Software as a Service & Social Media

Posted on June 16, 2008 by

So I had the privilege of meeting Saul Colt and Michael McDerment of FreshBooks yesterday. Standard Media Services uses FreshBooks as it’s invoicing and estimating system, and we swear by it.

FreshBooks, for anyone who operates a small business, is a great way to invoice and provide estimates to your clients, not to mention track sales and expenses. It’s a new perspective on what many small to medium sized enterprise owners find tedious and time consuming. It’s a concept called Software as a Service, and it’s a fresh new take on operating in the land of receivables and generating revenue. The applications are endless, and it’s a model that companies like Google and Salesforce are changing the industry with. These guys have it down. I’m always inspired to hear about people who believe that the 1950’s old school approach to being in business, namely knowing your customers personally and focusing and being committed to a high level of service, is very much the way to go.

In the land of the corporate machine humming away facelessly, where you are simply just a number, I find myself cursing the Telco and cable companies of the world, where getting an actual human being on the phone is the equivalent of attempting to fly. Literally. It’s like jumping off a cliff while flapping your hands. While I find Emily, the cyborg that Bell uses to field your requirement or query okay, generally, getting heard and serviced by a live human being in the land of big business is quite frustrating.

What I am quickly realizing is that the web, particularly social media, is making that habit a thing of the past very quickly. Blogs, forums, and social media web sites are making the little guy big again. Customers have voices now. They also wield power, with either a tremendously good or bad effect on business. Business needs to shape up, and cater to the customer again. It takes a long time to get an opportunity, namely, a chance to earn someone’s trust enough for them to give you an order. It takes seconds to lose a client. Social media has reintroduced that simple fact.

Kudos to Thornely Fallis Communications for bringing these guys to Third Tuesday. It’s inspiring, in my opinion, to see people re-embracing common sense business values.

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