4 Things To Ask Yourself Before Making a Change

As I mentioned in my last post, I had some issues recently with my domain and my email. Good times!

This adventure got me thinking about change in general. With new versions of iOS and OSX launching recently, along with all new iPhones, iPads, MacBook Pros, and Mac Pros, there is plenty of temptation to make some tech changes. These new changes will also bring with them new apps to try out, or at least new versions of our old favourites.

As exciting as all of these upgrades are, they also come with a cost. No, not just the sticker price, but also time to implement the change from what we have to what we are upgrading to.

Unfortunately, when we're wrapped up in the excitement of something new, we can become blind to the downsides we'll face along the way.

In my recent example, I was excited to get my domain moved to a new registrar. I didn't like the company I was with previously, it wasn't an expensive move, and I knew that the best case scenario wouldn't take a lot of time.

What I didn't consider was what the worst case scenario would do to my productivity and the general operation of my business.

Instead of just diving into the change, I should have asked myself the following 4 questions.

1. Is this a good time to make a change?
2. What makes this new thing better than what I currently have?
3. What extra work or cost is required (ie. training) to implement this change?
4. How long will the transition take?

Let's go through my example, and answers these.

1. No, this wasn't a good time. I was really swamped with client work, and couldn't afford to have anything go wrong that would distract me from my current work.
2. Honestly, not a lot. I feel better not having my money wrapped up in a company like GoDaddy, and Hover has a much nicer interface for domain managment. However, the benefits were relatively small in the short term.
3. Best case, not much work. However, my case required me to learn more about nameservers, DNS, and the specifics of moving a domain that is hosted on Squarespace. The cost is minimal as well in a best case scenario. In my case, the hours I wasted, and important emails I may have missed cost me plenty.
4. Best case, 1-2 days. My case, about a week of troubleshooting and waiting.

Now, had I done this before making the move, I wouldn't have gone forward. Although this seemed like a productive use of my time, I would have caused less trouble by just zoning out to episodes of Qi on YouTube. It would have done nothing positive for my business, but also would have caused zero negatives.

There are plenty of examples of changes that wouldn't pass this test. I'm sure a few of your own popped into your head as you read this. And, there are just as many that you're putting off that would actually pass the test...and should be put into effect immediately. Here are two recent examples of good changes I made.

1. Switch from PC to Mac - I'll write a separate post on this, because it's a huge topic. Making the move to a Mac could have been costly if not done properly, but it was a huge benefit to my business.
2. Add RAM - I held off for a while, and in hindsight it was dumb to wait. Boosting the RAM from 4 to 8GB made a huge impact on performance. I run a lot of apps at once, and making this change has done wonders to my productivity.

What about you? Do you have examples of changes you made that you later regretted? Maybe a move to the wrong software, or a bad hire? I'd love to hear about them, so feel free to share them in the comments, or [contact me](www.thatbookkeeper.com/contact).

Eric Matthews

I'm a bookkeeper, husband, dad, music junkie, and general tech geek. When I'm a bookkeeper, I focus on cloud bookkeeping. I write at ThatBookkeeper.com, which helps bookkeepers and business owners move their books online. I work with apps like FreshBooks, Xero, Kashoo, Wave, and QuickBooks Online.

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