In February's Network, Edward Ray Hetrick asked for advice on developing software to fit his business's needs (Quick Fix, [Article link]). The answers poured in; a selection of the best appears above. This month, readers need help with working near home (those long-distance telephone bills!), as well as with relocation, recycling, and getting past the customer's receptionist.
Reach Out and Touch Someone
I've been traveling around the country providing contract computer programming to many clients. I'm weary of the travel now, and my daughter is approaching school age, so I want to begin working from a site nearer home. My clients like the idea, and technology is available. The problem is the cost of long-distance phone service. I'll be using an outgoing phone line for at least 40 hours a week, serving clients both in and out of state. The lowest cost a normal carrier has quoted to me is $1,700 monthly, plus a $1,700 installation fee. I have looked at 800 numbers for clients, dedicated lines, and WATS lines, but none of these is affordable. Can anyone suggest an alternative? Is there a service that uses satellite technology and offers a lower rate? What about a volume carrier?
Mankins Software Services
I run a public-relations business. For a lot of reasons, my family and I have decided to relocate out of the Washington, D.C., area -- it's too expensive, too crowded, and just too fast paced. My husband is in the military, so we may end up in any of several places, but we won't know where until the last minute. I want to do what I can until then to avoid rebuilding my business from scratch. The type of client I specialize in -- federal agencies and nonprofits -- is plentiful in Washington. How can I use the contacts I have to establish a new client base and to make new contacts, especially among subcontractors?
Carol Sussman Olmstead
Creative Marketing Strategies
End of the Road
At my automotive dismantling and recycling center, we sell about half of the tires that arrive on the cars we salvage. The other half can't be used and are discarded. We've been paying a company to haul those tires to a landfill, but the landfill doesn't really want tires. What can be done to recycle them?
Vincent P. Melvin Jr.
M&M Automotive & Salvage Inc.
Gotta Find Her (or Him)
Skyline Music is a 12-year-old national booking agency, representing stars of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. We're always looking to place our clients in corporate settings -- parties and conventions -- but we often can't get past the switchboard. Most corporations don't have someone with the title party planner on staff. Do Network readers have any suggestions on how to reach the right person?
Skyline Music Inc.