Few markets have been as rewarding to POS VARs as the hospitality vertical. In our Feb. 2010 issue of Business Solutions, I interviewed Todd Baker, Sr. of 24x7 Hospitality Technology, who shared some of the ways his company was finding success selling to restaurant chains. Baker spoke at length in the article about his hiring tactics, vendor partnerships, offering service and support, and a unique recurring revenue opportunity in a paging system. All told, these things were the most significant contributors to his projected 30% growth -- despite a bad economy. As a follow-up to the article, I reached out to Baker the other day to see how things were faring with his company.
How has your business fared since we last spoke with you?
Baker: We certainly were running fast and furiously at that time. We were deep into the recession and still growing the business. Today things are a little different...
247 continues to inch ahead. No longer are we leaping ahead by 35% yearly increases but more modest 5% and 10% gains. The upside is we have a better handle on our cost of goods. Over the last two years, we have reflected inward and strengthened both our bottom line and the services we offer. Our Managed Services has grown dramatically. Because of this one area, we have contributed greatly to our profitability. We approached each of our vendors and based on historical purchases, we have tightened up our cost structure. We have found new products that replace older obsolete devices and keep our offerings cutting edge.
Are there any new technologies/solutions you're offering which are impacting your business?
Baker: 247 has found several new products, both software and hardware, that keep us extremely competitive....terminals, tablets, handhelds, credit card offerings and Enterprise applications. All of this makes for a lively demonstration. With most of our presentation taking place over the web, we have been able to keep our travel costs way down. Adding to our profitability.
Are there any other tips/tactics that you think are worth mentioning that are contributing to your success?
Baker: The most impressive item we have accomplished is we have a support service retention rate of 97%. This is tremendous and allows my company to have recurring revenue second to none. Years ago, when I was with another POS company 35% was acceptable. What a difference 62% makes. Money I can use for marketing or other things that make a difference in the company's day-to-day life.
As I look ahead to the future I only see our prospects improving. As the economy and business gets better, companies like mine are poised to grasp opportunities that haven't even been identified today. I can't wait to see what is around that next corner!