Want to grow? Time to change your mindset.
Of course, every tech company wants to grow. Not necessarily in the same way—some are expanding their products, some are growing new customers or markets, some are changing their revenue models—but everyone wants to evolve in some way.
But growing isn’t easy; there are always barriers. One of the biggest ones we see is in mindset. It’s very easy to focus just on past successes or current skills and channels. Sometimes this can make you blind to the opportunities right in front of you. For example, we often see clients bound by the limitations of their category: “this is how these services are always sold”. But if the category doesn’t match your ambition, maybe it’s the category that needs to change. Maybe you need to create a new one for an emerging need.
Tech companies are also working in a space that becomes more competitive and more diverse all the time; every company is now a tech company. This means you have to be much clearer about what your unique selling point (USP) is. You need to be able to articulate it in a consistent, punchy way—and in a way that makes sense to your buyers, your current ones and your future ones.
One of the things we champion at Paal15 is having an entrepreneurial mindset. This means having the hunger to do things differently and pivot towards opportunities, even if this means building or changing to do it. It’s not just something we ask of our customers—we also expect it of ourselves.
We’ve been thinking about the next iteration of Paal15: how the market, our clients and our skills and services have evolved, and what that means for our own growth. Our client base has expanded into not just resellers of technology, but those who build their own; these throw up completely different challenges and ambitions. For example, we now do a lot more work with OEMs. They’ve entered into a certain market or category and now need to think about where they go to grow and how they position in that place. It’s totally different from our SI or hyperscaler clients who are trying to strengthen their ties in an existing ecosystem. We need to understand and deliver to them in a different way. And we extend this responsibility to everyone in our team, from our consultants to our content writers, designers and marketeers.
Entrepreneurs need to do a range of things that can help inspire a change in mindset. Here are three of them:
1. Rethink the space you play.
Sometimes, the market can evolve around you. Competitors start to offer something bigger and the temptation is just to “do as they do”. A more effective strategy might be to look instead at what has changed for your customer. How different is their business to five years ago? What’s on the cards for them in the next five? And how can you play into that space.
2. Use your ecosystem
As I said before, the tech space is becoming much more crowded. But you can see this as an opportunity rather than a threat. Sometimes smaller solutions can create complexity and integration problems that you can help to solve. Sometimes they can provide partnership routes into new customers—or opportunities for expanding your own offering. Keep an open mind and explore opportunities when you see them.
3. Win hearts and minds
In the start-up world, convincing investors of your value is part of the gig. But established companies can also extend this kind of thinking across their whole go-to-market. This means bringing internal stakeholders, partners, analysts, and both new and existing customers on the journey with you. So, if you’re launching new positioning, you need to get your team behind it: recognise the work that has been done before and ask them to contribute. You also need to test this positioning with an external party and be open to critique. Getting the right people and partners on your side will be vital to success.
If growth is on your agenda, I see an entrepreneurial mindset as a key factor in making this work. This means challenging your assumptions and what you have done before, but also validating what you propose with knowledgeable allies and market experts.
Growing means, in some way or another, changing. Business leaders need to be able to champion and enable these changes. They need to capitalise on opportunities when they arise. And above all, they need to be willing to take pragmatic steps to reach them.
Speak to Paal15 about growing your tech business.
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