Yesterday Box Free IT posted a great article outlining our love, passion and advocation for Xero Article. And Box Free IT is right (I can highly recommend adding the site to your reading list). We absolutely love Xero the product and the business. But it's more than just a product to us and that is really the reason we back it so much.

As with most Industries there are a few software incumbents who have had a product for many years. The product was great when it was first launched but it really hasn't changed or kept up to speed with what's available in the rest of the world. The accounting industry not surprisingly is the same. Enter Xero and suddenly what we as accountants had been wishing, hoping, moaning and complaining about was suddenly possible. We could actually give our clients the up to date information they needed. Not to mention assist them in streamlining processes and educating themselves on what issues were arising in their own business.

That aside, the reason we advocate Xero is so much more than the product itself.

Firstly it has one of the BEST teams I have ever seen in a business (and i study quite a few). The people are passionate, helpful, motivated and hungry to change the landscape not only for accountants but also for Small Business. The team are not only concerned with a product but what other tools we accountants need in our armoury. But they are also passionate about helping the small business economy in general, from educating government about the benefits of the cloud in general to assisting in developing a cloud code of conduct. The team don't pretend to be anything they are not.

Secondly they want to listen. They listen to customers, they listen to us the accountants and they put the things we request in the product. But on that note one of the things I admire about Xero is that they have boundaries. They know what type of product they want to build and they will build that product out to have absolutely awesome features. But they also recognise there are a bunch of extremely talented people developing other products that are specific for each industry so instead of trying to reinvent the wheel they just integrate with them. That's a great trait to have and one that many small businesses should certainly be learning from. It's best to do the thing you set out to do and be the best at it than be mediocre at a few different things. You won't be memorable for mediocre, you won't be sort out by consumers or employees and you will have a lot more headaches to contend with.

Thirdly they love us advocates to death, and really give us opportunities that are unbelievable. I've been able to meet with other business owners in the Xero ecosystem, pick their brains and get insight into how they are running businesses. I've been given opportunities to address politicians and other government agencies to educate them on what Small Business need in the digital space and to help them in general. I've met with big companies to continue to develop opportunities for our clients. And I've been challenged to think BIG. Really Big on what the future might look like for Small Business and how Xero can assist me in that process.

Now none of that matters if you are a business that really doesn't care about the future. It doesn't matter if you are happy with the status quo and aren't concerned about what might happen to your business in the future. It doesn't matter if you aren't interested in improving anything in your business. But if you want to be around for years to come, if you want to gain efficiencies, make more money, have more spare time or grow your business then these things really do matter.

That's why we love Xero so much. They are part of our Tool Box not only to help our clients but also in helping our business. By now if any of you have been reading these posts for a while you will realise we at Growthwise are passionate about Small Business. Passionate about them succeeding, achieving what they want and stretching to be the best they can. One of those challenges we put to all of you is to find Companies that challenge your thinking, that you learn from, that challenge you to grow not only as a business but also as a person and a leader. That's the best way to learn. It's the best way to improve.

So the question I pose to you….is your business the stale and out of date one doing things the same way you always have? Or are you out there at the top of your game challenging your industry and ultimately kicking-arse :)

Are you the best you can be?

What other businesses out there challenge your thinking like Xero does ours?

P.S - talking about the awesomeness of Xero some more check out the new video on the home page :)