Published May 5, 2023 | Updated January 9, 2024

Economic conditions can, and do, affect us in ways we have no control over. Case in point: today’s inflation and labor shortages.

Challenges like these can be very reasonable, very tempting, scapegoats for falling short of technology sales goals. But at the same time, it’s important to focus on what we do have control over, instead of what we don’t.

So rather than just accepting those factors and waiting for things to improve, what if we took the position that there’s an opportunity here to help customers facing the very same challenges?

Key among those challenges for a lot of businesses is simply finding staff to serve existing customers and win new opportunities. While there are many areas where you might find success, addressing these labor issues could be a particularly strong bet for technology sellers going forward.

Here’s why we got into this situation in the first place, why it’s not going to change any time soon, and why it could be a good thing for your sales.

Where Are All the People?

Put simply, the core reason it’s become harder to hire staff is that there are fewer people to hire. It’s not that people don’t want to work or don’t work hard enough. The labor pool simply isn’t as big as it used to be. And while it continues to shrink, the need for people continues to grow.

This isn’t a temporary mismatch. For years, we’ve known there were more Boomers than Gen Xers. Lots more. And except for a slight post-Gen X bump, overall birthrate has continued to decline, year after year, generation after generation.

The practical reality is that as aging workers retire from the workforce, there are increasingly fewer people to take their places, let alone fill additional positions. And this was only worsened by a pandemic that saw record numbers of people, all at once, opt for retirement.

While there have been efforts to entice retirees back into the workforce, those efforts haven’t been – and aren’t likely to be – enough to make up the shortfall. In response, companies have to improvise, overcome, and adapt.

To do that, they’ll look at ways to increase performance efficiencies to rely on less labor for the foreseeable future. And they’ll need a boatload of new technologies to do it.

Surging Demand + Decimated Staff = Success?

In 2021, a technology seller based in the U.S. Southwest realized that the food and beverage industry would be hit with unprecedented demand as consumers resumed in-person dining with a passion. They also realized that the industry was poorly positioned to handle the flood of demand from a staffing perspective.

If you’ve dined out lately, you’re probably no stranger to full restaurants with not-so-full staffing. Yes, there’s increased use of self-serve technology to smooth over the rough spots in the dining experience. But things still aren’t that smooth – to put it kindly – and the technology seems more like a bandage than a cure.

As they say, the problem holds the seeds of its solution. With that in mind, in coordination with its suppliers and finance partner, they developed an innovative solution called The Restaurant Digital Transformation Package. This all-inclusive offering comes complete with mobile app development, enhanced reservation management, the latest point-of-sale systems, and full integration of technologies across functional areas.

The solution includes all the needed hardware and software, plus three years of service and support. And it’s all offered with no payment for 90 days and a flat monthly fee for 36 months to help restaurants get started affordably and achieve better pacing between revenues and expenses over the solution lifespan.

So, everything needed to adapt to a changing marketplace, competitive landscape, and labor pool, all with terms that made the buying decision incredibly easy? Turns out there’s a decent market for that. Prior to 2021, this technology seller had two restaurant clients. Entering 2023, it had 78.

“When our sales leaders approached us with growing the restaurant industry, I told them they were out of their mind. Restaurants are too small, have inconsistent technology needs, and rarely see the value in what we do. Man, was I wrong. It’s now the highest margin, most loyal, and easiest to serve client base we have.”

– CEO, Southwest VAR

It would have been easy to say it was too hard to get restaurants to see the vision. It would have been easy to say that restaurants didn’t have the cash up front to invest in this kind of transformation and that they weren’t good targets.

A lot of technology sellers did say that. Many still do. But this one thought around the corner and came up with a fresh solution. And now it’s rolling out its solutions nationally.

Looking for fresh ideas to win in today’s marketplace? LEAF can help.

As a longtime committed finance provider for technology sellers and their customers, LEAF embraces the kind of breakthrough thinking needed to enter new markets, overcome economic challenges, and drive results, right now.