Welcome to the latest edition of the UAE Times Entrepreneurial section! Our goal is to bring you the best and brightest stories from the world of startups and business. This month, we have a special treat for our readers as we travel to Oman to showcase the success of a local startup, Simbiz. Our team had the opportunity to sit down with the founding members of Simbiz and learn about their entrepreneurial journey, from challenges to victories. Through this blog, we hope aim to inspire and educate aspiring entrepreneurs by sharing the experiences of those who have blazed the trail before them. So buckle up and get ready to take notes as we bring you the inside scoop on the world of startups only in the UAE Times.
Muhammad Ahmed Mian, the Co-Founder & Managing Director of SIMBIZ (Simple Business Management LLC) tells us about the business operations and plans of SIMBIZ. SIMBIZ, an IT Consultancy company based in Oman, UK, and Pakistan, focuses on helping clients leverage innovative technology solutions for business growth. In addition, they enable clients to be aligned with the changing technology trends so they can always meet the market demands and adapt to them.
Ahmad has over 16 years of experience in the Telecom, IT, and Marketing industries. He is a result-oriented leader who, together with his partner Awais, started SIMBIZ and tackled the challenges of COVID head-on. Learn more about SIMBIZ and Ahmad’s entrepreneurship journey through our interview.
How have you sustained your business as an entrepreneur?
I have 16+ years of experience working in Telecom, IT & Marketing industries in different junior to managerial roles, where I have closely worked with top management and learned the best to handle difficult and challenging situations. SIMBIZ is the 4th company I founded. So, I have had great exposure to maneuvering and the experience of standing up again after the fall.
Whilst sustaining an IT consultancy firm as an entrepreneur can be challenging, there are some steps that we took, and those have been the major reason for our sustained business, including identifying a niche, especially during the covid when many businesses started operating online, and employees were asked to work remotely. We always stay up-to-date with technology as the software industry is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay informed of the latest developments and trends in order to remain competitive.
One of the important elements of a sustainable business is your team, and having a talented and motivated team is key to delivering high-quality IT consultancy and keeping clients satisfied. We always foster strong relationships with clients because good customer service and strong relationships with clients can help generate repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals. Most importantly, diversify your revenue streams and don’t rely on just one or two clients for most of your income. Instead, try to diversify your revenue streams by offering a range of services and targeting multiple industries.
Tell us about your business model and operations.
Since the optimum model will differ depending on the organization’s target market, size, and objectives, we can say that there is no single “best” business model for an IT company. We have an Hourly billing model for some of our clients, which is a straightforward model where we bill our clients based on the number of hours worked on a project.
We have a project-based billing model where we estimate the total cost of a project and bill the client a fixed fee for the entire project. A subscription-based model where we provide ongoing support and maintenance services for a monthly or annual fee for a few of our solutions. Our core business model is outsourcing, where we provide IT services on a contract basis to other businesses. We are currently focusing on building a few more products, and we plan to adopt a combination of several billing models, such as project-based billing and subscription-based services.
The most effective business strategy will ultimately depend on the unique requirements and objectives of the IT company and the market it serves. In my opinion, it may be beneficial to test various models and gather data in order to ascertain which strategy is best for a certain organization.
How has the year 2022 been for SIMBIZ?
I must admit that 2022 has been both an exciting and difficult year for our IT Consultancy business. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s ongoing effects, we were still able to provide our clients with high-quality IT solutions and services. In addition to surviving the epidemic, our emphasis on agility, innovation, and customer satisfaction also helped us grow our company and enter new markets.
One of the year’s key highlights was the successful implementation of several large-scale digital transformation projects for our local and international clients, which involved utilizing cutting-edge technologies and data analytics to drive business growth and improve operational efficiency. We also invested in developing new tools and systems to streamline our internal processes and enhance our ability to deliver the best possible service to our clients.
Overall, 2022 was a year of growth and progress for our IT Consultancy company, and I am confident that we are well-positioned for continued success in the future.
How is SIMBIZ building trust and transparency among customers?
As the Founder and Managing Director of SIMBIZ, building trust and transparency among our customers is of utmost importance to us. We understand that trust is the foundation of any successful business relationship. We strive to earn and maintain that trust through open and honest communication, transparency in our business practices, and a commitment to delivering high-quality products and services.
