Change is Coming
We’re in the progress of making some changes to the ways we do business here at PlasticBrain Media. These changes include new business hours, changes to the services we provide, and changes in pricing and billing. This article explains the impending changes, and how they will affect (and benefit) our clients, both existing and new.
“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement…”William Pollard
While we take pride in helping disrupt industries and challenging the status quo, we don’t like to “rock the boat” when it comes to our clients. As such, we’ve resisted making these internal changes for years now, all while the industry has been rapidly changing and evolving around us.
Implementing these changes will provide many benefits to our clients. They will allow us to offer new services — services in line with how clients’ businesses are being operated these days, such as utilizing the Cloud for mission-critical services and applications. They will allow us to provide better, more detailed, and more dedicated service and support to our clients. And they will greatly simplify billing and make costs more predictable for clients.
We’d be lying if we said these changes were purely altruistic. We definitely benefit too, as a business and as employees of the business. As a business, these changes will make us more competitive by bringing us up to current industry standards, practices, and services. They will also help us better allocate our resources, make cash flow more predictable, make it easier to schedule much-needed vacations for our techs, and give our business the capital it needs for expenses and growth.
Finally, we haven’t raised our prices in almost three years. We didn’t make this decision lightly. We’re very proud of our ability to bootstrap and operate a business with minimal overhead, which allows us to provide lower-cost services without sacrificing quality. However, as with any business, there are expenses beyond our control that have increased — in some cases drastically — over the years.
There are three major changes coming which will affect our clients: new business hours; a shift in our main business focuses and the services we provide; prices and billing changes.
New Business Hours
- Since we work with clients all over the US, we’re changing our business hours to allow for more availability for our clients, regardless of which timezone they are in. To see our new hours please visit the business hours page.
Shifting Focus, and Changes to Services We Provide
- We will still continue to offer services like web design and custom programming, but we’re shifting our main focus to Systems Administration and Cloud Services Management, including the designing, provisioning, management, security, and maintenance of public, private, and hybrid Cloud environments.
- Furthermore, this industry as a whole is evolving rapidly. Companies like ours have pivoted from what’s known as the Break/Fix business model — where work is performed and billed on an hourly- or project-basis — to the Managed Services model — where clients pay a fixed amount for services that are covered by a Service Agreement. We are adopting the Managed Servcies model, which will provide many benefits, some of which were discussed above.
Prices and Billing
- While we will still do hourly- and project-based work, it’s preferred that all clients be under a Service Agreement. Service Agreements provide many benefits to the client, such as priority support, more availability, free credit for billable hours, and discounted prices.
- There is a two hour mininum for any work that is done for clients who do not have a Service Agreement.
- We are raising our base hourly rate. Again, this decision was not made lightly. Any client that is not under a Service Agreement will be charged the full hourly rate for all services.
- Work done outside of a Service Agreement will be billed the Monday immediately following the completion of the work. All invoices are due upon receipt.
- Work done outside of business hours will be billed at 1.5 times the base hourly rate (for Service Agreements, credited hours will deplete at 1.5 times the normal rate.)
When are these Changes Happening?
These changes are already in place for new clients. Existing clients will be fully transitioned by May 1, 2017.
“There are two types of clients in this business:Unknown
those who invest in technology, and those who
begrudgingly spend money on technology.”
Transitioning Our Existing Clients
Our clients truly mean the world to us. We will be as flexible as we possibly can, while still adhering to these new changes, in order to keep our existing clients happy. However, we fully understand — and deeply regret — that some of our existing clients might not share our vision or see the benefits in these changes like we do, and therefore will choose to no longer do business with us. Once again, we deeply regret this, but we understand.
We will be reaching out to each of our existing clients personally to discuss these changes, how they will affect you, and work with you to design a Service Agreement that meets your needs and budget.