Paul Hawken. He discusses the concept that for small business, “too much money is worse than too little.” He continues, “The major problem affecting business, large or small, is a lack of imagination, not capital.” I agree.

Back in 2000 when I started this company, a laptop was a pretty expensive investment at about $2500. And like all new businesses, I knocked on a lot of doors trying to get sales. I needed to show prospective clients the quality of my work (neither particularly good nor bad), and without that expensive laptop coupled with a time when many businesses had no computer connection, I was limited. So, what did I do? I used Photoshop 3.0 to create prints of the website designs I had done and carried them in those cheesy plastic sleeves. I laugh about it now, but you know what? I sold my clients on my work.

Creativity offered an opportunity.

When I read Hawken’s words tonight, I realized that at TDS we serve well the businesses that don’t have a lot of money. I like to tell prospective clients that we will do as much or as little as they want us to do or that their budgets allow. We create editable websites and ecommerce sites, and offer a lot of guidance to help our clients use the web to help them sell. In short, we give them ideas that cost nothing but time. The clients willing to invest the time and energy needed to create dynamic and useful sites are rewarded with increased sales. Those clients come back to us a year later a little busier, having a little less time to devote to site maintenance, but holding a slightly thicker wallet to hire us for the work that adds to profits.

So, consider the possibilities and make your expenditures count. Have attractive, professionally designed, business cards made with your web address on them. Join your local chamber for a couple of hundred bucks a year, and hand out those great looking business cards. Get a cell phone, and when you are out of the office, forward those sales calls from the chamber folks who found your number on the business card you gave them at the last event!

Creativity and hard work are more useful than money, and honing these skills early helps lay the foundation for real profits when used in concert with smart investments–bought through increasing profits–to accelerate growth.

And what of those slick presentation “brochures” I created? I still have them. Stop by the office, and I’ll let you see what money can’t buy.

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