It’s clearly something to do with my age – but it doesn’t seem a whole six months since New Year. When I look at the wall chart (yes I still like a wall chart despite have my Outlook Calendar), I can see why the time has flown past. I personally attended eight conferences in the last six months and found time to do other stuff such as sell software and recruit a new sales VP!
So the continued success of PleaseReview means we are able to continue to invest in growing the business and recruit additional people. As our clients know, we are an organic growth business owned entirely by management and staff. This means we adopt a controlled approach to growth and have to ‘earn a bit to spend a bit’.
So the first bit of news is that on 1st July Barry Lyne joined PleaseTech as our Sales VP. Barry is based in Malmesbury but has travel on his agenda and I’m sure he’ll be making a few visits to existing clients as he embarks on a learning curve to understand why PleaseReview is so successful.
And successful it is! In the first half of 2014 we gained 14 new corporate clients from a range of industries. The detail and a couple of sample client names is captured in our news item here, however a key factor is that the new clients represent diverse industries including engineering, technology, professional services and, of course our core market, life sciences.
Our recent strategy has been to expand into other industries whilst not losing focus on life sciences. The practical implementation of this is attending different conferences which focus on different industries and tailoring messaging appropriately. This is paying off and is something Barry is keen to continue.
Another interesting trend has been the move to the cloud. Historically, we have had about 25% of our clients using our cloud services and the remainder being on premise. However, around 50% of the new clients this year have opted for the cloud service. It will be interesting to see whether that trend continues as the year progresses.
One of the headaches expansion brings is increased overhead. We have been struggling for space in our current offices for some time. With the staff additions both recruited and planned, more space is required. We have identified a suitable property and plans are underway to move in the autumn. Office moves require planning and are, as we are finding, very disruptive, so if the plans all work, we will have plenty of space to accommodate expansion over the next few years.
It’s important, however, that we don’t over expand and so our cautious approach means that we continue to hold a healthy cash balance so that both new and existing clients retain supreme confidence in our longevity!
Moving onto interesting observations from our various new conference visits ………..
At most conferences we attend these days we conduct a survey into people’s document related activities. One particular phrase we have coined is ‘the document workload’ and one of the questions we are asking is whether the individuals’ document workload is increasing.
Not surprisingly the compliance professionals surveyed from the banking industry, and the quality assurance professionals surveyed from a wide variety of industries, almost universally agreed that their document workload had increased. Increasing regulation was the most common factor when asked ‘why’.
However, again not surprisingly, the only sector not to agree that the document workload was increasingly was, yes you’ve guessed it, life sciences. Already heavily regulated, the life sciences industry probably represents the ‘pinnacle’ of regulation - so we can see that other industries are on the path to this pinnacle. This can only be good for us because where there is regulation there is documentation, and where there is documentation there is review and that’s what we do better than anyone else!
One final thing: PleaseReview v5.1 is, thankfully, finally on the verge of release. More on that subject next month.