Today, I’m going to answer the question: “Are you paying too much for your technology?”. The answer is: YES. At this point, I’m fairly confident in saying that if you don’t know what you don’t know about technology and social media, then you are paying too much. I say this both as a business owner who at one time didn’t know what I didn’t know, and also as a Technology & Social Media Specialist who’s now had the opportunity to view “under the hood” at some of the technology expenses that many small businesses are shelling out tons of cash for. For example, years ago, when I purchased my first domain, I did it as a result of an email I got promising that the domain would be $1.99. What I didn’t know at the time is that the $1.99 price only lasted for 3 months, and once it was time to renew it, I ended up paying what would become $160 a year for ONE domain name that didn’t include much else.
Now, if $160 bucks a year doesn’t sound like an egregious infraction to you, consider this: I now pay an average of $7.50 PER YEAR for one domain. So we’re talking about a near $153 difference for the same exact service. And if you’re thinking “the price of technology comes down drastically over time”, know that the same $7.50 per year deal existed back then (though it was probably even cheaper), except I didn’t know about it. But I later learned, and can now say: Nobody should pay more than $10 per year per .COM domain to ANY company directly (unless of course you have another company managing your technology accounts, and they in turn charge you a hefty premium because they know that you don’t know, what you don’t know).
I share all of this today, because I’m equally upset and annoyed. One, I’m upset at how many companies are out there preying on consumers’ lack of knowledge, and are willfully deceiving them. And yes, I’m looking in the direction of companies like Domain Registry of America, who has recently sent out what looks like domain renewal notices to everyone listed in the WHOIS domain database, making it look as though they’re sending official correspondence that tells you that you need to renew your domains with their company for about $35 a year. But what it doesn’t tell you is that it’s an advertisement, and that you don’t have to renew with them, and that when you do, you switch your domains over to their company, and this could cause a real problem for you if many of your other technology products and services are based on the domains you currently hold with a company. The bad part is, they send out these notices to look like a bill, and it’s not until you get to the back side in the middle that you see a notice that says “this is not a bill”. This is unacceptable! And it’s an unscrupulous business practice. I shudder to think of the number of people that have been duped into transferring their domains to this company. Add to that, this is consumer fraud, and I am working to bring it to the attention of my local state’s attorney…but I digress…
Because I like to be solution oriented, I’ve decided to offer a “Free Technology Review”, where I’ll come in, review your technology setup, and look for ways to reduce your technology and social media costs (if at all possible). Now, they’ll be two disclaimers with this:
1) One, I’ll tell you everything that’s wrong, or what could be fixed, but I won’t fix it for free, and
2) As with most things that are free, they come with a caveat in which I’ll only be willing to go but so far down this path of providing this free service because some people tend to take advantage of things that are free, and quite frankly, I already know that some of you have some HORRIBLE technology setups that probably haven’t been reviewed or touched in 5-10 years, and like with an old rusted bolt, once you turn it, it may cause irreparable damage.
Ok, it’s not THAT serious, but my point is this: I got into business to help people, and I see this as one way that I can help small businesses, if only by showing them that there are better and more efficient wants to get things done. And here’s a technology tip that I’ll give you for free: If you haven’t used something in more than a year, chuck it. Chances are, you don’t need it. Here’s another tip: If you don’t know exactly why you’re paying for something, stop paying for it. That means email accounts that don’t get used, and calendar accounts, and online storage accounts that you pay for year after year, but never touch. Leading me to my third tip, which is: If you buy a domain from GoDaddy, they include a free email account with it. And guess what, that free email account is the same one that you can pay $60 a year for with their company, if you let them swindle you into an email package after you purchase your domain. You really only need multiple accounts if you’re planning to provide emails to several people in your company. If you’re a “one-stop shop”, with just one person, you only need ONE email, thus you don’t have to pay for another, nor the extra space that they offer. Just clean out your inbox every now and again, and you’ll be fine.
And here’s my final disclaimer: If you are a current, former, or future client of mine and you think I’m talking about you and your technology setup, you’re probably right, but what I want you to know is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Most people that I’ve encountered are in the same boat, so don’t feel bad. I instituted the “Free Technology Review” because I see this is a real issue, and I’m hoping that people will get over their pride and shame and allow themselves to be helped and maybe even save some money!
So, now with this little semi-rant is over, I have to ask: Are you okay with paying more than you should for your technology products and services?
Find out by taking advantage of the SSS for Success Free Technology Review for your company by visiting my website, and filling out the contact form and noting “Free Technology Review” in the subject line.
Have a great day!
Kindra Cotton, Small Business Survival Specialist