by Doria Maselli
The author Bill Hybels once said: “The mark of a community is not the absence of conflict; it’s the presence of a reconciling spirit.”
ver the last nine months, we’ve watched Thurston County’s resilience as the community collectively came together to construct a safety net when COVID-19 hit businesses hard. The creation of Thurston Strong brought organizations together to share and align resources in a central location to benefit the community.
“When COVID hit, our two largest customers were implementing FOURA, and we had to rethink our marketing strategy,” says Brian Rawlings, Business Director and Co-Founder of Fourasoft, LLC. The founders hail from the biometrics industry, working with global organizations.
Headquartered in Tumwater, Fourasoft focuses on Stage Two companies ($3M-$100M) and helps them become more efficient, profitable and secure so that operations and growth scale effectively. Knowing the customer determines a project’s success and every FOURA implementation is managed by an on-staff CPA, Software Engineer and Six Sigma Certified Green Belt to ensure FOURA exceeds customer expectations. FOURA is a feature-rich business management software solution providing high-end functionality to this over-promised and underserved market.
“We leveraged our existing business relationships here in Thurston County when we started Fourasoft five years ago,” says Rawlings. “Naturally, most of our referrals came from existing relationships and word of mouth. Like many companies, we had to rethink our strategy and initiatives amid COVID-19.”
Luckily, Fourasoft was able to access existing tools in their toolbox. “From day one, we’ve had a great relationship with the Thurston County Chamber, the Thurston Economic Development Council, the Washington Center for Women in Business and the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC.) These organizations were incredibly helpful during normal circumstances and even more so during COVID-19,” says Rawlings.
Rawlings routinely attends the Thurston County Chambers Business and Economic Development Committee meetings. “The Chamber’s network has been an excellent resource during this challenging time. Megan Fiess, the Chamber’s Vice President of Workforce & Strategic Initiatives, has been a terrific resource. She’s been very supportive of our story – a local technology company competing with global brands, providing more affordable and effective solutions,” said Rawlings. “The relationships we have within the Thurston Chamber and Thurston EDC allow us to participate in the community at a much deeper level as our business continues to grow,” says Rawlings.
Rawlings is on the Advisory Board of the Tombolo Institute at Bellevue Colleges, Customer Experience Program. “This has provided additional exposure for our brand, allowing us to share our methodologies and learn from other customer-focused experts. In building FOURA, we’ve had to learn the language of small business. Participating in groups, committees and becoming part of a business community has proven invaluable during some very unexpected circumstances,” says Rawlings. Working with their SBDC advisor, they have restructured their to-market strategy. Fourasoft recently began working with a local Thurston County contractor to update their website performance and integrate their video tutorials. Fourasoft has been more active on LinkedIn and is in the midst of a direct mail campaign. “Our priority remains to help our small to medium businesses prosper throughout the greater Puget Sound region,” says Rawlings.
To learn more about FOURA, visit fourasoft.com