Today I’ve been thinking about something I used to do that worked really well that I’ve quit doing. It’s like so many things in life. You do something, it works really well, you get success, you feel good, and then you slip out of your habit and you stop doing it.
What I’ve been thinking about and that I’ve got to return to is what’s called theme days. If you’re an office dweller, if you can construct your day in terms of themes – for example, today I do meetings, today I do phone calls, today I work on finances, today I work on marketing, today I work on sales, today I do my project meetings – if you can construct your life in terms of themes – Monday is X, Tuesday is Y, Wednesday is Z – you what ill be far more productive because you’re grouping like work. Instead of taking phone calls everyday randomly throughout the week, what if you could group most of your phone calls on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings?
That’s not possible for everyone, but that’s an example. What if you could never think about accounting but only do accounting on Fridays? What if you could reserve two full days to sales and marketing? If anything comes up that’s not sales and marketing-related, you say “Hey, I can’t deal with it today. I’ll get with you on Friday.” That way every week you are accountable to two days of sales and marketing, the most important activity in your business. Think in terms of theme days. A lot of really successful people do this. I’m sure a lot of really successful people do it with great success, and then they stop just like I have. I’m committing to going back to my theme day approach. Hopefully it will help you as well.
This is a book recommend. I just finished reading the book The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. Now this book, at first glance, is written by a guy, he’s a VC, a venture capitalist, and he has been very involved in multiple technology companies. If you discount this book because it’s a technology book in some sense or it’s written by a guy from technology, you’ll miss out in a major way.
If you’re running a company in the one, two plus million dollar range I think this book will especially resonate with you. I think it resonates most with somebody that has built or is building multimillion dollar companies. Now, if you’re running a smaller business and you’re not there yet, it’s still a great read, but you might want to come back and read this book again as you get bigger, and you’ll be aware of and experience things differently that are said in the book.
I think this is one of those books you could read every year and get new things out of it as your business evolves. If you think your life’s hard, if you think your business is hard, if you think you’ve been through challenging things, you should read this book. Next time you’re frustrated by something, up against the wall on something, and you’re not sure how you’re going to solve it, I think you’ll think about this book and you’ll think “You know what? Some of the stuff i’m dealing with is kind of small. Some of my somewhat creative ideas aren’t that creative.” This is a really, really good book. Check it out, especially again if you’re running a multimillion dollar operation.
If you charge credit cards and you often see your clients in the field, meaning you perform the work, maybe you have them sign a work order or something after the fact and then you collect payment and you just take a credit card number or a check, or you type a credit card number into your computer system right there on site, if you will simply swipe the credit card instead of typing that credit card number in – it’s called a card present purchase – that will save you money just simply swiping card vs. typing the number in.
Great example is the guy that would come to my office to wash my car. When I give him my credit card he types my credit card number in. If all he did was swipe it on his swiper instead of typing that number in, he would save more money. I’m not referring to Square in this case. I’m referring to a more traditional account where you have your own merchant account and you’re not using Square. Reevaluate the way you’re accepting credit cards and make sure you’re swiping the card; it will save you a bunch of money.
I’m in the break room at our Service Autopilot office. If you have a water dispenser, so if you have, for example, Ozarka that comes into your office and you pay them to restash your water or refill water and drop off more water every month, which is what I’ve done historically at different business, and I think we’re paying several hundred dollars per month. When we moved Service Autopilot we got this thing right here. It’s about waist-high roughly to the top. I don’t know what we pay for this, about a hundred-something dollars a month and then we’ll own it in three years or something like that. That includes service. It was a couple thousand bucks.
When you average it out the cost of ownership is way cheaper than having Ozarka bring us water. This is fully filtered water. You can see the button right there, fully filtered water, and then what our team likes a lot is if you’re … going to knock that thing over. If you’re familiar with Sonic ice, like the really soft, crunchy, easy to chew ice, it puts out Sonic ice. The idea on this video is that if you’re doing the Ozarka water thing, I think you’ll probably find that this will save you money, and I like it better and our entire team likes it better. I don’t think there’s anybody here that would rather go back to the Ozarka water, so it does water and ice.
I was at Motley Fool in Washington D.C. at their offices and I have a stand-up desk that I use, and I really recommend having a stand-up desk if you’re an office dealer, you spend a lot of time in the office. I have both the stand-up desk and then I have a table, like a little conference table I can sit down at during the day. I actually sit far too much. However, I was at Motley Fool in Washington D.C. and they have stand-up desks, that they have everything you can imagine. They are a pretty big operation and I think about 300 people.
This desk right here, varidesk.com, it’s roughly 300 dollars. You can set it on top of your regular desk and it raises and lowers. It’s a cakewalk. We bought one for our office here at Service Autopilot just to try it out and test it, and one of the guys on our time, Ty, has been using it. He loves it. He can roughly push a button and stand up, push a button and sit down. You don’t have to buy a whole new desk system. It just sits on top of your current desk. It will easily hold two monitors, keyboard, mouse, everything. You can see the picture and get the idea. I recommend it. I think it’s fantastic. I like better than the stand-up desk that I have, and this is what we’ll be buying going forward.