To build trust and transparency with our customers, we regularly communicate updates on the progress of our projects and share the results of our work transparently. We also encourage our customers to provide feedback and ask questions, and we make sure to respond promptly and transparently to their inquiries.
In addition, we prioritize security and privacy in all our projects and have implemented robust security measures and processes to protect our customers’ data. We also adhere to strict ethical standards and engage in ongoing training and education for our employees to maintain the highest level of professionalism.
Overall, our goal at SIMBIZ is to establish long-term relationships with our customers based on mutual trust and transparency, and we are committed to doing everything in our power to achieve this.
What are your future plans with SIMBIZ?
As the founder and Managing Director of SIMBIZ, I am extremely proud of what our company has achieved so far, and I am excited about our future plans. Our mission has always been to provide top-notch IT consultancy services to our clients and help them achieve their goals through the effective use of technology.
Going forward, we plan to continue expanding our services and offerings to meet the growing needs of our clients. This includes investing in new technologies and tools and hiring top talent from across the industry to strengthen our team. We also plan to expand our geographical reach and enter new markets so that we can bring our expertise and services to a wider range of clients.
At the same time, we will remain focused on delivering high-quality services to our existing clients and maintaining our reputation as a trusted and reliable IT consultancy partner. We believe that our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, combined with our innovative and forward-thinking approach, will continue to set us apart and drive our success in the future.
In summary, our future plans for SIMBIZ are centered around growth, expansion, and delivering value to our clients. We are eager to continue making a positive impact in the industry and are confident in our ability to achieve our goals.
For those entering this industry, what are the main challenges (from your personal experiences)?
As the founder and managing director of an IT consultancy company, I have experienced several challenges that are common in this industry, including attracting and retaining top talent as the software development industry is highly competitive and there is a constant demand for skilled developers, designers, and other IT professionals. As a result, attracting and retaining top talent and building a strong team can be challenging. It is also difficult to keep up with technology because the technological landscape is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to stay up-to-date with the latest tools, platforms, and technologies. This is especially important in software development, where staying ahead of the curve is critical for success.
As Managing Director of an IT consultancy company, you must look into all the project management and timelines from time to time by yourself, as software development projects can be complex and involve many different stakeholders. It can be challenging to manage projects effectively, meet deadlines, and deliver high-quality solutions that meet the needs of clients.
You must balance the quality and speed of delivering the projects because the software development industry is often focused on delivering solutions quickly and efficiently. However, it’s important to balance speed with quality and make sure that solutions are well-designed, tested, and robust. Further, you must maintain security and privacy as security and privacy are critical in software development, especially with the increasing threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches. It’s important to take the necessary measures to secure and protect sensitive data.
Well, these are just a few of the main challenges of my experience that those entering the software development industry may face. However, with the right approach and a focus on innovation, collaboration, and continuous learning, these challenges can be overcome, and success can be achieved in this exciting and dynamic industry.
What key strengths helped SIMBIZ get through the struggles during COVID?
As the founder and managing director, I believe our most significant strength is our flexibility and adaptability. I would not say that we were ready for this sort of disaster, but we emerged successfully out of this because we have always been focused on adapting to change and embracing new challenges, so we quickly pivoted to remote work and were able to continue delivering high-quality services to our clients without any disruption.
We have always prioritized building strong and trusting relationships with our clients, and this helped us navigate the challenges of the pandemic. Our clients relied on us for support and guidance, and we were able to provide them with the services they needed to keep their businesses running smoothly.
We have always been focused on innovation and finding new and creative solutions to meet the needs of our clients. During the pandemic, this focus on innovation helped us as one of the strengths to identify new opportunities and develop new services that helped our clients adapt to the changing landscape.
Our company has a strong team culture that is based on collaboration, communication, and support. This culture helped us stay connected and motivated during the pandemic and allowed us to work together effectively even when we were working remotely. Although we started just before the pandemic, we have always been focused on financial stability. We trimmed unnecessary spending, which has helped us continue investing in our business and our employees, even during the most challenging times.
Overall, I believe that these key strengths helped us get through the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic. As mentioned earlier, I am proud of how our company responded to the challenge. We are well-positioned for the future and remain committed to delivering value to our clients and positively impacting the industry.
Find SIMBIZ on LinkedIn.