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On the Road Again
I enjoyed Amanda Kooser's and Mike Hogan's February articles on IP-PBX phone systems, VoIP, Wi-Fi and how small companies use technology to stay connected ("Wherever You Go, There You Are" and "Connections"). These technologies have increased my productivity and lowered my communications costs. What's more, they have kept me closer to my customers than ever before and helped me close new contracts.
In fact, I recently utilized technology from GotVMail to land a sizable contract while my wife was driving the family on I-94 through Chicago at 65 mph. A potential customer called my Got-VMail toll-free number and was forwarded to my mobile phone. The prospect needed a service-level agreement to be signed and faxed back right away. The document was faxed to my GotVMail number, and I downloaded the PDF file from my e-mail inbox with my tablet PC and mobile phone. I signed the agreement with my tablet PC and faxed it back. The task took 10 minutes without stopping at an office to print or fax the document. We didn't even have to get out of the car.
The Hosting Spot
Shedding Some Light
In a post-election interview with Entrepreneur ("Point/Counterpoint," February), Congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ) states, "Small businesses should be able to treat their company vehicles like they do other pieces of business equipment. Small businesses that need delivery trucks, vans or small vehicles should not be disadvantaged because their vehicles weigh less than 6,000 pounds."
Rep. Renzi should have updated his notes before showing his ignorance of current tax laws. In July 2003, the IRS changed its vehicle regulations, allowing a full deduction for most lightweight business trucks and vans. This ruling was well-publicized in many publications--including Entrepreneur. Hopefully, our other representatives in Congress can offer more help with our tax problems than Mr. Renzi.
Bernard Kamoroff, CPA
Your February article on old mobile phones was informative ("Wireless"). Did you know that old cell phones can still be used to call 911 even if they are not activated? Therefore, it's a good choice to donate them to your local senior centers, where employees can distribute the cell phones to seniors who can use them to dial 911 in case of an emergency.
Profit, No Loss
Kirsten Osolind, author of "Labor for Love" ("Flash," February), hit the nail on the head when suggesting entrepreneurs spend their time and resources on increasing revenues from profitable customers while "firing" the unprofitable ones.
One extremely effective profit-building strategy is to raise prices to match the value received and perceived by customers. Even if a company loses 50 percent of its customers, its revenue and profits remain the same.
Entrepreneurs also double the time and resources available to go after customers with problems their products and services can realistically solve--increasing their customers' profits as well as their own.
Doesn't Add Up?
In the February issue, Melissa Campanelli profiles eBay affiliate Kayetech as a "success story." Her article states that the company earns $150,000 per month, which would be $1.8 million a year. That sounds impressive until she quotes David Kaye, president and founder, as saying, "We also spend $5,000 or $10,000 a day on paid advertising."
Notwithstanding the huge difference between $5,000 and $10,000, did he really mean per day? If so, at best, Kayetech averages $0 per month (which is negative once you deduct other expenses) or loses $150,000 per month.
I hope it was a misprint, as that surely couldn't be considered a success.
Melissa Campanelli responds: According to David Kaye, "The $5,000 to $10,000 per day is the amount of money spent on advertising and promotions across all our programs, not just eBay, and the $150,000 per month figure is just what we earn on eBay, which in fact is a portion of what we earn overall from all the programs we participate in."
Edward G. Rogoff ("Biz 101," March) is a professor at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York City.