The month of May marks 14 years in business for BP3, which we founded way back in the dark ages of 2007. Before we had iPhones. But we believed in business processes as an organizing principle of software, and as a faster way to get to business outcomes. We build BP3 around those principles, and that focus on process and software has yielded all of the opportunities we've had since.
As we look forward, there's more opportunity for BP3 than ever. The Automation market is only getting more interesting. So much so that I wrote a three-part series on the subject and barely scratched the surface. We're ready for the third phase of BP3: the company that helps you find a faster way with Automation. The next 7 years are going to be an amazing journey.
I am here to tell you that if your business has more than $100M in revenue, and you aren’t investing in Automation software and services, you are lighting money on fire every quarter that could be flowing to your bottom line. And *that* is the reason that this market has been growing so quickly. BP3 has saved our clients millions of person hours of work with automation.
I’ll always be grateful to Lance Gibbs for including me in the dream of starting and growing BP3. We were so fortunate to have great people join our team in the early days - Flournoy Henry, Greg, Peter, Asif, Ivan, Wade, Matt, Farrukh, and more. We were determined to build a better mousetrap - a company that would put our clients first, and our team first. I believe we have done just that.
We knew that BP3 could be something great - but when we started we were humble enough to not have expected it to be this thriving organization it is today. I thought I’d take this occasion to share a few lessons learned or maybe just to share some perspective looking back on this era:
- It’s so important to find people who believe in the dream, in the mission, and in you.
- When people don’t believe in the mission, or the dream - that’s okay, too. You will succeed with or without them - and they will find success with or without you and your firm. Find a little bit of zen about these things. I see a lot of people at other companies get upset when early leavers don’t believe in the mission or move on before you’re ready for them to. Let it go. The frustration you feel is getting in the way of really learning from why they’re leaving, and whether it is actually good or bad for your business going forward. I think it is healthier to have a perspective that you’re grateful for the help they’ve given, and now is a good time to say thank you and help them with their next journey, and to plan your own future.
- At every phase of the game, the doubters will emerge. Don’t get too big, they’ll say. Don’t take investment money. Don’t hire people, contract. It’s really hard to crack $2M. It’s really hard to crack $4M. It’s really hard to crack $10M. It’s really hard to crack $20M. Ignore all that. Every level is hard. If it wasn't, all the companies that get founded would grow on cruise control. And they're not wrong: all of those things are hard. But if you can, push through it.
- It is much more work and effort to manage a business that isn’t growing than one that is. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. Growth solves a lot of personnel, culture, and management challenges. Without that growth, you have to dig deeper to address those issues. Everyone second guesses you when you're not growing, and there's a lot more unanimity when you can grow.
- Find a way to put the wind at your back. You can have a contrarian thesis for your business - but make sure that contrarian thesis still puts the wind in your sails helping you grow. Fighting a headwind is much harder than growing with a tail wind.
- A small, focused firm like BP3 can get on that Forrester Wave - and lead it.
- Businesses with billions of dollars of revenue can benefit greatly from the efforts of a small automation consulting business like BP3. We can have an outsized impact on their results, goals, and mission. Don't let the size of the firm decide the size of the impact.
If you haven't worked with our team at BP3 yet, why not!?