Industry Stories — 12 May 2017

How The Cloud Gives Small Businesses An Edge

“Agility is key in growing your business faster, and with the right tools – and the right aptitude – small businesses can really gain an edge on more established, but less nimble, enterprise size organisations.” Maaike Doyer, CFO at Business Models Inc

Dropbox helps companies reimagine how things are done; it’s part of our ethos. We give people a platform to innovate, to improve productivity, to grow their business faster, and we’re delighted whenever we get a chance to see that in action. Like now, with the story of Business Models Inc.

As an international design and strategy company, Business Model Inc is a small business from the Netherlands working with some very big clients. And they pride themselves on offering companies an innovative approach to business planning, helping them visually develop and execute their business strategy. Their visual approach to corporate strategy has been captured in a book: “Design a Better Business”.

But what is it they do that makes them so successful?

As an entity, they live and breathe innovation; they encourage it, they nurture it. And as their CFO Maaike Doyer told us in a recent interview “we’ve fully embraced the cloud from day one, building our business using Dropbox”.

In fact, Dropbox is now officially part of their company DNA. “Our own internal policy states that no documents can be stored outside of Dropbox.  Being so definitive about something so simple has enabled us to ensure everything the business is built on is safe, secure and backed up at all times.  Added to this, Dropbox makes it easier for us to expand and grow our business faster.  We began life in an office in Amsterdam in 2008, when cloud technology was taking off. We’ve founded ourselves on the idea of digital and stayed away from pen and paper since the very beginning.”

Now with 35 staff across offices in the UK, USA, Europe, Asia and Australia, Maaike says success is down to collaboration, no matter where the team is in the world: “So here’s an example; we’re currently working on a major project and we have 20 folders which are constantly being updated. Everyone involved, no matter if they’re in the US or over in Europe, is able to access and work on the project. If we couldn’t do that, we just couldn’t survive.”

And their method of working means Business Models Inc can dispense some of the traditional ‘baggage’ that comes with business growth.  Maaike says, “We don’t need any sort of internal IT function because everything we have is on the cloud.  I had my laptop stolen last year but because we have everything on Dropbox I was very quickly back up and running.”

The success of their own methods of working in the cloud means they’re inspiring their clients to have a similar outlook.  “We encourage businesses to look at disruptive growth plans, to have imagination and not get bogged down writing business plans that are out of date before the ink is dry.  Small businesses are particularly good at this because they have the ability to be flexible.  If IT is not your core business, you don’t need an IT department running a server, it simply stifles growth and opportunity.  Agility is key in growing your business faster, and with the right tools – and the right aptitude – small businesses can really gain an edge on more established enterprises right now.”

To find out more about the work Business Models Inc is doing, click here.

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