A few days ago, I was chatting with a business owner who successfully turned a small family business into a $40M+ company. He used software and technology to help grow the business but he always found off-the-shelf products to be inadequate. So he turned to a local software developer to build a custom app and website to address the challenges they were facing. But even after working with a developer and building a completely custom solution he was still left frustrated and searching. He told me:

I don’t need another developer. I need someone who “gets it” and can come in with new ideas on how to make my business run smoother.

I hate hearing stories like this. The stories of visionary business leaders seeing the potential of technology to reshape their business but scuttled by a bad technology partner. Unfortunately it’s a story that’s become all too common.

This is a really tough challenge for companies. When you are unable to find a technology partner who specializes in your needs, you settle. Sometimes this works out ok, but you have to spend a lot of time educating them on the ins-and-outs of your business. After all that work you are likely to end up with a final product that’s far from what you envisioned or needed.

There is great potential to use technology to reshape the way your business operates. However, finding a partner who understands your industry and your unique needs is critical. It’s pretty easy to find a vendor that can supply a solution, but do they have enough understanding to provide you the solution you actually need.

So if you are looking for a partner who “gets it”, here’s a good place to start.