Been talking with several clients over the weekend about their entries for our 2005 FAST 3 AWARD – where we reward the 3 fastest growing businesses using our software.

The process of getting the data for contest entry continues to shake information out of the trees and onto the screens of our client base. The latest callers have been asking questions about possible theft; why they are not growing; and, in one case, how to better manage the growth they’re achieving.

This is great stuff. It’s building the type of relationships we crave to have with our client base – working on their businesses using the facilities in our software. In two instances so far the interaction has led to decisions to enhance our software further so it better serves their needs.

Another key learning has been the realisation by some of our clients that they’re competing with themselves. This is a breakthrough. Getting small business people to compare trading periods by department, category and item and seeking understanding from what the reports comparing the trading periods show. Of course we compete with ourselves. This is essential in any business where costs increase faster than our retail price. Sales growth is crucial to profitabilility.

Many new entries this past week. We’re hoping to double the entries this week again.

Details on the contest can be found here.