BLOG. SMART PRACTICAL BUSINESS ADVICE

How a business owner transformed the small business he HAD into the one he WANTED

With using separate apps for client tracking, new projects, technical support tickets, invoicing, and internal administration, iLifeStyle was suffering from miscommunication and lost time. Founder and Chief Expert Ryan Powell knew there had to be a better way to run his business -- and he was right.

iLifeStyle

Company

iLifestyle was founded in 2011 as an on-site technical support and repair service for small businesses. Today, iLifestyle is a cloud solutions provider and consultancy focused on the retail service and skilled trade industries. The company finds interconnected cloud-based solutions for those verticals that that all work well together and save them time and money in their day.

Challenges

iLifestyle began as a more traditional IT company focused on working with businesses in specific industries such as retail, quick service, and skilled trades. According to iLifestyle’s founder and chief expert, Ryan Powell, the company’s lead generation at the time was “chaotic” and their business processes were overly complicated.

“I was using a cloud-based solution for the most part, but I was using something like 12 different apps to manage every little aspect of the business,” said Powell. “I had apps for projects, apps for CRM, apps for social media management, and for tax management, and for employee tracking and time tracking. And it was just really unruly trying to make sure that the apps all interconnected. There was always one piece that didn’t fit.”

With using separate apps for client tracking, new projects, technical support tickets, invoicing, and internal administration, iLifestyle was suffering from miscommunication and lost time. Powell knew there had to be a better way to run his business — and he was right.

Around this time, iLifestyle had clients who were looking for all-in-one point-of-sale solutions. As Powell helped his clients find what they needed, it inspired Powell to look for a new solution for his own business. And after looking at various solutions, Powell found what he needed with WORK[etc].

“I found that there are a couple other ‘all-in-one’ solutions, especially in the IT industry, but I felt like WORK[etc] was the most transparent about how they worked and what their pricing was and what they were about,” said Powell. “I tried out WORK[etc] and I found that the feedback I got from the people who work with the app were really responsive. That really made me a believer.”

Solution: Everything In Once Place

“When I started looking for an all-in-one solution, it was the catalyst for making some big changes in what we do as a service offering,” said Powell. “When I found WORK[etc], my workflow really trimmed down and it gave me a better insight on what we were doing.”

Powell cites the interconnectivity and transparency of WORK[etc] as real game-changers for his business. For instance, the top feature of WORK[etc] that iLifestyle uses is integration with G Suite and the way web forms can be embedded on websites to collect leads and send them directly to the WORK[etc] platform for everyone to see.

“Before WORK[etc], there was no real process,” said Powell. “Things would change week by week because one app wouldn’t really work for us anymore and then we’d try something different. So it would start with a call and it would just be me remembering or writing a note down somewhere to go follow up with somebody or put it in my calendar. It was really scattered.”

Now, iLifestyle’s process looks like this:

iLifestyle's Project Map

After streamlining iLifestyle’s business process, Powell was able to focus on his service offerings; he figured out the type of work he wanted to be doing and the type of work iLifestyle was best at.

“By getting our business really focused from an administrative side, I was really able to hone down and say, well, what is it that I really want to be doing for the next 20 years?” said Powell. “Do I want to constantly be waiting for the phone to pick up or do I want to get proactive here and move to a more project-based company where we’re working on bigger solutions that are really going to run themselves for clients?”

That’s when Powell started to move his existing business model in another direction — cloud-based solution consulting.

Results: A New Business Direction

As as result of implementing WORK[etc], Powell says he has stopped providing in-person repair altogether. He is now aiming to offer remote consulting services exclusively, which Powell feels helps iLifestyle better serve its clients.

“Instead of just putting Band-Aids on clients’ existing hardware-based solutions, we’re getting them up in the cloud,” said Powell. “We’re getting solutions for our clients that are backed by an engineering team that if the point-of-sale server goes down, there’s 20 people in the server room trying to fix it so they’re not calling me at 11 o’clock at night wondering why their server doesn’t work in some closet in the back of their store.”

Powell has also grown iLifestyle from a one-person operation to managing three to five experts who all provide iLifestyle clients with top-notch consulting services as needed. Powell also expects the business to grow in the coming months, as iLifestyle completes its shift to a completely remote-based business.

“Our current growth stage is moving to a more remote focused business, and focusing on results-based work with our employees and contractors,” said Powell. “As our business grows, the need for us to have the WORK[etc] platform becomes more and more important.”

In addition to helping Powell change his entire business model, WORK[etc] has become one of the tools iLifestyle recommends to its own clients.

“If I have a consultant or a coach, somebody in that demographic that’s looking for something like an all-in-one system, then WORK[etc] is definitely the first place I have them look,” said Powell. “Next year it’s going to be a big growth area for us, teaching other consultants like us how they can run their business more efficiently using WORK[etc].”

“When I started looking for an all-in-one solution, it was the catalyst for making some big changes in what we do as a service offering. When I found WORK[etc], my workflow really trimmed down and it gave me a better insight on what we were doing.”

— Ryan Powell, Chief Expert, iLifestyle

iLifestyle

Requirements

iLifestyle was using a series of unconnected cloud-based apps to run business operations and needed a single solution that would streamline its internal processes.

Solutions

iLifestyle implemented WORK[etc], which had all the components — time management, CRM, project management — that the company needed in one cloud-based solution.

Results

iLifestyle shifted from its original business model of doing on-site IT support and repair for Mac users, to a new consulting model of remotely helping customers implement the best cloud solutions for their own businesses.

About WORK[etc]

WORK[etc] is a cloud-based, all-in-one business management software that breaks down the barriers between your customer relationship management, time management, and project management. With WORK[etc], here’s what you can accomplish in one platform:

  • Consolidate multiple apps into the one platform
  • CRM, Projects, Scheduling, Invoicing, Help Desk & more
  • iPhone, Android and web apps
  • Gmail, Outlook, and inbox gadgets
  • Open API and integration tool set

For more information, visit http://www.worketc.com/features-overview/.

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