Since I became a “company of one” this past January, I have been far busier than I had estimated when I wrote out my business plan. I guess that is a good problem, but it has taken me 10 months to get things under control and fit within my new five-days-a-week schedule (no more working Saturdays, Sundays, or evenings). I have been one of the fortunate few who have always enjoyed working. The building industry is interesting and challenging, and you meet a lot of nice people along the way throughout your career. At 65 years young, however, I decided to make sure I was also increasing my time on those other things that mattered outside of work while keeping busy with what I do.
With the job going well and with business partners to pick up the load, I have finally made time to address some other work-related duties I’ve neglected, beginning with overhauling my website at www.buildingsmartsoftware.com. These days, having your own website is not unusual. You don’t need to be a large company to be able to afford to keep your website up and running. Others choose Facebook and/or communicate through Twitter, but for me, a website is enough wireless technology to stay connected and in communication with others beyond my day-to-day interaction.
As a company of one in which I fill a niche business need (bigger is not always better) and with no plans to grow my company, I don’t need to have my website make a “branding” statement that would identify services I can provide based on my years of experience and/or the business tools I sell on the site. Instead, I had my website developer work with me to provide something totally different and fun. Sure, I still have my checklists and commissioning software program for sale, but I also have a new web page titled “My Environment” where you can sit back and watch an environmental slide show featuring the space around me. I guess this can be considered a 21st-century digital equivalent to the 20th-century phrase, “stop to smell the roses.”
For me, I can take a break and walk out my office door and enjoy the environment and maybe see a fox or hawk pass by me. I even put a park bench out on a hill in the pasture where I can sit with my dogs and my camera. The idea of taking a website photo break came from a good friend and mentor who used to stop what he was doing when he needed an engineering break and pull out a photograph of himself running just ahead of the bulls in Pamplona. Simple and tranquil … well, maybe not tranquil.
For the person logging on to my website, maybe he can stop and take in nature’s beauty before he has to go to that meeting and fill up on bagels and coffee and listen to the boss pleading with everyone to work harder so the company will be profitable.
Another thing I did this year was purchase a hybrid automobile, or as we say here in Massachusetts, a “hybrid cah.” It is pretty cool to be getting 55 miles to the gallon after all those rush-hour commutes into Boston at 20 miles per gallon for years. Sure, I miss my ’57 Chevy and those years when we had “muscle cahs,” but times have changed. I’m not sure why all automobile manufacturers don’t have at least one vehicle model that can get over 50+ mpg, but then again I think of how long it has taken me to finally get around to buying one. I was thinking that maybe I would include a photo of my energy-efficient automobile on My Environment page but decided that although it is more efficient than a Hummer (see “Tomorrow’s Environment” column July 2008), it still isn’t carbon neutral.
I have also added a web page titled, “My Favorite Web Sites” where I have posted several websites I use and have encouraged others to check out such as where to buy smart software (“Tomorrow’s Environment,” May 2011) or address need to know about hospital associated infection (“Tomorrow’s Environment,” January 2011). Or maybe your company is in need of a corporate sustainability plan (“Tomorrow’s Environment,” March 2011). You can also find a link to my daughter’s company website at www.interprosoft.com. If you don’t have a website, you can take my recommendation and hook up with my website host (www.equinesite.com) and maybe you can have a “My Environment” page, too.
In my 2011 business plan, I allocated one day a week dedicated to writing, and while I’m not quite there yet with this goal, I have updated my website and I am getting 55 mpg, so you could say life is going well for my company of one. ES