The Only Tech Start-up Tip You Need: If You Cannot Do What Your Customers Ask, Do It!


Any other industry would consider us a new kid on the block, but according to tech industry standards, we have “been around the block.”

Make sense of that… if you can!

That we have survived and even flourished through one of the greatest recessions of all time – despite being a market entrant – also suggests we made a good decision or two along the way. Here’s how we did it.

Listening to customers helped us maintain our business through the Recession.

When the banking sector was crumbling like a cookie in 2008, we were primarily a dial tone and NAT phone system business. But we noticed that more and more of our customers needed us to work “on the network.” Since we did not have anyone on-staff who could fill those needs, we brought Wayne Gosselin on board as a consultant. Demand only continued to increase, and about one year after we had moved into our first office, we hired Wayne to help us start our IT “business within a business.”

The company was funded on a loan from the SBA, but this time around, we funded the effort ourselves. The funding requirements were not out-of-reach, and we wanted to keep financing simple. It also helped us that our business was profitable from Day One. Two years later, the IT department was registering half of our total revenues, and we had no debt to pay off.

Keep in mind that this half of revenues grew in two of the worst years of the recession, when businesses were filing for bankruptcy or selling to larger firms. Our phone sales declined, but the IT department held us steady.

Unless you have valuable intellectual property to protect your market, customer service is crucial in IT. So many tech firms are focusing on long-term models, which essentially lower prices to convince customers they need a service before they even know they want that service.

There is an alternative: provide what people want now, and keep asking what they want.

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