Written on June 30, 2011 at 11:06 am, by Steve Strauss
Hearing about the cool idea of the integration of Concur Breeze and TripIt reminded me that to succeed long term, a business must continually look for new ways to improve and grow their business.
And yet somehow, this is a concept that is too little understood by too many small business owners. Typically their entrepreneurial journey looks something like this:
Frustration: Sick of the old job. Wanting to make more money. Boss driving you crazy.
Inspiration! Cool idea for a business. Running it up the flagpole. It flies. Spouse buys into the dream.
Homework: Learn more about the industry. More research. Draft that darn business plan.
Launch: Excitement. Fear. Getting the word out. Creating a website. Hard work.
Learn what works: Trial and error. Mistakes and success. Figuring it out. Relief.
Beat the dead horse: Doing what works again, and again, and again, and again.
Of course the problem is that last thing: beating the dead horse. Once they stumble upon or otherwise figure out a successful formula, that small business person naturally looks to repeat it. The problem with that strategy is that it usually leads to stagnation.
Better: Instead of repeating that formula, replicate it. That is, don’t do the same thing over and over again, but instead figure out the core of what works and add new products and services that complement that.
By adding additional, appropriate and organic services or products to the mix, you are able to better serve your customers, grow your business, diversify your revenue base, set yourself apart, and altogether be a stronger, better, more customer-centric business.
Example: Concur Breeze and TripIt Pro. I love Concur Breeze because the two things I hear small business people complain about the most are a lack of time and a lack of money. Concur Breeze helps with both of those things. Highly affordable and a huge time-saver, Concur Breeze is a small business winner.
How do you make it better then? By doing what I am suggesting, namely, by adding smart and complimentary services to the mix. That’s exactly what the addition of TripIt does. Concur Breeze is great because it makes expense reporting, especially while on the road, well, a breeze. Integrating it with TripIt makes it an even more useful tool since travel itineraries and plans are now automatically feed into an expense report.
So the integration of Concur Breeze and TripIt serves as a valuable business lesson for how any small business person should think about growing their own business—expand your business in a way that makes better sense for your clients.