Don’t be afraid to try something new

When I started out in business and was processing large amounts of documents in Australia I had a team of people sitting with me in the office doing data entry, they took paper records and entered them into a website. This was extremely costly and returned low quality results more often then not.

I realised that outsourcing could reduce my costs significantly as the rates for labour was much cheaper in other countries. So I removed most of the Australian team and had a single person who had the job of scanning the documents and sending them off shore for data entry. This was much more cost effective but still not fantastic.

The third step here was to develop and iPad application so that there was no longer any double entry required.

This process taught me that there is always a better, easier and more efficient way of doing something and I need to be open to finding what that thing is. I have a big fear in business that I will get so used to doing things a certain way, I will be scared to change when something radically better comes out. That is why I really try and keep my eyes open to what is out there and how I can use what appears to help make my life better.

There a few technologies, applications or services that come out that I am truly excited about. One of the ones I have enjoyed a lot over the last few years is Fancy Hands, their premise is simple - I send them a task and they look after having someone free to be able to do it for me. I willingly pay for this service because it gives me something that isn’t worth organising and running myself, it is 24/7 and a reasonable price.

While I like the Fancy Hands model and have referred lots of friends to them, they are limited because they want to be good at everything. I personally think that a company or service should be amazing at one thing and leave the other stuff for someone else.

An example of a company who I think is doing one thing well is x.ai. This is a service that has built AI technology to take away the crazyness that is schedualing. While I haven’t had the chance to use this software yet, from what I have seen it is exactly the type of thing I will use and become an advocate for as it solves a clearly defined problem in a straight forward and easy to understand way.

Lots of people ask about the cost of trying something new and I think the costs of trying new things are definitely worth it over time as when a radical improvement appears it is worth much more than time it costs to find it.

 Summary:

  1. I don’t ever want to be afraid to change my mind and move to something better.
  2. Pick one thing and be really good at it - no-one likes services that are average at everything.
  3. There is always a time cost to learning new things - I think this pays off in the end.

I challenge you to try something new and enjoy the rewards that will result.

 
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