As a founder, the most critical decisions I’ve made was determining which technology partners I would leverage to take a product or service to market and the impact that technology would have on revenue long term. Stay with me as I shed light on what I look for in technology partners today and how I determine their true value.
With an abundance of technology partners out there to choose from, deciding between technology A, B, or C can be somewhat complex. As a “rule of thumb,” cost is never my deciding factor. We’ve all heard the saying, “you get what you pay for” and that saying couldn’t be more accurate. Below I’ve listed my top three “must haves” in a technology partner today.
For those technology partners that service more than one vertical, this “must have” is especially important to me. I need to know that the technology has been successfully deployed and supported for my specific vertical. For this requirement, I often lean on whitepapers, testimonials, reviews, and may request customized demos to ensure the technology provides the efficiency I am looking to implement within my business. If available, I may ask for a trial to further evaluate functionality within my environment and current infrastructure. The more flexible the technology partner is in the upfront sales process, the more willing I am to better understand their value proposition and relevance.
Once I have validated the technology, I work to determine whether or not the technology has the ability to scale with me as I grow the company. The functionality I need today may not be the same functionality I need tomorrow. So, it’s important for me to understand the scalability of the technology and what changes the technology partner has on their development roadmap that may positively or negatively impact the business. Determining whether or not the technology has the ability to integrate with existing and future infrastructure is critical. Scalability is also the foundation of ensuring my team and clients have a great experience.
As I weigh the benefits of implementing the technology, I equally weigh the negative impact the technology could have on that experience if it fails. I prefer technology partners that offer customized support based on critical operating hours. The type of support offered is equally as important. Does the technology partner offer a dedicated support person vs a call center queue? Can I speak to someone or do I have to send an email and wait for a response? Does the partnership require me to hire any internal resources to maintain the technology and support it?
The answers to these questions reveal my return on investment and quickly show me whether or not it’s worth the money. More importantly, I am clearly able to determine if the partnership will truly bring value to my business.
As you evaluate technology partners in 2019, take a moment to consider these “must haves.”
A Team Built For Growth & Scale As an entrepreneur, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that I simply could not do everything myself. It’s easy to think that you are the only one that understands your business or that you are the only one that can make it actually successful, but is that really true? Are you the only one that has what it takes to grow and scale your business? Is success only possible if you control every aspect of the business? You may feel like you are putting the fate of your business in the hands of a complete stranger, but the reality is it truly takes a village to build a successful company. Stay with me as I share why the act of trust facilitates growth and scalability. It started with your idea… Yes, your business started with your idea and your vision, but I am a firm believer that we naturally box ourselves in to what we envision. The benefit to having additional creatives around you, is the opportunity to gain perspective
Dear Fear, “I had to let you go.” Even though my heart and head often told me I could accomplish my dreams, I gave you the final say. Even in the smallest consideration you seemed to know me better than I knew myself. I trusted that you knew the outcome even though I had yet to test and develop my own grit. And even when I mustered up enough courage to pursue an idea, I chose to bring you along for the ride and doubt myself every step of the way. Despite getting to a certain point in life you still prevented me from seeing the tools I had already gained from my experiences. You convinced me that I would fail and prevented me from seeing that failure equaled growth and would teach me my most powerful life lessons. You convinced me that I could only take the first step as long as I had a complete map of where I was going. You ruled my life. I stood by waiting for permission to explore the deepest parts of me; to run after all of my ambitions; and to understand the world from
EMPOWERING THE ENTREPRENEUR IN 2019 We all know that starting a business is not as easy at it looks or sounds.There are multiple components to company formation that will make or break a business within years of it launching. Statistics show that over half of small businesses that launch today, fail often within their first few years of going live. However, this fail rate should not be demonstrative of why you shouldn’t go into business for yourself if you have a great idea. In fact, the picture this paints is much more pointed in that a successful business requires a 360° approach as you form your company and position it for success. This means experience is key, knowledge is power, and what you don’t know may kill your business before you even get started. Experience matters… Experience is important because you not only learn what to do, but most importantly what not to do. The latter becomes an impossible approach as you form your business model if you have never in