Productivity tools are expanding at an incredible pace all around us. These tools are particularly relevant for smaller business owners to understand and a good investment of time and money. This struck me while being told a story a few months ago by the proprietor of Borsheim’s jewelry store that is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and is said to have more sales than every jewelry store in America except for Tiffany’s in New York.
At last year’s Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, some visitors came to Borsheim’s that only spoke Chinese and various sales people and managers were not communicating effectively with them. This went through several rounds of people trying to help them to no avail. Finally, the proprietor decided to attempt to help them and was no more effective. He was about to bid them goodbye sadly, as it was apparent the potential customers were ready to buy. It was then that he remembered the Google Translate app on his phone and started using it to communicate. The eyes of the potential customers lit up and after a few minutes of communication, they settled on a purchase of several hundred thousand dollars. As the proprietor told me, “That sale would never have happened without that app.”
It is a new world with an abundance of productivity tools. While it takes an investment of time and money to find tools that work well for you, it pays off big time when you find good tools. Also, at my investment fund Greybull Stewardship, we are investing in productivity tools and looking for more. In particular, these two investments are helping businesses be more efficient
- Our investment in Appointment Plus, the leader in scheduling software, helps any organization or anyone enable their customers to make, change, cancel appointments easily. The software is used by thousands of organizations and has been used to book over 100 million appointments.
- Our investment in ABC Registrations helps camp administrators register and manage the back office of managing a camp. The company began with a focus on college baseball camp registration where it is the strong leader and has now expanded into all sorts of other camp registration and administration.