Tech-Vets Technology Veterans weekly podcast with Carey Holzman and Mike Smith

18 Responses to “TV-2014-09-22 #131”

  1. Sounds like they were using you. Or they got somebody their brother-in-law knows.

  2. Great topic. Even though you were on your own Mike, I could hear Carey’s voice in my head saying “Mike, you don’t value your time highly enough.” Your knowledge is your livelihood. I was shocked that you weren’t accorded the same respect as a tech consultant as for example a lawyer or financial advisor would have been.

  3. I was a practicing CPA for 30 years. I know for a fact you are not going to sue for stealing your specification. The only reason I know is a civil suit take 3+ years and $30,000. No lawyer will take it and he/she will discourage you from pursuing the suit.

    I think what happen is you SCARED the client. Client thought you bring in some PC ‘s and turn them on – project finished. With your wanted to do it right the client thought you were making a bigger deal out of the project than he/she thought it was worth.

    In the future I would not get “all legal” with your new client communications. Just try to educate them on the complexities of your profession. Give them a cheap service/ price and an expensive service/price and Hope for good results.

    I also doubt if many new businesses will want to pay(or have the capital) to pay your fee to do it “right”. Sadly the under capitalized self employed mantra is “do it cheap and patch along the way – if I am still in business”.

  4. Fred – I think you are correct. BTW: I received a check for the 4 hours I billed them.

  5. Have you considered a “Non-Disclosure Aggreement” to protect your intellectual property?

  6. Hi Mike, I am amazed at people who come in wanting their computer problem fixed for free or at little or not costs and then get ticked off when we turn them away. Saying they can get it fixed cheaper somewhere else, when I know that where they are taking it to does not do the same quality of work the I do. People don’t understand that you get what you are willing to pay for.

  7. I don’t see what the problem is, they went with another tech; get over it. It’s not your spec’s anyhow, it’s the manufacturers specs. If they went with another tech, I’m confident he knows what he/she is doing. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

  8. I have been involved with 2 Veterinary clinics for over 2 years. From my experience I ran into a similar situation, however not sure if you did the same thing as me. I was always in contact over the phone and by email. The owner always wrote in the emails” I agree to proceed or often would say do whatever needs to be addressed and then bill me.”

    I had to let go of one of my Veterinary Clinics because we weren’t a good fit for them. Owner believed just because thousands were spent on new technology that maintenance would not be required and etc. Even with a long explanation of how everything works because she was a “doctor” “DR” she felt she knew better. Everytime I explained something I could read her facial expressions and could tell she felt like I didn’t know what I was doing..After I let her go she ran into more issues and now from an ex-employee told me she calls random places to get the “best price”

    My other client has been the best. He understands what is involved and realizes IT services aren’t cheap just like going to “a animal hospital.”

    Overall I learned that most of their equipment they buy for their practice require a monthly service charge for X-Ray and etc testing machines..They need those machines or animals would be sick and they would be unable to treat. Doctor’s can’t really compare computers to treating their patients so my best tip is only deal with the “office manager” luckily my best Veterinary client’s manager has bee there from day 1. The practice has been under 2 ownership since 1980’s and she “knows” what has or has not been done since she does the billing and understands better than the doctor..

  9. I don’t blame you one bit Mike for being a little upset, You spent all that time and effort to tell them what they needs and give them a quote then they take the quote to someone else, who probably won’t give them the same quality of work that you do, and you got under bid. This happens a lot and I am not sure there is much you can do about it. People want to get by as cheaply as they can and don’t really understand how things work. I would stay away from those people, because usually if they cheapen out and don’t want to spend the money there is an old saying pay me now or pay me more later. They need to have some pain and suffering, if they end up paying more in the long run because they did not have the job done right or too cheaply, then that is on them. It is probably best they went with someone else.

  10. “I now, with any new opportunity, will not provide one piece of information until we have a signed contract or an agreement that anything I provide them is proprietary, and they’re not allowed to share this.

    …I will sue them in a situation like this”

    You’re going from 0 to 100mph.
    Seems like there should be some middle ground in there somewhere.

    Mike: Hello, this is Mike Smith.
    Customer: I’d like to talk with you about taking care of the network at my local business.
    Mike: Before we start, I need to fax you a copy of my non-disclosure. Sign it and return the fax.
    Customer: We don’t have a fax here in the office.
    Mike: That’s fine, just give me a second to start recording our conversation, in order to record your affirmation of the non-disclosure agreement.
    Customer: I just wanted to talk with you about managing our network. Thank you for your time anyway.

  11. The last comment reminded me of an excerpt from what I think is an excellent book called “Go It Alone: The Streetwise Secrets of Self Employment” by Geoff Burch.

    It says:

    “If a customer tells you ‘I want the finest one you can make,’ the little gears and wheels in our head start spinning . . . We think ‘The finest? I could use pure platinum . . . and gold’ . . . The customer snaps us out of our reverie by asking ‘What sort of money are we talking?’ ‘Oh I don’t know, I could do something quite special for about 50 grand.’ With this our customer runs off screaming.

    “The point is that we know our business, its jargon and prices so well that we often forget that our customers don’t.”

    The book goes on to give another example of somebody buying something else with ‘no expense spared’. But the shopkeeper asks if they’ve bought one before, to which the customer says the last one they bought was from Woolworths, which they thought was a bit pricey. At this point the shopkeeper asks if they had a price in mind.

    For a brand new IT customer, with no indication of what their attitude to price is, I wonder if it’s best to ask what their budget for the project is, before spending time on a full quote.

  12. Unfortuneatly that is the cost of doing business. I think you handled it the way I would have. I know its not a great feeling when this happens but it does. You left the door open for the Vet to call if they have problems in the furure. I do not beleive it is good business to ever sue one of your customers. Putting them into collections is another matter.

  13. Hey everyone. Silly question: Has the show been cancelled? Or is it just on a temporary hiatus? It’s been like a month and a half. I’m worried!

  14. Sometimes one or two of them are particularly busy and simply can’t find the time to do a show.

  15. Hi Jim, I think something might be going wrong in Carey’s life – no sign of his activity on youtube either. I just hope he’s all right.

  16. Yea, I agree with the comment above. The show isn’t canceled, right? I’m sure Carey and Mike are just busy…

  17. Everyone – The show has not been canceled. Carey and I are working on a show that will be posted very soon. Work, family and the real world has prevented us from recording. I promise we will be back!!!

  18. That’s good to hear, thanks Mike! Can’t wait for the next show!

Leave a Reply