Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cutting Edge? Bleeding Edge? or Out On A Ledge?

Being on the ''cutting edge'' is defined as Being in the position of the greatest advancement or importance; the forefront.

Being on the ''bleeding edge'' is defined as Having the most advanced state of technology, art, etc. usually experimental and risky; extremely advanced technology with no current practical applications; beyond the cutting edge of technology. (definitions as described on

And although the expression ''out on a ledge'' is not found in any dictionary, it obviously means being in a precarious position or dangerous situation.

As the business owner (and sole employee) it falls to me to make the decisions as to what direction I take in every area of my business.

Do I hire an accountant or do I hope and pray that the software I bought at the office supply store will keep me from being audited if I missed something? (I hired an accountant.)

Do I try to design all of my marketing materials myself or do I contract that out to someone else? And if I design them, do I try to print them out on my inkjet printer, do I take the file to a local printshop, do I use an online service to get my print work done? (I designed everything myself, but I used the resources of one of the popular online services and received a high quality product at a significant cost savings.)

Do I accept cash or check only as payment for my services or do I set up a merchant services account so that I can accept credit cards as payment? (At this time I have elected to only accept cash and checks.)

Do I consider hiring employees as my business grows or do I bring on independent contractors on a project by project basis to assist me? (On the occasion that I have needed assistance on a project, I have used independent contractors to help me out.)

Do I use my laptop and my phone to keep up with my files, contacts, and schedule or do I dive into the world of smartphones and buy a Blackberry or iPhone or other such device? (I struggled with this decision for a while but eventually got a very good price on a plan that would allow me to have a smartphone with the advanced contact management features as well as email on my phone that I use daily.)

And do I get entangled with the buzz words of the day: Web2.0... Social Media... Search Engine Optimization... Blogger... is it Your Tube or is it My Space... are you LinkedIn... can you Hulu... did your Facebook just Flickr... will you Google when I dive into all this and scream Yahoo!

Do I need any of this or is it just a way to stay busy but fool myself into thinking that I'm being productive?

Well I decided to use a handful of these outlets as a means of reaching potential clients. I have a Twitter page, a Facebook Fan Page, a personal blog on Blogspot, and a company blog that is hosted on the company website which I design, maintain, and update. Plus there are my listings on Google Maps, Merchant Circle, and Yahoo! Local.

Of course at times, I feel a little overwhelmed by it all. Who knew being an entrepreneur was this involved? At least I have been able to incorporate some processes that allow me to maintain all of these accounts without having to log in to each one of them on a daily basis. That... and I don't sleep much. (It's currently 1:55am in case you were wondering, although I'll probably set this to auto-post around 7am once I'm finished.)

But I look at what I'm doing and trying to accomplish with all of these outlets and then I look at what the competition is doing in comparison. There is no comparison.

As far as I can tell, very few of my competitors (both locally and in other parts of the country) are using any of the outlets that I have listed above. Well, I take that back. A few have traditional websites, but that's about it.

So either they know something that I don't know. Or I am so far ahead of the curve that I'm on the ''bleeding edge'' of social media and technology utilization. And either way, I think I'm okay with that.

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