Breaking the Growth Barriers in the IT and Software Sectors

Written by Ash Seha

There's nothing automatic about corporate growth, particularly inrepparttar information technology industry; "build it and they will come" is a myth. Inrepparttar 144216 real world there is either a structured, process-driven growth cycle, or stagnation — and stagnation IS automatic. Inherent to growth cycles are barriers, real-world business challenges that put some software companies out of business and spur others on to break through those barriers to higher levels of success. Overcoming those barriers isrepparttar 144217 very definition of growth; when you break through a barrier, you've achieved growth.

You're a software or information technology company, prosperous in 2005, which means that you have a good product, you've made some smart decisions and you've already broken through some growth barriers. You're successful. Now what?

Any company, regardless of age or size can experience barriers to growth: if you find it hard to develop and maintain market momentum; are tied to your entrepreneurial management style and unable to scale; have reached a level of revenue or income and stagnation is settling in; or if your revenue is generated from one product, service, client, or industry, then you're at repparttar 144218 next growth barrier, you need to be able recognize it, and you need to prepare to cross it. This overview discussesrepparttar 144219 typical growth barriers that confront many IT and software companies, and how external consultants can be used effectively to break through those barriers.

Strategy Constrained At this point your company or product is inrepparttar 144220 early stages of its evolution. You've landed a handful of key accounts, and you're encouraged by your early success. Now you need a plan, a strategy, a concrete agenda that will move your information technology company from being a collection of talented people with a common goal, to being a team with a common goal and a battle-tested strategy for achieving that goal.

This stage is characterized by: •Perpetual realignment of company strategy By delivering guidance on corporate strategy, a marketing strategy consultant may be able to help a company like yours to: •Define untapped solution areas •Make technological platform decisions •Select appropriate geographic markets •Write actionable business plans

Capital Constrained You've taken your software company or product as far as you can on your savings. Or perhaps you've made a few key sales that have kept you afloat. In order to move your company on torepparttar 144221 next phase of development you need an infusion of capital to hire skilled employees, make key acquisitions and fuel your growth. Technology is your specialty, not prospectus writing for venture capitalists.

This stage is characterized by: •Inability to fund business strategies •Decision-making based upon short-term cash-flow issues rather than long-term strategy

Through road-show ready business plan development and introduction to network of VCs and angel investors, a strategy consultant may be able to help a company like yours to: •Author compelling investment prospectuses •Define immediate and long-term financial requirements •Execute successful finance road shows

Skills Constrained Typically a company finds themselves at this stage of development with a great product built on sound technology aimed at a particular industry, and their first round of financing secured. They also find themselves with a weak or non-existent positioning statement, a reactive product management process, exhausted or ineffective sales skills, and a strictly opportunistic business development strategy. Company growth is limited in part byrepparttar 144222 notion thatrepparttar 144223 product will sell itself because it is superior to any other onrepparttar 144224 market—indeed, it may berepparttar 144225 only offering. Revenue growth is limited becauserepparttar 144226 product is defined in terms of its functionality, not its value torepparttar 144227 customer.

When Is Time Management Not Enough?

Written by Gerry McRae

A working manager needs more than time management.

That old saying, “Dance withrepparttar one that brought you torepparttar 144179 ball,” came to mind as I received a reality jolt recently.

Let me share with you that jolting insight. I was in transition away from managing several groups of technicians and professionals to more personal hands-on production management. My self-image and reputation lead me to assume that simply putting inrepparttar 144180 same hours in my usual efficient manner would dorepparttar 144181 trick. So, I continued tracking my time.

Wrong assumption!

It was necessary to get back to basics or, to userepparttar 144182 wisdom of that old saying, to dance withrepparttar 144183 one who got me from there to here. Namely, tracking specific actions that produce results instead of tracking time spent on specific and general activity.

What I was suspecting was painfully true. Effective results were falling short of my own standards and objectives.

I replaced my time managing controls with production controls. My daily discipline, attitudes and focus changed immediately and so didrepparttar 144184 output. I was no longer deceiving myself by playing that look-how-hard-I’m-trying game

It’s a humbling experience whenrepparttar 144185 manager needsrepparttar 144186 same supervision as salespeople, technicians and other such producers. It’s embarrassing when a manager applies to oneselfrepparttar 144187 same stringent supervisory methods he or she once used on salespersons and other responsible persons working in critical profit centers.

While this piece is directed torepparttar 144188 owner/manager who plays a hands-on role in a small business, it serves as a reminder to all managers who could be due for a comparative review of daily actions, time use and actual output.

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