- How to Buy
In any company, business development is crucial to success. Even if you think you’ve got the best product or service in the world, if you’re not continuously attracting new customers and building on relationships with existing customers, your business will fail to thrive as much as it could.
As the president of a software company, I firmly believe that finding and fully utilizing the right technology is key to helping your business succeed and grow. That said, equally important to ensuring success in your organization is getting your customer service right. In order to do that, you’ve got to hire the right people with the right attitude, and empower them to do their jobs.
Many business executives make the mistake of going into meetings too focused on their own needs and what they can get out of the person or people on the other side of the table. While knowing exactly what you want isn’t necessarily a bad thing, neglecting to think about what the other party wants can sabotage both your delivery and your desired outcome.
When companies start shopping for new software to manage their processes, they often begin by looking only at solutions designed for their industry. That can be a mistake. While that software may be perfectly suited for their needs at the moment of implementation, as businesses grow and adapt to new circumstances, it may not have the flexibility necessary to keep up.
In the field services industry, it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to find skilled resources. While some employees come in with the specific abilities needed by your business, others have to be trained from scratch. Training new employees shouldn’t be a roadblock to getting them out into the field as quickly as possible.
In my conversations with customers, people often tell me “No, your software doesn’t do that. It only works this one particular way.” When your business has been on the same software system for years, it’s easy for employees to get trapped in the cycle of doing things the way they’ve always done things. But, there are ways to stay on top of the features of your software package.
Business alerts are one of the most helpful – and underutilized — functions of a software system. I’m a strong proponent of using business alerts, but because they’re one of those things that usually gets built at the back end of a project, many people forget about them and wind up going back to their old way of doing things.
Companies often underestimate the importance of project and service managers when it comes to cash flow. In the construction world, project managers have a huge impact on cash flow. Service managers in businesses with a field service component can also have a big impact on cash flow.
Much of what makes a company become and remain a success is its ability to adapt to new circumstances. But one of the problems with adapting is trying to identify which new areas of focus will be profitable for your company and which won’t. The secret to identifying those areas lies in your company’s ability to pull together the right data.