Old Things, New Ways

I used to be a person who had multiple businesses. But no more. One woman, one website. Remember?

So this is a story of how I used to do things, back in the day when I had multiple businesses all being juggled at the same time.

Don’t do that by the way! There’s no profit in that which is precisely why I don’t do it anymore. I’ve already proved that so you don’t have to.

In 2001 I started a business which went on to be very successful, perhaps my most successful in many ways.

It relied upon direct mail, people delivering postcards through your letterbox on a regular basis. And the telephone. And paperwork. And standing order mandates. And originals in the post. And envelopes and stamps and post offices.

If I were setting up that business today, it would all be done on an app, 100% digital including credit card payment online and 100% client-led flexibility within reason. It is done on an app by our “competition”. Heck, I even use the app, because it is preferable to the way we used to do it. To me, at any rate. And this can only ever be subjective. The nature of the business was cleaning and when the app sends me a cleaner today it is all done in real time using their iPhones. Gorgeous.

I started my current coaching business a few years later and for nearly fifteen years I’ve relied upon my website, my blog, this newsletter and (increasingly) upon social media to publicise myself and my services, to be visible. Oh, and the podcast of course.

If I were setting up this business today, I’d probably just use Facebook instead. And leave it at that. Yup, I know. Controversial. I’m just telling you what I think I’d probably do.

I am a buy-to-let landlady and when I first got into that in 2004 I used to manage the first flat I bought, in London, myself. Then I took on an agent because he begged me to. And as my portfolio grew it was normal to have an agent who would find the tenant and manage the tenancy, mostly quite poorly TBH. And charge me for the privilege. Plus VAT. Voids cost me, not them.

Now all my properties are rented out to agencies who are themselves the tenants. And they pay the rents in full on the nail without any deduction of fees or VAT and without any cost to me for voids or repairs. This means the monthly income is flatline predictable for the duration of the tenancy (1-5 years) both on the date it arrives and in the amount. No surprises. Cashflow heaven. Sign the contract and forget it, for years, relying on the constant income.

That’s three examples of better, more modern ways to do the same old things we always wanted to do – get cleaned, get clients, get property managed.

If we cling to the old ways we get left behind and eventually we become obsolete. What can be difficult to detect is what’s a fad idea and what will stick especially if you are, like me, mostly an early adopter who rushes off with excitement and signs up for every new thing before it has time to bed in. Or at least I used to be like that. These days I do it by observing, noting what I think will work and what will stick and adopting only those which I want and need, not newness for newness’ sake.

But these three I’m telling you about are well bedded in. That’s as clear as day to me. Nobody would argue with apps or Facebook, though both will surely be replaced in the fullness of time. And my way with my properties is clearly better and I am four or five years into it now and have switched all mine over to the “new” way in that period and wouldn’t go back for all the tea in China.

However, I know I’ve told people about some or all of these and they haven’t changed, and they won’t. They are frightened of the new and clinging instead to the wreckage of the old. I myself don’t like change for change’s sake. I cannot bear it when they update Facebook or any software I use, especially when there was nothing wrong with the old one. Grr. But I adapt, and quickly too. Of course I do.

We have to keep up or wither on the vine. Adapt or die. Long after we all adopted doing our own typing, one of my staff in the accounting business would still dictate letters for his wife to type up and walk round to the office several days later for dispatch. Imagine! D.I.N.O.S.A.U.R. I bet there’s someone alive somewhere in the world who’s still doing that?? Perhaps your great grandad?

  • Are there new ways of doing things in your niche?
  • Have you evaluated them?
  • Are you thinking of adopting them? Or have you done so already?
  • How’s it working out?

I’d love it if you wrote to let me know what you observe as the coming thing, what you’ve done or what you are thinking of doing differently in terms of new ways to do old things.

And if I can help you with that, why not book yourself in for one of my PWYW (pay what you want) sessions?

How to do that?

1. Book yourself into my online diary
2. Pay via PayPal. There’s a donate button over there in the right-hand sidebar of this, my website, or you can simply use this link.
3. Not a fan of PayPal? Ask for my bank details and pay online.

I wonder when I shall adopt a better way of doing that? I sense it won’t be long!

Your Biz Your Way

If you have enjoyed reading my words here, you might also enjoy my book - Your Biz Your Way: Learning to Trust Yourself. Relax! You've Got This. Find out how to buy the book here Read My Book