28 Nov 3 atypical approaches to creating a successful business
Business as usual is anything but usual at e3Learning, a dedicated online training solutions provider based in Adelaide. The innovative company has always insisted on pushing the envelope and challenging what many consider to be the traditional rules of good business. As a BRW fast 100 company for two years in a row, e3’s success can be credited to their quality-over-quantity approach and willingness to think outside the square. e3’s achievements caught the attention of Open Universities Australia (OUA) who acquired the company in July 2013.
Tony Fairbairn, Executive General Manager of e3, shares 3 atypical approaches to business that contributed to e3’s success:
1. Don’t be too strategic too early
When e3 first started out, we had a scattergun approach to business. This style saved our company in the early years. There were times when that odd job was what kept the business cash positive. Initially, we were an LMS (learning management system) provider, but capitalising on every new opportunity helped e3 develop what is now our holistic solution. We are not just an LMS provider, not just a content provider, not just a developer, but all three. This would never have been the case if we were too focused on one area.
2. Accept formidable tasks
I would never ask my staff to perform any tasks way beyond their capabilities but do ask that they go well beyond their comfort zone. I feel accepting projects outside of our current expertise enables the team to rise to the challenge, creating new effective solutions, quickly. In order to survive in business, we must be flexible to client needs and technological advances. These are major factors that affect our operations so we must be adaptable.
3. Sell ideas, not just products
Over the years we have encountered market opportunities where we could see an innovative solution, but needed the time and investment to turn our ideas into reality. We worked with customers who we knew would benefit from the idea, rather than creating the product entirely on our own. This allowed us to respond in an agile way to client feedback during the development process, while applying our own expertise to bring the product to life. By anticipating larger market needs early and getting client buy in for new projects, we have been able to remain a leader in the industry.
Our approach to business has challenged conventional wisdom, but over the years has fast tracked our success, leading to an accumulation of unique experience and expertise that has built us into the company we are today. Our holistic approach sets us apart from other companies in the eLearning market. No matter the size, industry or online training requirements of your company, we can create a solution to suit.
This article is featured in The Change Issue of BRW magazine, available until the 8th of January 2014.