Firmology’s How I Power My Business series profiles the technology business owners use to run and grow their business.
How I Power My Business
By Gini Dietrich of Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks
What’s the story behind Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks?
In true entrepreneurial fashion, I run not one, not even two, but three businesses (unless you count speaking and book writing as separate businesses, in which case there are five).
The core business is Arment Dietrich, which is an integrated marketing communications firm in Chicago. A little more than a year ago, we went virtual (hence no photo of me in front of the business) and we experienced 200 percent growth this year. I truly believe there are two reasons for that: I have an amazing team with really talented professionals who are doing what they’re meant to do and our overhead went from thousands of dollars a month to almost nothing.
Six years ago, we launched Spin Sucks – the blog – and nearly three years ago, we began to use it to generate revenue. Today it is the number two driver of new clients for Arment Dietrich.
And we have Spin Sucks Pro in beta right now, which is a professional development site for PR and marketing pros. We are developing this because there isn’t anywhere, other than annual conferences, where our profession can learn about new technologies, new initiatives, and new campaigns. Because things are changing so quickly, it’s important to have a place to learn every day versus once a year.
What apps, software, service or gadgets are essential to the operations of your business?
Because we’re a virtual company and because we have clients in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, it’s important for us to use technology to stay connected, be productive, and manage our time most effectively.
- WordPress powers our website, our blog, and Spin Sucks Pro.
- Dropbox serves as our document sharing server.
- Skype serves as both our telephone system and our instant messaging.
- Google Docs is used for our editorial calendars and client documents.
- BusyCal is my go-to choice for my calendar and task list.
- Passbook is fantastic for traveling. You add your boarding pass through your airline’s app and you can use your phone for your ticket.
- We all use most of the social networks to connect with one another in public ways that builds our culture.
What time-saver or money-saver would you love your fellow business owners to know about?
There are a few things that have made us more efficient:
- Dropbox is only $10 per month and it allows us to not only share documents, but access them from anywhere in the world, including on planes without Internet access. Not having the server anymore saves significant expenses each month.
- VirtualPBX allows us to have a main office number that rings directly to people’s cell phones. I think it’s something like $49 a month.
- I mentioned BusyCal above. It was $50, but it’s worth every penny. I couldn’t find anything I liked better than my paper task lists before I found BusyCal. Now I use it for everything.
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