Well, let’s just say I am NEVER bored. There is so much to do and a lot was accomplished in these 5 days. Enough is done so that we’ll begin very limited sales efforts tomorrow, and the robocalling element should start on Tuesday.
One of the most time consuming tasks last week was to re-establish the back-up routines for our primary systems here in my office. The websites and the dialer/CRM servers have their own back up systems, but here I have relied on Carbonite, which expired a few weeks ago. We now have several 1 and 2 terabyte external drives that I rotate to backup these servers with special software I acquired about a week ago. Beginning tomorrow, we’ll have real-time backup routines for the 2 primary systems here. This means that each time a file is created or saved, it is backed up instantly! So we’ll run the instant backups all day, and do full system backups, plus disk image backups once each week, on the weekends. This should assure that if …no “when”… we have a system meltdown, I’ll be able to restore all the company records quickly.
We also began going paperless last week with a scanning system to file all paper documents. This will make document retrieval much faster and easier as we begin growing the last half of this year.
You will notice on our home page, there is now a large button you can click that says “What Our Customers Are Saying“. This is our new testimonial page. We’ve planned to do this for a long time but it was only last week that I finally got permission from a few customers to post their statements. This is a critical part of our sales process that we’ve wanted for a long time and now it’s finally complete! It’s designed so we can continually solicit and add more people to it. Hope to have it up to 2 or 3 dozen testimonials by the end of the year.
One of the most important tasks required to start the new campaign was re-programming all of our pricing. It’s done now. The basic deal will be this
- License Fee: $65 Basic, $600 Enhanced
- Monthly Subscription: $89 Basic, $27 Enhanced (includes pre-paid minutes in the same amount, support, setup and training)
- Caller I.D. Number: $16/month
- Re-work the prices for the Reload Center to beef up our Staffed Dialing. This was complex as we had to re-program the entire back end billing system to include a total of 6 different pricing tables.
- Those whom we choose will be offered a 30-Day Free Month Subscription if they sign up within 72 hours of viewing the presentation. (I have concluded the most important issue is “numbers” of Clients for us, not trying to make the largest sale.) In fact, we’re in much better shape as a company if every Client pays the monthly subscription instead of the one-time fee.
You can view the entire new web page for pricing by following the Pricing menu item from any website page. I also created a password protected page for the free month deal that you may want to check out. Use the following username and password to gain access and see this special page: Username = “test”, Password = “12345”. This is a special pricing page that does not charge the card until one month after the transaction, but it does capture all the payment details. I predict most new customers will opt for waiving their first month subscription and going for the cheap entry point of $65 to get started. My goal for the next 2 months is to bring us to a point where the company closes 3 or more sales every day. The lower the entry fees, the easier it is to sign up, the more customers we’ll have. Signup has been hyper-simplified compared to before, and pricing has dropped through the floor. I expect we’ll begin seeing new customers much more frequently when this campaign starts.
The programming for some of this, especially the back end programming for the new pricing tiers for Staffed Calling has been pretty intense. It’s not all working properly yet, but our Indian programmer, Raj, should have it debugged and ready to use by Tuesday. Often, some of the most time-consuming and difficult programming is the type that noboday acually see’s, like this, but it’s essential to run our business.
There are two major components that still need to be completed, and I expect we’ll be close enough with both by Monday night to have our first full day of voice broadcast on Tuesday (instead of tomorrow). The first is the new calling lists we’ve been creating. Eric spent most of his time Wednesday through Friday working on this task. We’re submitting his work tonight for Jeff Wilson so he can complete the data extraction. I’ve got my fingers crossed for finding a million or more numbers to call, but I am now pessimistic. I’ll be surprised if we find even half that many; but I remain hopeful. We’re likely going to have to go to more list sources, which are very expensive in order to build the size of lists that we really want. Nonetheless, we’ll have enough to keep us busy for the next month with full time robo-calling.
Finally, there’s the matter of tutorials. I have already drafted outlines for many of the most basic video posts, but haven’t started production yet. That begins in the morning, when I’m fresh. I expect to have all the most basic tutorials available in the Service Desk by Tuesday. Look for a new button that says “GroupCaller University” on the Service Desk page on Tuesday. These videos take so much time to produce even though each one is very short. This is a password protected area. If you’re a Client with a CRM username & password then you already have it. If not, you’ll need to contact me for a username and password so you can get into that area and see all the instructional material that’ll be available to our Clients. This section will be continually growing, so don’t worry if it’s very small to start with. It will eventually be quite large.