When Asterisk Information Security realised that it was no longer a small start-up and faced a new set of challenges and opportunities as a growing business, it sought independent advice and guidance from the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs' Programme.
Based in Perth (WA), the information technology company provides services to protect and defend companies from the growing Cyber threat linked to information technology vulnerabilities. From risk assessments to penetration testing, and employee awareness training for senior management and employees, the company focuses on education and delivery to be successful in the market.
The owners founded the company on their technical knowledge expertise, however things have moved on from the early start-up days and they are now faced with employing staff, managing contracts and tenders and trying to interpret finance and strategy.
Asterisk worked with the Entrepreneurs' Programme Business Adviser, Andrew Canion to devise a more structured approach to managing and maintaining the growth trajectory of the business.
Working with Andrew, the company undertook a Business Evaluation and spent time designing their own Business Model Canvas to help them understand the flow and value proposition of Asterisk from a customer’s point of view. By undertaking this review, the owners were able to dig more deeply into other aspects of their business.
The review included separating managing from directing, building effective financial measures of performance, and considering the introduction and utility of lean and agile thinking into the workplace.
Asterisk Managing Director, Steve Schupp, was impressed by the benefits of using the Canvas, “we found the Business Model Canvas approach very practical and able to quickly hone in on areas where improvement could be made.”
The Entrepreneurs' Programme was also able to provide Asterisk with grant funding to support the development of a response to its growth challenges.
“The funding provided support for us to engage external specialists which has allowed us to streamline and improve a number of areas of our business”, Schupp explains.
The company employed a strategic finance consultant to develop a strategic cash flow model for the business. The model allows the company to visualise the flow of work effort and revenue, which has also helped identify and resolve areas of congestion and inefficiency.
Additional funding also supported the implementation of dedicated Enterprise Resource Planning software. The software replaces a number of smaller, independent tools used during the start-up stage that no longer met the growing needs of the company.
With the services of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme proving to be extremely beneficial for Asterisk, the company continues to work with Andrew Canion on accessing additional services such as Growth Services under the Programme.