In preparation of going freelance, I have been ruminating about a number of developing ideas. Like the key to success, a viable company mission, that sort of thing. Here are a few notes I have collected:
"My role at KIFFIN.ORG would be a flexible balance of technical, commercial and leadership aspects required in today's fast-paced and challenging economy. Flexible in that I would remain open to react to the needs of the day-by-day requirements, and balance in that the various named aspects compliment and strengthen each other so that I am well prepared to react pro-actively to the various customers and their unique environments. One could call me a diplomat whose role is to bridge the gap between the endless possibilities of (Internet) technology and the specific wishes of the (potential) customers, a translator and an enabler, one who inspires.
If I had the good fortune to choose my own exact function and title, it would be something like Business Developer and/or Senior Technical Consultant. I listen with an attentive ear, I carefully collect and analyze the needs of the customer, and I discuss the possibilities with creative members of the team before reporting back to the customer. Proposals must be based on the facts, reflect what is required and be implemented quickly and efficiently. I am a very representative person, realistic though willing to take calculated risks if required, and I hold to my goals and promises at all costs. I use my knowledge to build up respect while developing long-term relationships, which is very important to me. I am assertive enough if certain decisions have to be made, I can coach and offer advice where required, and above all I realize the utmost importance of being customer-centric in every fiber of my body.
Ten years ago it was normal to dump products at the customer site and wish him good luck: read the manual and see you later. Today the customer has become smarter and therefore more demanding. He defines ahead of time the product himself, the way he wants to use it and the way he wants to profit from it, financially as well as organizationally. My role would be to enable this process, to accelerate it and to prolong it. Let the customer concentrate on his core business by relieving him of the technical details of improving his underlying business processes. Short quick-and-dirty projects are all right with me, and believe me I have had enough experience in this area, but my real strengths and skills are based on logical and long-term thinking based on building relationships.
Like I said, I am a firm believer in the customer-centric approach. The success of a good flagship product and/or product suite depends on its ability to fit in seamlessly with the existing infrastructure of a customer site. This means understanding the customer's business thoroughly, scoping out the areas of improvement, e.g. focusing at first on those processes which can be improved the most with minimal impact on the overall organization. In the beginning of a good relationship, concrete results must come quickly and they must work. Strategy and vision of the customer play an important role, and this is the framework upon which a product needs to be built and integrated.
While the economic situation may not be optimal now, customers remain willing to invest (limited) money if they can be convinced that they profit from this initial investment within a reasonably short period. Short-term successes like these lead to long-term customers. As the customers grow and improve their business processes, KIFFIN.ORG grows with them through the exchange of information that is based on trust. Trust above all else.
With a solid background in databases, Internet technology (mobile) and web design, as well as experience in project management, I would pride myself in going out to the customer sites to define requirements, customize and deploy (within 2 weeks). Inspire customers and make them successful. Count me in to help out in any way possible, wherever and whenever required."
Unique Selling Points:
Let's just say that these are the core themes which will give me a big advantage over the competitors in this challenging yet lucrative market.
- Tailor-made solutions vs. off the shelf.
- Customer-centric vs. technology driven.
- Define, customize and deploy.
- Flexible, whenever and wherever.
- Attention to detail, after care with guarantees.
- Personal relationships and trust above all.
I will review and improve these ideas often and keep an updated version on my future famous KIFFIN.ORG homepage for those kind folks who are interested.