As part of our product selling, we meet many prospects. We interact with multiple categories of Business owners (BO). Out of this, nearly 10% of BO comes back to us with a statement, “Hey, I like your Cloud Solution and it fits our business 100%, but let me ask my Director / Auditor / Accountant to check and will call you back”.
We knew instantly that this prospect will never come back and we also do not follow-up with them, unless we see a real problem that customer is intending to solve. The percentage of this category is more in Tier 2 or 3 cities.
NO, we are not Magicians. It is very simple and clear to understand. Many MSMEs are afraid to shake their running cart until it breaks down completely. Why?
1. “Fear of Unknown” (This is more when its related to Tax and Government related documents and activities)
2. “Change is Painful”
Today many MSME businesses are struggling with their existing stand-alone software that was written either in FoxPro or Visual Basic or some other old programming techniques. As the time passed, these applications were never upgraded because either the software company shutdown or software was totally customised to fit their business (paid extra money to get it done) or MSMEs are happy that “It works and lets not disturb”.
During one of our customer visit, I was surprised to see a Windows 95 operated PC. Why on earth? Reason, customer’s billing software was not compatible to Windows higher versions. Even Microsoft ended support for Win95 by 2001, but customer didn’t move out of the software as “It works” and he is eternally stuck with this monumental piece.
As the time changes, Businesses are forced to adapt themselves to survive. However some will not change so easily. Recently I saw one of our prospect’s accountant, after generating an inventory statement and he took out his calculator. He started adding the numbers to see whether they are OK or not. I was not surprised, but I was happy that he is satisfied with our solution.
My personal experience is, if a Business owner faces some real challenges and he has an intention to change and grow the business, he would adapt to new technology quickly and his team would be happy to use it as there is no more pain to manage software, Hardware, database and its back up etc. Recently after 2 months of usage of our application (and post getting confidence), one of our customers brought all their business activities under AcTouch.com.
“Change is Painful, but NOT CHANGING could be disastrous to the Business”
I worked with software industry (Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Banking and Treasury Software products) for the last 20 years.
Personally I do not agree to the software product licensing concept where OUR product is licensed to a customer to use it and in turn we make him an “IT Expert” to manage OUR software, take OUR database backup on his HARDWARE rather than RUN his Business for which he bought OUR software. Irony is, he PAYS money to TEST and IDENTIFY Bugs in OUR software and we collect the money as “Annual Maintenance Contract”.
So we developed a cloud solution, AcTouch.com, where customer has an option to use the product while we manage all software upgrades, regular DB backups and make sure that he runs his business without any problems. I normally write about MSMEs and their pain points that I encounter during my interaction. Everyday I learn from MSME Business Owners.