You Never Forget Your First

You Never Forget Your First

I certainly didn't. It was back in 2007, only a year after me, the "Corporate robot" left that world, and started working "on my own" or you know, as they like to say "I started working for myself" (what a load of crap... I'll tell you why later).

Anyway, so, the first one... yes.

A client approached with a project, small one, and urgent. Like there was any other projects in the world we know (do you?). And an additional requirement.

Trados.

Now, we have been using a different CAT tool in "my previous life", and it wasn't any news that companies wants us to use it. It's helpful. It's ok. I hold no grudges against CAT tools.​

But I never thought how hard it would be if I had to buy one. For my own company.

My first company. My first Trados.

Little did I know what "investment" means.

Ok, of course I knew. But it just didn't work that way in my mind.

Being the first generation of company owners is tough. When it doesn't run in the family, it's not so easy​. When your dad can't teach you that it is okay to spend thousands and thousands on software, or people, or other assets, you kind of feel like you are being robbed. At the time we didn't have project managers, coordinators, we didn't have savings in the bank. All we had was a little faith.

With that setup it's not so hard to start thinking, why would I spend that much - hard earned, or better yet, not even earned - money on something that will either be used, or not.

It's a mindset thing

While today I know that it was a very good idea to do so, at the moment I was both annoyed, angry and very scared.

Like, why in the world would they require us to use this (at the moment I thought: "stupid") tool? Who do they think they are? Also, the cost was like EUR 800 or something, and I knew it's not the end of it. Since then at least 6 major new releases came to life, and I'm talking only the simple "translators" version, not the Server. Why would anyone buy that? Why? WHY?

When you go from being paid immediately (like in the "salary" model) and having that "secure job" and not giving a damn... at 5PM "the pencil falls out of your hand" and you go home to watch TV and drink beer...

The switch from that to the "uncertain client jobs" and 60 day payment terms, and contracts, and ISO stuff, and audits. When you are just starting out, well, 800 EUR is a helluvalot of ca-ching.

And of course, the revenue on the first project we got didn't even scratch the surface of "it will pay for it self" sentence - even at the beginning, clients used to send us very small projects at first, and the "normal" projects came only later...

But down the line it was one of the most profitable decision I made.

Eventually, it was something I could explain as growing a pair, and taking a calculated risk - at least it seemed so at the time. When you wake up one day and say "okay, let's do this and figure it out later". And I took the plunge, and spent the money, and... the rest is history.

Why?

Because in came other projects

Contrary to popular beliefs, Trados is a pretty good tool and it did save us a lot of time, money, frustration.

And it saved us a lot in the end too, because I could use our own memories for repetitive projects from one of our end clients.

Today, with long standing client relationships and several years of working together,  this couldn't have happened, I would have informed them about the CAT memories we could use 'n all. But for small jobs, this came in handy.

Being paid little, but doing it in 10% of the original time needed, makes the thing worth you a while. And you need to make money. You need to eat. So down the line, the calculation was right. The risk we have taken turned out not to be a risk after all.

Are you concerned too?​

This story reminded me of how people who are on the fence with miniTPMS must feel right now. Maybe you feel the same. You are interested, but not yet sure. Intrigued, but the risk seems big. Even though the financial impact is not even close to the types of buying a new CAT tool... 

The questions you probably are asking yourself are:​

  • "Is it going to do what it is supposed to do?"
  • "Is it worth it?"
  • "Does it really save time?"
  • "Will I really be able to have a good overview of all the projects?"
  • "Does it really remind clients that they forgot to pay my invoices?"
  • "Will it really be useful for other business/company expenses and not just Vendor invoices?"

etc...

It's always hard to bring yourself to a decision like this.

Because it's not a small decision.

I mean, what if it really does all that crazy stuff.

Man, it could really put your company to a path of ultimate success.

And you know, some people just can't handle so much success. But maybe you could. Maybe you are the one who can handle it!

The question is: Will you let miniTPMS be your first? 

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