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What's Holding Your Business Back?

As a business owner that has grown a team around them, you know that in its simplest sense, your business is a system, and your team deliver on that system. In telling you that, I’m not telling you anything new. The thing we overlook as business owners, is how hard we make it for the team to deliver on the system.

To use a car analogy, (and if you know anything about me, I love my cars), if your business was a courier service, and you had a van that you had to hand crank, lubricate, and pump up the tires on every time you wanted to make a delivery, you’d be making a whole lot fewer deliveries. You and your team would be stuck in the garage long after your competitors have taken signatures for their first packages of the day.

Instead, you want a vehicle you can jump in, and go straight to where you want to go without friction, holdups or slow manual processes. Ideally, you’re not even the one driving! The point is that the car is what makes it possible to do (or not do) your core business. If the daily hand-crank process sounds slow and cumbersome, that’s exactly what we do to our team when we give them business systems that don’t work.

Maybe you bought an expensive car and the finance is too much to give up on it. Maybe you’re borrowing time on a car that really needs an upgrade. All the small things add up. Ever been on the way to that important meeting and your car breaks down? Or the air con doesn't work and you arrive sweaty?

If your software and IT systems are a mess, and your team have to hand crank them every time they need to get work done, they’re going to spend their time working on their systems, and a lot less time actually being productive in the real ‘work’ of the company. 

We help build your business technology framework so you’re free. Sometimes it’s a tune-up, sometimes it’s a new model – sometimes it’s something brand new. And then your team is free. Free to work productively without starting their day hand-cranking their systems. Because the way you’re doing work right now stops you from doing the business itself.

Once you remove systems mess, for a business owner, all that is left is leadership, strategy and creation.  It’s pure entrepreneurship and creation, and that’s the beauty of what we do. Giving that freedom for creation back to the business owner.

We want to give you back the opportunity to be in flow, your team to be in flow and your business to be in flow. And that’s why I do what I do, because successful organisations in flow is what excites me.

What do you see stopping your business from making these changes?

Once we understand that it's a system's mess that's stopping us from doing the real work of our business, the next barrier to our success is being ready for change.

Whether you're currently driving a PC or a Mac, imagine for a moment someone hands you the alternate machine for a day, just to do your work. The bad news is this is the first time you've used the alternate platform for your work tasks… the good news is that this machine is 3 times as fast as your old one, and the resolution on the screen is super crisp.

For a moment, as your open the lid, anxiety becomes you. The first time you boot it up you feel fear, because you don't know what the buttons do, or where the controls are. It would be easier if you had your familiar tools, even if they're slower, because you want what you know. Although you're usually great at learning new things, today, you simply don't have the time. You need to get your work done and don't want this new tool to get in the way of your deadline.

 

In a swift magical moment, the person who lent you their laptop for the day sits with you and quickly shows you what the new buttons do, and where the similar controls are. Some of the button names are different, but you can still get the same result. Phew! You can get your work done. You breathe a sigh of relief as the anxiety has washed away.

Seeing and experiencing the familiar in a new environment gives you the confidence that you can follow the rest of the journey.

For us, it's often about the first step. But it's also a hangover of 90s and 00s technology (and I'm going to talk about what's changed later). Because if you're like me, you remember a time when learning and implementing a new tool WAS hard.

Software wasn't intuitive, we had to take long courses to understand how to use the old host of tools that we used just to get our work done, and we had really expensive onboarding for custom business software. And that's the tension we take with us to new tools.

 

The outcome of that is confusion, is that business owners move slowly, they can't execute their strategy, because of the paralysis that comes from rolling their company onto something that will work better for them. Or they have straddled. Using Gmail for company email, but still using Dropbox and Slack and a bunch of other tools that leave them clunking between platforms. Because it's easier than adoption, or so they think.

It's different now, software tools are built to be intuitive now. And better than that, we know exactly how to take you through those first few scary button presses, and into a day of real, no procrastinating pure productivity.

It's why we've built Cloud Concierge. So you have not just the new tools, but you're empowered to use them to your success, instead of letting the change management get in the way of moving your business from being tangled in the weeds, to a place of real creation and flow.

Is it fair to claim Google is a Tesla?
(Why we backed Google)

It's obvious to think that everyone loves a Tesla because it's Elon Musk, it's sexy, it's got ludicrous mode. But the thing that makes a Tesla so completely game-changing is that it has so few moving parts. Suspension, axle from the motor, that's about it, even the motor itself. Compare that to a traditional car engine with oil pumps, high-pressure fuel lines, spark plugs, timing chains, radiators, and things get a little complicated.

What makes a Tesla absolutely game-changing (and so cheap to run), is that it's an entirely new way to get power to the wheels. It doesn't have all of those interfaces and systems of a gasoline engine; moving the fuel from the tank to the motor, transmitting the power through the gearbox and out to the wheels, making sure the engine stays at the right temperature.

This is the key difference between Microsoft and Google.

By virtue of being in the cloud, it's simple. That's not to say it's simplistic, it's just as featured, if not more so, it's an entirely new way of thinking about how to use business systems.

Much like interfacing a new turbo onto an old car engine, businesses like Microsoft have to create versions of outlook, excel, and word that work on a laptop or desktop or phone running any number of current Windows versions. Even their cloud stuff needs to tie back into computer-based systems. It's why we see big version releases because it takes time to get all these tools to talk properly. And quite clearly, it's a problem that reaches beyond spreadsheets and word documents.

The reason your current IT guy is so expensive is that he's looking up the parts catalogue trying to find a new fuel pump that fits the old engine block. He's trying to find a way to get more power out of an old engine with oil leaks. He's not intending to over-charge you, it's just the ways that he does business is fundamentally more expensive to deliver, because he's servicing a fossil-fuel burning engine instead of an electric engine.

 

Google does it differently. Because everything is purely cloud-based, everyone, everywhere, is always on the same version. And that's a massive strategic advantage. How quickly can they roll out releases and updates? How quickly can they make security changes as the landscape shifts? Google's way of doing business is a massive strategic advantage to them, it gives them the nimbleness that we see in many of our small business customers. It's a critical strategic advatage.

It's not just simple, it's cheaper to maintain. We don't have to come onsite to fix things, because your systems are no longer housed onsite. Everything can be handled remotely, and in the worst case, via remote access from one of our team. We don't have to find ways to get the new tools to work with the old ones, because everyone is on the same model of engine, whatever they need that engine to do within their business. And that makes us a new kind of mechanic, for a new kind of business engine. We backed Google because it's the Tesla of Business IT. A true, new paradigm of how systems should talk, interface and be kept current. We want that for our customers.

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