I was in New York City just 2 weeks ago – a wonderful opportunity – to speak to some media about our business and the importance of technology in our business model. We are thrilled and delighted to have been recognized by Dell Computer as a “Trailblazing” company. Indeed – we do choose our own path and always have. We did not always choose Dell – not in the early days when I first started – but ever since we discovered the important role that technology plays in a small business.
I am a big fan of the Internet – ever since we lost a large contract some years ago – when the US car manufacturer said to me “your numbers for your theatrical drapes are great, your staging product is perfect – but we just can’t award you the special event contract as you don’t have a website. Having a website is one of our vendor authentication criteria.”
WHAT? Did you just say that we did not get the job despite being the most competitively priced because we don’t have a website?
Bah humbug. Some tears and a few beers later, I had a website all right. By that weekend’s end, I had built one – clip art and all. To no avail – it was too late, and they weren’t interested in reopening the bid.
Thanks to my homegrown website, clients began to find us ever so slowly on the Internet – now, we are talking the early 2000’s, so it was not the norm to “google” things. Phone books and directories were still relatively cool. And hard-copied printed resources were still go-to must-haves. It didn’t matter, did it, that I had clip art? It was cute! Really cute…..like needles and thread, thimbles and buttons. Oh – there aren’t buttons on drapes – I knew that – but I did not think that my web visitors did. WRONG.
WHAT? Did you just say that we did not get the job despite being the most competitively priced because we have clip art on our website?
Right then. Just watch me – enter Cindy McMahan of Search Engine Pros and Chris Sandberg of Star Marketing.
Now – armed with a flurry of experts in SEO and design, we finally nailed it – and the clients came! No clip art. Complete credibility. We were a real company!
So the phone rang and the Internet inquiries arrived in our inboxes. But we had no infrastructure…….so they called, but I had no record of who they were. They requested a quote from me and then separately from a coworker – we had no idea that we were both servicing the same account. Nor were we consistent with our pricing. The clients were confused. How could we forget them…..or not know their mailing address.
WHAT? Did you just say that we did not get the job despite being the most competitively priced because we had no technology on the front end and were still writing orders in #2 lead pencils on the back of cocktail napkins?
So – we decided to find a resource. One strong and reliable resource that would be there when we needed them. Not a fly-by-night whose gear would not be compatible with anyone else’s, and not the cheapest. Rather a resource that would fill our needs from there on. So we chose Dell.
WHAT? Did you just say that we are now a player in the Theatrical Drapery Manufacturing marketplace because we are credible, believable and organized? WOW. This is fantastic news.
This has been a real adventure to say the least – to get from there to here. I’ve loved every minute of it and am so thrilled to have brought so many friends, family and clients along for the ride.
Sew What? Sew This!