YOU ARE A SOFTWARE COMPANY… Even if you are a screen printer, embroiderer or promotional product company!
I read an article recently published on Chief Executive and it couldn’t ring more true to now, into the future and getting through the challenging times of COVID-19. We are all software companies and the only successful companies in the future will be the ones that see themselves as software companies. Just read this blog, trust me!
Picture this, you’re LEGO. A company that makes cool toys – that actually physically exist in the world. A tangible product where kids are able to touch and feel and connect and go on to create something cool and amazing and real. If you are Lego, you make toys, this is what you do. But it is not what you are. What you really are is a software company… that is if you want to survive.
What I am saying does not mean that the likes of Ford or Mercedes needs to stop making cars or that Domino’s needs to stop making pizzas – these are your products or services – the foundation of your business and without them, you do not have a business.
However, everything that you do – how you attract customers, how you communicate with them, how you partner with your suppliers, how your employees interact internally and externally – this is all software.
“Imagine you were running a company 20 years ago. One day an employee knocked on your door and said, “Boss, the Internet is the next big thing. That’s where customers will find us. We need a website.” So you build one. You don’t have a plan for what purpose it would serve (other than to be an online brochure)… but you don’t want to be left behind. And now you rarely think about it. Like dozens of other functions that receive cursory attention, your website just is.
Years later, another employee knocks on your door. “Boss, social media is hot,” she says. “That’s how we can really engage customers. We need a social media presence.” So you create one. You don’t have a plan for what purpose it would serve (other than as a subset of your current marketing efforts) … but you don’t want to be left behind. And now you rarely think about it. Like dozens of other functions you occasionally evaluate, your social media marketing just is.
Software – programs, systems, apps, and any other digital tools is like that, too. Software has become part of the business landscape. You don’t think about it. Besides, software is some other company’s gig. You make stuff. Your focus, every day, is on making and distributing that stuff a little bit faster and a little bit cheaper.
And that’s too bad… because software is the only true competitive advantage every business regardless of size can possess. Why? Because it not only informs but transforms the entire spectrum of business activity. Software can turn communication into collaboration and incremental into exponential. It’s the great leveler, because it isn’t limited by capital or infrastructure requirements but only by imagination and creativity, which means the smallest companies can compete.”
The biggest companies are using software. One of our earlier examples was Domino’s. Now we already know that Domina’s is in the business of pizza. But it can be argued that Domino’s is really in the business of easy ordering and delivery and the pizza is simply what they deliver.
Yes, Domino’s makes and delivers pizzas quickly and easily but their true underlying success lies in being a software company; they have developed online ordering tools, they have created systems that process orders easily, they have optimised supply distribution, created brilliant marketing campaigns to reach their customers and track and monitor financials and performance to ensure they are better equipped to make decisions for success.
So although Domino’s may make and deliver pizzas, the decisions makers, the executives, the CEO and the management team are spending the majority of their time looking for ways that software can improve their business performance – drive more customers, efficient processes and significantly improve the value of their company.
This is the same with Lego. They are always looking for better ways where software can design new products, streamline processes and of course, improve distribution. In fact, they even partner with other amazing software companies like Google to build virtual Lego worlds.
“Smart companies stay ahead by viewing themselves as software companies. They actively look for creative ways to better serve their customers and their employees.” – Joel Basgall
Let’s be honest, average companies and average businesses only react to software. Smart companies in every single industry stay ahead by viewing themselves ultimately as software companies. These smart companies are constantly actively looking for creative ways to better service their customers and also their employees.
Regardless of what these smart companies make, they are coming to work every day and literally wondering “what do our customers need? What do our customers actually want? How can we make our employees more engaged, more productive and more efficient? And they are always asking how software can work towards not only making their company incrementally better, they are asking how it can make their company exponentially better at both servicing customers and growing their company.
Any and I mean ANY company can provide your product or service. In fact any company can compete at that basic level. I am talking about all the things that go into how you provide, how you improve and how you enhance your product or service is where the competitive advantage truly lies, it’s the competitive advantage you can count on – as long as you can truly see your company as a software company.
Business Can Be Easy | www.hoopscrm.com
After a long history working in the decorated products industry, Hoops was founded to make running a business easy, just as the software did for our Founder. We help you to tap into the full potential of your business – to improve and to drive growth. Sign up for a free trial with us today.
This blog was inspired by an article written in Chief Executive with some direct quotations used.