Getting more than you paid for
There are times that when you need something but it seems like the assistance or resources that you require will be more than you can afford to give – whether that is time, money or something else. Or that the return will not be what you want it to be.
However it does not have to be like that.
In my case this most recently happened when I established @CargilMigration. I knew that I had the skills to provide the services I was offering – 13 years of experience proved this – and that there was a market for what I do. But the other parts of the puzzle were problematic. I realised I could not do it on my own, but I didn’t have a bottomless pit of money or resources either and I had a lot to get organised. Accounting support, web services, insurance & graphic design the list went on.
So I was consumed by whether I could get the resources I needed for the right price. Would I end up committed to something financially that was unsustainable? Or alternately could they support me if and when I grew?
Initially I thought it may be too hard and that I would need to make some serious compromises in everything I needed. Compromises that would affect the quality of what I planned to do and how I did it.
However the example that I really wanted to focus on here specifically was with regards to the challenge of finding some office space and access to meeting rooms. My search was based primarily on location, price, accessibility., support services and a professional image. The usual things. However through some research, some due diligence, a conversation and a meeting I found what I was looking for at @Desk Union. Desk Union are a coworking space where businesses and individuals can find a home between Monday & Friday for their work needs. It has a prime location, a grand building, great amenities, flexible pricing and friendly and professional staff.
But in addition to the above they had more. They had benefits that you don’t often see when you hand over your money. In my case it was predominantly an automatic network of business and work colleagues. The benefits of which are derived from having people who understand what you are going through in trying to establish, manage and grow your own business. All of these people are great at what they do – whether it is in marketing, copywriting, social media, business coaching, business support services, events, engineering, architecture or running a coworking space – but the key is they have empathy for what you are doing and the challenges you face outside the specific service that you offer. They generally understand you and can support you, even though they don’t do what you do.
In respect to Desk Union they provide benefits that you may not even have thought of. Such as an excellent “Social Media 101” course that was provided recently by one of the foundation tenants @SharkDog. Or discounted accounting services through an alliance with @FreeAgent. Or an introduction to business management software providers such as @Appointedd.
So when it comes to finding someone to provide the services that you are after, whilst you should look at their credentials and experience in line with your needs, you should also try and get a feel for what else they can offer. This may be something physical or a service or it may be something intangible. However the key is they should be able to provide a solution for what you need now and have some understanding what you may need down the track. Where possible you should also ask yourself:
• Do they understand what my my real needs are?
• Can they offer me something – tangible or intangible – that their competitors can’t?
• Can they change what they offer as my needs change?
• Can they empathise with me and do something about it?
Those businesses that can answer the above are the ones that that deserve your custom. Not the ones that see you as a just another sale. But businesses that can provide what may be seen as a standard product or service in a way that is specific to you.
This approach is what drives the immigration services that I provide, and from my experience it is what drives the success of Desk Union and those that work within it.