Archive forMarch, 2014

Off to Austin – Seasonal Business Case Study

I will be in Austin, TX for the next 3 weeks to help an ex-coworker with a small business case study on using internet software to manage the violate effects of seasonality. When most people think of Austin they understand it to be sort of a southern Silicon Valley, a technophile’s playground bursting with emerging tech firms that live a rather financially sheltered business lifecycle. Companies don’t have real cash flows, don’t focus on margins, and have unnatural life lines (VC funds) are common. However we are going to be working with and interviewing owners of “real companies” doing “boring stuff”. Spring is a most opportune time to look at seasonality fueled growth. You have three big industries revving their engines: lawn care/landscaping, pool cleaning services, and tax preparation. Austin business owners, even in these industries, are no strangers to innovation and tech-powered scalability. I heard of one pool maintenance company that is working on a wifi-powered pool sensor to push data back to the pool company (via the homeowner’s internet) about the current pH level of the water. This makes scheduling follow-up cleanings and preventative maintenance much more accurately dated. This type of innovation rarely gets the media’s attention. So I am very excited to see what is brewing in these industries. Reading too much tech news online can trick you into thinking you have seen everything. Time to cut back.

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