Exciting Changes at Alacrify and the Challenge of Building a Value-Driven Business
Since our move this Summer to new offices in Dorchester I've been doing a lot of thinking about Alacrify and where we are going as a business. I've gone back to the heart of what has motivated me to start and run my own company, and taken a look at the values that underpin the decisions that myself and my colleagues make every day about how we work, what we do, and how we serve our clients. It has been an interesting and challenging process.
Yes, we can!
Over the years Alacrify has grown rapidly by being a "can do" business. It's at the heart of an entrepreneur's being. We've grown our portfolio of services beyond imagining, and produced work that offers all sorts of clever and interesting solutions to our clients' needs.
We regularly get people coming into the office or talking on the phone about their new business ideas and asking for our advice and response to what they're planning. Just yesterday we spent a couple of hours with a new business to look at the potential for their company on the internet, and at how they can develop a profitable business through the right sort of online presence and marketing.
Free Support and Charitable Work
By inclination we've also been extremely supportive of all sorts of businesses above and beyond the billable work that we've charged for. In many cases we've subsidised their businesses without them being aware of it; making free updates to their sites, offering phone support, consultancy and training without charging and generally being "in their corner" whenever they need help and support. We really love to help.
This positive attitude and care for our clients gives us great job satisfaction. Seeing people grow in skill and confidence about building their businesses, and seeing those businesses grow before our eyes, is a great motivator. And we love to share our expertise and knowledge to help with this.
We've also done a whole heap of "proper" charitable work, developing new sites and serving charitable and community groups for free with our design, hosting and support services. As I write we've developed free or subsidised sites for over 30 different organisations. This is important to us. We all like to feel we're making a difference.
Finding A Balance
With over 250 clients on our books, with all sorts of different needs and support requirements, it is clear that we need to grow the business again, so that we can continue to provide a high quality service to all of them both now and into the future. To do this we're going to need to recruit more staff, and that needs more space (hence the move to Dorchester) and more money to pay for the new salaries.
This winter we've taken the decision to increase our prices and firm up our support offering for our clients to ensure we can make this next step in our company's growth. We're in the process of issuing a new support structure for our customers that gives a clear level of service and cost that will enable us to continue to provide the levels of service that we wish as a company to offer.
We know that this will be a big change for some of our clients, but we believe that we will be able to give everyone a much better service than we can do so at present if we're able to employ more staff and therefore respond to support calls more quickly.
Looking to the Future
I hope that this milestone in Alacrify's life will prove to be a powerful change in embedding our values into the business in a sustainable way, and ensure that we continue to be known for our passion, enthusiasm and care, for our clients and for their businesses.
Alacrify: 5th Dec 2012 13:00:00Tweet