As a consulting firm serving the small business community, we often run into small business owners who don’t have a business forecast. Without one business owners may be missing key opportunities because they can’t define a strategic direction that will enable their business to scale.
Jessie: Hi, I’m Jessie Dancy and I am the social media coordinator for Mocko Consulting. Today i’ll be interviewing Kristen and Lidi. Can we begin with a little bit about how you two met?
Kristen: Yes, of course! We met at the university of Denver back in 2012, and we were both part of the same cohort for the professional MBA Program, and we connected right away. I remember before classes even started I went to an event and Liddy was the first person I talked to, and she was so warm and welcoming, and we hit it off right off the bat and did most of our progress together throughout the program.
Lidi: Yeah, I used to remember within the first month we took a trip to the mountains for a leadership part of the program, and on the trip back, Kristen and I were sitting next to each other, and talking about having a consulting business after school and being engaged with the small business community here in Denver. And now, here we are! It’s a dream coming true!
Jessie: It sounds like a dream come true. I’m actually approaching my fourth year at the University of Denver. Can you tell me a little bit about your accent and your background, and where that came from?
Lidi: Yes! So, I was born and raised in Brazil, in the south of Brazil, near the coast, and I always wanted to live abroad. When I was 27 I had a job opportunity that brought me here, and I had a work visa, then I got a green card in 2010, and after that I became a citizen in 2015. And now I am embracing the true American spirit of being an entrepreneur!
Jessie: that would be intimidating for anyone to move to a different country, and pack your bags up. Can you tell me what motivated you to start Mocko Consulting when you moved to the US, and how long its been around?
Lidi: Yeah! So I started Mocko Consulting in July of 2014, right around the time we were graduating from DU. And my motivation is because I’ve always enjoyed working with clients to begin with, being in more customer facing roles. At the time, I started doing the research to find out, okay, how much support to small business owners for software. And what I learned is that the small business development centers and resources are rich when it comes to facebook, or social media, or quickbooks, you know, but there’s not enough to help small business owners leverage all the business apps that are available. And this is a change, right, because, the truth is, up until a few years ago that’s all they could use. A CRM was not affordable for a small business. If they wanted a CRM you would think about SAP, Oracle, you know, which the cost was just prohibitive. The difference is that, you know, around the time I was graduating, the Cloud was becoming more prevalent, and there were more and more business apps coming to the market, at a cost that is now affordable for small business owners. To me, there was a gap in the marketplace, you know, all these apps coming to the marketplace, and not enough support for small busniess owners to figure out which ones were the right ones for them to use.
Jessie: Well Kristen, what motivated you to join Mocko Consulting? What do you bring to the table?
Kristen: While Lidi has a technical background, and has always been drawn to customer support facing roles, I have a sales and finance background and have always been very intrigued by the technical side of things. I started working for a large tech company on the support-sales team right out of college, throughout the time Lidi and I were getting our MBA together, and up until earlier this year when I came on board at Mocko Consulting, and I felt like I learned so much from this experience that I could apply here. And I have firsthand experience transitioning to a CRM in a large organization that went through an integration and gave me insight into the complexities involved with rolling out new systems, especially when the migration of data is involved and how the sales, operations, management, and technical teams can work together to have a successful implementation. Also, one of my two core values is customer service. Yes, I have a sales background, but I want us to be our customers trusted advisors, and provide them with the best solutions for their business and not just be looking to make a number, and I think that’s something that Lidi and I share, and what really brought me here.
Lidi: And to me, Kristen is bringing to the table the perspective of the client experience going through a CRM transition as well as the sales side of things, using the CRM to map out your sales process and doing the forecasting, so that’s very valuable for us.
Jessie: So whats the main challenge that small business owners face that you can address?
Lidi: I think that the main challenge is that a small business owners quite busy, and they dont have time to be researching the latest apps that are coming avaliable, or which apps and which CRM is the best one for their business. If you just google CRM for small busniess, youre going to get like, dozens of responses. Each one of those projects, they have unique features, they integrate better with this email marketing than the other one, so theres a lot of details that go into it, and thats where we can help. We can help to review your busniess processes, and figure out, okay, based on these activities that you have in your day-to-day operations, this is the best tool, or this is the tool that is gonna support you more and also reveal what are the other tools that you are already using in your organization.
Kristen: Yes and we want small business owners to be able to
focus on their core competencies, and most likely that’s not related to IT. So, there are numerous resources out there, trainings, YouTube, knowledgebase articles, etc. But with already limited time they have should they really be spending their time trying to decipher that information? It’s probably not something that they’re going to enjoy so that’s where we can really come in and help, because as we all know the devil’s new details, especially for the tech side.
Jessie: Can you give me an example of what a Mocko Consulting typical project entails?
Lidi: Yeah, so our typical project it starts with us you know, focusing on what do you need, you know, for your organization and we review our clients sales process in activities, you know, marketing activities as well, and then map out, extract from there all the requirements. You know the functionality that the software needs to have to support them. So once that step is done, is you know so it starts with mapping out the business processes, extracting their requirements, then we review it with them to make sure nothing got lost in translation, you know that we are capturing things well. And we do share it in the context of their organization like with examples of how a user comes up a new client you know, starts interacting with them and what happens in that situation, you know so, and what needs to happen in the software. So that’s the review that we do and after that we move forward with implementation. Doing checkpoints through all the process and then training.
Kristen: And as with any new systems, we all know that one of the biggest challenges you can face is adoption, and in order to overcome this we really focus on following the process and that’s what makes it unique. The process that Lidi just went through is very heavily researched and emphasizes use case reviews and pre-planning along with really tuning in to the team’s feedback and align in a solution with what their needs are. I understand the challenges with adult learners that we don’t want to learn things we just want to know everything and so providing relevant training and making necessary customizations in order to align with the organization’s business processes empowers our clients and an evil Center to get the most return on their investment in technology and several of our clients had experienced 45 to 75 percent year-over-year revenue growth a year after implementing a CRM then we really hope to apply what we’ve learned through these projects to help more small business owners be successful. One of the greatest challenges we face is adoption and in order to overcome this and what makes us unique is that we follow the specific process that when he mentioned which has been heavily researched and emphasizes use case reviews and pre-planning I was really tuning in to the team’s feedback and listening to what they need to run their business more efficiently and effectively and a typical project takes about three to six months depending on the size of the business.
Jessie: Thank you for your time today it was very interesting to learn about how you two met, and how you started. Please join our CRM consulting community and subscribe to our video channel please like and share our video and in the comments section below share with us what you think about small businesses and how we could help you watch for watching and please join us for next week over here we will address the question I have small business do I really need a CRM?
Lidi: Thank you.
All: Thank you.