Starting a new information service is hard. Customer expectations are sky high and they’ll pay top dollar only if the information is unique and timely and the software tools bundled with the information are top notch. That means a lot of upfront expense and a significant gamble on the part of information entrepreneurs.
IEI has worked with a lot of entrepreneurs over the years and, in our experience, the keys to their success are as follows.
1) Design: New services need to be laser-focused on solving problems (i.e., meeting unmet needs).
- Determine what people in an industry need to know.
- Find (gather license, overlay, enhance) hard-to-find data.
- Build highly useful/valuable tools around that data (e.g., compliance tools).
2) Execution: Reducing the risk of investment means using a tiered business model and carefully executing of the business plan.
- Get revenue to flow quickly by having product tiers starting with an initial minimally viable service.
- Keep expenses as low as possible.
3) Improvement: Renewal rates for the service are dependent on the ability to meet the ‘unmet needs’ of customers.
- Continuous improvement of the service’s scope, depth, and functionality.
- Usage monitoring with customer service interventions when usage dips.
IEI is very pleased to count so many major successful information service entrepreneurs as our customers. This success is no coincidence. IEI reduces our customers’ entrepreneurial risk via efficient and cost-effective processes. And our flexibility with customers who need to adjust their business models on the fly is also something that is simply not an option at other BPO firms.
Of course, it’s up to the services themselves to deliver on their value propositions to their end-users, but we think it’s easier for these customers to keep their eyes on the prize (their customers’ satisfaction) when they know IEI has their back, keeping their data accurate, deep, and compelling. No other firms have been designed to accommodate these commonplace realities of start-ups because other firms weren’t built by information industry pro’s. Our experience is our differentiator.