Questions about WinWeb’s seemingly contradictory business model are being asked. On one hand we use SaaS – Software as a Service technology and on the other hand we introduced our Live! services. Why bother, isn’t that going the wrong way, instead of automation bringing people into this concept?
To answer this question, I want to tell you why I thought of this model, rather then try to explain what it does for you.
When someone decides to start a business, this is in most cases a gradual process, and that is good that way. Why? Because every business idea needs first allot of research into:
- product / services competitors and their pricing, and
- product / services industry for possible certification, approvals, etc.
This can easily be done on-line today, or by contacting relevant industry bodies for information, even government organizations can be helpful, sometimes. All you need it time, very little money is needed for this phase of the business development. I call this the PreEntrepreneur phase.
Next, the IntraPreneur phase, is the business planning and testing phase. This is where it get interesting, planning needs to be done in may areas including:
- product / service planning,
- financial planning,
- IT / software / online planning,
- sales / marketing planning,
- human resources planning,
- office planning, etc.
These are all barriers to starting a business, in terms of money, time and most of all the necessary expertise. So the question here is, how to make these problems smaller or even disappear?
Some can be very successfully dealt with by the SaaS – Software as a Service products we offer, like IT – infrastructure is no longer an issue, the cost almost negligible. But SaaS can only deliver so much, at some point you need human input and help and that gets very costly before you even start. From personal experience I can tell you, that every mistake you do not make, because of sensible advice, is worth every penny you spend.
As an example look at financial planning, find an accountant who is willing to play my favorite business game with you for an hour, Cash-Flow Reality Gaming, using our free AccountsOffice, with cash-flow plugin. You can not afford him/her to play with you all day, but he/she will show you how to play by yourself. Now, SaaS really scores again, because when you are done playing, you call your accountant, and you both look at the result online in real time. And that is just the beginning of it, but you will need an business advisor accountant.
To cover the other areas you can employ Virtual Assistants (VAs) to work for you on an hourly basis or on a project basis. You would not believe the number of talented and professional VAs out there. You can have the same relationship with each of your VAs as with your accountant. Call answering, marketing, PR, web-design, you name it
it is out there.
Not only will you gain expert advice for a fraction of the “normal” cost, but you can keep you overheads down, without less service. This approach will allow you to run your business with about £100 or $150 a month, allow you keep your job until your business has been planned and tested and can support you. Then you will be an Entrepreneur.
Even if it did not work, you only used a small amount of money to try, no loans, no lost job, no big deal. Go back to start again, with what you have learned your chances of success increase next time around.
In other words what you need is SaaS & Live! services. Am I right or am I r…..?
〔11/06〕Update: For all IntraPreneurs a great post on BusinessPundit.com about starting a business.
Tags: Accountants, Accounting, Bookkeeping, Business Development, Business Infrastructure, Business Start Up, Home Business, Homesourcing, IT, Micro Business, On-demand, Outsourcing, PR, SaaS, Selfemployed, Small Business, smb, sme, sme-blog, Software as a Service, Virtual Assitants, Web Technology, WinWeb