**Capital Expertise in Business: Two Personal Stories**
**A Distorted Market**
In this segment of the Capital Expertise in Business series, we will shift our focus from large-scale businesses to smaller ones. While many stories in this series revolve around major corporations and complex financial maneuvers, I want to share two personal stories that highlight the importance of capital expertise in smaller enterprises. These stories shed light on why DiBello’s triad model of business expertise resonated with me when I first encountered it.
Before delving into these stories, it is important to note that generic business advice often lacks depth because it fails to draw from real-world experiences. Therefore, the context surrounding these stories may be a bit intricate, but I assure you it is crucial to understanding their relevance.
Between late 2014 and late 2017, I played a role in bootstrapping a Point of Sales (POS) company, which ultimately reached an annual revenue of S$4.5 million. Previously, I had mentioned this achievement in several blog posts without providing the full details of our journey. It is now time to rectify that and explain how we accomplished this feat.
Initially, when I joined my boss’s company, we did not specialize in POS systems. In fact, we were a development consultancy firm that catered to clients in Singapore, providing iOS and Android app development services at slightly below market rates. Our ability to undercut the competition stemmed from the fact that our software engineers were based in Vietnam. However, the goal was to transition from a consultancy model to a product-based company, and that is where our challenges began.
Transitioning from services to products is an arduous endeavor, and unsurprisingly, we faced difficulties. There was virtually no overlap in skill sets between the two business models. Despite our best efforts, the three products we developed in a span of three months failed to gain traction, leaving us with dwindling financial resources. As a result, we had to revert to app development just to keep the lights on.
**Capital Expertise to the Rescue**
Fortunately, during this challenging period, we stumbled upon a unique opportunity in a distorted market. This particular market was characterized by a lack of competition and an abundance of potential customers. Recognizing this, we decided to employ our capital expertise to pivot once again.
The first step we took was to conduct comprehensive market research. We analyzed the current landscape and identified the pain points and unmet needs of the target customers. Armed with this knowledge, we began developing a new product – a POS system tailored specifically to the demands of businesses within our unique market.
To ensure the success of our new venture, we tapped into our capital expertise in multiple ways:
**1. Strategic Financing**
Capital expertise extends beyond securing funds; it involves employing financial resources in ways that maximize value and propel business growth. In our case, we sought out strategic financing options that aligned with our vision and goals. By carefully selecting the right partners, we were able to secure the necessary funds to develop and market our new POS system.
**2. Leveraging Intellectual Capital**
Capital expertise also encompasses the effective utilization of intellectual resources. In our scenario, we leveraged the knowledge and skills of our team members to design and build a cutting-edge POS system. By capitalizing on the expertise within our organization, we were able to create a product that stood out in the market and addressed the specific pain points of our target customers.
**3. Building Human Capital**
Additionally, capital expertise necessitates investing in human resources. We recognized that our team needed to possess the skills and knowledge required to support and grow the new venture. Hence, we implemented training programs and provided opportunities for professional development. This investment in human capital not only enhanced the capabilities of our workforce but also increased our overall competitiveness in the market.
Despite the initial challenges we faced when transitioning from a services-based company to a product-focused one, our capital expertise played a pivotal role in our success. By recognizing and capitalizing on market opportunities, strategically financing our venture, leveraging intellectual capital, and investing in human resources, we were able to carve out a niche for ourselves in a distorted market.
These personal stories serve as a testament to the significance of capital expertise, even in smaller businesses. By harnessing the power of capital and employing it effectively, businesses can overcome challenges, tap into new opportunities, and achieve sustainable growth.
As we continue exploring the expertise of capital in business, it is crucial to remember that capital expertise is not limited to large corporations or financial institutions. It is a skill that can be utilized by businesses of all sizes to drive success and innovation.