The Attivo Group will get your system implemented - on time and within budget. Realize increased efficiencies, lower costs and improve profits. As trusted advisors for distributors, manufacturers and service providers, we will help you improve and automate your business processes.
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Business Consulting and Software Sales in an Awful Economy - How We Have Adapted
04-01-2009 / By:
What the economic melt down has meant to business consulting and software salesThe majority of our clients have been predominantly smaller mid-market sized companies, typically privately owned, with revenues in the $5-100 million range. They have been absolutely frozen in place since about October of 2008. Unable to make any decision whatsoever, they have stopped all spending on marketing, certifications, automation or any kind of improvement initiatives of any kind for their business. Six months have now passed. Still no signs of life. You can probably guess what happened to the business software projects that we were supposed to work on with them. Forget new system implementations. The few projects on the street have had so many vultures flying around them that they are hardly worth chasing. Not a very healthy situation at all. We've made a few very important shifts in our business model that have really helped a lot. Here's a few:
1) Became an Intuit Solution Provider, offering the higher-end version of the popular QuickBooks software, QuickBooks Enterprise Suite. This expanded our market dramatically.
2) Became a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, opening up access to 4,000,000 users of QuickBooks to help them with their software and provide unique software solutions to solve their business needs and integrate with their QuickBooks system.
3) Became a Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) and Microsoft CRM reseller. Microsoft is very quickly becoming the 600 pound gorilla in the business software applications market. Prospects have indicated that they perceive Microsoft as a very high-quality provider of business systems. Marketing works. Remember IBM in the 1980's?? 4) Exanded our product offerings - we now work with over 60 different business management software applications. Check out our home page - after 16 years in business, we've accumulated a lot of partners! 5) Began focusing on service industries, rather that just manufacturing and wholesale distribution. 6) Began providing mid-market ERP solutions that integrate with QuickBooks. In this way, a company can get the controls and functionality that they need where it counts, but maintain the simplicity and low cost of their QuickBooks Accouning system.But here's the key - smaller, bite-sized projects. Instead of $50-150,000 projects, we're working on $5-25,000 projects. And they are coming from the $1-10 million revenue sized companies. Not the mid market. (Still no signs of life there - they still have their hands in their pockets holding onto their wallets). Service industries have less complex system requirements than manufacturers, but they have needs nonetheless. We are working on some very interesting projects with service companies, and have gained instant entry into the market with the addition of Will Breiholz as our new Vice President of Business Development. Will is a 12 year veteran of the Intuit Marketplace, and brought along plenty of knowledge and contacts with him. Will most recently served as General Manager for BQE Software, the developer of the popular BillQuick Software. BillQuick is a professional services time and billing system, that is used by architects, engineers, attorneys and others that need to track their time and bill customers against projects or contracts. We're implementing tier-two sized ERP offerings such as Exact MAX, Exact JobBOSS, MYSis and Fishbowl that are designed to integrate with QuickBooks for the accounting needs. This saves clients a significant amount of money, since most can get away with basic accounting, but still need the functionality of bigger systems for their operations management. This makes a lot of business sense to me. Not only that, Eunice, the 40-year veteran bookkeeper, does not have to give up her QuickBooks system and learn a new system (which would have killed the deal, by the way). I don't want to go too far out on a limb with this, but I see this as a real growth market for us. I welcome any and all comments on how you have changed your business in these tumultuous times - we could all use some good hints on how to stay alive!