Successful business owners seize opportunities when they see them. Even more successful business owners anticipate those opportunities and take steps in advance to prepare their companies to maximize the growth that can be achieved from changing markets and customer requirements.
David Friedland, as a business leader at Innovative Routines International, Inc. (IRI, Inc.), has identified several emerging market opportunities for his company. He turned to the Florida SBDC at Eastern Florida State College (FSBDC at EFSC) for operational advice that would better support IRI’s expansion path.
IRI is a long-running software development company –often called an independent software vendor (ISV) –that specializes in technologies for fast data management and data-centric security for customers around the world, large and small, across multiple industries. Management of big data and the protection of sensitive information are fast-growing segments of the software industry. IRI has been working to capture some of that growth as those segments mature and further evolve.
“We saw the chance to grow more rapidly amid industry changes and the resulting opportunities we’ve encountered,” recalls Friedland. “We were moving beyond one or two core products to a broader data management platform and richer product line offering. We saw the FSBDC and its strategic consulting as a source of new knowledge that would help us scale better and modernize more of our internal processes.”
Working with Florida SBDC at EFSC sub-center Director Martin Duffy, Friedland and IRI sales director Lisa Mangino set to work in the areas that IRI wanted help in, including sales forecasting, pipeline management, customer marketing, and the streamlining of internal customer handling and financial reporting procedures. They took advantage of the FSBDC’s training seminars, consulting services, and market research tools to leverage existing IRI capabilities in the enterprise software business while adding fresh perspectives and approaches.
“It has been very positive working with the FSBDC,” says Mangino. “It confirmed that some of the things we were doing were right on the money, and highlighted others needing change or enhancement.”
Various FSBDC service strategies worked to IRI’s advantage. The FSBDC’s team approach to seminars brought together partners from the Small Business Administration and local professionals that helped IRI connect with SEO and digital marketing experts. Monthly accountability meetings with FSBDC consultant Duffy served to keep the company on track and build momentum.
“The proof is in the pudding,’ Friedland continued. “Business is up significantly, nearing 30 percent over last year. It’s significant. We credit the FSBDC for not only fattening our pipeline but also helping us manage it more efficiently. We are now able to pursue the opportunities we have in front of us with more vigor and intelligence.”
“There’s always room to improve and get better,” Friedland states. “If you’re not learning, you’re falling behind. I’d tell any business owner to see the FSBDC if you want to grow, regardless of your current size or track. Just keep an open mind.
For information about Innovative Routines International, please visit www.iri.com/.