The other day, one of my friends working in cloud ERP solutions brought up something he'd heard from a friend who'd heard from another... (and so on, you know how these things go).
In his chosen profession, as a business development representative, he works closely with the clientele. In his recent interactions, he went on to tell me, he’d been using this term to kick-start conversations with his clients.
It was apparently a great way to get an idea of their company vision, and goals.
You can imagine that it certainly caught my interest!
In business decision-making, they refer to it as ‘The Pillow Rate’, which sounds like something in between a John Grisham novel and a Disney animated picture about a talking pillow princess.
(You heard it here first, Disney - I expect a percentage!)
But I reserved my own judgment. And I listened as he explained it to me.
As it turns out, the Pillow Rate actually refers to the cost of comfort.
But, let me elaborate.
What is a pillow? Of course, you know what it is, but humour me. Is it something you sleep on? Is it the fabric of the cloth draped over feathers or plush, or whatever material is inside of it?
I’ll tell you how I see it – a pillow signifies relaxation, and the luxury of being able to let your head rest without having to worry about discomfort.
So, how does that relate to business?
When you're running a growing business, it can take a constant and heavy strain on you. Especially if you're in an executive position. Are you a decision maker? Then you know how much of the company's future rests on your shoulders.
And if you're anything like the average executive, that’s why you sleep with your phone right by your pillow. Just waiting for that emergency call from the office, or your business partner, or another executive telling you that the worst case scenario has happened. That something fell through and that all hell has broken loose.
And do you know why you have that anxiety? Logistically, it's because you take unnecessary risks in your decision making.
What do I mean by unnecessary risks?
Let’s take a look at some of the kind of risks that will affect your day to day business:
This is when your office suffers a flood, or a storm, and all of your physical files and computers are destroyed.
How is this an unnecessary risk? Well, usually, our suggestion to modern growing companies is to use a cloud-based infrastructure so that in case of the unforeseeable, all of their data is backed up. While it won’t reverse the aftermath of a natural disaster, it will mean that your team will be saved from the trouble of scrambling to piece back together your operations and resume business.
We’re talking about insurance issues, contractual breaches, non-compliance troubles – liabilities that can put your business in trouble for years.
How is this an unnecessary risk? When you’re dealing with legal issues – especially compliance laws – you must keep in mind that they change fairly often. Considering our legal system is always in flux, it’s important to have proper systems in place to ensure that your team is always ahead of the curve.
As the technological landscape evolves, so do the risk factors related it. When you’re running a company in today’s marketplace, it’s almost impossible to avoid the importance of security measures.
How does this become an unnecessary risk?
Many executives in today’s digital business world tend to ignore the need for high-security measures to protect their data. Or, other times, they will invest in cheap and generally ineffective security measures. The cloud is only a risk if you don’t have the right system to safeguard your information.
Investing in the Pillow Rate
When you’re looking to boost your company infrastructure for long term sustainability, it’s likely that you’ll consider price as an issue. When you look at it on the short-term, an inexpensive solution that promises to solve your needs might seem like the better deal.
After all, a lower rate is a win
– or is it?
Ask yourself why the more expensive solution exists within the context of a competitive market? (i.e. who is it targeted towards?)
There are two types of strategies when you’re looking to make an investment towards your company’s future.
- The ‘cheaper’ solution will provide you with a short-term solution. It will get the job done, but it won’t guarantee you a long-term sense of security in your decision. In fact, somewhere down the line, it might lead to added frustration and costs, as you will eventually have to invest in yet another solution. ‘Cheaper’ is never built to last.
- The ‘Pillow’ solution will often be a little bit pricier. This is a long-term investment, as it will provide you with a more robust solution – meant to deliver not only your need at the moment, but also help future-proof your infrastructure towards your future needs. The Pillow Solution ensures confidence, and that’s what you pay for - not just any solution, but the certainty that you chose the right solution.
Once you take these two strategies into consideration, your next step should reflect your vision for the future of your business.
Do you want to take an unnecessary risk that will reward you on the short-term, or do you want to sleep comfortably at night knowing that you invested in the pillow rate?
To learn more about future-proofing your business and leveraging modern solutions for consistent growth, check out Gurus CEO, Martin McNicoll’s book :