Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.

Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.

Below is our interview with Philippe Vincent, CEO at Virtual Instruments:

What does your company do?

Virtual Instruments provides comprehensive infrastructure instrumentation and performance analytics for enterprise data centers. We are the leader in application-centric infrastructure performance management, delivering solutions that help customers ensure their applications and infrastructure perform better together. Our solutions give IT teams deep workload visibility and actionable insights into their end-to-end systems across the hybrid data center, and we empower Global 2000 enterprise companies, government, and service providers to maximize the performance, availability and utilization of their production IT infrastructure.

What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?

As CEO, I drive overall strategy and vision for the company, ensuring every team member is aligned to our business objectives and is motivated to succeed wildly. I’m intimately involved with product planning, financial, and go-to-market strategies for our global organization. I most enjoy three primary activities: working with my senior team members defining our product development plans, interacting directly with forward looking customers who see great value from our products, and seeing my team members grow and prosper in the roles. Seeing everyone aligned to and executing on our vision in combination with the company being successful is extremely rewarding.

What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?

We compete in a very competitive market with many products competing for the customer’s wallet share. We have few direct competitors, but a variety of companies with solutions that are adjacent to the capabilities that we provide. Defining clearly differentiated products and ensuring that the right prospective customers understand our unique value will continually be a challenge. In addition, as we are based in the Silicon Valley, finding available local, affordable, high-quality engineering talent is also a significant challenge as we have tremendous competition for top talent.

If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

I have been very fortunate over my career to have worked at some great companies and with great people, both in Europe and in the US. Having a global perspective on business challenges is fundamental to my approach both here at Virtual Instruments and at my prior companies. I would have spent more time on developing business partnerships and alliances that can accelerate business. Thinking one’s company can be successful by ‘going it alone’ in this complex, multi-channel, 24x7x365 global business world is not a strategy for success. More aggressively leveraging partners, from joint product development to manufacturing to sales channels would be one of my more critical learnings.