WHY PEBBLE PLAN?
WE ARE SO CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR SUCCESS, WE WILL TELL YOU THE TRUTH YOU DONT WANT TO HEAR.
A good friend and mentor of mine once told me, "Only a real friend will tell you when you've got a booger on your nose." Thankfully, that was our last conversation about boogers, but we had lots more conversations about success and how to help others while still being successful in business. I took his words to heart when I counseled entrepreneurs who said they were ready to start their business, but their plans were full of holes. I knew they didn't want to hear about the problems with their plans, but in order to really help I had to point them out and risk them getting mad or embarrassed. Very few did, instead most were thankful that someone took the time to help them see what they could not see on their own.
In designing our software I took a similar approach, I wanted to make it easy for people to see the holes in their plan so they could make informed decisions about their real level of readiness to start or grow their business. We do that by asking questions that can reveal potential holes in their understanding and readiness; and then giving them to tools to fix those holes. Sometimes there are 'nuts & bolts' kind of issues that can be fixed with more information, but just as often, their are deeper issues that deal with how entrepreneurs see themselves, what drives them, how much risk is right for their situation, or the big one... what does it mean to be successful.
Software cant answer the deeper questions, but it can help provide an atmosphere where an entrepreneur that is willing to dig for answers can be confronted with what they don't know in a way that doesn't condemn, or embarrass. When done right, helping people see what they don't know leads them one-step-at-a-time towards filling in the blanks so they can make decisions based on data, not feelings of fear, or frustration, or desperation, or unrealistic optimism. We believe we have done it right, and that Pebble Plan is the best software available for helping small businesses go through the educational and explorative process of deciding what the next right step is in their business based on real information.
We invite you to see for yourself. We may not always have good news for you, but we will do our best to help you find any holes in your business plans so you don't walk into a bankers office with a booger on your nose.
We look forward to working with you.
WHY PEBBLE PLAN? (THE NAME)
I wanted a name that spoke to the core of what our business is all about, helping entrepreneurs count the cost of starting or expanding their business. I had been thinking about that and was kicking around a few ideas for names, then while reading one day I started down a rabbit trail about the origin of the phrase 'count the cost' and found that in Greek it translates to 'psephizo', and that the word psephizo also means 'pebble'. As soon as I saw it something clicked, and I knew that this was the name. If you break it down our name means 'count the cost plan' and that's exactly what it is.
"Which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost?" I'm pretty sure this question was being asked to a group of entrepreneurs; after all, who else builds a tower?
Pebbles, though individually small, are indispensable for creating solid foundations; for both buildings & businesses.
WHY DONT YOU CHARGE MORE?
We get this question a lot, especially from people and partners who have paid thousands of dollars more for lower quality services. The answer is two-fold:
Our first commitment is to the individual business owners/entrepreneurs trying to make the best decisions they can about the best ways to grow their business. Many of these entrepreneurs are starting a business to improve their family's future, and are saving everything they can. If we charged what the service is actually worth many of these people would hesitate at spending that much and would just struggle along relying on trial & error to figure things out. Most of them would never get far enough along to see if their dream really had potential because the first few mistakes would end the business.
Our second commitment is to our partners who work with the entrepreneurs that use our software, and who may pay for their services. If we charge our partners more than our direct customers for the same services, they are likely to feel taken advantage of. We want long-term partners based on win/win arrangements, so taking advantage of our partners is not in their, or our, best interest.
The common strategy in the business support industry is to charge a lot for help so that only the people who are really serious and have the resources to succeed use you. You get paid more, and the businesses you work with have a better chance of success, because they have the money to afford mistakes. This makes some companies in the industry look effective even if they didn't help their clients that much. We reject this strategy. We would rather leave money on the table and help more people get the help they need than fill our pockets and add more financial stress to entrepreneurs who are doing their best but are still figuring out how to get or stay profitable. We know we don't charge nearly what our software & services are worth; we also know that great things don't happen by doing things the same way everyone else does.