The ‘comfort trap’By Frank Ohlhorst | Print
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The paths to growth may vary, but growth is a must for solution providers with any hope of success.
Artech’s Poddar addresses the "comfort trap" by asking for help. "The most successful business people seem to have a natural inner drive that others can never develop," she said. "However, I can suggest that companies should reach out to management-consulting firms that can help keep them focused and assist in the creation and tracking of high-end strategies and tactical to-do lists.
A good consulting firm can keep a small or startup firm motivated and compensate for lack in strengths in one area or another."
Climbing the pyramid
While the beliefs and practices of Infosys, Artech and Powersolution.com—in growing their businesses—provide good examples of paths to follow, one issue remains: How to move up the pyramid from masses and boutique players at the bottom to share space with the major movers in the industry?
It takes more than just success and Touchbase’s Maynard has a theory: "To get to your first $1 million is difficult, to get to $10 million is very difficult, to get to $50 million is almost impossible, but once you get to $100 million, it seems to get slightly easier to grow. I think this is because the transition from small to medium means a huge change in the way the business is run and the systems that underpin it. Once this is achieved successfully, the next levels of growth become easier as you have the structure and systems in place."
Neudesic’s Marshall has a different take: "As a company grows and enters that chasm, a great deal of interest is generated about that business. Once that level of revenue is achieved, the company becomes a target for acquisition and is most likely to be gobbled up by one of the major players in the industry—or grow because of an infusion of venture capital. Either way, the company ceases to exist as a familiar entity and, indeed, does jump the chasm."
Marshall may be onto something: The majority of the larger players in the market were created by mergers, acquisitions and outside investments. That raises a question for solution providers: Which path to success makes sense for you?