Referrals Are A Great Bonus from Networking
There is no doubt that LinkedIn is a valuable tool for connecting, sharing knowledge and learning from others and increasingly the online world is impacting on our lives. Yet, face to face or in real time networking is an essential marketing tool for any business and builds know, like and trust faster. The benefit of communicating face to face and having deeper and more meaningful conversations can never be underestimated.
Today, I would like to introduce you to Peter Burgess. I first connected with Peter Burgess on LinkedIn when he wrote an article "Tired of Communting? How Technology is Changing where and how we work" . I commented on the article as it resonated with me from previous conversations I had had with Sara Mitchell from Biz Buddy Hub. I mentioned to Peter that Sara was speaking at the YTM Awards last year and he quickly registered to attend.
Since then, Peter has been a regular attendee at YTM and next week is one of the speakers at the 2018 YTM Awards Dinner on the 24th April.
Recently, I asked Peter to answer a few questions to help our community better understand his business -
What’s your business name and how did you come up with that?
My business name is Olivitek Software. I named my business after my daughter Olivia who was born shortly before I launched the business. Although I'm currently working on renaming the business to more closely align with its core mission, the Olivitek name has served the business well so far.
How do you help others?
We help medium to large businesses with turnover from $5 – 100 million and 10 – 200 employees to automate their business processes and to visualise their most important business data.
We specialise in automating the menial and repetitive tasks that your workers carry out, allowing them to do their best and most meaningful work.
An example to clarify what we do. On a recent customer project, working with a client in the travel industry, we managed to automate a week's worth of tedious admin work for one employee, allowing them to achieve the same result in just 5 minutes at the click of a button.
My client's employee no longer had to carry out work that bored them, work that did not leverage their innate skills. This employee is now able to do work which is of maximum benefit to their employer.
Over the course of my career, working with clients in multiple sectors I have found that for all the companies we’ve worked with there are one or more of three persistent and major problems that are causing a world of pain and frustration for our clients.
Firstly : Inefficient, overly manual business processes with poor ROI.
An example explains this best. In the travel industry, a new travel booking might involve taking the original customer enquiry by phone, email or online form. A non automated agency might record details on a paper form, searching a flights database, manually updating one or more Excel spreadsheets, collating bookings and informing a resort of this week's bookings.
All businesses will have similar processes. All these time consuming manual steps can lead to great inefficiencies in a business. Manual processes are also often error prone and costly.
Secondly : Management having poor visibility over the business's data.
To paraphrase Peter Drucker the famous management consultant and author, “You cannot manage what you can't measure”.
Many companies have an incomplete and inaccurate picture of their important business data. Data about customers, products, orders, inventory and key financial and operational data may be stored in spreadsheets, in Access databases, old legacy databases or even on paper.
As a result the process of generating management reports is laborious and time consuming. The reports provided to management will often provide a fragmented, incomplete picture of their organisation's performance. Management cannot make their best decisions without complete and accurate data.
The above usually lead to the third problem - poor staff work satisfaction.
Many businesses use out dated software tools and manual processes in their back office. Staff may have to type orders in a spreadsheet, fill out paper forms, enter volumes of data manually into software systems that haven't been changed in decades. A lot of this work is tedious, mind numbing and quite frankly a poor use of an intelligent, skilled team member’s capabilities. The result: unhappy staff and high staff turnover.
“Why” do you do what you do ?
I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to do work that matters. Work that fulfils human potential. Too many people spend their working lives doing manual, mundane and tedious work that does not draw on their true capabilities.
I have experienced mind numbing, menial work at times in my life. Checking mobile phone key pads in a factory, filing dockets all day for a furniture company in Scotland, manually matching purchase orders and invoices at a telecoms facility in the UK. Roles where I watched the clock and longed for the end of the day.
In the age of technology we finally have tools that allow us to automate repeatable work like this.
I believe in educating and helping business owners – showing them how to free their employees to do their best possible work. Happy and motivated workers will go on to contribute positively to their families, society and the businesses they work for.
What made you start your own business?
I had always wanted to start a business, but like a lot of people I spent much of my time living on 'Someday Isle' (Someday I'll start a business..). It was really with the move to the bush about ten years ago (I live a good 2.5 hours drive to the east of Melbourne in Gippsland) that I realised that holding down a full time job in the city was no longer feasible. I started dabbling with the idea of starting a business around about 2008. It was only when concrete opportunities arose in 2013 that I went full time however – and I've never looked back.
I am sure there are things that really give you a “buzz” about your business. Could you share 2 or three things with us?
I always get a buzz out of helping my customers to simplify and streamline their work. There is nothing more satisfying than realising that you've freed someone from weeks of tedious work or from having to use frustrating legacy software that is no longer fit for purpose.
I also get a big buzz out of creating quality software systems that do exactly what they're meant to do – just work. 24/7, 365 days a year.
Most of all I enjoy seeing the impact that my work has on the lives of my customers and the future potential of their businesses.
As you know at Your Time Matters, we believe conversations, connections and knowledge enrich lives, personally and professionally, and can impact on the lives of others, helping them learn, grow and achieve what matters to them. What impact would you like your business to make?
I'd like to see my business helping more and more clients over the coming years to get the most out of their businesses – allowing them to do their best work. My business will be where my own thought leadership on work re-design, automation and productivity will be implemented for clients on concrete projects. In that sense I also see that my business and the clients I work for will provide a model for how we can use technology to better run businesses in the future.
In 3 years time, where would you like to see your business?
I would like to be running a boutique agency style consulting business at the cutting edge of business process automation. I personally would like to be providing a lot of thought leadership (through speaking and publishing) in the areas of business process automation and business systemisation, helping organisations to leverage techology so they can do great and impactful work.
Can you give us one tip on how to manage your time as a busy business professional?
I recommend always blocking out time in your calendar a week in advance so that all your most important tasks are scheduled. Then switch off the phone, don't check your email and get that task done at the allotted time.
I also find it very useful to colour code your calendar using the Shirlaws Red-Blue-Black methodology. More about that here: https://www.shirlawsgroup.com/Magazine/2016/07/27/Sharing-the-Shirlaws%E2%80%99-Secret-Sauce
Perhaps the number one tip I can give is to remove all distraction and find a place where you can truly focus. 3 or 4 hours of fully focused work is worth far more than a day or unfocused work. It is not about how many hours you sit at the desk, but the results you achieve through your efforts.
Finally, I highly recommend entrepreneurs read Cal Newport's book 'Deep Work'. Cal has really figured out how to achieve high productivity. And its really simple – it is to do the opposite to everyone else in the world right now. Choose one thing and do it really well to the exclusion of all else. Focus is the key to getting exceptional results in a world that always seeks to distract us.
How have you benefited from being part of the YTM community?
It is fantastic to be part of the YTM community. I have enjoyed meeting like minded entrepreneurs and business leaders from diverse backgrounds. Because of the calibre of people that YTM attracts there are also great opportunities to collaborate and learn. I am also currently developing business partnerships and have received referrals from members of the YTM community. Referrals especially are always a great bonus of attending YTM networking meetings.
Attending regular YTM network meetings has also allowed me to develop greater confidence in networking and in stretching my comfort zone.
Please share your favourite quote with us about time or business .
“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
How can people connect with you?
Peter is one of six speakers competing for the 2018 YTM Awards on the 24th April. His topic "Systemisation with Business" fits well with the overacrching theme of the dinner event Why does It Matter. You can read more about the dinner and register HERE.