Business plan like a guiding light…
Katherine Walker, Rhyze Up! participant, is the president of Industrial Web Apps (IWA) and their flagship application SHORE (share and store). The application is an electronic filing platform that supports the global movement to a paperless environment by managing content, documents and workflow.
In working with the Rhyze Up! program, Walker said she learned that every situation or organization offers different opportunities to learn from. “With this program, I learned I don’t have to go this journey alone, there’s lots of support available. The value is tremendous.”
One of the program elements she valued most was consulting with experts who helped her identify issues and formalize her SWOT analysis. “It was amazing to speak with people with technology and industry knowledge who provided me with a report document that identified, without my emotion, what was in my head,” she said. “It was like the elephant in the room got up and left!” Walker said the expertise was top-notch and very helpful, as was the networking and regular meetings.
Innovation Guelph, through Rhyze Up!, helped her do the fundamental work to create a living-document business plan from which she can take action. Having a business plan that identifies market size and target markets is incredibly important to help her focus the generic application that is good for any business and any size. “The business plan helped me focus on my initial target market and stay focussed where we have success while adding verticals.” Creating that target profile and plan is one of the hardest things to do in business, she said, it’s a guiding light.
During the traction or project phase of the program, aspects addressed included determining pricing, determining alternative ways to get to achieve her objectives and being creative with her SAAS fee structure.
Leadership coaching was interesting for Walker because she is a leader in her community coaching others. “It’s like peeling an onion,” she said. “I’m not an easy student but it encouraged self-reflection on my own leadership style.” Walker said the leadership coaching was a very good experience that caused her to face areas she might not have otherwise been keen to address.
Overall, the program was a great step to her achieving the growth she plans for commercializing her company. She said she gained confidence and appreciates the tangible help to getting her achieving her vision. Walker said it’s important to take every opportunity to access outside sources to help achieve your goals. Don’t hesitate, she said. “If you participate, do it fully! You get out of it what you put in.”