This roughly marks the start of GeoMetrick Enterprises. I started working on the company March 1st, 1996 and gotten all the insurance, registrations and such not long afterward. It’s strange to me to think that, this time last year, I had begun a W-2 job thinking I was starting a new phase in my life but, at this point, already knowing the job probably wasn’t going to last and that I would likely return, here. Here are some thoughts and observations based on these years in business.
Technology and Getting Our Work Done
The work isn’t that much different than it ever was. We talk about new technology, new methodologies, and other new ideas but, at the bottom of it all, project work isn’t that much different. Even the tools haven’t changed, much. For example, today, I sometimes use my cloud database or network drive but it’s no different than anything else I use.
One thing that is a true change is the concept of the software vendor hosting a customer’s implementation for them. If it had ever been done in years gone by, it was definitely not something you could just go out and ask for. These days, customers sometimes have specific reasons why they want me to include that as we search for software for them. But whether I do my work on a local installation on my own machine (cloud or otherwise) or on the customer’s machines (cloud or otherwise) or the software vendor’s machines (cloud or otherwise), unless the connection speeds are bad, it all looks about the same as I do my work.
For the most part, getting customer work and getting involved with software vendors or the larger consulting groups is still a matter of being in the right place at the right time – the whole “who you know is more important than what you know” is still much the same. However, over the years, the preferred vendor lists have changed that, to an extent. Now, there are times when you could be the best company with the best track record knowing the right people and talking to them at the right time and you still wouldn’t get past the preferred vendors list.
On the other hand, it’s much easier to make connections with potential customers as, these days, almost all of them are in tools such as LinkedIn. With that said, with every contact I make, I’m sure my competitors are working just as hard to make those connections and connect with people. So, these tools might it easier to make the connection with potential customers but they also make it harder to stand out as potential customers get contacted by so many people, now.
People are still people. There are consulting companies that have people with strong skills who can make plans, get work done within those plans, that work will be strong, and the customer will have what they paid for. There are also consulting companies that don’t have the right resources but still sell as if they do, couldn’t come up with a plan that matches what they can really do and, in the end, will go back to the customer, time after time, making the case for yet more money for the failing project. And the customer almost always pays it because they’ve paid so much, already, that they don’t think they can afford to pull the plug.
The same goes for the customers: some of them have access to the right decision-makers for their projects and, whether or not they know exactly what they want and need, they can work with you to find ways to determine that. In other cases, customers don’t have the right resources needed to make the project happen and it won’t come to a finish unless they find a way to change that. Or, they have such extreme politics and in-fighting that there’s just not a way to get past that.
The Coming Year(s)
At about this point, I should be talking about the plans I have for my business for the coming year. At this point, after coming out of that W-2 job, I’m still working to rebuild what I’d had and I suspect I’ll continue to do that.
With that said, there are some things I’d like to accomplish, but still on my list are issues such as improving the web-site, for example. Or, more pressing, handling all my tax documents to finalize everything for tax season.
Recently, someone asked if I see myself keeping this business running until I retire. That’s hard to say. That’s so many years away I have no idea what will happen between now and then. For the moment, my thoughts remain with issues such as business development and the usual struggles of maintaining one’s business.
Thank you to all of you who have send me congratulations!