Building a successful business is part art, part science and admitted…a little bit of luck. Successful owners and managers know that you can’t look at your business in terms of silos such as PSA, CRM, etc. During my 25 years in this industry, I have learned that to reach your full potential, you must think of your business in terms of four key areas that I like to call the “Four Pillars of Success”.
ORGANIZING YOUR BUSINESS
Let’s be honest – there is never enough time or resource to get all the work done, but a solid structure will make any business more effective and efficient and will reduce losses due to duplicate work and unclear processes. Implementing a recurring revenue model, properly capturing time, and getting accurate invoices out the door more quickly all are part of running an organized business. When you are organized, your team does better work because they know what their contribution is, when it should happen, and how it is measured.
OPTIMISING YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
You’ve heard it before, but it really is all about the customer experience. Customers rely on you to keep their business running. You need to respond to your customers’ issues quickly, solve their problems accurately, communicate with them effectively, and reward them for their loyalty. Using an integrated CRM and PSA solution enhances the experience for your profitable customers, and reduces costs by automating contacts for those unprofitable ones. A company-wide commitment to sharing customer data lets you better capture, analyze, and take action – the difference between success and failure in today’s changing marketplace.
FUELING THE BEAST
Your business is a beast, and it eats cash! Revenue generation is an ongoing challenge for many organizations – especially technology companies where the founders typically come from a technical background, not a sales background. One thing the down economy taught a lot of business owners (the hard way) is that marketing needs to become more than an afterthought! You need to generate leads, manage your sales process, and create compelling proposals for your prospects – all while selling deeper to your customer base.
With your customers taken care of, your administrative processes under control, and sales and marketing keeping cash flowing, now is the time to excel. You need to use comprehensive, easy to understand business intelligence to make the minor and major course corrections that propel your business forward. Focus on continuous improvement, and be constantly evolving to better manage processes instead of personalities. Operational excellence doesn’t happen by accident, it takes hard work, dedication, and education!
It’s a natural tendency to focus on one pillar at a time, but this is the wrong approach; you need to be moving all of the pillars forward simultaneously. I liken this process to the water-gun horse races at carnivals. Each person has a horse, and the speed of your horse depends on how accurate you are with a large water gun. If you watch one of these races, you’ll see that horses pull ahead in bursts of speed at different intervals – but all horses are moving forward all the time. As an owner or manager of a technology company, you’re your tendency might be to focus on the first two pillars because that’s your comfort zone. While you will focus on different pillars at different times, you should have some sort of improvement – whether it’s implementing a new marketing campaign, adopting new software, or hiring quality people going-in all four pillars all of the time.
When you learn to look at your business from the four pillar perspective, you are truly on the road to success!
Tigerpaw Software is the leading provider of business management software. For more than 25 years, Tigerpaw has designed industry leading, business-building software to help people manage technology businesses more efficiently. For more information, contact Tigerpaw at 800.704.9009; by email at info@tigerpawsoftware; or visit www.tigerpawsoftware.com.
James Foxall President, Tigerpaw Software