This interview with Amit Bhaiya, CEO of DotcomWeavers, was originally published on the Thrive Global section of Medium.com. The interview was conducted by Yitzi Weiner, founder and editor of Authority Magazine. It covers an important business topic many of us can relate to – how to know when it’s time to cut ties with a customer.
“We are often taught that the customer is always right. This is not always the case.” – Amit Bhaiya
I had the pleasure of interviewing Amit Bhaiya, co-founder and CEO of web solutions company DotcomWeavers. He founded the award-winning company in 2007 and has since provided custom software solutions and mobile applications to more than 400 B2B and B2C e-commerce businesses worldwide. Under Amit’s leadership, Dotcomweavers has experienced 30-percent growth year after year, expanding teams, international locations, services, and client verticals.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your backstory?
Prior to starting DotcomWeavers, I served as director of distance learning for ASA Institute of Business & Computer Technology in New York City. While there, I single-handedly initiated and managed the school’s online strategy and Distance Education department, supervising the performance of 22 instructors and the progress of 350 students.
I have always been inclined to entrepreneurship. My first business endeavor involved selling books online during my undergraduate studies. Today, in addition to DotcomWeavers, I own two Indian restaurants in New Jersey.
I have a Master of Science in technology management and information systems from Stevens Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you entered your role?
About a year and a half ago, a DotcomWeavers competitor extended a job opportunity to one of my good employees. I did not want her to leave but I also did not want to stop her from making a personal decision and doing what might be good for her, so I told her to consider the opportunity. When she accepted the offer, I immediately kicked myself because she was an impactful team member.
To my surprise, two months into her new job, she reached out about coming back (even after the other company offered a 30-percent pay increase). To this day, I believe that her decision reflects the great culture at DotcomWeavers. We treat each other fairly, are honest with and truly value one another so, in the end, it always works out in our favor.
What do you think makes your team stand out?
We actually listen to our customers. We are not only about selling solutions. We take a very consultative approach to client needs and work.
What advice would you give to other people in your position to help their employees thrive?
A lot of business owners were employees at one point. My advice would be to think of the things that you hated while you were working for someone else, and try not to repeat those same things in your company.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who has helped you get to where you are?
It was a big financial risk to start DotcomWeavers. My wife, who worked a corporate job at the time, provided immense support (figuratively and literally). I was able to return the favor when DotcomWeavers became more established, allowing her to leave her corporate job.
What are your best leadership tips?
My top three leadership tips are: 1) Put the right people in the right seats. 2) Delegate and trust. 3) Empower your employees to make decisions.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why?
- Develop your niche and do not offer a product or service that can be easily commoditized. DotcomWeavers was started as a web design company. After five years, we realized that it was a rather generic field. We have since searched for our own unique identity in the market, and have transformed DotcomWeavers into a company that solely focuses on e-commerce, custom software and mobile applications.
- You can grow your business without always bringing in new customers. Every business wants new customers, but they do not always realize that the business can grow by itself if you provide value-added services to existing clientele. For example, to add value, DotcomWeavers also provides analytics, strategy and consulting services to existing clients.
- Learn when to cut ties with a customer. We are often taught that the customer is always right. This is not always the case. At DotcomWeavers, we have implemented the Harvest time-tracking software to better analyze client profitability. We are able to distinguish the projects that efficiently use our time from those that make the company lose money on a consistent basis. This information has allowed us to part ways with the latter customers or increase their retainer. Some projects run over, and other clients can be too difficult to work with. Knowing when to cut ties with a customer is an important business skill that every business owner must learn.
- Learn to empower your employees. Also, it is okay for them to make mistakes. Small business owners may get used to micro-managing and get involved in the molecular details of things — things that someone else may do better. At DotcomWeavers, we have established a clear organizational structure so that everyone understands the roles and responsibilities. Doing so has allowed us to identify and empower employees who have taken up leadership roles that allow executive leadership to devote more time to growing the business and developing the future roadmap.
- Employees are your extended family. Treat them right and you will reap rewards. Leaders may have the vision and plan, but they cannot grow business alone. It is important to learn early on that employees are the ones who will make your company successful. Since they commit a major portion of their time to work, it is important to make them feel valued. Employees should feel that they are making a difference and that they are appreciated for their contributions. At DotcomWeavers, most of us have our lunch together so, upon moving into our new office space, it was important to have a kitchen that could be utilized by all team members. For a few years now, every Friday, we order lunch for the entire staff.
Can you please give us your favorite life lesson quote?
“In wisdom gathered over the years I have found every experience is a form of exploration.” — Ansel Adams
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
Successful leaders are built from within. They understand their inner strengths and weaknesses. I would have a Himalayan breakfast with the Dalai Lama because his teachings are fundamental and force you to think about your inner self. I believe that, when you know your inner self, you are better able to lead.
Click here to read the article on Medium.
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