Many people have asked what the next thing may be for me. While I am not yet ready to name it specifically I will say that I’ve made some pretty big decisions and that it’s time to return to my roots in serving small business and rather than taking over an existing company, this time I am working with some like-minded friends to found our own.
We had a long meeting a few days ago and those who know me know that if I am going to stick around for a long meeting the subject matter will be something that is near and dear to my heart. It is true. I have a deeply rooted respect for the folks with the courage to found and stick with small businesses of all kinds and have successfully built companies whose specific focus is to find ways to help these businesses succeed. This new company will capitalize on what I and the folks who are partnering with me have learned along the way.
In our meeting we came up with several core assumptions describing why we are doing what we’re doing. These assumptions are:
- The choice to start a small business is not due to failure in a large one, but rather vision and drive to pursue one’s individual dream.
- The pursuit of that dream is a lonely one and success is rooted in an effective support system.
- Small business people are visionary experts in their chosen field of practice.
- The only effective way to serve small business is through connection and collaboration.
- Small business people don’t need tools, they need solutions.
- The internet creates leverage-able crossroads for efficient communication.
- Readily available, best-of-breed solutions are more than sufficient to serve most small business needs.
- Time is any small business person's most important asset.
The business built around these assumptions will leverage today’s workforce in ways that directly address the characteristics of the emerging working generation. The founders understand and respect the desire for flexibility and the opportunity to pursue one’s own dreams while at the same time creating meaningful value for the company and its customers through focused and efficient contribution at work. Rather than having to change an existing culture to address these needs we have the benefit of establishing a culture that leverages them.
The business built around these assumptions understands that it’s path to success is directly tied to the success of its customers. It is built to leverage the recommendations of its existing customers as its primary new customer acquisition channel. It is built to be responsive to customer feedback, with an understanding that our customers know their needs better than we ever will. It is built with ears to hear and eyes to see these challenges as opportunities for the creation of new and better solutions and it is built with a core belief that relentless refinement, invention and reinvention will pave the way to success.
I am excited about the coming year.