Did you notice that the last 12 months has been interesting? Rather like that curse, may you live in ‘interesting times’.
For me, it has been a time of re-engaging with my lovely, lovely customers. A year ago, I gave up my staff, gave up the office, started working from home (again).
What I realised is that I love being the ‘front-man’ for the business who works with customers and discovers what delights them. I also found out that there is a lot more demand out there than I could satisfy on my own. What to do?
Whatever Cloud Genius is, it is a small business. By that, I don’t mean that it is small-minded. We have our eyes on the stars! What I do mean is that I always want it to have that feeling where you are talking to someone real.
I know that asking you to submit requests through the support@ email has been a challenge, at times, for some. What happens behind the scenes is that it means you get served quicker. It means that subsequent emails you send are grouped together… so that when you ask? What has happened, we know. When we want to look at the issues you have, we know, too. It also paves the way for expansion. You may have noticed the use of the word ‘we’… it has already begun to happen.
In the last year, I have tracked down an excellent recruitment agency. (Believe me, there are lots of bad ones.) I have also begun to engage trusted individuals, who I have worked with over a period of 14 years. These are coming together to increase the capacity of Cloud Genius. At the same time, I don’t want to lose touch with customers.
The challenge: how do we maintain that small business closeness and flexibility, but also expand to give you a better service?
There will be a couple of changes. First, some of those help requests may be dealt with directly by other people.
Second, I am going to start up a ‘Lunch and Learn’ group. We had a trial this month (March 2021). The sharing of information is going to happen monthly, on a Thursday, for 45 minutes at lunchtime. Of course, we will be using Zoom. It gets rid of travel, need to hire venues and gets rid of travel time. These are going to focus on different aspects of Salesforce. You guessed it, the customers get to name the topic. Look out for an email, soon!
This article will also be published on Medium… if you slide over there, you will have an opportunity to comment!
On of the advantages of the current crisis is that it has allowed us to meet virtually, at a moment’s notice.
No travel time. Distance is no longer an object.
It is a tiny sop, out of a global crisis.. but it is very real.
Running on cloud-based technology, my clients have been all around the world. When I spoke of learning, everyone thought of a classroom.
One of the side-effects of the crisis is that people are much more familiar with Zoom. So, now we can bring everyone together in a new and wonderful way. Rather than having to hire a classroom, have everyone travel to the same place AND put on food we can just spend some time together.
I was able to experience this at the first Cloud Genius ‘Lunch and Learn’ event on 11th March.
So, it set my mind thinking… perhaps we could have more of this.
What I am proposing is a monthly Lunch and Learn, where we look at different aspects of Salesforce and learn together.
Expect details to be posted here, soon.
Together, we can make amazing things happen.
One of the mind-games that I play as a business owner is that I am not good enough. That in many ways I have failed each and every client at some point in time. So, asking for a testimonial is only asking for trouble.
This week, I held a ‘Lunch and Learn’. My brilliant business advisor, Kim Jones of HGKC, had suggested this as a way to promote our Event Bridge service. So I sent out the invitations and monitored the bookings on Eventbrite (of course I was using Event Bridge to do this!) Some of the attendees were my existing clients. Some of the attendees were contacts of contacts and some of them were new people who had heard about what we were doing through advertising.
There were several lessons from this:
1) There are clients who are not only willing to attend my events, but are also willing to promote me to prospects
2) I really like my clients and having them all in the same (virtual) room was really enjoyable
3) Yes, we know that word of mouth is the best marketing… but there is nothing to beat that sense of pride when someone you have done work for is willing to put their reputation on the line to promote you to someone else.
So, thank you all!
So, what I have I gained from this?
Well, firstly, I have some great collateral to help explain what I do – both a slide deck and a video.
I have discovered something about why my clients like me.
I have some hot new prospects.
I have renewed enthusiasm to develop the company. After all, if I can create something that gives people joy, promotes the work of charities and, perhaps, changes the world to be a better place… who wouldn’t want that?
My message to business owners is – get out of your own way and bring your clients together. It is easier than ever with virtual meetings. It gives you a chance to educate them about you and your services.
My message to myself is – this was enjoyable. Perhaps I should run more educational sessions. I enjoy it and, to use an over-used phrase, ‘all ships rise on the tide’.