Memo from Mann: Making Business Decisions
In my view, you really can't top Yogi Berra's comment: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
Given that, let me humbly add a bit of perspective.
There are forks in the road throughout life and the life of a company. Pick the path to the left, you get a certain result. Pick the path to the right, you get a very different outcome.
I believe the criteria for determining if you’ve reached a true “fork” is whether the outcomes are so profoundly different that your very life, or the lifeline of your company, will be altered based on this single choice.
Though we're physically located in the Chicago metropolitan area, The Yard Ramp Guy's reach is national. By synthesizing lessons learned in my professional career, this company has been able to create and maintain business relationships and also place ramps across the country in a robust way. We now have a footprint in 49 of the 50 states (here's looking at you, Vermont).
In the digital age, this website serves as our business card, catalogue, and center of our marketing platform. The site itself has had two main iterations, beginning with the original platform when I founded the company in 2011. When I decided to replatform from the original site in 2015, I held extensive consultations and nearly contracted with a large development and marketing company. One moment, however, gave me pause. The company told me that their contact form module could not accommodate more than 10 elements. Our Contact Form required 15 elements.
This five-element differential proved crucial, for a couple of reasons.
First of all, our receiving those 15 elements helps my team clarify the request of our potential buyers and renters prior to our first phone call; we respect a company's time and certainly don't want to waste it.
Secondly, if that development company was unwilling to modify a contact form, we wondered about the possibility (or likelihood) of rigid, uncompromising responses to any and all of our future requests.
Enter the tag team from New Montage Creative and Linktas. In my eyes, they collaborated seamlessly on the site replatforming; they continue to partner effectively on maintenance and online marketing. Trust is essential. As with all the vendors I've chosen to work with, I trust them.
Computers should hum like refrigerators. The best of them layer on updates with minimal fuss. Our www.YardrRampGuy.com website has too many moving parts⏤dozens of pages, hundreds of blog entries, Storefront integrations, triangulated marketing initiatives⏤for me to have ever expected it'd hum like a refrigerator. And yet, it does.
What's the secret to this particular success? Communication: a combination of my digital needs and their recommendations, parsed and synthesized into a growing, effective engine that helps drive The Yard Ramp Guy's business.
Oh, and our Contact Form? It has the 15 elements I needed. Was not an issue for these guys.
Founder and President