New ideas are vital and a company should always focus on business and product development no matter how busy they are.
Sid Soil is the Founder & CEO of DOCUDavit Solutions. DOCUdavit is the leading provider for secure document imaging, EMR conversion, document/data management, and storage solutions for Canadian businesses and retiring lawyers and doctors.
After graduating from Ryerson University in Toronto, Sid started his career as a Programmer for TD Bank group, but quickly worked his way up through the ranks until he landed at DIVORCEmate software where he was the VP of Sales and Marketing for close to 15 years.
It was during this time that Sid noticed there was a big gap in secure document management service within the legal and medical market in Canada and decided to grow his own company which he has proudly managed since 1994.
Today Sid and his team have worked with over 600 medical practices, 200 law firms, multiple corporations, and 10 government departments including (INAC – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) as part of the settlement of of the Truth and Reconciliation commission which dealt the Indigenous Residential Schools in Canada.
Sid is the ultimate family man and fitness enthusiast. When he isn’t spending time with his wife (of 30 years) and 3 kids, he is out cycling. Every quarter Sid holds a company weight loss challenge and the competition is fierce!
Where did the idea for your company come from?
While I was working for DIVORCEmate, I realized there was a huge gap in secure document management service within the legal and medical market in Canada. Back then our biggest competition was a doctor’s basement, and in that case, how do patients ever get their records? The basement option is neither secure nor easily accessible, and from this idea, Docudavit was created.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts by reviewing my calendar and to-do’s before I get to work in the morning. I generally do not schedule meetings first thing in the morning and I review my email and go over the goals for the day with my assistant Tania.
I will generally meet with the production department to get the status on on-going and new projects. A big portion of my day includes contacting prospects and existing clients to provide updates on on-going projects, or on any upcoming and new projects. I also spend time either working on new proposals, marketing plans for new products, services, promotions, or developments in the company. I like to keep very busy and always have multiple project going at the same time. I find the busier I am the more productive I am.
How do you bring ideas to life?
There are a couple of ways. We generally identify a product, service or enhancement to our existing services that we believe would appeal to our customers. From that point we will develop a straw-man proposal in order to identify resources required and how it benefits not only the client, but our business.
If the idea meets our criteria we will then develop a process and protocol. We even have the ability to do computer simulations of the process in order to develop the most cost effective process possible. We can then test it within our facility with some of our staff members in order to further refine the process before rolling out to customers. Some of our ideas are developed simply to solve a problem that arises for a specific project. If the new idea can be used for other projects we try to integrate it into our standard processes.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Artificial intelligence and automation. I believe that it will be as significant as the industrial revolution. Technology will become part of everything we do and change the way we live. We are already seeing the introduction of the self driving car, robotics in manufacturing, smart everything, and the internet of things. AI is the next logical step, and if we do it right, it will be very exciting.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Get all of my email out of the way first thing in the morning.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Learn to speak another language, it’s much more difficult when you’re older.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I do not believe in luck in business. I think that you evaluate opportunities, make decisions and either win or lose business based on your decisions and ability to execute. It’s not random, and luck does not really play a part in winning or losing.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Never stop business and product development no matter how busy you are.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I always look for new opportunities to expand my business. We started our business focusing on document scanning for lawyers, which was great and go us started in the scanning business, but then we saw an opportunity to provide a completely different yet related service for the health sector.
We started helping family doctors closed their practice by managing their patient records and patient transfers, this opened a whole new set of products and services that we could offer to the health sector.
We had an opportunity to work on a large federal government project and this experience allowed us to compete for other government business across the country.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Because of my focus in business expansion, in the past I attempted to expand into many areas that did not work including a simplified easy to use EMR product that doctors were just not interested in. However, because of our diverse market and product offerings, we had the ability to overcome failures in a single product segment.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Create an application that lets you choose a city and it allows you to see where the most amount of people are at a given time. You can search by restaurants, bars, shopping malls, museums, etc. That way if a place is overly crowded, then you can avoid it until there are less people. This would be a great idea for people who are always traveling.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I purchased a Nespresso machine for my office because sometimes I just want to sit and have a good cup of coffee either alone or with one of my staff.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
We use so many web services including Slack, Insightly, Todoist but Evernote is the one piece of software that I have been using since I have owned a smartphone. It takes all of my notes in Evernote, it connects to all of my other software, and I can access it from anywhere any time. I can search, organize and tag everything so it’s always easy to find. I am currently writing my answers to this interview in Evernote.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
I am a salesperson at heart and have taken many course and dozens of books about sales but this is the one I keep returning to. No matter what your job title is you’re always selling.
What is your favorite quote?
“Well begun is half done” by Aristotle
If you plan something and start out well your chances of success are much greater.
- Organize yourself first thing in the morning. Review and prioritize your daily goals and objectives and get all of your email out of the way.
- New ideas are vital and a company should always focus on business and product development no matter how busy they are.
- Business expansion is an ongoing, important part of growing a successful business, even if you fail once or twice.
- Read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
- No matter what your job title is you’re always selling.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.