People often praise companies for developing a complicated algorithm or breakthrough technology that transforms an industry. While these are impressive achievements, I've recently been more enthralled by entrepreneurs and business leaders who address daily pain points and solve specific problems for like-minded business owners.
We created Influence & Co. as a way of solving a real problem we ourselves faced: gaining credibility for companies that needed to build influence and trust. We knew this was a problem other entrepreneurs faced, and we solved it by fine-tuning the content creation process and making it less painful for others to gain visibility and build their authority online through thought leadership.
Here are some other examples of companies that recognized a common obstacle and made the process easier for other business owners and individuals:
When we started Influence & Co., we had two company credit cards that we were constantly lending out. We had limits to make sure employees didn't make crazy purchases, but it became a huge hassle to determine who should get credit cards as we hired more employees.
PEX Card allows us to give all our employees a card while maintaining control over their expenses and making it convenient for them to spend money when necessary. You can choose the types of merchants employees can purchase from and exactly how much money should go on each card.
One of my best friends went through the immigration process, and I saw firsthand how difficult it was to apply for a visa. The attorney fees and logistics are burdens not only for the individual applying but also for the company hiring that person.
VISANOW created a platform that made this process less stressful for everyone involved by expediting each phase and keeping customers up to date on their visa status. It wasn't rocket science; it just took an overly complex process and simplified it for immigrants, their families, and their employers.
After opening several new office locations, keeping employees and managers informed about human resources information has become a challenge.
One of my employees recently chatted with APS Payroll, and I loved its approach to delivering HR information through mobile devices and harnessing the power of the cloud. There's nothing sexy about the payroll industry, but I commend the company's effort to make approving HR decisions from your phone easy for small- to mid-size businesses.
Six years ago, my wife lost her passport right before our honeymoon. We panicked, and we ended up paying more than $500 to get a new one expedited. It was a headache to get all the documents together, and going through this process put a huge damper on the beginning of our trip.
That's exactly why Steven Fox created Fastport Passport. He knew how hectic and nerve-wracking it was to expedite a passport, and he wanted to make a chaotic experience easier for people. When you add in great customer service and an easy-to-follow process, you have a solution that can truly improve people's lives. It's now the largest provider of expedited passports in the United States.
Organizing our office phones has always been a huge strain when traveling, undergoing company growth, and expanding to remote offices. We started out with a single office phone for everyone, but it soon became difficult to connect people with the employee they needed to talk to quickly.
Phone.com scales easily for companies of all sizes and provides phone service, professional menus, and custom greetings to match callers with the appropriate individual's office phone, mobile device, or computer. By using VoIP to transmit messages over the Internet, Phone.com also makes phone services cheaper for businesses.
Obviously, new companies are revolutionizing their industries every day, but these are examples of companies that weren't concerned with developing groundbreaking ideas to make a name for themselves. Instead, they took basic tasks that had become nuisances for companies like mine and uncomplicated them.
When a business idea comes from a genuine desire to improve a person's or company's daily routine, there's little that can stop it from gaining traction. There are opportunities to troubleshoot all around, so I hope this article gets your wheels turning for a new business solution.