Harnessing Tech to Grow Your People-Centered Business

February 4, 2019 | By Firefield CEO and Founder, Adam McGowan

We’ve all watched tech lead to major changes across industries and demolish whole business models in recent decades. For established business owners or executives, those changes hit close to home, threatening those who fall behind.

Yet for professional service or contracting businesses, your employees aren’t getting replaced by robots anytime soon. Many companies with hands-on tasks or customer-service centered models continue to hold ground in niche markets.

Over time, that hold is getting weaker. That ground is eroding. The threats from new competitors and tech giants are looming closer.

The tech challenges for service-based businesses

Successful service-focused businesses, from plumbing and bookkeeping, face unique challenges trying to adopt more technology into their existing customer base without overturning everything.

Let me give an example situation, one that might feel familiar to you.

Imagine you’re the founder of Professional Services, LLC. (Swap in your successful CPA firm, insurance agency, family-owned electrical contractor, or other service-based business and this example will still hold).

You have a full book of loyal customers, who aren’t going anywhere soon. You have employees who have worked with you for years.

However, your customers are asking for more digital communication, instant responses, faster turnaround times, and transparent access to their invoices. Your employees have faster technology at home or in the new smartphones in their pockets than they do at work.

These new tools are everywhere and more accessible than ever, making your business look more and more behind the times. You can’t avoid this new reality any longer. However, you know the planning, deployment and follow through are beyond the abilities of your team. New tech presents a significant change and investment that you don’t take lightly.

What can you do?

Tech that meets your people and challenges where you are now

Your customers want more tech, but they still want the personal interaction and relationships with your employees. They trust you. Your employees want growth, but they don’t want to be overwhelmed by new gizmos and don’t want their jobs taken over by automation.

Introducing new tech requires a delicate balancing act. You’re not trying to turn Professional Services LLC into a tech company — you’re a people-focused company. Yet you also want to harness tech for growth. With more repeatable processes and tech, your company could even franchise new locations.

We’ve written the playbook for assessing and addressing situations like this, using the Firefield Framework. We start by meeting companies, and their people, where they are today. Taking into account the skills, tech, budget, and resources you have now. The Firefield Framework also gives companies strategies to help weather future storms, to operate their tech without hiring a CTO and a bunch of engineers.

We don’t promise one magic tool or a silver bullet. We work to understand the unrealized potential in your company and the long-term path to get you there. It’s not about becoming a technical business. It’s about learning how to navigate in a constantly evolving environment.

The happy ending

After working through the Firefield Framework and building tailored tech strategies, Professional Services LLC starts to see significant results. Franchising at scale becomes an achievable reality.

You’re retaining strong customer relationships, with even fewer human errors. Your employees are doing the same tasks, faster. The tech you have now allows you to scale operations and easily add more employees (and customers). By translating tedious tasks to workflows you can track and review, you can identify areas to improve and grow. Time tracking, invoicing, managing tasks, converting client emails to trackable notes, understanding revenue, and expediting royalties from franchisees are all simplified.

Your company used to bill by the hour. Now you can increase your margins, billing by the project and making more money. Since your employees can work faster, it opened a change to value-based pricing. For your customers, it’s easier to compare and predict their expenses.

For the employees, they’re less frustrated by time-consuming tasks and their software is easier to understand. They’re not afraid of losing their jobs to robots or outside competition. They don’t need cumbersome workarounds and feel organized.

With tech that enhances the best traits in your people, you’re rewarding them, your customers, and your profit margin. Professional Services LLC isn’t just surviving, it is thriving.

Beyond that, you are prepared for future evolutions. The initial work and planning through the Firefield Framework sticks, building you a blueprint for bringing in new tools, features, and the valued results they generate.

Big questions about big goals

What if your company didn’t fear new technology? What if you were more effective and efficient, allowing you to serve more customers with the same staff? What if your team had a central platform for all the tools they need? What if you could increase your margins? What if you discovered a new service package or revenue stream?

What if you had a custom blueprint for adopting new technologies in your business?

A path for growth, protection, and sparking change

Businesses in situations like this need more than new-fangled software. If you have a single problem, it’s easy to find a simple solution and go straight to the dev shop.

We work with businesses that don’t have just one issue, that aren’t straightforward, or that have complex situations. At Firefield, we work with big company goals like growing, protecting, or sparking change in your business.

This method of actionable consulting can have a long-lasting impact. You know how to embrace new tech. No matter how many projects your company needs down the line, you’ve prepared your people and processes. You are better at understanding your tech, the costs, and how long it takes to see new results. Your employees understand the process, reducing fear and barriers to change.

We help companies develop a tech environment, an evolving ecosystem, and a culture that future-proofs your business. The result allows you to remain who you are as a company, excel at what you’re the best at, and keep sight of your values.

I’ve talked before about why we do what we do, our approach to consulting, and the Firefield Framework. Our team is prepared to work with your business from start to finish. We want you to have the power to harness the full potential of tech in your company.

This is how non-technical companies can compete in a technical world.

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Discover how the Firefield Framework could work for your company.
If you want to grow, protect, or spark change in your business — shoot me a message. Let’s talk..