Submission #5: Diversify Your Customer Base

The Sartell Group has been doing software development since 1998, experiencing year over year growth. Growth has been driven by a long term partnership in the Government and Corporate sectors with a Fortune 500 company.

For years, we’ve discussed the need to diversify our customer portfolio. This year, we made BUSINESS DIVERSIFICATION a primary focus by implementing a Creativity Lab for employees.

How the Creativity Lab works:

  • We set up a few guidelines to make sure efforts are in commercially viable categories.
  • Each week all of employees, including developers, project managers, testers and the help desk, spend 10% of their week dedicated to a new idea or project.
  • Each employee considers new products and services they’re genuinely interested in and have growth potential.
  • With full liberty to explore, they flesh-out their ideas from concept-to-design.
  • Employees meet with the Director of Sales & Marketing every other week to discuss progress and goal setting.
  • We then hold quarterly strategy meetings to discuss new ideas and company direction.

To date, four very solid ideas have been explored and are considered highly probable new products for the company. Several other ideas have been vetted and are in the queue.

One goal we accomplished was to infuse excitement and creativity in our employees while developing a sense of ownership. We’ve all discovered that we employ many entrepreneurs who want to contribute to our long term success.

Not only has this motivated employees, we’ve benefited with new and exciting products in different industries. As a result, we’re finalizing our expansion into the Healthcare industry.

Mary Jacobs
Director of Sales
The Sartell Group
A certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE)
www.sartellgroup.com
Phone: 612 548-3112
Fax: 612 548-3119

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About Dan Gallo

I'm a small business lifer, starting/running businesses since I sold seeds door-to-door as a kid in The Bronx. I've played guitar and enjoyed baseball since I was 5 (born a NY Yankees fan). Just prior to marrying Kim in 1983 I became a Christian. We have two sons; Daniel's a musician & social media expert with a smart, insightful sense of humor, and Adam who recently graduated from Brooklyn College double majoring in Creative Writing/Literature and Anthropology. Adam now works in the non-profit sector. Since 2002 one thing we love to do together is go on service/missions trips to Belize. We've collectively spent 60+ weeks in Belize with this missions organization http://twaw.org. I started my 1st company in January 1985, and been self-employed ever since. I sold my last company, Mentor Communications Group, in '04. After 2 years w/ the acquiring company I started The Allasso Group, LLC doing Small Business Consulting, Fund Raising/Capital Raise-up Campaigns, Sales Strategy, Outsourced Sales Agency work, & Digital Marketing Programs (Social Media, SEM, etc.) since April 2006. Notable projects: Hired as Small Business Advocate and Social Media Director for IBM's "Supplier-Connection" - Feb '11-Dec '13. Hired as COO to help turn-around late stage start-up software company myVRM. Jul12-Dec '13 Hired as CEO of CoupleWise.com, a Digital Health2.0 app, to write business plan, raise seed capital, & completely redesign and relaunch the app. Aug '16 I won a Finalist spot for MassChallenge UK's 2016 fall cohort in London from Sept thru Nov. Started Oct15 - Current. I enjoy helping turn-around struggling small businesses, and launching new business ventures. Feel free to contact me with opportunities.
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