By Alistair Tait, Tait Enterprise Development Ltd
As an ancient eastern proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step” – but, I would add, it has to be in the right direction!
For many years I have been developing MS Excel based financial models that I use with business owners to help them analyse where they are with their business now, set clear strategic objectives, and, create a plan that will help them get them to where they want to be. Or at least have a better chance of doing so!
It wasn’t until I met the Interface team at a business seminar that I realised I had something that could be turned into a “product” to help me do this. The holy grail for consultants! A real product that doesn’t rely on me selling my time.
Through further discussion, the team helped me identify that one of the spreadsheet based models I used with lots of clients to help them analyse the financial performance of their business could be developed into a Cloud based business tool. Interface put me in touch with the University of Abertay who worked with me to develop a “proof of concept” model that is now hosted in the Cloud.
The resulting tool is much more powerful than my original spreadsheet model could ever be. It allows me to gather performance trends for a client over a number of years and allows me to pull comparative information together across my client portfolio. We are even in talks about the possibility of developing into a tool that could be licenced to other consultants!
As well as helping my clients set a clear direction for their businesses this has also changed the direction of the journey I am on with my business.
All this from a chance conversation with someone who spotted I had an opportunity that I hadn’t recognised I had, even though it was right in front of me. Watch out for those people that have a different perspective on how you do what you do, they can be disruptive (in a good way)!