— 16 June 2004 —
Many weeks ago when my venture began with Mike and Paul, there were a couple of things we all agreed upon. We needed to be ourselves; professional, but still “us.” We wanted to offer a standard set of services, but also needed to be flexible enough for a wide range of potential clients. And we all agreed that Business Logs should not be just about building a client list, but that it should be about building long–term relationships.
So as we post on our own site, you will find that each of us has our own voice. As time goes by I am sure that the Business Logs voice will become an aggregate of our own personalities. But when I post you will know it’s a “Matthew” post.
Managing our collective voice is always a collaborative effort. We review each other’s post before they are published. This isn’t about paranoia or lack of trust, but about understanding that while we can make changes (based on your great feedback) we always want to put our best foot forward. (Yes, I realize an analogy using voice and feet is odd, but think of it as a head-to-toe solution…)
Also, our services list will evolve over time. Between the three of us we have a varied background from which to apply our skills to meet a variety of needs: Writing (technical, blog and yes even poetry:), web design, usability, public relations, risk & opportunity management, project management, marketing, system design, etc.
Are we trying to be a “We do it all,” company? Sort of. But above is a list of interrelated skills. We can start by identifying risks and opportunities related to a higher degree of interaction with your audience. If it is worth the risk (and it usually, but not always is) we integrate or align the tool-of-choice to your system, match it to your brand, make sure it functions based on your business, technical, and user requirements, and help you sell the concept and manage the delivery. When you look at it this way, yes we can do it all.
Building relationships is key to the vision of our company. From a strict business perspective, servicing a company on a maintenance schedule (with an appropriate SLA in place) is where the money is at. But for us it is well beyond that.
We want to get to know your company. We want to help you reach your targeted internal and external audiences and we want to empower your audiences to do the same. While we will have a contractor relationship on paper, we want to partner with your organization. In my experience, the contractors who are interested in partnering have a better relationship with the company and it is one that lasts. It makes our work easier and your results better.
Call it a turning point, inflection point, or “Sure wish we saw that coming” point, listening to your audience is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the downside of the curve. And as we build our relationship with you, we help you build a relationship with your audience.
If you are a software company, think about where you get the best ideas for new features: user feedback. But are you sure you are getting the best ideas, or just the ones that the four levels of management between you and the user thinks might be possible to implement.
Companies die by not realizing a problem before it is too late to solve. Soon you are not just being hit at the operational level, but at the financial and reputation levels as well. How long can you stay in business without communicating? How much longer can you stay in business by being as transparent as possible and adapting to the issue?