More than 25 years ago I attended a retirement party for the FD of a major company in London. Well into the evening this guy had a piece of advice for me. He said “Remember that the main thing is that the main thing is the main thing”. We’d both had a good few glasses and it wasn’t until the next day that finally I got my brain round this.
When I subsequently started BookCheck in 1994 the first accounting system that we dealt with was Sage Line 50. Being the market leader for serious businesses most of our clients in the early years used Sage.
We provided only two services: Book-keeping with Management Accounts and a Payroll bureau.
Our policy then was to handle any accounting system and we dealt with a good number. About 10 years ago we made a policy decision to focus only on Sage. The reason for this was to be very good at the one subject. This turned out to be a successful policy in that it made life a lot easier in terms of recruitment, training, support and control.
Then Xero appeared. We kept a watchful eye in the early years until eventually we started to see serious prospects. At that point we trained up a part of our business to be able to handle this quite different software. This has developed in the last few years to the situation where now about 20% of our clients and about 40% of our prospects are on Xero. The question has now arisen, should we also include QuickBooks which is similar to Xero.
So should we widen our focus?
Incidentally, after 24 years we are still focused on providing just the two services we started out with, albeit now with different delivery such as Cloud. So I think we’ve stuck to the advice?